Syte Reitz

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

Browsing Posts in Politics

Setting The Record Straight

PART I

or

Is Doug Erickson a George Soros Henchman?

Slide1It seems that the liberal media takes every opportunity to misrepresent and malign Catholicism. A person can grow weary trying to keep up with setting the record straight, but here we go again…

Don’t Diss My Church!

Below is another recent misrepresentation/false accusation leveled by media at my Church.

Madison’s Wisconsin State Journal, Gays and Baptism

Not too unexpectedly, Madison’s Wisconsin State Journal has again been trying to make an issue out of standard Catholic Church teaching and policy. The latest issue raised by reporter Doug Erickson is infant baptism for same-sex couples.

IMG_1095The Catholic Church Postion

For all infant baptisms, the Catholic Church requires that parents and godparents promise to raise the child in conformity with the Catholic faith. That’s why godparents cannot be atheists, for example.

Not a very shocking suggestion, considering the pointlessness of initiating a person into an organization whose principles that person does not plan to uphold. In the case of the infant, the adult sponsors are making the promise and following up on that promise for the child.

GLN_Holy_Name_protest_2011

Gay Protests at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago

Same-Sex Parents and Godparents

It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that a same-sex couple might not be inclined to follow up on such baptismal promises to stay faithful to the Catholic Church, considering the fact that Catholic Church teaching does not permit gay marriage, nor acknowledge the sexually active gay lifestyle as a morally or medically healthy one.

It follows that the Catholic Church would have some guidelines on how to handle requests for baptism from same-sex couples– to determine whether these are bona fide requests for sacramental baptism, or progressive in-your-face challenges similar to those frequently exhibited by the gay community toward the Catholic Church.

Gay Attitude Towards the Catholic Church

Here is a three minute example of how Madison, Wisconsin’s gay community has mistreated the Catholic Bishop of Madison in the past:

Given the treatment the Catholic Church gets from the gay community of Madison (above video), it comes as no surprise that the Diocese of Madison has to plan on how to follow age-old baptism requirements, to confirm the good intentions of gay couples who present a child for baptism.  The Church wishes to ensure that the parents and godparents intend to fulfill their promises to raise the child in conformity with the Catholic faith, and that they are not simply interested in using the Catholic Church for free media coverage, as has been done in the past.

Wisconsin State Journal is Surprised

Slide1

Typical Wisconsin State Journal article trashing Catholicism

No surprise to most of us that the Church follows Catholic teaching, but apparently a surprise to Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal, and an opportunity for Catholic-bashing for their “progressive” readers who tolerate only their own views.

The Wisconsin State Journal (WiSJ) has long exhibited a bias against conservatism and religion, by publishing numerous negative articles about Catholicism, by omitting positive coverage of mainstream religious events, and by favoring the small fringe radical groups who oppose mainstream religion.

In  the WiSJ, petitions against the Catholic Church are publicized, arrests of Lutheran Bishops are featured prominently, biased articles are published to inflame parish conflicts, but no mention is ever made of hundreds of people joining in Corpus Christi processions around Madison’s Capitol, of thousands of people gathering in support of Pro-Life causes, of over a thousand signatures in support of Madison’s Bishop following WiSJ’s advertising the signatures of 24 dissidents, and no mention of a global rosary campaign originating in Madison through which almost 50,000 rosaries have been prayed for Bishop Morlino so far, and through which 325,000 rosaries have been prayed for bishops worldwide.

Wisconsin State Journal Promotes Fringe Radicals

In contrast, fringe radicals get plenty of press from the Wisconsin State Journal.  Announcements are made of Atheist Churches in the Planning, free promotion is given to two ex-Catholic nuns who successfully hijacked land, and are attempting to hijack congregations as well from the Catholic Church, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, (FFRF) which represents only one per thousand atheists, is promoted regularly, almost religiously. Slide1

The contrast between lives lived according to Christian belief and the intolerant destructive activities of groups such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation is striking, and was previously discussed in The Contrast.

Yet the Wisconsin State Journal favors and promotes the Freedom From Religion Foundation regularly.  Somehow, Doug Erickson even managed to promote the FFRF CHRISTMAS sign this week, in the middle of August. Despite the fact that FFRF claims to be against public expressions of religion, they do advocate paganism themselves – publicly, at the Wisconsin State Capitol, including pagan references on their Christmas plaque.

And Doug Erickson of the Wisconsin State Journal wants to help.

Grasping At Straws

So what makeshift excuse did the Wisconsin State Journal use this time for sensationalizing Catholic Church policy on infant baptism for same-sex couples?

Doug Erickson of the Wisconsin State Journal reported the collection of 20,000 signatures from people upset to hear the Diocese of Madison’s policies on infant baptism.
Signatures demanding an explanation of the baptism policy which has already been thoroughly explained.

20,000 Signatures

Were the 20,000 signatures from Madison?Slide1
No.
Were 20,000 signatures from Catholics?
No.
Where were the 20,000 signatures from?
The 20,000 signatures came from a small fringe Christian organization, Faithful America, which is not Catholic, is not faithful to mainstream Christianity,  is not large (310,000 national membership), and which specializes in opposing what they call the “Christian Right.”

Faithful America is a gay advocacy group funded by George Soros, which was responsible for trying to block comedian Bob Newhart from speaking at a Catholic summit because the 84-year-old actor supports traditional marriage.

Slide3

Doug Erickson
George Soros Henchman or Wisconsin State Journal Religion Reporter?

Funded by WHOM?

Yes, “Faithful” America is funded by George Soros, who was also behind the Nuns-on-the-Bus campaign, another pathetic attempt to discredit the Catholic Church by publicizing and exaggerating the rebellion of two elderly nuns.

So now, Faithful America – George Soros’ progressive henchmen -  are trying to challenge the Diocese of Madison’s not-very-surprising plan to protect the sacrament of Baptism from political manipulation in Madison.

And Doug Erickson wants to help.

Faithful America succeeded collecting the signatures of less than 7% of their own group, which in itself represents only 0.1 of 1% of American Christians.

Yet the Wisconsin State Journal gives them visibility.

Destructive Versus Constructive GroupsSlide1

Faithful America seems to be taking a page from the Freedom From Religion Foundation operations manual,  critically prying into the business of far-away communities and attacking the beliefs of others, rather than orienting their efforts into constructive service to the community instead, as the groups they attack, such as the Catholic Church, do.

And the Wisconsin State Journal joins them, reporting on fringe disgruntled dissidents in preference to reporting on the good that the Churches of Madison, Wisconsin do.
Doug Erickson seems to devote himself to giving credibility to many fringe progressive groups in the Wisconsin Sate Journal, while failing to report on the power of my 2,000 year old religion, Catholicism, and what it accomplishes in Madison, in Wisconsin, and in the United States. The disproportionate and unprofessional nature of his reporting betrays his agenda- that of promoting fringe progressive thought.

George Soros

More than one of the groups promoted by Doug Erickson receive funds from George Soros, a billionaire with the stated goal of transforming the world.

Slide1

Soros Biography by Dr. Joy Tiz

George Soros is an atheist who, in his own words, “grew up in a Jewish, anti-semitic home.” George Soros, as a teenager, helped to cart off the stolen possessions Jews after they were rounded up and transported to death camps. He claims that he has no personal regrets about his actions.

In one interview, George Soros portrayed himself as someone who shared numerous attributes with “God in the Old Testament”― “You know, like invisible. I was pretty invisible. Benevolent. I was pretty benevolent. All-seeing. I tried to be all-seeing.”

So the self-proclaimed invisible, benevolent and all-seeing George Soros, reputed to be a psychopath, goes about waging war on the Catholic Church, trying very hard to be subtle about it.

And Doug Erickson wants to help.

Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal

Whether Doug Erickson is familiar with these facts about George Soros, with Soros’ connection to  Faithful America,  or Soros’ connection to the other fringe groups Doug Erickson favors in his reporting, is not clear.  It is also not clear whether he or the Wisconsin State Journal benefit in any additional, more direct way from their biased reporting, or from George Soros.  But a good reporter would figure these things out before taking on this agenda.

We can say for sure that Erickson’s and the Wisconsin State Journal’s attacks on mainstream religion and on mainstream morality, no matter how clandestine or clever they think they are being, are quite transparent. The results of these attacks on Wisconsin’s values are reflected in the newspaper’s dwindling circulation.

 

Gay Marriage:

Activist Judge Logic Versus Monsignor Logic

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Gay Marriage in the United States

Slide2

GOVERNMENT BY … THE PEOPLE?… BY EXECUTIVE ORDER?… BY PROGRESSIVE PROCLAMATION?

The Obama administration has been promoting the gay agenda for some time now, including the 2011 White House announcement of it’s intention not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  DOMA is a federal law that allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under laws of other states.

By refusing to defend DOMA, the White House fails to defend and enforce the law of the United States, taking upon itself the authority to override laws which have been passed by Congress, to override laws which represent the people of the United States.

In fact, lawsuits are in progress against President Obama over his abuse of executive authority, particularly abuse of executive orders.

Gay Marriage in Wisconsin

Similar things are happening in Wisconsin.

In November of 2006, 59% of the voters in Wisconsin approved an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution that would ban same-sex marriage or any substantially similar legal status.  The people of Wisconsin had spoken, and gay marriage was banned in Wisconsin.

On June 6, 2014,  Federal Judge Barbara Crabb single-handedly annulled the will of the people.  She ruled  that Wisconsin’s  ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional.

Aside: To complicate things, her ruling did not remove the ban; it simply declared the ban unconstitutional.  When hopeful county clerks in Madison began issuing marriage licenses to hopeful same-sex couples, Judge Crabb had to restate the fact that  she had not issued an injunction allowing marriage licenses to be issued. Gay marriage was still “on hold” in Wisconsin.

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Background on this Judge

Judge Crabb was appointed by Democrat President Jimmy Carter in 1979, and “unexpectedly” took on Senior Status  in 2009 with President Obama’s approval.  Her stated intent for switching to Senior Status was to continue her work for the court while opening up a position for another federal judge.Slide1
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Information sources Judgepedia and Wikipedia reveal that the  transition was a surprising one:
…………………….
BEFORE the switch: Judge Crabb made no noteworthy judicial rulings during her 30 year tenure as Federal Judge from 1979 to 2009.  Not one ruling was important enough to be noted by Judgepedia or Wikipedia.
ooo
AFTER the switch: She has made four extremely controversial, progressive, headline-making rulings in four years:

Judge’s Unexpected Maneuver

Judge Crabb’s surprising transition to controversial and obviously “progressive” rulings invites speculation.

Do Judge Crabb’s recent progressive rulings reflect an impartial legal judgement?
Her rulings seem to reflect instead a prejudice that has little to do with logic or the law.
Is Judge Crabb’s prejudice philosophical? Religious? Personal?

Slide2

Tipping the Scales

Could the Judge have been conscripted by a progressive organization such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in whose favor she has ruled more than once, and which represents only 1 per thousand atheists and one per 30,000 Americans?

oooo
Could it be that the Obama Administration recruited her to help with its progressive agenda, including President Obama’s efforts to promote the gay agenda?

ooo
What’s in it for Judge Crabb?
Why would a Judge suddenly make time for progressive controversial rulings?
Is anybody paying her, or rewarding her by some alternate means?

Regardless of her motivation, Judge Crabb started her progressive campaign with the most controversial ruling– eliminating for the first time the requirement that Judges behave impartially.
This set the stage for the chaotic rulings that followed.

What Is A Judge If Not Impartial?

A judge is a person who has the power to make decisions on cases brought before a court of law.
It is assumed that a judge rules fairly, impartially, and consistently with the rule of law.
The Wisconsin Judicial Commission’s code of judicial conduct spelled that out.
But Judge Crabb took it upon herself to reverse this requirement of a judge to be impartial.

Queen of Hearts

THE QUEEN OF HEARTS
from Alice in Wonderland

Such a decree, eliminating the requirement of impartiality for Judges, invalidates the purpose of the entire court system, and plunges society into a free-for-all-power-grab in which anyone who can bribe one judge wins.

The idea that one Judge could single-handedly make such a fundamental change in the functioning of American government is most disturbing.

The suggestion that a Judge who supports Planned Parenthood and Pro-Abortion political candidates publicly and financially could make impartial decisions on abortion as Judge is naive and unprofessional.

People who cannot limit their personal political activity in deference to the position of public trust that they hold as Judges are, by definition, not sufficiently impartial to hold the position of a Judge.

More Prejudiced Judgements (Progressive Proclamations)

Having set the stage with her first decision, having declared her right to rule without impartiality by Progressive Proclamation, Judge Crabb then went to town with subsequent prejudiced progressive proclamations, culminating now with her attempt to reverse Wisconsin’s same sex marriage ban.

Judge Crabb’s behavior since 2009 is reminiscent of the Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland), the ultimate parody of impulsive and irresponsible authority.

article-2084800-0F678EA500000578-382_634x519

Obama’s 2009 Alice in Wonderland Party

Ironically, President Obama held a lavish Alice in Wonderland-themed Halloween Party at the White House in 2009, in the midst of a national recession, a party he kept secret for over two years, knowing that it would be bad PR.

Little did the nation know that the upside-down world of Alice in Wonderland, in which logic and even the laws of gravity are often reversed, would soon be the norm coming out of the White House and it’s progressive appointees.  (See also Embarrassing Women.)

The Judge’s Logic

Judge Crabb outlined the logic behind her reversal of the gay marriage ban:

  • The Judge first emphasized that the right of homosexuals to enter into a marriage contract is not related to religious teaching, to the morality of such unions, or to the ability of gay partners to maintain a marriage relationship or to raise children.
  • Then the Judge stated that the right of homosexuals to marry is related to liberty and equality, two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution.

The precise text of Judge Crabb’s justification:

This case is not about whether marriages between same-sex couples are consistent or inconsistent with the teachings of a particular religion, whether such marriages are moral or immoral or whether they are something that should be encouraged or discouraged.  It is not even about whether the plaintiffs in this case are as capable as opposite-sex couples of maintaining a committed and loving relationship or raising a family together.  Quite simply, this case is about liberty and equality the two cornerstones of the rights protected by the United States Constitution.

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The Fault in the Judge’s Logic

Slide1Judge Crabb’s logic is faulty.
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Her first point above argues that the right of homosexuals to enter a marriage contract is not related to their ability to fulfill that contract.
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Yet ALL legal contracts are not only related to the person’s ability to fulfill the contract, but are dependent upon the person’s ability to fulfill the contract:

  • Underage people cannot drive.
  • People with poor eyesight cannot be airplane pilots.
  • People without necessary qualifications cannot teach, cannot design bridges, practice at hospitals, or become police officers.

The Judge’s second point, that the right to marry is related to liberty and equality also fails the logic test.

ALL citizens in the United States are allowed to marry, to marry a person of the opposite sex, in the manner that marriage has been defined by, globally by all cultures for millennia.

The question here is whether a court has the right to redefine marriage, and what the legal consequences of such a redefinition could be.
Judge Crabb seems to have missed this fact, as she does not discuss the right of the court to redefine marriage, nor the legal implications of such a redefinition in her ruling.

Aside: the legal ramifications of the redefinition of marriage would, in fact,  redefine our entire society- see Bishop Morlino in Redefining Marriage Has Domino Effect on Family , Matt Barber in  Marriage Equality = Marriage Extinction, and What’s Wrong With Gay Marriage (my previous blog post).

Monsignor LogicmsgrHolmes photo

It did not surprise me when I found a much better, more logical analysis of the legality of gay marriage in my Catholic Parish’s Sunday bulletin.  The article was not written by a lawyer, nor by a judge, but by a Catholic priest, a Monsignor.

The answer came from my favorite Monsignor, the Pastor and Rector of  my parish, Madison’s Cathedral Parish- Monsignor Kevin Holmes.
Monsignor Holmes was born in Janesville, WI,  holds graduate degrees in Philosophy from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and studied for the priesthood a the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.

Monsignor Holmes addressed the two most pertinent questions:

  • Why Does the State Involve Itself with Regulating Marriage
    and
  • Why Don’t Gays Have the Necessary Qualifications for Marriage?

Here is Monsignor Holmes’ very logical analysis of  why there are legitimate reasons to restrict marriage to persons of opposite sex:
(from the Cathedral Parish Sunday bulletin, June 15, 2014)

 

From The Monsignor:

Slide1Dear Friends in Christ:
I feel compelled today to return to the topic of marriage, and the recent decision of Judge Crabb that Wisconsin lacks a “legitimate reason” to restrict marriage to persons of opposite sex.
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I could say much about that in theological terms, citing the plan of the Creator. Those are important points to make, but here I want to restrict my argument to one based on reason – the kind of argument that a civil court can and ought to recognize.
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What “legitimate reason” could the State have for defining marriage as a heterosexual relationship? There is an important prior question: Why does the State take an interest in marriage at all? Marriage confers recognition and certain benefits on adult persons who choose to enter a permanent and exclusive intimate relationship with each other. Why should the State take an interest in that?
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On what basis should the State of Wisconsin prefer stable, long-term sexual relationships over multiple episodic sexual encounters? Why should the State “legislate morality” in this way? Doesn’t the State recognition of marriage deny “equal protection” (as to taxation, for example) to the sexually promiscuous? In the contemporary climate, it could plausibly be argued that all laws about marriage are unconstitutional for discriminating against those who are averse to commitment . . . unless the State has a “legitimate interest” in preferring stable sexual relationships.
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Does the State have any rational basis for that preference? Sure it does: the fact that the sexual relationship between a man and woman can produce children. The State has an objective, non-sectarian interest in promoting a new generation of healthy and virtuous citizens, as well as an interest in having children supported as to their basic needs (food, shelter) by those who are rightly responsible for them. For this reason, the State has a legitimate reason for encouraging heterosexual couples to remain in a permanent union, and it rightly recognizes and privileges marriage, which is that relationship.
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For the same reason, the State formerly had laws to protect the stability of marriage. There were laws against adultery. And in a case of marital infidelity, only the innocent party could obtain a divorce. A couple of generations ago, our demand for sexual license led the State to abdicate any responsibility to protect the stability of marriage, and now we have “no-fault divorce,” unfailingly granted at the request of either party with no justification required. I think a very good case can be made that the State’s refusal to protect the stability of marriage has been very detrimental to the culture. And if the State forgets even what marriage is, it will be far worse.
Msgr. Kevin D. Holmes

So There We Have It-
Monsignor Logic Versus Activist Judge Logic.

Sorry, Judge Crabb- Monsignor Wins!

 

Embarrassing Women

Slide1

Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Ginsberg

Much as I am usually very happy to be a woman, and much as I generally like most people, both women and men, the three female Justices of the the Supreme Court have made me very embarrassed to be a woman this week.

Margaret_Thatcher_01

The Right Honourable
The Baroness Thatcher
LG OM PC FRS
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
1979-1990
NOT an embarrasing woman

 

The whole point of women’s lib during the 1960/70′s when I grew up was to illustrate that women can be as intelligent, accomplished, and logical as men were reputed to be.  Margaret Thatcher was one example of such a competent woman.

What Have Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Ginsberg Done?

This week the three American women Supreme Court Justices, who supposedly represent America’s intellectual cream of the crop, have embarrassed all of us with their nonsensical and unprofessional behavior.

They have joined other progressive politicians in a publicly supporting a political agenda, demanding that everyone in America  pay for their birth control.

The three Justices have issued a searing dissent over a new contraceptive case (Wheaton College v. Burwell), in which they position themselves in opposition to the rest of the Supreme Court (comprised of men), thus implying that the Supreme Court does not treat women fairly and that these three ladies women represent the “oppressed” women of the United States.  Such an implication is unprofessional hogwash, unsuitable to a Supreme Court Justice, and to a woman.

Why is This SO Embarrassing?

Why is this SO embarrassing?
This is SO embarrassing because the 3 Justices have been inaccurate, biased, illogical and misleading in several ways:so-embarrassed-56718,1366x768,56718

  • These 3 progressive Justices do NOT represent all women.  50% or more of women are conservative, pro-life and pro-religion.  At least half of all women in the United States oppose the progressive political agenda, so the 3 Justices have no valid claim on representing women.  When the claim to represent women, their claims are inaccurate.
  • These 3 biased Justices misrepresent justice, since they are siding against religious freedom, against the First Amendment, and against the 80% of Americans who are religious. A biased Judge is not a competent Judge and should be impeached.
  • These 3 Justices are illogical, since they are prioritizing a cheap non-essential such as birth control ($15 to $50 per month) over essentials such as food, shelter and clothing ($1,300+ per month) , essential needs which are not provided free of charge to American citizens.  Don’t the 3 Justices realize that all American citizens are obliged to work to provide their own essential needs, unless they are physically or psychologically impaired?
    Are the Justice trying to imply that all women are physically or psychologically impaired?
    Or that nobody is obliged to work?
    How can individuals incapable of logic to this degree serve on the  Supreme Court?Slide1
  • The 3 Justices insult all women, implying that women are not capable of responsible sexual behavior without help from the government. Women who are capable of responsible behavior in every other sphere of life, in professional life, in care of children, in sitting on the Supreme Court, are not capable of managing their sexual activity without help from the government? The Justices are painting quite the unflattering and primitive picture of the American woman today- irresponsible, promiscuous, and helpless in managing her own life.
  • The 3 Justices seem to be confused on the definition of a right, if they do not realize that the Constitution cannot guarantee any rights to material needs without specifying whose duty it is to pay for this “right.”
    How can one able citizen be required to pay for the needs of another able citizen?
    Which citizens must pay for how many other citizens?
    How can anything be decided by a Supreme Court that does not understand the difference between rights and needs?

Such irrational behavior on the part of the 3 female Justices is an embarrassment to us all, but particularly to women.
Instead of being a credit to women as Margaret Thatcher was, they have promoted the old terrible stereotype- the illogical, unreasonable, demanding, nagging woman.
Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Ruth Ginsberg have let all women down.

 Pubic Reaction

Not surprising, then, to see this pubic reaction to the 3 Justice’s published dissent:

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IMG_2281

 

MSNBC, the First Lady, and the Gas Engine

or
Why Progressives are Regressives and Conservatives Make the Progress

Guess WhatTrying to Get a Balanced Picture of the News

So, in my usual scanning of diverse news sources to get a balanced view of the news, I looked at the MSNBC headlines, and guess what I found?

Two headlines which begged to be linked together:

Why Would the First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS) Be Linked to a Gas Engine?

FLOTUS begs linkage to a gas engine because she promotes the school lunch programs in which students are widely known to throw away lunches and try to abandon the lunch programs altogether, while the MSNBC’s Gas Engine article below the FLOTUS headline claims the engine can be fueled by, among other things, discarded school lunches!

Feeding Sandwiches to an EngineSlide1

The scientist and the conservative in me had to kick in, and I had to investigate the possibility and the cost- effectiveness of feeding an engine with school lunches.
Long story short, and sparing you the details and calculations (contact me if you want them), it boils down to this-

Let’s acknowledge that sandwiches and gasoline, being hydrocarbon-derived, do actually have a similar energy density, or energy available per pound of each material.
So, if you could put discarded sandwiches into your gas tank and burned them efficiently, that might provide some energy.
Points for progressive ideas.

But you can’t put a sandwich directly into your gas tank and burn it efficiently.  Conservatives are needed to do the thinking!
Reality must be addressed.

What does it take to burn a sandwich in your gas tank?

In order to use school lunches in the GE engine described in the MSNBC (GE-sponsored) article (and yes, GE ads are now masquerading as top headlines at MSNBC), there are several steps involved:

  • The sandwich has to be industrially fermented by microorganisms to produce methane (a gas with 72 times higher global warming potential than CO2; oops, big progressive no-no! This would beg the question whether sandwich fermentors had to pay a flatulence tax. ).  The factory doing the fermenting also uses power and equipment which requires power to be manufactured and to run.Slide1
  • The methane then has to be burned in a GE engine, an engine that also requires power and natural resources to manufacture.

So, yes, your discarded school lunches could be used to run a gas engine.

What is the Cost of this Discarded Sandwich Fuel?

Initial cost: the average school lunch, about $3 per pound, already costs 7x higher than the cost of gasoline (43 cents per pound).
Next, we need to account for the intermediate costs involved in industrial processing to convert to methane and transport it to the power plant.  A generous estimate might be 10-15% efficient.  So, the use of discarded school lunches to fuel engines will cost at least 70 times more than using gasoline.

How would you like to pay for school lunch gasoline at $280 per gallon?  BTW, we taxpayers also had to pay for the discarded school lunch.

An Alternative Approach

13183_19197

Sage Kokjohn, Rolf Reitz, Reed Hanson, inventors of RCCI

My husband Rolf Reitz  is a scientist and a conservative.
He has spent his entire career, together with other dedicated scientists, developing a process called RCCI, which is causing quite the stir in the automotive industry today.

RCCI increases the efficiency of the internal combustion engine by about 30% while reducing pollutant emissions at the same time.   The reduced emissions reduce the cost of engines dramatically, because expensive exhaust after-treatment is no longer needed.

If implemented in our entire fleet overnight, the RCCI process would eliminate United States need for import of Persian oil.  The United States would practically be self reliant in our energy needs.

Incidentally, the RCCI process is also compatible with numerous alternative fuels, which may be developed in the future.  It can even be compatible with the methane produced from Michelle Obama’s discarded school lunches.

The Difference Between a Progressive and a Conservative

Our progressive First Lady and progressive MSNBC have many good intentions and creative dreams.  Unfortunately, most of them, like this one, are completely unrealistic.  Also unfortunately, the First Lady and MSNBC pressure others to pay for their ideas, and to do the work.

The First Lady’s husband, our President, is about to use his Executive Order privileges to dictate a mandatory 20% reduction in carbon emissions from coal-fired electric plants.   This reduction is deemed totally unnecessary by thousands of scientists, who reject catastrophic global warming claims, believing them not to be supported by science.  This reduction would also represent a regression for the United States economy and for our energy supply.Slide1
Progressives falsely claim that 97% of scientists support global warming theories, when in actual fact alarmists are in the minority,and 60% of meteorologists (weather experts) see no potential threat.

So progressives dream, ignore facts and demand the impossible.  They insist on trying to achieve their goals without supporting, reasoned analysis.
Often their idealistic dreams boomerang, come back as nightmares, and implode their wishful plans.  That’s what’s been happening to President Obama recently.
His initial 2008 success, his popularity, and everything associated with him, including ObamaCare, have been failing and imploding, despite all the hopes, dreams and good intentions he had at the start.

Progressives turn out to be regressives, making no progress and dragging the entire nation with them into tragic regression instead, both economic and moral.

What Would a Conservative Do? 

A conservative also abhors waste, but instead of indulging in fruitless wishful thinking, spends the time analyzing the problem.  That is how sustainable solutions are reached.

This is what can happen when conservatives roll up their sleeves and get to work, rather than looking to the government for solutions.  They provide the government with solutions, rather than asking government for handouts.

The Tables Are Turned

Today, Progressives make no progress.  They cause regression instead, so let’s call them Regressives.
Conservatives should be called Progressive; they make progress by taking charge and by solving problems.

Time for Conservatives to Take Charge!
There are some elections coming! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Do With a Man Called Putin?

Putin’s Chilling Antics

Putin’s recent military incursions into the Ukraine, exhibiting as they do a terrifying similarity to Hitler’s invasion of Poland prior to World War II, have put the entire Western World on edge.

President Obama seems at times at a loss of what to do (despite the fact that he has more flexibility after the election), and Putin seems to be running circles around everyone with his deceptions.

5317b12ab9704.preview-620What is a nation to do?
What is the United States to do?
What is NATO and the European Union (EU) to do?
How do we avoid provoking World War III, yet help and defend the hundreds of Ukrainians who are dying for freedom right now?
How far will Putin dare to go?
What does Putin want?

When In Doubt

When in doubt, ask an expert.
Ask someone who has been there, who has done that.
In this case, ask Lithuania.

Slide1Lithuania

Lithuania might be a small nation, but it has a record of strength, determination and success that is matched by few.
Lithuania was the first nation to revolt against Soviet control in 1991, when the dissolution of the Soviet Union began.
Since then, Lithuania has grown it’s economy, prospered, joined the European Union, joined NATO, has headed the European Union, and is adopting the Euro in 2015.

Lithuania is the mouse that roared, the David that slew Goliath.  Or Mighty Mouse!

Lithuania-Russia

This amazing success was recently recognized in The Economist, and was recognized by President Obama as well.

Got Putin’s Number

Lithuania knows well the ex-Soviet giant which enslaved her for 50 years, and under whose shadow Lithuania has managed to achieve the remarkable prosperity described above.

The long-feared risk that Russia could use energy as a political weapon has encouraged20140503_gdc831 Lithuania to come up with  energy alternatives. Lithuania has long been preparing for tactics from Putin such as those being used in the Ukraine today.

Not only has Lithuania allied herself with Western nations politically and economically, but by 2015, Lithuania will also have the potential for complete energy independence from Russia, which supplies the bulk of Europe’s energy needs.

So Lithuania not only has Putin’s number, but Lithuania knows how to anticipate Putin’s thinking and how to strategize in self-defense.

Comrade Putin

Vladimir_Putin_-_2006Vladimir Putin was an intelligence officer for the KGB prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Later, he became head of the Federal Security, an arm of the former KGB.
When the Soviet Union was dismantled in 1991, it is doubtful that Vladimir Putin was instantly transformed from master of KGB espionage (political, economic, military-strategic and disinformation-based) into magnanimous defender of truth, liberty and freedom.

Lithuania knows the tactics Putin is familiar with, understands the psychology of the KGB, and has demonstrated a success record in defeating the giant out of whose shadow Lithuania has emerged.
Lithuania has not only emerged from the shadow successfully herself, but works to offer the same opportunities to other nations.  Upon joining the UN Security Council, to the dismay of Moscow, Lithuania embarked on discussing the Ukraine.
Lithuania has courage.

Lithuanian Ambassador in Madison

Lithuania’s ambassador to the United States, Žygimantas Pavilionis,  just visited Madison last week, to honor the 25th anniversary of Madison’s Sister City relationship with Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital.  Madison was the first city to form Sister City ties with Vilnius.  Madison did this during Lithuania’s struggle for independence, one year before Lithuania declared independence from Soviet domination in 1991. So Madison is a very special friend to Lithuania.

Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis

Ambassador Zygimantas Pavilionis

Ambassador Žygimantas Pavilionis gave a seminar at UW, and was guest of honor at a Madison-Vilnius Sister Cities banquet at the Madison Club, which we were fortunate to attend. Ambassador Pavilionis was interviewed by Mary Jo Ola at Channel 3000 News:

Ambassador Pavilionis calls Putin’s actions in the Ukraine “the convulsions of the KGB in the Kremlin” which are destined to fail because the “corrupted KGB regime is afraid of it’s own people… it is afraid the same revolution will happen in the Kremlin… Being occupied by Soviets for 50 years, we (Lithuanians) know that it doesn’t work.  If the people go to the streets, if fear is disappearing, that’s the end (for Soviets). … Putin is making a strategic mistake.”

Sanctions? – Ambassador Pavilionis does not think that sanctions will be enough.  We will have to support Ukrainians by military means, because unfortunately, Russians will go to the line we draw.  But at the same time, we  also have to be strategic, we have to say whether the EU will accept the Ukraine as a member state, whether NATO will be enlarged to the east, and if we don’t have that strategic clarity, those autocracies or corrupted powers, they will just be moving forward.  We have to stop them.

 

LT_tank010-e1357604832350

Soviet tank crushing peaceful Lithuanian demonstrators, 1991

Ambassador Paviolionis has been involved in the government and development of Lithuania since the freedom-fighting days, when Soviet tanks crushed Lithuanian freedom demonstrators under their tracks.  He is a fan of Ronald Regan and of Saint John Paul the Great, who together facilitated the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Lithuanian Ambassador in Washington

Ambassador Pavilionis lives in Washington, D.C., in the second oldest embassy building in Washington, which has housed a Lithuanian ambassador and flown a Lithuanian flag  for 90 years.  The embassy was maintained and the Lithuanian flag was flown, at times without funds and without heat,  throughout the 50 year Soviet occupation of Lithuania.  The United States and the Holy See were the only two places in the world who completely recognized Lithuania during the Soviet occupation.

This Lithuanian embassy is 2.5 miles, or 9 minutes away from the White House.  So when it comes to consulting on what to do with Putin, where should President Obama go?

Lessons on Putin-Handling

Lithuania is the mouse that roared, the David that slew Goliath, even better, the Putin-whisperer.
So what do we do about Putin?
Consult Lithuania.
It takes a Lithuanian to stand up to Putin.

Syte Reitz encounters Vlad Putin in London at Madame Tussaud's

Syte Reitz encounters Vlad Putin in London at Madame Tussauds

..

Above All, Pray!

2-jpII_04 - 1993

St. John Paul the Great Praying at Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses, 1993

 Apsaugok, Aukščiausias, tą mylimą šalį,
Kur mūsų sodybos, kur bočių kapai!
Juk tėviška Tavo malonė daug gali!
Mes Tavo per amžius suvargę vaikai.
-Maironis

 

 Small show of solidarity :600 American Troops sent to Lithuania:

We were privileged to meet and speak with Ambassador Pavilionis:

IMG_3278

Tom Reitz, Syte Reitz, Zygimantas Pavilionis, Rolf Reitz
Madison Club, Madison, WI

Education in Lithuania:

Business in Lithuania:

 

Slide1

Seriously, That Was Obama’s Response!

Above is Obama’s verbatim response to receiving a copy of Evangelii Gaudium, a 240 page Apostolic Exhortation written by Pope Francis.
And what did Obama give to Pope Francis in exchange for this moral challenge?
Carrot seeds.

Carrot Seeds?

Yes, probably Michelle’s carrot seeds.
Presumably President Obama thought that carrot seeds from the new White House garden established by Michelle would serve as a suitable memento of this historic visit.
Ironically, the carrot seeds came in a box which represented the very religious freedom that President Obama is in the process of trampling.
The box was made from the timbers from the Basilica of the Assumption, the first Cathedral built in the United States, built in tribute to religious freedom.
President Obama is currently fighting 91 religious liberty lawsuits.
One can only speculate on President Obama’s intent in giving Pope Francis a box made from Basilica of the Assumption timbers.
We hope he was not thumbing his nose at Pope Francis, as he did to President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Cardinal Dolan when he summoned the Cardinal to the White House and lied blatantly to him in the early days of ObamaCare.

Details of the Historic Meeting between Francis and Obama

Barbara Boland of CNS News summarized the Pope’s meeting with President Obama perceptively in an article entitled Obama Gives Pope Vegetable Seeds, Francis Gives Obama Writings on Morality:

CNS on Obama & the Pope

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Obama Gives Pope Vegetable Seeds, Francis Gives Obama Writings on Morality

 

The text:

President Obama met with Pope Francis for the first time this morning, and the two leaders exchanged gifts – Obama gave Francis fruit and vegetable seeds, and the Pope gave Obama a copy of Evangelii Gaudium.
At the beginning of their meeting, before the gift exchange, President Obama sat down at Francis’ desk and said, “It is a great honor. I’m a great admirer. Thank you so much for receiving me.”
Obama gave Francis a symbolic gift of seeds from the White House fruit and vegetable garden.
“These I think are carrots,” Obama said as held a seed pouch. “Each one has a different seed in it. The box is made from timber from the first cathedral to open in the United States in Baltimore.”

The seeds came in a custom engraved chest, made with wood from the United States’ first cathedral, Baltimore’s Basilica of the Assumption. That basilica was designed as a tribute to religious freedom and was built by Bishop John Carroll and Benjamin Latrobe, the architect of the U.S. Capitol.

“If you have a chance to come to the White House, we can show you our garden, as well,” Obama added.
“The Pope, responding in Spanish, said “Como no?” (For Sure!)” AP reported.
The Pope’s gift to Obama were two commemorative medals and a red leather-bound copy of Evaneglii Gaudium, which Pope Francis frequently gifts to heads of state. Francis wrote the exhortation last year, and it contains strong condemnations of abortion as well as asking the faithful to care for the poor.

From the AP:“You know, I will probably read this in the Oval Office when I am deeply frustrated and I am sure that it will give me strength and calm me down,” Obama said.
The pope responded in English, “I hope.”

According to the Vatican Information Service, Obama and Pope Francis discussed issues as “religious freedom, life and consciences objection” – hot topics in light of the current Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius Supreme Court case deciding whether government can compel business owners to act in violation of their religious beliefs:

In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between Church and State, the Parties discussed questions of particular relevance for the Church, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform. Finally, the Parties stated their common commitment to the eradication of human trafficking throughout the world.

 What’s Next for the Pope?

Pope Francis will be hearing confessions in St. Peter’s Basilica tomorrow, as part of his global “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative, which encourages all dioceses to have at least one parish open all day and night tomorrow, March 28th, so that anyone can go to Confession.

Watch out world, we all know what happens each time this Pope initiates a global spiritual  initiative!
See:

Slide1What’s Next for President Obama?

President Obama will be touring the Colloseum, the place where countless Christians were fed to lions.
The ultimate irony, since Cardinal Burke, the Vatican’s Chief Justice, recently declared that Obama’s policies are “Progressively More Hostile Toward Christian Civilization.”

 

 

 

The DECEIVER

No comments

The DECEIVER

Slide1

 

 

 

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The Obama administration is embroiled in a fight to deny religious freedom to many, including private businesses, nuns, the Catholic Church, and religious universities.
The idea of declaring Thursday, January 16, 2014  a Religious Freedom Day while fighting tooth and nail to eradicate religious freedom is beyond being deceptive– it also insults the nation’s intelligence, showing Barack Obama’s scorn for the people he is supposed to serve.

Details at CNS News

………….

0924obamaalinsky

Obama teaching Alinsky tactics

If you think that labeling Barack Obama “the DECEIVER” is extreme, consider the fact that he taught Alinsky tactics in Chicago, and Alinsky’s book Rules for Radicals is dedicated to Lucifer, the “father of lies” (see Clashes between Liberals and Conservatives).
Barack Obama is no stranger to the mastery and use of lies. Alinsky tactics are founded on the use of lies.

 

 

Injunctions Granted:

Related Articles:yournotkeepingitareyou_2012-02-13-brief-cartoon1

 

Black Ice on Black Friday- Keep Watching!

Starring… guess who?

Showing Us the Right Way to Spend Thanksgiving!

Black Friday, 2013.
Lake DuBay, Wisconsin.
40 Degrees, 6,000 acres of 3-inch thick Black Ice, thin powder cover.
Skater’s paradise!
(Starring my son Tom)

Slide1
…………………………………………………………………………..……for full text, see below…..

For all these things, we are thankful:

Turkey
TURKEY, ANYONE?
Black Ice
BLACK ICE … 3 inches thick
Syte Skating
Syte Skating
Flowers
Happy Thanksgiving!
Nut bread
Raisin Nut Bread
Rolf Skating
Rolf Skating
Falcon tracks?
Falcon Tracks?
Apple
Yum…
Thanksgiving 2013
Tom
TOM

Thanksgiving Proclamation Text 1

Thanksgiving Proclamation Text 2

Slide1 George Washington

 

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Priests Face Arrest for Offering Sacraments During Shutdown

or

Obama’s Gone Off the Deep End

(Click image for story at CNS News):

Slide1

Abortion and Homosexuality –So What Did the Pope Actually Say?

or

When Two Jesuits Talk

 

assissi Today, October 4th, the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of St. Francis of Assissi. Our Pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit, made a bold gesture of love in adopting the name of St. Francis, patron of the Franciscans. St. Francis is commonly pictured with animals.  He was renowned for his love, not only of animals, but more importantly, of all human beings.  St. Francis lived his love to the extreme of adopting poverty himself.  This discussion of Pope Francis’ controversial America Magazine interview is dedicated to this unbelievable Pope on his feast day.
St Francis of Assisi (1181 – 1226)
(from Universalis)
Francis was the son of a prosperous cloth merchant in Assisi. When his father objected to having his goods sold without his
consent to pay for the restoration of a church, the bishop commanded Francis to repay the money. He did. He also renounced his father and gave back everything he had ever been given, even his garments.
He began a life of perfect evangelical poverty, living by begging and even then only accepting the worst food that people had to give. He preached to all the love of God and the love of the created world; because, having renounced everything, he celebrated everything he received, or saw, or heard, as a gift.
A rich man sold everything and joined him in living next to a leper colony; a canon from a neighbouring church gave up his position and joined them also. They looked into the Gospel and saw the story of the rich young man whom Jesus told to sell everything; they saw Jesus telling his disciples to take nothing with them on their journey; they saw Jesus saying that his followers must also carry his cross.
And on that basis they founded an order. Francis went to Rome himself and persuaded the Pope to sanction it, though it must have seemed at once impractical and subversive, to set
papa-francescothousands of holy men wandering penniless round the towns and villages of Europe.
Because Francis was wearing an old brown garment
begged from a peasant, tied round the middle with string, that became the Franciscan habit. Ten years later 5,000 men were wearing it; a hundred years later Dante was buried in it because it was more glorious than cloth of gold.
There is too much to say about Francis to fit here. He tried to convert the Muslims, or at least to attain martyrdom in doing so. He started the practice of setting up a crib in church to celebrate the Nativity.
Francis died in 1226, having started a revolution. The Franciscans endure to this day.

 

Is the Pope Reversing the Catholic Church’s Ban on Abortion and Homosexual Marriage?

e2c2477d41Recently there has been a media stir reflecting some confusion on Pope Francis’ position on abortion and on homosexuality, based on an interview he recently gave to America magazine.

Some in the media implied that the Pope is directing the Church not  to concern herself with the issues of abortion and homosexuality.
ABC went so far as to say that Pope Francis wants the Church to shake off “small-minded” rules on abortion and homosexuality.
Bloomberg claimed “Pope Says Church Should Stop Obsessing Over Gays, Abortion.”
Reuters reported somewhat more correctly that the Pope is asking for a change in tone.

Apparent Contradictions

And yet, the same Pope Francis, in the same America magazine interview in question, in the same paragraph, two sentences later, stated “The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church,” thus confirming his loyalty to Catholic Church teaching.Slide1

Also, the same Pope Francis just excommunicated a dissident priest in Australia the same month, who advocated gay marriage and female priests.

A Pope who just excommunicated someone for their stance on gay marriage is not likely to announce any changes in Church teaching on gay marriage, as liberal media seems to hope. Excommunication by the Vatican is very rare; there have only been 5 since the year 2000, and this is the first one under Pope Francis.

So, What’s the Story?

So is the Pope for abortion and gay marriage, or against?
Is the Church changing age-old teachings, is the Pope a radical progressive, or is the media botching their reporting?
Short answer: the media is botching  their reporting.
Longer answer? Keep reading.

Ignorance, Wishful Thinking or Deceitful Intent?

times square billboards1So the media is botching their reporting, yet again.
Out-of-context quotes from Pope Francis have gone viral a number of times already this year, and it’s hard to guess what the media is thinking by reporting so sloppily.

It’s difficult to determine whether the liberal media’s unprofessional reporting is due to ignorance of religion, to wishful progressive thinking, or to a deceitful intent to recruit more Catholics into the progressive political agenda, by leading them to think that the Pope approves progressive thought.

But far more interesting than speculating on media motivation is to ask what did the Pope actually say, and what is he trying to tell Catholics and the world?

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What did the Pope actually say?
or
When Two Jesuits Talk

The Pope is a Jesuit, America is a Jesuit magazine, and the interviewer, Antonio Spadaro, is a Jesuit with an impressive Jesuit resume.Pope-with-Fr.-Spodara

Jesuits are not feebleminded.  In fact, Jesuits are renowned for their scholarly talent.
When two Jesuits talk, not everybody can follow.

When two Jesuits talk, the discussion is rarely short.
The conversation in question here, the interview between these two Jesuits  was 12,000 words long.
If we typed that up as a college paper, it would be 50 pages long.

In the age of tweets and texting, that’s TMI (too much information) for most people.
We need an interpreter, and the one-liner produced by the mainstream media might not be very representative of what the Pope was really trying to say.

When two Jesuits talk, the discussion is always quite intellectual.  In addition to using theological references, biblical references, Latin phrases and Italian phrases, Jesuits also use references to the classics, to music, to literature, to history, and to numerous other things that leave most of us in the dust.

about-beethoven

Beethoven

Pope Francis’ 50-page interview included references to Puccini, Alessandro Manzoni, Caravaggio, Chagall, Mozart, Beethoven, Prometheus, Bach, Wagner, La Scala, Knappertsbusch, Fellini, Anna Mabnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Cervantes, and El Cid, in addition to his theological and biblical references, and references to saints.

I’ll be up front and admit that I had to do some googling on more than a couple of those!

Bottom Line, When Two Jesuits Talk

When two Jesuits talk,

i.e. when Antonio Spadaro (Editor of the influential Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica)  interviews Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis),Slide1

we are not on the View with Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, and Barbara Walters. Whoopi might give a brilliant performance in  Sister Act, but in real life, she’s no Jesuit.

When two Jesuits talk, the conversation will be deep, it will be significant, it might take the rest of us some ploughing to get through it, but what we unearth will be worth the effort.

Recommendation

So my recommendation would be to read Pope Francis’ interview in it’s entirety.  Pope Francis is inspired, and he’s delightful.  I enjoyed the experience.  The interview can be found at America Magazine.

ppmorlino

Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison

Failing that, if you’re looking for some Cliff notes and an interpreter, where better to get that than from Jesuit #3, Madison’s Bishop Robert Morlino?

Bishop Morlino’s synopsis and observations on the Pope’s interview can be found at the Catholic Herald’s Bishop’s Column, September 26th, 2013.  Bishop Morlino’s got it down to under 2,000 words, or about a 7 page term paper.  Bishop Morlino is always a good read. And he’s very good at bringing it to our level.

Finally, if you want the perspective of one in-the-pew-Catholic like me, read on at your own (spiritual) peril.  It will probably be way longer than Bishop Morlino’s version, and way less accurate.  But here we go… thoughts from the pew…

The Controversial Paragraph

The media had to dig through half of Pope Francis’ 12,000 word interview, or through about 25 pages, before they could find one sentence that could be morphed by media into being “controversial,” albeit out of context. Here is the relevant paragraph (highlighting mine):

We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

Slide1

Note that the first highlighted item is the primary one reported by the media, while the second one, asserting that Church teaching has not changed and that Pope Francis is faithful to that unchanged teaching, was ignored by the media.

Rather then focusing on this out-of-context media implication that Pope Francis may be open to changing fundamental Catholic Church teaching, which is clearly disproved by the second highlighted sentence and by the recent excommunication, I’d like to focus instead on the title of the Pope’s interview, and on three points that leaped out at me when I read the interview document.  These items illustrate very clearly and succinctly the message the Pope was trying to send us.

The Title

heartThe title of the Interview, approved by Pope Francis, was A Big Heart Open to God.

O.K., the Pope is saying we must have a big heart.  A big heart means love, self-explanatory.  No small hearts in the Church, please. We do everything with love.

The Pope is also saying that we must be Open to God.  What does that mean, to be open to God?  Well, we should be listening and seeking what God wants of us, as opposed to demanding what we want from God.  We should not ordering God, not ranting against God. Open to God means obedience to Christ’s teachings, obedience to the Church.  Our hearts should be open, waiting to be filled.

A Big Heart Open To God.
In six words, the Pope has managed to teach lovingly to both extremes in his unruly Church.  Disciplinarian dogmatists are reminded to have a big heart.  No Pharisees, please.  And liberal progressives are reminded to listen to God, to obey God.  No rebellion against Christ’s Church.

Pope Francis, the good parent, has spoken kindly and gently to his unruly bickering children, calling for unity, and reminding us in six words what we have to do.

 

 The First Question

The first question asked of the Pope was “Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?”

Of all possible answers, Pope Francis chose “I am a sinner.”

Not “I am the grand high exalted holy ruler of 1 billion people.”
Not “I am a holy man.”
Not “I am a priest.”
Not “I am a Jesuit.”
Not “I am an Argentinian.” or “I am an Argentinian-Italian.”
Not “I am the son of Mario and Regina Bergoglio.”

No, instead the Pope said “I am a sinner.”Slide1

This Jesuit was not faking humility.  His words were carefully chosen, not to be about him, but to teach us.
The good gentle shepherd is reminding us “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” (John 8:7)    By calling himself a sinner, he is reminding us not to throw stones at each other.

Pope Francis is telling us to treat sinners with mercy, because we are all sinners.
He is teaching gently by example, by announcing that he too is a sinner.
We must all remember that we are sinners, if we want to attract anyone to the Truth.
There is no room in the Catholic Church for holier-than-thou condemnation.
We must start with compassion, and not with condemnation.

In the interview, Pope Francis identifies his own calling with the calling of St. Matthew, the tax collector.  Our Pope says “ I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon.”  Pope Francis wants to reach out lovingly to other sinners, and he wants us to do the same.

What Does It Mean for a Jesuit to be Bishop of Rome?

Early in the interview, Pope Francis was also asked “What does it mean for a Jesuit to be Bishop of Rome?”

Blessed John XXIII

Blessed Pope John XXIII

The Pope’s answer, quoting Pope John XXIII’s philosophy and motto, jumped out at me as illustrating his loving and nurturing approach to exercising authority, and as illustrating what he is asking of us:

The Pope said See everything; turn a blind eye to much; correct a little.

Again, our Pope, like a good shepherd, guides gently and slowly, rather than overwhelming us with condemnation and criticism.  He asks us to extend the same courtesy to each other.

The Pope also emphasized the importance of prioritizing discernment (discernment always done in the presence of the Lord).  This means that time and prayer are the most appropriate means for approaching problems, and we must be wary of impulses and hasty decisions.

This is how Pope Francis sees the role of a Jesuit in the Chair of Peter.

The Church as  a Field Hospital

The Pope gives us a third window into his philosophy in this interview, in his comparison of the Church with a field hospital:21nnkfm

I see clearly, that the thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful; it needs nearness, proximity. I see the church as a field hospital after battle. It is useless to ask a seriously injured person if he has high cholesterol and about the level of his blood sugars! You have to heal his wounds. Then we can talk about everything else. Heal the wounds, heal the wounds…. And you have to start from the ground up.

It’s pretty clear that the Pope is not advocating or approving high cholesterol, but he recognizes that wounds have to be prioritized over cholesterol concerns.  He’s telling us to examine what we prioritize when we look at each other.  Do we turn a blind eye to much, identify the biggest wounds, and tend to those, before launching into overwhelming criticism?

We are not likely to get our culture on board with giving up abortion and homosexual marriage by condemning them.  It is by offering the love and peace of Christ that we will attract them, and the rest will follow in due course.

Respect for others does dictate kindness and a gentle approach.  Which one of us would like to be approached first with recriminations about our sins?  Who are we to decide that the degree of evil in the sins of others (gay lifestyle, abortion) is greater than the degree of evil in our own sins (pride, greed, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth?).

Take Home Message

We could go on, quoting from and discussing the Pope’s interview.  But then this article would become longer than the Pope’s interview, and you are much better served reading Pope Francis’ actual interview yourself.

Pope reaches outThe biggest take home message this Catholic found in reading the Pope’s interview was that when evangelizing, our Church needs to proceed with love, humility, and gentleness, and we need to prioritize humanity’s biggest wounds. We also need to work on obedience and on unity.

And what are humanity’s biggest wounds?
Our Pope, discerning carefully in the presence of the Lord, will help us to identify those.
He’s been remarkable so far, flooding the world with his love, and including all of humanity in his flock.
His outreach to atheists is symbolic of his profound love for all of humanity.

A Club of 1 Billion

The Catholic Church is a global club of of 1 billion people.

Like any other large group, including large nations, we have our  conservatives and we have our liberals.  Some liberals and conservatives make good points.  Others take a good thing too far.Shepherd

The person in charge of 1 billion people, in this case the Pope, should be a unifier, an educator and a leader, not a divider.  He should not start with criticism, blame and attack.  A good leader observes, waits, and corrects a little at a time; he breaks up job assignments into small manageable parcels.
This is what Pope Francis is doing, and his approach should not be taken to mean that he approves sin or that he has changed Catholic Church teaching.

The Pope has given us our marching orders in the gentlest manner: time for authoritarians to tone it down and to lead with love, and time for rebels to prioritize the will of God over their own will.

What Jesuits Do

What do Jesuits Do?

Jesuit PopeJesuits were founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, and are noted for their educational, missionary, and charitable works.

Then we should not be surprised when Pope Francis, a Jesuit, wants to teach, to teach the faith, and to teach the faith with love.

Pope Francis’s interview illustrates that he is a deep thinker, a compassionate shepherd, and a well-educated intellectual.
He’s made a great start in less than one year, with discernment, with humility, and with love.

The Best is Yet to Come

Few of us are qualified to judge a Pope.
Those of us who think we are probably have an issue with pride.
So when the Pope says something that surprises us, we need to examine what he said with an open heart, and have the humility to admit that his correction may be deserved.

In my judgement, this Pope is remarkable.  As were the previous ones in my lifetime.

Pope Francis’ Global Adoration effort and his day of prayer and fasting for Syria are among his first official actions.
With these actions, the Pope illustrated to us the importance of bringing faith into life, and into public life.
Pope Francis demonstrated the urgency of interconnection between Church and State.  Interconnection not from the top down, but from the bottom up.  The State does not dictate the faith of the citizens, but the citizens must use their faith and their God-given conscience and must stand up for what is right.

The results global prayer and fasting combined with interconnection between Church and State are just beginning to roll in.  The best is yet to come.

Not Just for Catholics

This is not just for Catholics.  Everyone should get on board.
This Pope is reaching out to all of humanity, including atheists.
He seems to be getting a very positive response to his call.

Summing Up

Pope Francis’ interview can be summed up pretty simply-

  • Drop the finger-wagging, get out the smiles, treat people with respect, pray hard, pray globally, and correct just a little at a time.
  • Remember, respect includes not calling people out publicly for their sins, at least not as the first resort.
  • We attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.
  • Sin is still sin, what’s wrong is still wrong, but let’s not forget the beam in our own eye when pointing out the splinter in someone else’s eye.

Does that mean that we give up the struggle to eliminate abortion or to preserve marriage?
No.
But those are not our opening efforts, before we break out mercy and love.
We don’t lead with those items while evangelizing.

 

Appendix:  More VIRAL QUOTES from Pope Francis:

From the Washington Post: Pope Francis’ Viral Quotes on Wealth, Abortion, Atheists, War and Gay Catholics. 

We can never serve God and money at the same time. It is not possible: either one or the other. This is not Communism. It is the true Gospel!
Pope Francis poses for a photo after meeting with young people in downtown Cagliari, Italy, on Sept. 22, 2013. He spoke of the ‘idol’ of money during a trip to the region, one of the poorest areas in Italy.
Pope with Italian Youth2
Every unborn child, though unjustly condemned to be aborted, has the face of the Lord, who even before his birth, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world. . . . They must not be thrown away!
Francis spoke about abortion on Sept. 20, the day after the publication of an interview in which he said that abortion, gay marriage and contraception should not become “obsessions” for faithful Catholics.
 Kisses baby
We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible, Pope Francis said in an interview that appeared in Jesuit publications around the world on Sept. 19, 2013. “I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear, and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time. Speaking
If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge? Francis remarked to reporters aboard the papal flight on its way back from Brazil on July 29, 2013.
Pope Francis reached out to gays during the news conference on the plane, saying he wouldn’t judge priests for their sexual orientation in a remarkably open and wide-ranging conversation as he returned from his first foreign trip.
Slide1
War is madness. It is the suicide of humanity. It is an act of faith in money, which for the powerful of the Earth is more important than the human being.
Pope Francis celebrates a worldwide Eucharistic adoration ceremony after his comments on war at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on June 2, 2013.
Global Adoration
Eternity “will not be boring,” Francis declared May 31, 2013. Later that day, nuns held up candles during a ceremony led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.  Slide1
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone. ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! Pope Francis said during Mass on May 22, 2013.
In the photo, Pope Francis delivers a speech during a meeting with young people in September 2013 in Cagliari, Italy.
Speech in Italy
If the investments in the banks fall slightly . . . [it is] a tragedy . . . what can be done? But if people die of hunger, if they have nothing to eat, if they have poor health, it does not matter! This is our crisis today!
Pope Francis speaks after meeting with the faithful of ecclesial movements on the occasion of a Pentecost vigil in St. Peter’s Square on May 18, 2013.
Pope Francis reaches for babies

 

 

 

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