Syte Reitz

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

Browsing Posts tagged Abortion

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

 

 

 

What in the World Happened to Us?

200px-Duck_Dynasty_Promo.

TV star Phil Robertson is a successful businessman whose family owned company makes duck calls and other products for duck hunters. The Robertson men, Phil, his brother and his three sons, are known for their long beards.  They also star in the  reality TV show Duck Dynasty, the most-watched nonfiction cable telecast in history.

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Here’s what Phil has to say about abortion:

 

What in the World Happened to Us?

More on Abortion:
Abortion- A Much Bigger Deal Than You Think!

 

 

 

Political Puzzle Pieces Falling Into Place

Political Surprises

We’ve been seeing a high
frequency of political surprises in
recent months and years.

Puzzle together

Turnarounds that were really not expected.

A number of outcomes that stymied the predictions of political pundits, leaving everyone scratching their heads.

But things happen for a reason, and that reason may not always be immediately clear.
However, in time, with faith, the meaning emerges.

What Political Surprises?

What surprises?
Shocking reversals.
In recent news, apparently enough votes have been obtained in the Republican-dominated House to pass the Immigration Bill, despite the fact that most conservatives oppose any legislation that does not prioritize securing the border first, and despite the fact that a CBS poll

Shocking Reversals

Shocking Reversals

shows that 56% of Americans want the border secured before a path to citizenship is established for illegal immigrants.
Only 37% of Americans want “status of illegal immigrants” addressed before the border is secured.

So Republicans appear to be pushing for what Obama wants in opposition to what voters want.

Conservatives Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan have been pushing the Immigration Bill, despite conservative objections to the Bill, as well.  These are very unexpected and puzzling developments.

These surprises are not the first.
There was Bart Stupak’s catastrophic reversal on abortion in ObamaCare (along with 11 other Democrats) in 2010.
There was Justice Roberts’ unexpected ruling on the Constitutionality of ObamaCare (2013).

There was the chaotic bulldozing of the Republican nomination in August 2012, during which John Boehner made an apparently intentional bad call on a rule change vote, enabling the nomination of Mitt Romney and the elimination of other candidates.  Boehner’s vote call was clearly erroneous, and Boehner was booed.

Aside: American politics ironically begins to resemble the upside-down room from Alice in Wonderland.  Was the White House’s secret 2009 Halloween Costume Ball, held while America sank into recession, actually more of a policy announcement?  The extravagant “over-the-top” Hollywood-created party followed a $4 million Hawaii vacation for the First Family, during a year in which Michelle Obama spent $10 million on vacations.

Back to shocking reversals-

How about the Supreme Court ruling in June of 2013 striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)?  What was Justice Roberts’ role in that?  What implications will that ruling have?
So many conservatives are falling into scandals and out of office- Herman Cain, General Petraeus, General Powell
A comprehensive list of recent examples would exhaust my resources and the reader’s patience!

Magic Political Potion?

Slide1

John Boehner……..or Harry Reid?

It’s like there was a virus going around that turned conservatives progressive, or a magic potion that Obama has which makes people do his bidding.
Are Chicago-style persuasion tactics at work?

Putting Together the Pieces

Snowden’s recent  revelations about systematic NSA snooping on citizens without warrant, and IRS involvement in the harassing and suppression of conservative groups, combined with the growing number of other Obama administration scandals, is revealing that the comprehensive amassing of detailed information on American citizens, as well as strong-arming, have become routine practices used by the Obama adminstration.   The pursuit and attack of consevatives by liberals has been implemented to an exhaustive degree, down to small individuals like me, whose conservative website was under D0S (DDoS) attack for the third time this summer by “unknown” sources.

Gangster_Government-01cThese surfacing facts paint a picture of an extremely active left wing “culture” very busy implementing illegal and unethical Alinsky tactics in an underground war against democracy and against Judeo-Christian ethics.

Massive amounts of data are being collected about innocent Americans, and are being stored in immense facilities in  Utah, with Obama administration assurances that the information will not be mined or used except for national security.
Yet abuse of this informaion is apparently almost routine, as the NSA breaks privacy rules thousands of times every year.

Meanwhile, all of Obama’s opponents are surprisingly reversing their positions or falling like flies.  scandal
Is there a connection?

In this Benghazi scandal-IRS scandal (Internal Revenue Service)-NSA scandal (National Security Agency)-DOJ scandal (Department of Justice) -DHS scandal (Department of Homeland Security) scandal climate, the picture emerging is one of indiscriminate and unethical abuse of power of historical proportions by members of the Obama administration.

The Ideology

What radical “progressives” cannot achieve by democracy, they seem determined to get by hook or by crook, or by Alinsky tactics.
Left wing ideology is so important and so faultless in the radical narcissistic mind, that it justifies sacrificing law, order and democracy, to achieve desired results.
This radical philosophy espouses “the ends justify the means (consequentialism), a classic error made by narcissists and totalitarians throughout history.
This method is in direct opposition to the teachings of Christ and of Judaism, and is in opposition to any absolute moral code, like the Ten Commandments or the Constitution of the United States.

New Modus Operandi (Method of Operation)

Gangster_Drawing__by_Savana_good_timeIn this Gangster Government climate, it becomes eminently reasonable to  suspect the dishonest Obama administration, with it’s ever-expanding list of agencies and czars,  of simply dipping into the Utah treasury of information every time it needs to “persuade” an opponent.

Most people, even good people, have made a mistake or two in their lives which they do not want publicized, and if they have not, their child or their spouse or their grandmother probably have.  That failing, evidence can be planted, accusations can be manufactured, and lies can be constructed.  All is fair under Alinsky tactics or under totalitarian rule.

What Can an Ethical Population Do to Combat Such Tactics and This Level of Corruption?

One previous challenge of this magnitude and nature was the Soviet Union dominating and abusing its citizens with iron hand and iron curtain, utilizing the KGB as enforcers, and making desperate attempts to eradicate the power of religion in the 20th century.

And it was religion that brought down the Soviet Union.
Religion, plus transparency.

Slide1It was Catholic Poland’s Solidarity, Catholic Pope John Paul the Great, and Christian Evangelical Ronald Reagan, who brought down the Soviet empire virtually without violence and without battle through what TIME magazine called a Holy Alliance.

The transparency was provided by communications; in the internet era, real-time video of Soviet government atrocities such as the crushing of 11 Lithuanian citizens by Soviet tanks kept the autocrats accountable for their actions.  Reports of these events echoed across the globe in real time, with reports appearing in local American news.

The Missing Link- Redefining How We Approach Politics describes in more detail a philosophy which brings God into politics, allows good men to tap into the power of religion, and allows battles to be won relatively peacefully.

Point: The battle against the Soviets was not won by using Soviet tactics.

The Solution

solutions2

The solution, the key to the puzzle, is simple:

  • Don’t use the enemy’s tactics
  • Use religion and use transparency
  • Religion: Aim for justice, stick to the rules, follow your conscience, and ask God for help and for guidance.
  • Transparency: Use modern communications to keep your opponents accountable

In 2013, the victory is likely to be surprising, as it was with the Soviet Union:

  • It will be a surprise, like many victories in history.
  • It could involve a restructuring of the Republican party, to return to true Judeo-Christian conservative values.
  • It could involve a third party which suddenly receives surprising support from a nation that has been burnt enough by 8 years of Imperial rule and by several years of unfolding Obama administration scandals and ObamaCare catastrophies.
  • It could involve something completely unexpected, like the unorthodox but constitutional use of Article V of the Constitution, to amend the Constitution via state legislatures, circumventing the now-corrupt Senate and Congress, as suggested by Mark Levin, whose  book The Liberty Amendments, just shot to #1 bestseller on Amazon this week.
  • And, of course, it most probably will involve an as-yet-unimagined mechanism that exists only in the mind of God, and not in our minds at this point in time.

Already Accomplished

What has already been accomplished?

Predicting the Outcome

All predictions are tentative and are subject to the test of history.
Slide1

But we have great faith in God, and today we see Americans returning increasingly to prayer and to Judeo-Christian values.
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I don’t believe that God will allow Godless progressives who idolize indiscriminate promiscuity and the killing of children, to triumph.
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I believe that God will help good people to win.
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The victory will undoubtedly, like the victory over the Soviet Union, reflect the quiet, surprising, and powerful signature of God’s assistance, who is ever at our side, leading us quietly.
The victory could also, like David’s victory over Goliath, and like the parting of the Red Sea, be spectacular and miraculous.

From the Bible:

Incidentally, today in the United States we have more than the 50 righteous people Abraham refers to in his negotiation with the Lord (Genesis 18:23.)

Excerpts from the Liturgy of the Hours for August 13th, 2013:

Psalm 119

Lord, how I love your law!
It is ever in my mind.
Your command makes me wiser than my foes;
for it is mine for ever.

I have more insight than all who teach me
for I ponder your will.
I have more understanding than the old
for I keep your precepts.

I turn my feet from evil paths
to obey your word.
I have not turned from your decrees;
you yourself have taught me.

Your promise is sweeter to my taste
than honey in the mouth.
I gain understanding from your precepts
and so I hate false ways.

 

Psalm 74

Arise, O Lord, and defend your cause.

Remember this, Lord, and see the enemy scoffing;
a senseless people insults your name.
Do not give Israel, your dove, to the hawk
nor forget the life of your poor ones for ever.

Remember your covenant; every cave in the land
is a place where violence makes its home.
Do not let the oppressed return disappointed;
let the poor and the needy bless your name.

Arise, O God, and defend your cause!
Remember how the senseless revile you all the day.
Do not forget the clamour of your foes,
the daily increasing uproar of your foes.

or

Hey, They’re Shooting at ME Now!

Background: The West Wing

West-Wing-allison-janney-3474904-1400-900The West Wing was a TV serial drama which aired from 1999 to 2006, during much of George W. Bush’s presidency, depicting a liberal White House administration.  Some speculate that the show’s popularity reflected the wishful  fantasies of liberals, who were frustrated with the somewhat conservative real administration occupying  the White House, and retreated into TV fantasies of a successful liberal White House for entertainment.

“If They’re Shooting at You…”

Charlie Young

Charlie Young (played by Dule Hill)

In one episode of West Wing, the fictional character Charlie Young (Presidential aide), played by Dulé Hill, quotes his father as saying “If They’re Shooting at You, You Know You’re Doing Something Right!”

Charlie’s observation might in fact reflect the projection of a somewhat widespread radical progressive attitude today, an attitude in which passionate progressives feel entitled to use any methods, including morally and legally questionable ones, in combating their political opponents.  When analyzing their own opponents, radicals then project their own attitudes and methods onto them. If radicals might consider shooting their opposition when the opposition becomes too successful, radicals assume that conservatives would do the same.

A Fictional Shooting

The plot of West Wing actually included the shooting of the liberal President by right-wing extremists, who objected to the President’s young black aide (Charlie Young) dating the President’s white daughter.  The shooting was actually targeted at Charlie Young, the young black aide who dares to date the President’s daughter, with the President catching an unintended bullet during the attack.

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Democrat shooting Ron Paul?

This slanderous plot reflected unscrupulous progressive attitudes on two levels.  Progressive producers of the show were clearly prepared to smear conservatives with damaging fictional plots implying that conservatives oppose interracial dating, and in fact oppose it so strongly that they shoot people over this issue.  In addition, by inventing such unthinkable plots, the progressives also betrayed their own level of comfort with underhanded and unscrupulous methods.

Imagine the converse.  What Tea Party conservative would have created an imaginary TV show about the Presidency, in which a conservative President like Rand Paul is shot by crazy Democrats who insist that all women work, and who are incensed at the fact that the President’s aide has a wife who does not work outside the home?  This plot would have been equally far-fetched, and slanderous to Democrats.

The use of such unscrupulous methods, like smearing conservatives with fictional TV programs, or shooting your political opposition when they are too successful,  is called Alinsky tactics.   Radical progressives seem to be using Alinsky tactics with a rapidly accelerating frequency today.

Alinsky Tactics Today

Global

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton addresses the high level segment of the 16th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva

Hillary Rodham Clinton lying to the United Nations

Few liberals are aware that Hillary Clinton’s undergraduate senior thesis at Wellesley College focused on an analysis of Alinsky tactics, or that Hillary refrained in that thesis from addressing the morality or legality of such tactics.  Hillary Clinton also seemed to employ some Alinsky’s methods in her recent position as United States Secretary of State.  This included lying to the United Nations to misrepresent Catholic Church teaching, in order to to expand global abortion, and more recently, lying to cover up the Benghazi fiasco.

National

Slide1Even the “mainstream media” has acknowledged in recent weeks the increasingly underhanded methods used by the Obama administration to combat their political opponents.  The triple Obama administration scandals which are now surfacing involve the abuse of power by the IRS to undermine conservative organizations, the  abuse of power by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to keep tabs on Associated Press reporters, and lies and manipulations at many levels in the State Department to cover up the Terrorist attack that took place at Benghazi.

As of today, 76% of Americans, and 63% of Democrats, want the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS.

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Obama teaching Alinsky tactics

It is not surprising to note, in the light of these shocking abuses of power by the Obama administration, that Barack Obama taught Alinksy tactics in Chicago.

The Obama administration, if guilty of governing through the abuse of power and use of intimidation, will be guilty of a scandal that dwarfs President Nixon’s Watergate scandal, which occurred almost exactly 40 years ago .

 State and City Level

A previous summary of the underhanded tactics used by Democrats and by Unions in Wisconsin in 2011-2012 can be found in the article entitled Circus Madison Goes On.., written two years ago in August 2011 to document the unscrupulous goings on in my home town, yet still one of my most popular articles today.

Shooting at the OppositionSlide1

Apparently, despite all their anti-gun rhetoric, many “progressives” today, including the present leadership of the Democrat party, advocate “taking out” their opposition by any means available, ethical or unethical, legal or illegal.  Whenever their opponents do something right, progressive radicals get out their big guns!

Whenever conservatives begin to gain the edge, the Obama administration sends out the State Department, Department of Justice and the IRS, Hollywood gets out it’s progressive programming, the Freedom From Religion Foundation gets out their frivolous lawsuits, and intimidation begins, even at small potatoes like me.

Hey, Now They’re Shooting at Me!

If Charlie’s observation is correct, that “If They’re Shooting at You, You Know You’re Doing Something Right!,”then I should be glowing with pride.  I must be doing something right.

My SyteReitz.com website weathered a Denial of Service Attack (DoS) attack just before Memorial Day, a somewhat sophisticated and highly illegal form of cyber attack usually reserved for high-profile organizations such as banking, commerce, and media companies, or government and trade organizations. DoS attacks constitute a serious federal crime in the US, the United Kingdom, and in many other countries.  Violators can be sentenced to prison for up to 10 years.  Somebody must want to shut me down pretty badly, if they are risking 10 years in prison!

TomReitz

Not to worry, my web-guru/guardian angel/son who is also my hosting company, detected, defused and dispatched the offending miscreants, who were hijacking computers as far away as Germany to aim their futile dirty work at my site.The Saint

BTW, anybody in need of some outstanding web development and services would do well to check out ReitzInternet.com.

So Who’s Shooting at Me?

So who could be trying to shut down my website’s message?

Investigation has just started, but a search for suspects would logically start with opponents of the most popular blog posts.

This month’s web stats show surprisingly heavy traffic to some older articles, still very apropos today.
At the top of the list:SyteReitz

Not Worried Here

So the radicals are shooting at us; we must be doing something right.
We don’t shoot; we pray.

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They prepared a snare for my feet; and they bowed down my soul. They dug a pit before my face, and they are fallen into it.            – Psalm 56:7
-David, when he fled from Saul into a cave.
Riches shall not profit in the day of revenge: but justice shall deliver from death.
The justice of the upright shall make his way prosperous: and the wicked man shall fall by his own wickedness.
The justice of the righteous shall deliver them: and the unjust shall be caught in their own snares.  -Proverbs 11:4-6

 

Defying God on Stage and in Real Life- and Falling into TrapsSlide1

Ironically, West Wing featured an episode in which liberal President Bartlet cursed God out in Latin in the cathedral, purposely lighting a cigarette and stomping it out on the cathedral floor in derision.
This reflects a disrespectful attitude toward God that is prevalent among progressives today, and which is very apparent in today’s Obama administration’s disregard for life, for truth, and for religious liberty.

In West Wing, President Bartlet was played by actor Martin Sheen, father of Charlie Sheen. In real life, actor Martin Sheen considers himself a Catholic, despite his continuous support of Democratic pro-choice politicians and his support of same-sex marriage.  His son Charlie Sheen is best known for his role in the morally shocking TV serial Two and a Half Men, and for his substance abuse, felony menacing, third-degree assault and criminal mischief charges that have put him in the news.  Two and a Half Men portrays a hedonistic and dysfunctional household which includes an adolescent boy challenged by his parents’ divorce and witnessing the promiscuous lifestyle of his uncle daily. Aside from the potential influence of such a program on our entire culture, one has to wonder at the involvement of a child actor in such a plot.
The Sheen family, sadly, is living the agony of those who fall for the traps.

Back to Reality – The Obama Administration

Slide1We now watch the drama unfold, as the Obama administration, having set so many traps for so many, is starting to step into it’s own traps.

Ironically, ABC news just referred to Obama’s recent scandals as the “Scandal Trident,” writing that “There were developments today on each spear of the scandal trident currently bearing down on the West Wing.”  Wonder what inspired Byron Wolf of ABC to use the trident analogy?  The trident is known as a symbol of Satan. And Satan has no love for humans beings, not even for those who have fallen for his bait. So the mental image presented by secular (non-religious) ABC, of a trident bearing down on the West Wing of the White House, is a very interesting one, indeed.

My guess is that President Obama may soon be squirming and suffering.  We take no pleasure in that, other than the hope that America will see the error of “progressive ways” (Alinsky’s book was dedicated to Lucifer, or Satan), and will return to conservative and ethical government as codified in the Constitution of the United States, which is based on Judeo-Christian values and on the Ten Commandments.

President Obama on Children- ‘Our First Task’

President Obama on protecting our children from violence:

“They had their entire lives ahead of them; birthdays, graduations, weddings (wipes away a tear), kids of their own…
This is our first task – caring for our children.  If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right.
That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.
And by that measure, can we honesty say that we are doing enough, to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm?
I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is NO.”

See 2-minute video:

If protecting our children from violence is “Our First Task,” why is Obama not going after the primary causes of child death?

Some Child Death Statistics:

Annual child deaths, U.S.: 10,000
Leading causes of death: Accidents & unintentional injuries: 3,200

Deaths by Motor vehicle accident: 1418
Deaths from assault: 1,000
Deaths from accidental drowning: 726

Deaths from injury by firearms: 380
Deaths by suicide: 274
Deaths by firearms, intentional: 219

Is intentional death by firearms the best place for President Obama to focus if he wants to protect children?
Shouldn’t the focus be accidents, or motor vehicles, or drowning, or suicide?
Why is President Obama focusing on one of the smallest dangers and the least of possibilities?
See graph for comparison:

ChildDeath

 

 

Now, let’s add a bit more data: children’s lives lost by abortion:

Annual child death by abortion: 1.2 million

See what the graph looks like now:

Child Death Abortion Included

President Obama is actually promoting the leading cause of child death in the United States, abortion, which outnumbers the sum of all other child deaths by a factor of more than one hundred!

Abortion kills 120 times more children than all other causes of death combined, and abortion kills 5,500 times more children than intentional firearms do.

 

Obama Should Listen to the Children coming to Washington on January 25th, 2013, for the March for Life -

  -An event ignored annually by the mainstream media, despite attendance by 500,000 Americans who travel to Washington to protest Roe v. Wade each year.

Listen to the 500,000 opposing abortion, Mr. President!
Not your politically hand-picked four:

obama_use_children_executive_order_guns
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Other tyrants who have used children as props(from Infowars.com) :Slide1

 

 

 

The Baby

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The Baby

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Reflection for January 2013:
Where would we be without the Baby?

Babies are such an assumed part of life, that few stop to think where we would be without babies.
Yet without babies, civilization would grind to a halt in less than 50 years.
We would all lie around in unstaffed nursing homes, with nobody to take care of us.
Getting rid of babies, even just a portion of them, contributes more to the demise of our civilization than some potential global warming or some imagined asteroid hit.

Babies replenish the human race.
Babies people the planet.
Babies turn into adults, who do the work.
Babies turn into taxpayers, who pay the bills.
Babies have always been around, and there has never been a shortage of them (until now).

God’s Wisdom

God in His wisdom designed the human race as male and female, designed the love between man and woman to be powerful, faithful and fruitful, providing a constant source of babies born out of that love.  God instructed us on how to live out that love in the family, the most basic and most successful method for the perpetuation of the human race.

The success of the family in the continuation of the human race rests in the sacrificial love found only in the family.
The family reflects the same sacrificial love God showed for us on His Cross.
The family reflects Christ’s kind of love, which gives up one’s life for others, as good parents would for the child that they love.

The Importance of the Baby

God, in addition to designing babies into the perpetuation of the human race, chose to come to us himself as a baby.

This says something. On the part of God, it was a very intentional and meaningful choice.

God could have come as a King, a warrior, a wise man, a superman, or even as an alien form of life.  He could have come as a teenager, as a woman, or as someone who is 130 years old.
He could have come as bodiless spirit with super powers (as Himself).

But God chose to come to us as a baby.
God also chose to retain the humility and the lack of worldliness which are characteristic of a baby throughout His life, in order to illustrate to us how we should live, and what is of utmost importance in this life.

We just finished celebrating the Nativity of Christ at Christmas.
In His arrival as a baby, God illustrated to us all the essential elements of a holy and successful family.
One man, one woman, for a lifetime, welcoming children.

Babies in History

Matteo di Giovanni – Slaughter of the Innocents

God came to earth as a baby.
He survived Herod’s slaughter of baby boys by fleeing to Egypt, guided by his father Joseph, who was guided by God in a dream.
Apparently Herod knew the potential one baby can represent.
Long before that, Pharaoh knew the potential one baby can represent; Pharoah slaughtered all Hebrew babies in an attempt to get rid of Moses.

Today, many have forgotten the importance, the sacredness, and the potential of babies, as well as of all human life.

Today, we contracept and abort away our babies, our  future citizens, out of some misguided and short sighted attempt to avoid inconvenience.

Abortion: Convenience, or Suicidal Act?

Regrettably, in addition to taking away another human being’s right to life, the “convenience” achieved by the elimination of a baby is extremely short lived.  The guilt, the loss and the mourning caused by abortion overwhelms us, and our lives are damaged, not improved.  We deprive ourselves of our own children, and deprive our society of its future citizens.  We also suffer the economic impact of eliminating millions of human beings from future contribution to our nation.

Sonogram of Unborn Baby
Steve Jobs?
Barack Obama?

Steve Jobs was almost aborted, but was put up for adoption instead. How fortunate!
President Obama, as the black child of a single mother, would today have faced a 77% probability of abortion. Is he grateful for his gift of life?  Was that gift from God, or was it from his parents, and should parents have the right to dispose of a child?  If disposal before birth is O.K., why not after birth?

One child can change the world, and it is not for us to decide which child lives and which child dies.  When we do that, we try to play God ourselves.

How Many Babies Do We Need?

God used to do a pretty good job of determining how many babies we need.
Now, if want to take over that job, the moral implications of terminating millions of lives aside, it would be wise to figure out how many babies our society needs.

For starters, we need to replace ourselves; an ever-shrinking society cannot maintain its infrastructure or take care of its aged.
It’s obvious that each married couple needs to have 2 children to replace themselves.

Plus another to make up for those who don’t marry?

Catholics used to have a tradition of firstborn sons going into the priesthood, and of encouraging at least one daughter to enter the convent.  The resulting supply of priests and religious who staff the Churches, schools, charitable institutions, orphanages and hospitals, helped families to raise moral and upstanding children, and helped to benefit all of humanity throughout the centuries.  These spiritual servants did not marry, did not have children, and had to be replaced in the society. So married couples should have a third child at least, to allow some of their children to make such saintly and dedicated career choices in life.

Disease, plague and accidents also claim lives. More replacements needed.
Some people are not fertile.  They have to be replaced as well.
Better add child #4 to the family.

So any determination of number of babies needed should account for all of the above factors and needs.  And the number of babies needed from each fertile couple is not going to be, by any calculation zero, nor one or two.  Those of us who do not have at least 4 children, unless we have fertility problems, are not pulling our weight, as far at the perpetuation of the human race is concerned.

The More The Merrier!

And for every married couple with zero children, we need a married couple with 8 children.
May God bless large families and may the rest of us celebrate them and support them!

(BTW, for those looking for an economic motivation to add to moral and loving motivations, large families tend to take care of their elderly themselves, rather than relying on your taxpayer money and on nursing homes to take care of their elderly.  And their elderly are happier and healthier.)

The Job of Raising a Baby

The job of raising a Baby is the most important job in the world.
The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

Rocking the Cradle
CAILLE Leon-Emil 1836-1907 (France)

Babies raised with sacrificial love, most often found in parental love, can  turn into heroes and saints like Abraham Lincoln and Pope John Paul the Great.
Babies who are neglected or abused can often turn into cruel monsters like Saddam Hussein and Hitler, who were mistreated as children.
Those who rocked the cradles of these babies (or didn’t) are responsible, to some degree, for the deeds of the children.

The raising of a baby is important.  It brings the potential for the greatest joy, the greatest achievement, and the greatest fulfillment in life.
It also requires the greatest sacrifice and work, and brings the potential for the greatest heartache.  The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Mother of Our Lord attest to that.

Ultimately, no matter what choices we make,  paradise will elude us on earth; our lives will contain both hardships and blessings.
Eradicating babies from our lives will not eliminate hardship from our lives; discarding babies will simply eliminate beauty and love from our lives.

Not a Union Job

The raising of a baby is not a 9 to 5 job.
It’s not accomplished in a few years.
You don’t get summers off.
Other people cannot be paid to perform the sacrificial level of service that a loving mother and father routinely provide for their children.
And, with all due respect to teachers, teachers and their unions do not provide all that is needed by a child; they can only complement, at best, the essential love, care, nurture and training that the parents provide.  You will never find an employee who provides the same level of love and sacrifice for a child that a parent can provide. The likelihood that teachers unions, which look out not for the welfare of the child, but for the comfort and benefits of union bosses and of teachers, the likelihood that these unions will substitute adequately for absentee parents or for working parents, is virtually zero.

Unions Rocking Our Cradles?
Madison Teachers Union Protests, March 2011
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A recent attempt to close the racial achievement gap in Madison, Wisconsin, with the establishment of a special school, Madison Prep, failed.  The failure was partially due the the fact that union regulations would not permit teachers to provide the sacrificial levels of time and dedication that would be required when attempting to compensate for reduced family and community involvement in the raising of children.
No union, kibbutz, nor Hillary Clinton’s “village” will compensate for the absence of devoted parents in the raising of a child.
Success in the rearing of quality human beings is always tied to love, to time, to adult involvement and to adult-student ratio, as has been proved repeatedly with “Big Brother” and other programs through  which adults invest time and love in children.

The Hardest, Yet the Most Rewarding

Despite the time-intensive hard work and sacrifice involved in child rearing,  when people are asked, in old age, what had given them the most joy in life,  they inevitably answer that a good marriage and their children provide them with the greatest joy and satisfaction, above all other things in life.

Responsibilities in Life

Most would agree that each of us is not born for the sole purpose of existing and being pampered and served by others.
Honestly, where would these people for serving us come from, anyway?  Who in their right mind would volunteer to be our servants when they could demand to be masters themselves?

Servants for all ?

So, particularly in democratic societies, we accept the fact that we are not born entitled to servants, and most of us have to work.  We have to do our laundry.  We have to shovel the snow, and we have to pay our taxes.

Neglect of work is even addressed in the Bible:

If anyone was unwilling to work, neither should that one eat” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10.

So why would the perpetuation of the human race be considered optional, if all other work is not optional?

Are we entitled to evade the hard work of parenting, then to demand that the children of others look after us sacrificially and lovingly in our old age?
Will paid employees and union workiers show us the same kind of care we would get from our children?
Is not the raising of children a duty and a responsibility?
A duty which, incidentally, also provides the greatest satisfaction and joy in life?
The raising of a family remains the biggest source of love and satisfaction on earth.

Those who choose to discard their children through contraception and abortion are shortsightedly hurting themselves,  as well as hurting the entire society.

The Irony of Our Situation in 2013

The economic situation we are suffering in the United States at the moment, the staggering debt and the shortage of tax income, is due, in part, to the fact that we are starting to feel the shortage of young people and of babies which started in 1973 with the legalization of abortion by Roe v. Wade on January 21, 1973.

Since then, we have eliminated 54 million citizens from age 0 to 40.  And their potential children are missing. There are probably 100 million citizens, aged 0 to 40, missing from the United States right now.  That would be about 1/4 of the nation missing.
Our national deficit, the amount we are missing from taxes, is also about 1/4; 1/4 of the national budget is missing.
Coincidence?
Or lack of foresight, lack of planning, and cumulative effects of lack of baby-appreciation since 1973?

Baby-Appreciation Deficit

One of the lucky 30%

Baby-appreciation is at an all-time low in 2013.
Now we have the most pro-abortion President in U.S. history  in office.  Ironically, this is a man who would probably have been aborted himself, if abortion had been legal at the time of his birth.

  • He is so pro-abortion that he supports the killing of a baby born accidentally in a botched 9-month term partial-birth abortion.  He voted for that while he was Senator.
  • He is so pro-abortion that he supports the abortion of his own grandchildren.
  • He is so pro-abortion that he has forced mandates on religious employers, forcing the employers to provide abortifacient drugs to their employees, against their own religious beliefs.  He added this emphasis on abortion after promising his pro-life Democrat colleagues (Stupak and his 11) that ObamaCare would not include abortion.

We now have a President who has forced abortion onto America, against the wishes of 2/3 of the American population, by deception and through lies.

An Ironic Historical Omen?

This first radically pro-abortion President will be re-inaugurated on January 21, 2013.
President Obama’s re-inauguration should have been one day earlier, on January 20, 2013.   But this year January 20th fell on a Sunday, so the date was pushed to Monday, January 21, 2013.
January 21, 2013  is, ironically, the eve of the 40th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the United States by the Supreme Court Decision Roe v. Wade on January 22, 1973.
Our most radically pro-abortion President will be re-inaugurated on the last day marking 40 years of abortion in  the United States, when the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion and started the elimination of now 1/4 of the population in the United States.

Christians (80% of us) realize the significance of the number 40 in salvation history:

  • The Great Flood – 40 days
  • The Exodus – 40 years
  • Goliath challenging the Israelites – 40 days
  • 40 lashes meted out by the Sanhedrin
  • Christ’s fast and prayer in the desert – 40 days
  • Resurrection to Ascension – 40 days
  • Lent – 40 days

The increased ardor of pro-life prayer and pro-life political activity in recent years, particularly during the time approaching the last November 6, 2012 election, inspired many to believe that the election would displace Barack Obama from the Presidency and that the tide of abortion in the United States would be reversed.
This obviously did not occur.
My faith in God makes me suspect that although we did not guess God’s plan, all the prayers and efforts have not been in vain.  Those who wait and watch patiently will see the hand of God operating quietly in response to our prayers.

A Personal Note

2009?

Reflecting on babies in January is a personal pleasure for me, since my two sons were January babies.  They are no longer babies, but still, together with my husband, they are the joy of my life.
The joy and satisfaction of having their freindship does not approach in any way the satisfaction I have enjoyed from any other pursuit, professional or recreational.

Happy Birthday today to one of my January no-longer-babies!
Then Happy Birthday eleven days from now, to the other January no-longer-baby.
What’s my husband’s birthday?  All Saints Day. Really. :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roe v. Wade Turns 40

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Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion,
was issued on January 22, 1973.

This January 22, 2013, will commemorate
the 40th anniversary of that Supreme Court decision.

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To date, 55 million infants have been aborted in the United States, and are missing from our ranks as a nation.
55 million of us were not born, were not baptized, did not graduate, did not marry, did not have children, and did not contribute to the world in all areas, including philosophy, science, art, and religion.
At least one out of 6 Americans is missing.  If these children, who would now be 40, also had children, as many as one quarter of all Americans could be missing by now.

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One person who escaped abortion very narrowly, yet lived to contribute mind-boggling contributions to our society’s present capabilities, was Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple.  What would our world be now, without Steve Jobs?

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President Obama is another example of a person who might have been aborted, if Roe v. Wade had been legal at the time he was born.  As the black child of a single mother,  his chances of being aborted would have been extremely high. 77% of African-American pregnancies are aborted right now, a black child is 5 times as likely to be aborted as a white child.
Numerous potential Presidents may have been aborted in these past forty years.

Abortion is one of the biggest killers of history, and abortion is a much bigger deal than most people think.

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A Striking Coincidence

President Barack Hussein Obama,
the most radically pro-abortion President in United States history,
will be re-inaugurated on January 21, 2013,
the eve of the 40th anniversary,
of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.

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The Significance of the number 40 for Christians

The number 40 is a very meaningful number in Judeo Christian history.

  • During the Old Testament great flood, rain fell for forty nights and forty days, during which all living beings on earth perished, except those on Noah’s ark.
  • Spies explored the land of Israel for forty days (Numbers 13).
  • The Old Testament Exodus from Egypt lasted 40 years, with the Jewish people wandering the Sinai desert. This period of years represents the time it takes for a new generation to arise.
  • Moses’ life is divided into 40 year segments in the Old Testament.
  • Eli, Saul, David, and Solomon, Jewish leaders and kings of the Old Testament, ruled for forty years.
  • Goliath challenged the Israelites twice a day for forty days before David defeated him.
  • Moses spend three consecutive periods of forty days and forty nights on Mount Sinai.
  • 40 lashes is one of the punishments meted out by the Sanhedrin.
  • Christ fasted and prayed in the desert for 40 days prior to His Temptation, Ministry, Passion, Death and Resurrection.
  • Forty days was the period from the Resurrection of Jesus to His Ascension into Heaven.
  • Lent consists of the forty days preceding Easter.

Madison Will Commemorate 40 Years with Prayer

Madison will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 12, 2013, by praying the rosary on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol. This event is sponsored by Pro-Life Wisconsin, Vigil for Life Madison, and the Diocese of Madison.
Details can be found in the flyer pictured below and the PDF flyer here.

January 12th, 2013
11AM at the State Street Steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol
Madison’s Capitol Square
Put It on Your Calendar
Come and Join Us!

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America Chooses…

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America Chooses…

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From today’s Liturgy of the Hours:

Psalm 84 (85)
Our salvation is very near

Lord, you blessed your land; you forgave the guilt of your people.

O Lord, you once favoured your land
and revived the fortunes of Jacob,
you forgave the guilt of your people
and covered all their sins.
You averted all your rage,
you calmed the heat of your anger.

Revive us now, God, our helper!
Put an end to your grievance against us.
Will you be angry with us for ever,
will your anger never cease?

Will you not restore again our life
that your people may rejoice in you?
Let us see, O Lord, your mercy
and give us your saving help.

I will hear what the Lord God has to say,
a voice that speaks of peace,
peace for his people and his friends
and those who turn to him in their hearts.
His help is near for those who fear him
and his glory will dwell in our land.

Mercy and faithfulness have met;
justice and peace have embraced.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth
and justice look down from heaven.

The Lord will make us prosper
and our earth shall yield its fruit.
Justice shall march before him
and peace shall follow his steps.

Glory to the Father and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

Lord, you blessed your land; you forgave the guilt of your people.

 

For Judeo-Christian values and for the Constitution of the United States

Heckling the Rosary

or

Renaming the Wisconsin State Journal

 

Don’t Diss My Church

One of the prime goals of this cultural values blog is to defend my religion, Catholicism, against the regrettably frequent and unjust attacks we suffer, particularly in Madison, WI.
One of this blog’s first blog categories was “Don’t Diss My Church.”
And in Madison, the Wisconsin State Journal has provided more than it’s fair share of imbalanced reporting on Catholics, frequently fueling my blog.

Why Pray the Rosary at Madison’s Capitol Square?

Catholics praying the rosary at Capitol Rosary Rally

Now that the Obama administration has embarked on restricting the religious freedom of Catholics, Madison Catholics have begun praying the rosary on Thursday evenings on the Madison Capitol steps, to beg God’s help in the restoration of religious freedom to our nation. 

Madison’s Rosary Rally gatherings attract 150-300 quiet, polite people each week.  The crowd includes families with small children, young singles, and many grandparents as well.  The Catholics gather quietly after business hours, do not disrupt Capitol business, leave no litter behind, do no shouting, carry no vuvuzelas, whistles or drums, and don’t even carry signs.  They come, they pray for our nation, and they leave quietly, leaving no damage in their wake.

Who Heckles Children Praying the Rosary?

About 3 to 10 ne’er-do-wells have started showing up at these rosary events, attempting to disrupt them. Their tactics include shouting four letter words from across the street, mocking the rosary, carrying rude signs mentioning private body parts, and all the usual aggressive radical left tactics Wisconsin has witnessed at recent teacher union protests, and at Madison Pro-Life rallies (which radicals have routinely tried to disrupt in recent years, and where they have even been known to get up in pulpits at Library Mall and perform strip-tease dances in front of children with literally only God knows what motivation).
Teacher union protest tactics:

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Is the Wisconsin State Journal Heckling the Rosary?

So, Doug Erickson, the “religion” reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ), instead of covering the story from the perspective of the hundreds of Catholics participating in the Capitol Rosary Rally who represent one quarter of America, covered the story instead from the perspective of the handful of rude hecklers.

Doug chose the headline:

Critics: ‘Rosary rallies’ at Capitol thinly disguised GOP pep fests

Hmmm… GOP “pep-fest?”


Better Headlines not considered by WSJ:

  • Catholics Pray for Restoration of Religious Freedom
  • Families Pray for the Coming Election
  • Family Values Defended in Public Prayer
  • Prayer Brought to Madison’s Downtown Capitol
  • New Peaceful Standard Set for Disagreeing With Government
  • Prayer and Civility Replaces Anger and Rage at Madison’s Capitol
  • Contrasting Teacher Union Protests and Capitol Rosary in Madison

I have participated in many of the Rallies, and I can attest to the fact that Doug Erickson’s implication that Rosary Rallies are “pep-fests” could not be further from the truth.

A More Accurate Headline:


WSJ  Rosary Rally Article- Thinly Disguised Radical Dem Propaganda

 

Thinly Disguised Radical Dem Propaganda Headline

The Wisconsin State Journal’s misleading headline was amplified by a factor of 118,000 through its State-wide circulation, and the whole of Wisconsin was misinformed.  Not to mention online readers, or readers of spin-off articles such as those at the LaCrosse Tribune, Yahoo News or the Orlando Sentinel.

The Wisconsin State Journal gave voice to a handful of hecklers and dissidents rather than to hundreds of serious Catholics, who represent the beliefs of 25% of the American population  and 25% of Madison’s population.

Who are These Hecklers Favored by the Wisconsin State Journal?

Rosary Heckler Number One

One individual quoted in Doug Erickson’s article is Craig Spaulding, who presumed to know the motivations of the Catholics and declared the prayer rally to be partisan and to be GOP.
Doug Erickson failed to mention who Craig Spaulding was —  he did not mention that Craig Spaulding is a fringe radical Madison activist who was arrested (more than once) during the teacher’s union protests, who had to be carried out of the Senate gallery by ten officers for violating rules, and who is a member of the anarchist International Workers of the World, which favors “direct action,”  in place of using democratic channels. Craig Spaulding is also involved with Occupy Wisconsin,  participates regularly in the frequent Capitol lunch sing-a-long protests, and used to own the most troublesome drinking establishment on Capitol Square, which was famous for it’s “underwear parties.” It is not clear whether Craig Spaulding is a paid union protester . Craig is listed as a delinquent taxpayer owing over $33,000 in taxes.

Here’s a You Tube showing the Capitol lunch protesters with whom Craig Spaulding participated frequently and which forced Capitol Tour Guides to wear ear plugs; the group whose perspective the Wisconsin State Journal favors over the perspective of Catholics praying the Rosary at the Capitol:

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Second Rosary Critic

Annie Laurie Gaylor of FFRF at Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally, Madison, W

Second Rosary Critic

Another individual quoted by the WSJ article is one of the co-presidents of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), Annie Laurie Gaylor, who personally protested at the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally last June 8th, and who made no objections while her husband and co-President of FFRF Dan Barker repeatedly heckled praying children and scandalized them by shouting sexually suggestive remarks addressed to the children.

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

Annie Laurie Gaylor and FFRF are in a minority not only because they are atheists, but particularly because they are a miniscule minority among atheists themselves.  They constitute only 0.1 of 1% of atheists, or one out of a thousand atheists.  That’s right, 999 out of 1,000 atheists, unlike Gaylor and FFRF, are tolerant of 80% Christian America, of 25% Catholic America, and have no problem with our legally established American right to public prayer which President Obama periodically exercises.  Gaylor and her FFRF, whom the Wisconsin State Journal chose to quote in this article, constitute the angry radical fringe, which represents only one out of 33 thousand people, or 0.003 of 1% of the population of America.

Third Rosary Heckler

Another Rosary heckler (not mentioned by the Wisconsin State Journal article) made herself known to me when her braggadocio arrived in my inbox, through an online discussion in which I had participated.  She belatedly joined a discussion which I had previously viewed as a reasonable and constructive conversation with a Madison LGBT activist, and which started when I objected to the activist’s treatment of the first Capitol Rosary Rally and of Bishop Morlino on his blog.

Aside: Since that time, the LGBT activist has begun censoring comments published on his blog, selecting supportive radical comments for publication, and declining to publish further discussion with me.  I guess there are limits to the “Bluebird’s” willingness to discuss truth, after all, particularly when he and his friends start losing the argument.  Turns out, he’s also a regular at the Lunchtime Solidarity Singers at the Capitol, who drive tour guides to wear ear protection.

Back to the third Rosary heckler: her name is Genie Ogden.  Genie bragged in the online discussion that she heckles the Rosary Rally weekly, boos, and sings “Solidarity Forever” at Catholics who are singing hymns.  Genie, like Craig Spaulding, was also a regular member of the Capitol lunchtime “Sing-a-Longs,” the fringe minority who continues to make noise at the Madison Capitol at lunchtime, despite Governor Walker’s re-election by an even larger majority in Wisconsin than he enjoyed in his first election.

Perhaps Genie is looking for new outlets for her anger, now that the recall is over.  The You Tube of “Solidarity” protesters (to which Craig and Genie belonged, the noise of which drove people to wear ear protection) was presented above.

Schoenstatt Sister after the first Capitol Rosary Rally

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Just over a week ago, Genie Ogden was arrested for demonstrating with signs without a permit at the State Capitol.  She routinely protests with her daughter, who publicly approves lawlessness, such as the pouring of beer on conservative legislator’s heads, or throwing rotten fruit at them.

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Do these rosary hecklers/solidarity singers really believe that such actions would be persuasive and would bolster their cause?

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Genie, like Doug Spaulding and FFRF, tried to claim that the Rosary Rallies are political, and that they constitute a violation of separation of Church and State.  What she does not seem to realize is that neither she, nor other liberals, can divine the thoughts of others, and that the mention of Governor Walker and of Paul Ryan once in the course of thirteen Rosary Rallies, in the context of being answers to prayers, reflects a pro-life, not a Republican position.  Democrat Stupak and his 11 Democrat supporters were an equal blessing and an equal answer to prayer when they stood up for the exclusion of abortion from ObamaCare.
The pro-life beliefs of Catholics are not political; they are ethical.

 

.Rosary Hecklers in General

The Rosary Hecklers and critics above exhibit a bigoted and tyrannical attitude, denying to others the rights that the hecklers enjoy themselves.

Madison Teacher’s Union Protesters

Solidarity union activists like Craig and Genie, and LGBT activists like the Bluebird, reserve the right to use Madison’s Capitol Square for themselves to promote their own (minority) views and social agendas, but they seem to miss the hypocrisy in denying the use of the Capitol Square to praying Christians, who represent many more people than they do- a fact ignored by WSJ reporters.

The right to public prayer has actually been constitutionally upheld numerous times. Yet the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) continues to attack public prayer wherever they think they can win, through legal intimidation of groups with small budgets, like the town of Marshfield, WI.

The feeble attempts made by Craig, Annie and Genie to label Rosary Rallies events as political

Progressives Misjudging Catholics?

also reflects a judgmental attitude; they claim to know the motivation of others.  After misjudging their target’s motivation, many “progressives” continue by attacking and violating the rights of those with whom they disagree. The Constitution does not guarantee a Right to Hateful Harassment.  Moreover, the effectiveness of such tactics in promoting one’s cause are highly dubious.

I am proud to say that I have never gone to any Madison Capitol Square event to boo, heckle, curse, scream, disrupt or to counter-protest.  I don’t engage in hateful behavior towards those with whom I disagree.  Prayer is a much more civilized (and more productive) response.  My sentiments are representative of those of Rosary Rally attendees.

Ignoring Two Thirds of America

Doug Erickson missed the boat completely by covering the Rosary Rally story from the perspective of a few radical protesters, and by omitting the concerns of two thirds of America.

The Rosary Rallies actually represent the majority of Wisconsin and of America.
The Catholics at the Rally represent all religions in America, which were recently galvanized and united by the religious freedom violations of the HHS Mandate. Numerous religions joined Catholics in opposing these violations of the First Amendment, an amendment which all religions value.  Orthodox Christian Bishops, Protestant Theological Seminary chancellors, Presbyterian Bishops, Southern Baptists, Lutherans Evangelical Lutherans and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America have rallied to support the Catholic Church in upholding the Catholic position on the HHS mandate.  This is what Doug Erickson has failed to cover in his reporting.

The Rosary Rallies are large, peaceful, sustained, and they represent the reasonable Judeo-Christian views and the civilized demeanor of at least two thirds of America.

In ignoring the perspective of Catholics at the Rosary Rally in favor of the perspective of a couple fringe radicals, Doug Erickson has ignored 2/3 of America.   He has ignored the majority of America’s opposition to federally funded abortion policy, and he has ignored the social consequences of such abortion policy, which has already resulted in shocking coerced abortion rates of 64% .   Abortion is a much bigger deal than most people think .

Ignoring Religious Leaders:
Evangelical Pastors Join Catholics in the Defense of Religious Liberty

The national Religious Liberty debate has been ignored by WSJ, in favor of reporting speculations by a couple of “progressives” on the motivations of Catholics at prayer.

The Catholic Church is not the only group defending religious liberty in the wake of the HHS Mandate.

“THIS AREA HAS BEEN SET ASIDE FOR NON-PROFIT GROUPS TO EXERCISE THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL 1ST AMENDMENT FREE SPEECH RIGHTS.”

Evangelical Christian pastors have just organized a bold and courageous protest against the muzzling of moral leaders in America, and in support of religious freedom. On October 7, 2012, “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” will be celebrated.  More than 1,000 pastors will preach sermons from the pulpit talking about the candidates running for office and then making a specific recommendation.  The sermons will be recorded and sent to the IRS.  The pastors expect the IRS to try to enforce a 1954 IRS tax code amendment forbidding tax-exempt organizations from participating in discussion of candidates for public office.  When the IRS tries to revoke tax-exempt status and to impose an excise tax on them, the pastors will welcome the court battle.  They claim that the 1954 IRS tax code amendment is blatantly unconstitutional, and they welcome an official evaluation of the amendment in court.
This effort is sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal ministry formed 18 years ago for the defense of religious freedom through strategy, training, funding and litigation.

Not the First Time WSJ Has Slanted the News

Slanted reporting in the Wisconsin State Journal is not new, nor surprising. Their coverage of the 2011 Teacher’s Union Protests was equally misleading and predisposed toward the  “progressive” viewpoint. Lawlessness and misconduct was not reported, both on the part of demonstrators who trashed the Capitol, and on the part of Democrat officials who conspired to block the legal process.  WSJ coverage was so slanted and misleading, that this blogger took to reporting what’s really happening in Wisconsin on my blog.

The WSJ also gives the tiny Freedom From Religion Foundation quite a bit of favorable press.  Again, a fringe radical group (0.003 of 1% of Americans) gets favored coverage over mainstream Wisconsin.

Twisting and Misrepresenting Catholicism

Coverage of Catholicism in the WSJ has frequently been unprofessionally imbalanced.

Just this week, Doug Erickson did a “moral analysis” of the Catholic vote.
He gave equal weight and space to dissident national co-chairman of Catholics for Obama, as he did to Bishop Morlino of Madison, who is a legitimate and accurate representative of the Catholic Church.

Saul Alinsky, author of “Rules for Radicals”

Catholics for Obama is a group established in 2007, with a website hosted at www.barackobama.com .  Membership numbers are not provided, but are probably a few thousand or less, based on petition signatures quoted at Catholic Democrat. According to Breitbart.comCatholics for Obama is dominated by the radical left wing, which promotes Alinsky “social justice” ideology.

So in Doug Erickson’s world, barakobama.com, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and a couple thousand petition signatories carry the same moral authority as a Catholic Bishop and 78 million real American Catholics.  Doug is equating the fringe 0.06 of 1% of Catholics whose theology is steered by Obama, with legitimate Catholic officials and faithful Catholics.  (Bishop Morlino’s education includes a doctorate in Moral Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, with specialization in fundamental moral theology and bioethics.)

WSJ also recently inflamed a parish conflict with imbalanced reporting, favoring dissidents over the Catholic majority.  The dissident minority was portrayed in a favorable light over the faithful majority.

Doug Erickson: Reporting on the 0.06 of 1% of Madison Diocese  Catholics (Holy Wisdom) – and relegating the 99.94%  (real) Catholics to the last paragraph, entitled “detractors.”

Another Doug Erickson report focused on pair of previously Catholic nuns at Holy Wisdom Monastery, who appear to be recruiting Catholics to join their feminist Sunday services in place of attending the Mass.  These nuns retain the name Benedictines, despite having rescinded their Benedictine vows and having separated themselves from the Catholic Church.  Doug Erickson reported on this fringe minority group of two very favorably, but relegated input from real Catholics, including from the Diocese of Madison, to a last paragraph entitled “detractors,” where he quoted Catholics minimally, and out of context.  A minority of two dissidents was portrayed in a favored light, while real Catholics were again downplayed.

The misrepresentation of Catholics in the Wisconsin State Journal could fill numerous blog posts (and has in the past), but the above three examples will suffice here.

For a Truthful Report on the Capitol Rosary Rally: see You Tube

The Capitol Rosary Rally,  which the Wisconsin State Journal did not bother to portray accurately, and which reflects the Christian views and the civilized demeanor of the majority of Christian America can be seen here:

Come join Catholics in the 14th Capitol Rosary Rally tonight, Thursday, Sept 20, 2012, at the State Street steps of the Madison Capitol at 7 PM.  Come watch what real Americans do (they act civilized and pray), stand in solidarity with Christians for religious freedom in America.  All are welcome to watch, to listen, or to pray.

Discussing the Actual Issue

Something else Doug Erickson failed to do in his Capitol Rosary article was to discuss the question that his progressive friends raised; is it legal for Catholics to pray the rosary at Madison’s Capitol Square?

First Congressional Prayer, 1777

Answer:
Public prayer is legal.
The National Day of Prayer was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals  and President Obama supported prayer in a Presidential Proclamation on the National Day of Prayer, 2012
Congress has also just taken steps to ensure that prayer is supported at School Board Meetings.   President Obama prays and states that “We stand for religious freedom.”

So public prayer is legal, and public gatherings at the Wisconsin State Capitol are legal.

Public gatherings at Madison’s Capitol have included Farmer’s Markets, restaurant showcase events (Taste of Madison), and Wisconsin Capitol Pride, an event promoting LGBTQA acceptance and rights.
Why would Catholic gatherings be forbidden?  Why would promoting prayer for religious freedom be forbidden?

Discussing the Double Standard

WSJ failed to address this double standard of progressive Rosary critics in the article.
The progressive Rosary Hecklers quoted by WSJ demand freedom of belief and freedom of speech for themselves, but not for others.  They want the right to scream four-letter words at others across Capitol Square in the presence of children, but to forbid the words “Our Father, who art in heaven.”

Further Important Issues Omitted by the WSJ report:

  • Validity of Christian claims regarding the violation of religious freedom by the HHS mandate
  • Evaluation of the position of America’s moral leaders on the religious freedom issue
  • Reporting the obvious differences in behavior, lawfulness and respect for the rights of others between the rosary participants and the heckling critics.

  • Definition of “separation of Church and State.”
  • Discussion of whether a once-in-14-prayer-rallies mention of two pro-life politicians constitutes a “violation of separation of Church and State.”
  • Discussion of the very pertinent 1954 IRS code amendment, which has been used by the IRS to silence Christian pastors, but has not been subject to an examination of constitutionality by the courts.
  • The effect that restrictions on religious freedom would have on the rights of progressives when in the future conservative Presidents are elected, and the effect on this country’s historical role as the safe haven for the world’s émigrés.

Suggestion: if Doug Erickson is to be the WSJ “religion” reporter, he must examine the serious issues affecting religion, rather than using his status at the WSJ to spread progressive propaganda. He should provide some professional and journalisticly ethical analysis of real religious issues.

Shame on the Wisconsin State Journal for Ethics Violations

Shame on Doug Erickson

The Wisconsin State Journal has violated the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics with this misrepresentation of Madison’s Capitol Rosary Rally.

  • WSJ did not seek the truth and report it.
  • WSJ did not minimize harm.
  • WSJ did not act independently.
  • WSJ was not accountable.

Renaming the Wisconsin State Journal

The Wisconsin State Journal should be renamed:

the Wisconsin State Journal Progressive

 

Invitation: Come and Join Us!

Come tonight, and every Thursday night at 7PM through November 1st.

Join Catholics today in the 14th Capitol Rosary Rally -  Thursday, Sept 20, 2012, on the State Street steps of the Madison Capitol at 7 PM.
Come watch what most Americans do (they act civilized and they pray).
Stand in solidarity with Christians for religious freedom in America.
All are welcome to watch, to listen, or to pray.

Agnostics welcome.
Atheists welcome.
Baptists welcome.
Buddhists welcome.
Catholics welcome.
Evangelicals welcome.
Jews welcome.
Lutherans welcome.
Muslims welcome
Presbyterians welcome.
All welcome, including any not mentioned above.
Invitation limited to well-behaved people who respect the rights of others.

All of us need, and will benefit from, freedom of religion (of belief), which is guaranteed to us by the First Amendment.  This freedom has been violated by President Obama’s HHS Mandate, a mandate which must be reversed.

Why Even Atheists Should Stand Against Presidential Mandates

If Presidents of the future will be permitted to issue mandates like the HHS Mandate, without popular vote, without Senate or House vote, and without Supreme Court evaluation, what mandate will the NEXT President of the United States, who may not belong to your favorite political affiliation, decree?

I may not like President Obama’s mandates.
But others, including atheists, would not like President Romney’s mandates
or President Rick Santorum’s mandates
or President Ron Paul’s mandates
or President Michelle Bachmann’s mandates.

The next President could issue a Mandate that imposes tax penalties not on Catholics, but on  International Workers Union Members,  FFRF Members, Solidarity Singers, and Madison LGBT activists-  severe, crippling penalties.  Then were would Craig, Annie, Genie and Bluebird be?  The Mandate could include penalties for Wisconsin Sate Journal reporters, too, Doug.

We all benefit from supporting freedom and democracy.
We have to coexist, so progressives should realize that in 46 days the shoe might be on the other foot.
This is still a democracy, and Presidential mandates are thinly disguised despotic edicts.

These are some of the religious, ethical and cultural issues that Doug Erickson and the WSJ should be discussing, rather than spreading the speculations of fringe progressives on the motivation of Catholics.

 

 

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:

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