Syte Reitz

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

Browsing Posts tagged Dan Barker

Priorities?

No comments

Priorities

XXX
It is moving to see a President shed tears over loss of Life, as President Obama did during the announcement of his Executive Action on gun control two days ago.

.
But it is baffling to consider that the death of 26 innocent people at Newtown can move President Barack Obama to tears, while the death of over 57 MILLION innocent unborn babies does not appear to move him in the least.

.

Slide1

xxx

Just HOW Pro-Abortion is President Obama?

President Obama is the most radically pro-abortion President we have ever seen.

Ironically, this is a man who, as the black child of single mother,  would himself have faced a more than 54% probability of abortion, if abortion had been legal at the time of his birth.yournotkeepingitareyou_2012-02-13-brief-cartoon

  • President Obama is so pro-abortion that he voted three times against Born Alive Infant Protection Acts that would require medical care for a baby who survives an abortion.
    President Obama supports the killing of a baby born accidentally in a botched full 9-month term partial-birth abortion.
  • President Obama is so pro-abortion that he has voiced support for the abortion of his own grandchildren.
  • President Obama is so pro-abortion that through ObamaCare, he has forced mandates on religious employers, forcing the employers to provide abortifacient drugs to their employees, against their own religious beliefs.  He has pursued this prioritization of abortion in health care after initially promising his pro-life Democrat colleagues (Stupak and his 11) that ObamaCare would not include abortion.
  • President Obama even has a  “Science Czar,” John Holdren, who has advocated forced abortion and forced sterilization  in the United States to control population.

So 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.

Do we plan to do something about this as voters in 2016?

Can the aggressive abortion agenda and the culture of deception in our government be changed?
Can we do something about this as voters in 2016?
-Stay tuned, for upcoming articles on the 2016 election, on candidates, and on America’s future options.

See also previous articles on related topics:

The Importance of Babies…

  • The Baby – an article on the importance of the baby, written on my son’s birthday, 3 years ago today. Happy Birthday, Chris!
  • Dear Baby – a letter written our first grandbaby before she was born
  • Abortion – a Much Bigger Deal Than You Think – an article for those who think abortion is not a big deal.
  • The Contrast – an article contrasting Madison’s Pro-Life community with Madison’s Pro-Choicers, and featuring the behavior of Annie Laurie Gaylor, Dan Barker, and the Freedom From Religion crowd at a Catholic Pro-Life event.
  • Black Death in America – on the importance of showing concern for all black deaths.

Obama: "For Independence Day, you will lose your independence"

Obama Administration Forcing Abortion…

xxx
Obama Administration Subverting Religious Freedom…"Baracchio" turning into a donkey as "Timothy Cricket" looks on, appalled.  In the popular children's tale of Pinocchio, Pinocchio fell in with a bad crowd of pleasure-seeking boys.  This resulted in their turning into donkeys who would be enslaved by a coachman.  Pinocchio's conscience, represented by Jiminy Cricket (played here by Archbishop Timothy Dolan) saves Pinocchio from his bad judgement, and the tale ends happily.

 Elections 2016:

 

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:

.

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:

.

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

.

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.

.

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

.

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.

 

 

The Contrast

9 comments

The Contrast

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

The Photo

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

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

The Symbolism

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

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

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

The Contrast

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

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

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

Photo of the Year

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

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

More ‘Interesting’ Opponents

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)

Here are some little-known facts about FFRF:

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

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

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

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

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

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

More Examples of Apparent Hatefulness and  Unprofessionalism from FFRF

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

Fanaticism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

All Posts