Syte Reitz

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

Herculean Effort, Real Science

SOooooooo proud of my husband Rolf– he initiated & put together an editorial,  collecting input from 37 of the world’s most prominent engine engineers (his field) on the impact of the internal combustion (IC) engine on global warming, and on the future of IC engines. 
Real and honest science, with recommendations for future directions. See the full editorial in the International Journal of Engine Research entitled The Future of the Internal Combustion Engine
After only a short time up online, the editorial has already had thousands of downloads.  It comes out in print in the January 2020 issue of the Journal.  

In a Hurry?

The “Executive Summary” and “Closure” at the end of the editorial are great for those in a hurry, and are posted just below. The rest of the article supplies enough details and data to satisfy the most discerning of scientists.

Oh No! Not Politics? 

The article is not at all political, and does not take sides with climate “alarmists” or climate “deniers,” as the opposing political camps have often been called.
It simply presents pertinent powerful facts, which lead logical people to make their own inescapable conclusions.
For example, IC engines provide 25% of global power, while producing only 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. Also, research of the last several decades has reduced pollution by IC engines by a thousand fold.
We are now at the point where more pollution is caused by the wear of automobile tires on the road than by the vehicle’s emissions. This makes the modern day IC engine vehicle equivalent to electric vehicles in terms of pollution. In fact, vehicles with catalytic air cleaners will actually exhaust cleaner air than they take in, in cities such as Los Angeles.

Enjoy! 

IJER editorial: The future of the internal combustion engine

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1468087419877990 

Below is the Executive Summary and the Closure — 
(Entire Editorial at: 

IJER editorial: The future of the internal combustion engine )

 

Internal combustion (IC) engines operating on fossil fuel oil provide about 25% of the world’s power (about 3000 out of 13,000 million tons oil equivalent per year—see Figure 1), and in doing so, they produce about 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (Figure 2). Reducing fuel consumption and emissions has been the goal of engine researchers and manufacturers for years, as can be seen in the two decades of ground-breaking peer-reviewed articles published in this International Journal of Engine Research (IJER). Indeed, major advances have been made, making today’s IC engine a technological marvel. However, recently, the reputation of IC engines has been dealt a severe blow by emission scandals that threaten the ability of this technology to make significant and further contributions to the reduction of transportation sector emissions. In response, there have been proposals to replace vehicle IC engines with electric-drives with the intended goals of further reducing fuel consumption and emissions, and to decrease vehicle GHG emissions.

Figure 1. World energy consumption by source (millions of petroleum equivalent) in the last 25 years.1 About 70% of fossil oil (i.e. about 3000 Mtoe) is consumed in IC engines.

 figure

Figure 2. Global warming potential (GWP) in CO2 equivalent tons by sector.2 Transportation contributes about 10%.

Indeed, some potential students and researchers are being dissuaded from seeking careers in IC engine research due to disparaging statements made in the popular press and elsewhere that disproportionately blame IC engines for increasing atmospheric GHGs. Without a continuous influx of enthusiastic, well-trained engineers into the profession, the potential further benefits that improved IC engines can still provide will not be realized. As responsible automotive engineers and as stewards of the environment for future generations, it is up to our community to make an honest assessment of the progress made in the development of IC engines over the past century, with their almost universal adoption to meet the world’s mobility and power generation needs. Considering that the maturity of IC engine technology is something that many other technologies/possibilities do not have, we also need to assess the potential for future progress, as well as to assess the benefits offered by competitor technologies, in order to make responsible recommendations for future directions.

Factors impacting that future are discussed in this editorial and include the following:

  • - The fact that affordable energy has been instrumental in raising the standard of living in the world dramatically, particularly in poor countries, and the fact that so far in the history of humanity, the burning of fossil or bio-derived fuels has been the only reliable source of energy;
  • - The fact that the entire planet is linked by a massive transportation infrastructure that is largely based on the IC engine and that would require decades and tremendous expense to replace;
  • - The dramatic advancements in IC engine technology that have brought pollutant levels down a 1000-fold in past decades, and which now make particulate emissions from tire and brake wear a larger problem than engine emissions (in both IC engine powered and electric vehicles);
  • - The obstacles still faced by proposed alternatives, such as electric vehicles powered by batteries, which have tremendous cost, weight and other limitations, and which are hoped to be fuelled by renewables, such as wind and solar that currently represent only a miniscule fraction of the world’s energy supply;
  • - And the fact that concerns about the impact of IC engines on climate change have become politically charged, even as they need to be assessed impartially. There is need for informed, data and science-driven government policies that promote a managed, realistic transition to sustainable future energy systems.

The vast majority of automotive engineers, including IJER editorial board members, are optimistic about the continuing importance of the IC engine to meet the world’s mobility and power generation needs. Certainly, exploring new and competing engine technologies, as well as new fuels, is important for a sustainable future for our planet. The inescapable conclusion reached in this editorial is that, for the foreseeable future, road and off-road transport will be characterized by a mix of solutions involving internal combustion engines (ICEs), battery and hybrid powertrains, as well as conventional vehicles powered by IC engines. Thus, there is a pressing need for recruiting the brightest young minds to engage in this effort.

(Aside: Here we skip the bulk of the detailed article and skip to “Closure;”  for the entire article, go to The Future of the Internal Combustion Engine )

In summary, the ICE, and IC engine research have a bright future, in contrast with some widely distributed media reports (e.g. The Economist19). The power generation and the vehicle and fuel industries are huge, representing trillions of dollars (US) per year in turnover, with a massive infrastructure. We are certainly in revolutionary times, but it is clear that power generation sources will not become fully renewable and transport will not become fully electric for several decades, if ever. However, research to improve efficiency and methods to reduce dependence on fossil fuels are exciting directions for future IC engine research. It is very likely that highly efficient “fully flexible” engines with hybridized solutions will be a big part of sought-after efficiency improvements, as well as emission/GHG reductions.20 Finally, it must be acknowledged that, in practice, people select their choice of powertrain based on numerous factors, including cost. Consumer preference is not decided by politicians, nor by car-makers, nor academia. Policy unilaterally favoring one technology solution may be deeply inefficient and perhaps even the wrong eventual solution. A better approach is to use real-world data to allow competing technologies to flourish; if they evidence efficiency improvements and emission reductions, and they then need to be delivered as soon as possible. Continued progress requires that we recruit the brightest young minds to engage in this effort to deliver a vibrant and sustainable future for the ICE.

(Entire Editorial at: 

IJER editorial: The future of the internal combustion engine )

A photo history from my brother “Vyt’s” childhood photo album.

Albert Vytas Strazdis, 1950-2010

Vyt’s (and my) parents, Albin and Rūta Strazdis 1949, New York
Fr. Pakalniškis’ bio below; Stasė Kerpytė studied to become a pathologist, and Jurgis Savaitis became a Chase Manhattan Bank Vice President in New York City

Father John Pakalniškis  (in photo, priest baptizing Vyt)

On Wednesday, February 25, 1987, Fr. John Pakalniškis offered the prayer at the United States House of Representatives commemoration of the 69th anniversary of the Independence of Lithuania.

Father Pakalniškis was (in 1987) the supreme chaplain to the Lithuanian Scouts Organization, as well as the vice president of the Lithuanian Priests’ League of the United States.

He was born in New York City, and when he was 6 years old in 1921, Father Pakalniskis moved with his parents to Lithuania, where he completed his education. Ordained to the priesthood on June 3, 1939, Father Pakalniškis also graduated from the University of Vytautas the Great in Kaunas, Lithuania, that same year.

His first assignment was the assistant at the Cathedral Church in Kaunas,where he also taught religious courses.

On June 7, 194 7, Father Pakalniškis came to the United States, and served as assistant pastor to three parishes in Brooklyn, until July 16, 1978, when he was appointed the pastor of the Annunciation Church.

Father Pakalniškis taught generations of children religion at our Maironis Lithuanian Saturday school in Brooklyn, celebrated Masses for the school, and was chaplain for numerous groups, including the Lithuanian Scouts.

Father Pakalniškis officiated at the wedding of Ruta & Albinas Strazdis, the baptism of their children, Albert Vytas, Joan Ruta (Syte), and Lucius Algis.

He also baptized Syte’s children Christopher Vytas and Tomas Jan, and officiated at Syte and Rolf’s wedding at Anunciation Parish. 
He was a spiritual father to numerous Milukas families and other New York Lithuanian families at the Church of the Annunciation in New York, and was truly a priest after Christ’s own heart.

Firstborn son & Mom (Rūta Strazdis)
Matas Milukas
Vyt’s Grandpa (“Papė”)
Born in Lithuania 1885

In 1906, at the age of 21, Matas emigrated to the US, served as organist in Maspeth and Brooklyn, New York, and did volunteer work several days per week for his brother Fr. Antanas Milukas in Philadelphia, publishing Lithuanian books and newspapers, and teaching religion at his brother’s parish.
After marrying Emilija Dauknys, and having one son, Antanas, they returned to Lithuania in 1920, where the rest of their family was born and raised.
Matas worked in the Bank of Lithuania in Kaunas, and was fluent in over 5 languages.
After fleeing Lithuania on foot during World War II at the age of 59 with most of his adult children, Matas arrived in New York in 1946. He assisted in the writing of his famous brother’s biography, wrote stories of his childhood for his 25 grandchildren, and lived in New York, until his death in 1997. He is buried in St. Charles CMT cemetery.
Albinas Antanas Strazdis was born in 1921 in Brooklyn, New York.
He moved to Lithuania with his parents around age 11, then back to New York alone during World War II.
In New York he met Rūta, married in 1948, and had 3 children– Vyt, Syte and Luke.
He obtained Bachelors and Masters degrees in Civil Engineering at night school, worked for the New York State Department of Transportation as a bridge supervisor, had an office in the World Trade Center towards the end of his career, and was invited to supervise the reconstruction of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York after his retirement.
He retired to Sunny Hills, Florida, with his wife around 1987.
Cousin
This photo was taken soon after Antanas (back row, far right) was reunited with his family in New York ~1963. Antanas had spent years in a Siberian concentration camp, deported there by Soviets during World War II, despite being an American born citizen, who thought he would be safe staying in Lithuania during the war after the rest of his family had fled.
Tėti’s (Albin’s) parents, Marija & Kazimieras Strazdas, were deported to Siberia by the Soviets during World War II, for being “capitalists,” after their one acre farm, one cow and one sewing machine were confiscated. They struggled to survive in Siberia for almost 2 decades, before the Soviets released them to Tėti after they became pensioners. They were reunited with their children in New York around 1964.
An historical link from Radio Free Europe regarding that deportation, thanks to my cousin Phil Skabeikis, who posted the link on facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/rferl/videos/371839610075791/?t=5

One More (Sad) Treasure

One more treasure from my basement is the Sunday bulletin from Madison’s St. Raphael Cathedral, March 13th, 2005, shown below.

This was the last day Masses were celebrated at the Cathedral, before the Cathedral burned down in the early morning hours of March 14th, 2005, due to break-in and arson.

This Thursday, March 14th, 2019, is the fourteenth anniversary of the Madison St. Raphael Cathedral fire.

Download or View Below

Download the Cathedral Bulletin 3-13-05 PDF here, or view by scrolling below.

Note that in his bulletin pastoral letter, Msgr. (now Bishop) Swain provides us with a great examination of conscience for Lent.

Astonishingly Perceptive Wisconsin State Journal Article Portrays Bishop Morlino in 2004

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Treasures in My Basement
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Not being much of a newspaper clipper, nor information hoarder, I was surprised to unearth several treasures in my basement, including notes I took at a Future Society meeting addressed by Bishop Morlino and a Wisconsin State Journal article which introduced Bishop Morlino to Madison almost exactly fifteen years ago, on February 15th, 2004, about six months after his arrival in Madison.

The front page Sunday article was remarkably positive, surprisingly perceptive, and provides one very elegant bookend to Bishop Morlino’s life here with us in Madison for the past 15 years, so I had to share.

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The Wisconsin State Journal article began with several striking headlines:

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MORLINO: CONFRONTING SECULARISM IN MADISON

DIOCESE HAS NEVER HAD A BISHOP LIKE MORLINO

HE WADES INTO CONTROVERSY, BUT HE IS TOLERANT OF THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH HIM.

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Bishop Morlino’s address to the World Future Society was one of his early encounters with secular Madison and was entitled “The Future of Religion.” It was presented at Fluno Hall on the University of Wisconsin Madison campus.  Bishop Morlino pointed out during that address that Democracy maximizes individual freedom and minimizes restraint by the government.  Thus it requires free self-restraint, which makes sense only in a religious framework.  Government ought to favor authentic religion– when self-restraint under God is promoted, the government has less restraining to do.  Religion, therefore, must have a future if democracy is to have a future.
In hindsight now in 2019 with Antifa type disorder rampant, this prediction by Bishop Morlino made 15 years ago (in 2003) comes across particularly inspired.

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Hoping to share the nostalgic Wisconsin State Journal article with fellow Catholics who are mourning our loss of Bishop Morlino on November 24, 2018, I rushed to Wisconsin State Journal archives to find the link to this old article  — only to find that in order to see anything more detailed than the fuzzy 2×2 inch image of the whole front page, readers had to subscribe to the Wisconsin State Journal($19.99/month).

This inspired me to photograph, transcribe, and share excerpts of my newspaper clipping with my family and friends here below, with some occasional commentary.

The Wisconsin State Journal front page Sunday article from February 15, 2004:

MORLINO: CONFRONTING SECULARISM IN MADISON

DIOCESE HAS NEVER HAD A BISHOP LIKE MORLINO

HE WADES INTO CONTROVERSY, BUT HE IS TOLERANT OF THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH HIM.

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By William R. Wineke
Wisconsin State Journal

Six months after becoming spiritual leader of 265,000 Roman Catholics in southern Wisconsin, Robert Morlino is proving to be a bishop far different from any the Madison Catholic Diocese has seen before.

He is at once more self-assured and, paradoxically, more humble than any of his predecessors, more willing to engage in public controversy on behalf of his church and more tolerant of those who disagree, a man who seems at ease with himself, his values and his abilities.

He also begins his leadership of the diocese at a time when trends in the church that have been occurring for years are reaching crisis proportions. His priests are getting older and there are a few replacements in the pipeline. The result is that each pastor serves an increasing number of parishioners each year, parishes are being merged and ongoing scandals in the church at large are testing the faith of Catholics locally.

Perhaps his biggest challenge, however, is confronting what Morlino sees as a pervasive secularism in Madison.

Morlino said his first six months here have convinced him of the necessity for dialogue with the outside culture.

“Madison has to face all the challenges of secularism,“ he said. “I think the challenge in Madison is to enter into dialogue with the culture that is secular. To strengthen people’s faith requires some flexibility and versatility.“

He says he is somewhat surprised by the extent of the secular culture here and by what he perceives as a split between the culture of Madison and of the rest of the 11-county diocese.

“I knew it theoretically before I came here, but I didn’t realize how strong that culture is,” he said.

He does much of his teaching through his column in the diocesan newspaper, The Catholic Herald.

In a recent column dealing with the referendum on expanding gambling at Madison’s DeJope  bingo hall, Morlino put the whole issue into the reference of the cities alleged secularism. He said it is hard to argue against gambling in the city that welcomes abortion and the production of anti-Catholic plays, such as “Corpus Christi,“ a play that portrays Jesus and his disciples as gay. A national organization, America needs Fatima, has organized a protest against its performance, which is scheduled for March 5-27 at the Bartell  Theater.

“The kind of community we are seems to indicate a high comfort level with virtually no public morality,“ he said.

But, he asked, “is that really the kind of community we want to be in the Diocese of Madison and in the state of Wisconsin looking into the future?“

His column reported in the front page story in the Wisconsin State Journal, elicited responses of both support and outrage.

Both the State Journal’s and the Capital Times’ editorial pages criticized Morlino‘s position, and Capital Times columnist (Aside from Syte: calumnist?😂) Doug Moe wrote a piece on the newspaper’s front page taking the Bishop to task. The common thread in the editorial response was that Morlino hasn’t lived here long enough to pass judgment.

Those who argue with him tend to do so from the perspective that in a pluralistic society, secular values of open-mindedness should prevail.

The State Journal’s editorial page, for example, has been barraged with letters supporting and opposing Morlino. Philip Keillor, a Madison activist with a history of working with the poor, noted the city’s hard work in providing shelter for the homeless and suggested “moral minimums in our community seem to be developed on issues when there is enough agreement to ‘make it happen’ and those who remain uninvolved either accept or don’t strongly oppose controversial activities.

And the Rev. E. Ellwood Carey, retired pastor of Parkside Presbyterian Church, suggested there is “nothing in Christian scriptures that reveals Jesus’ sexuality, so a word of caution regarding assumptions is appropriate.“

Many Catholic readers, on the other hand, argue that a Bishop’s letter to the people of his diocese should not be read as an allegation of immorality on the part of non-believers.

Mary Weisensel, Sun Prairie, a Catholic laywoman  long active in church causes, noted that “a closer examination of the bishops column in our diocesan newspaper reveals that he cast no stones, he only sought to help us think through a moral issue. That’s what bishops are supposed to do…”

What the flap demonstrates more than anything is that Morlino does not duck controversy. His recurring theme is that there is an “objective public morality, a moral truth.“

In Thursday’s column, for example, he said “our freedom is accountable to the moral truth and, as I have written so many times, the fact that something is done freely does not make it morally right, that should be obvious.“

He use the column to criticize the Super Bowl performance, in which the singer Janet Jackson’s bodice was ripped off to reveal one of her breasts during the nation’s most watched television event. He also commented on reducing love to its “sensual dimensions,“ adding that the “ongoing effort to assert into the civic life of our country and our culture the right to redefine marriage“ is “certainly not among the inalienable rights conferred upon each human person according to the mind of our nation’s architects from the beginning.“

Morlino, 57, who succeeded Bishop William Bullock last August, is the fourth Bishop to serve the 11-county Madison Catholic Diocese.

He is a native of Pennsylvania, the only child of a Scranton couple. His mother died when he was a teenager.

Morlino was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1974. He holds a bachelors degree in philosophy from Fordham University, a masters degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in moral theology from the Gregorian University in Rome.

He is a large enthusiastic man who appears to enjoy company, love sports and doesn’t like being bound by rigid schedules. He doesn’t talk “down“ to people – which means, also, that he expects people to be able to hold their own when they speak with him.

He had a diocese that was formed in 1946 and was led, successively, by bishops William O’Connor, who served from 1946 to 1967, Cletus O’Donnell, who served from 1967 to 1992 and Bullock, who served until 2003.

If their tenures could be described by a single word – none would wish to be so described — O’Connor was a builder; O’Donnell was a national leader, Bullock was an administrator and Morlino is a teacher.

Audio for many of Bishop Morlino’s homilies is available at the Cathedral Parish Media Archive – click above text for link and search “Morlino.”

He seems perfectly willing to challenge a society he thinks is too secular and seems to have no questions about his ability to do so. However Morlino also insists on respect for those who disagree. He says that, in dialogue with the secular world, he is convinced that “the truth wins out by its own gentle power.“

Morlino writes long pastoral letters each Thursday in the Catholic Herald, on subjects ranging from support for the controversial orders of LaCrosse Bishop Raymond Burke (now Archbishop of St. Louis) on giving Communion to legislators who support abortion, to analysis of the best-selling novel “The DaVinci Code,“ to Marian devotions.

Lorraine Endres of Waunakee, a Catholic laywoman who says she hopes to be considered a good Catholic but who is not known as an activist, says most of what she knows about her new Bishop comes from his pastoral letters.

“I haven’t met him personally, but I think he’s going to be good for the diocese,“ she said. “He’s pro-life and he lets people know it. I read his column in the Herald every week and it’s easy to understand where he’s coming from. He’s down to earth and he lets people know what he thinks.“

Morlino confronted his Priests with a tightly reasoned multi-page letter on changes in Catholic worship having to do with confession and First Communion and, when asked by some priests for a simpler version they could share with their parishioners, he replied that cutting it down to five pages was as far as he could justifiably go.

If Morlino expects his priests to bone up on their theology, however, he has also scored points with those same priests by announcing he won’t even read unsigned letters complaining about them.

“I think he brings a great deal of renewed optimism to the diocese,“ said the Rev. Felix Oehrlein, pastor of Saint Cecilia Catholic Church in Wisconsin Dells. “He’s been very affirming. At our recent gathering of priests, he had a town-hall meeting, sat down with us for a couple of hours and just anyone who had something to say to stand up and say it. He wasn’t defensive about anything.”

At the same time, Morlino has spent comparatively little time on administering the diocese, something Bullock prided himself as doing.

During his first six months as Madison‘s bishop, he travel to other states for days and weeks at a time, sometimes to for fill commitments he made before arriving here, sometimes to take a few days off.

In an interview with the state journal, Morlino said it’s all a matter of emphasizing a bishop’s talents.

“There are bishops who hover with their investment officers and develop financial strategies,“ he said. “No one would be more useless at that than me. There are lay people with far more financial skills than I have and I think we ought to let them use those skills for the good of the church.“

Much of the work of actually administering the diocese has fallen to his vicar general, or second in command, Monsignor Paul Swain (Aside from Syte: now Bishop of  Sioux Falls) who, nevertheless, says Morlino has brought a sense of zest to the office.

Morlino may have best explained his concepts of personal strengths in a talk to diocesan young people recently in Wisconsin Dells.

Comparing life to jigsaw puzzle, Morlino said, “I can’t go anywhere I want. Every piece is fitted to occupy a certain spot. I know I have strengths and weaknesses and if I don’t like my strengths and weaknesses, if I don’t accept them, there is no joy.”

Morlino stunned his staff at the Bishop O’Connor Pastoral Center by giving each person two weeks off over the Christmas season. Those who had to work to keep the facility running were told to take extra vacation time later in the year.

Telling his staff to take more time off also has its pastoral side, Morlino suggested.

“Our culture really does need to slow down,“ he said. “What drives it is the materialism of our age. If you’re never satisfied with what you have, there’s only one way to get more and that is to work longer hours and that has its effect on all sorts of other values.“

As for himself, Morlino confessed, “I know I don’t make my best decisions when I’m overtired.“

Morlino raised some eyebrows locally when, shortly after being installed as Bishop, he joined a group of abortion opponents in a march to an abortion clinic, where he recited the rosary.

People weren’t surprised that he opposes abortion – all Catholic bishops do – but his predecessors hadn’t been involved in public marches.

Perhaps more telling than Morlino‘s participation, however, was his admonition to his fellow marchers to love their opponents.

“When someone is promoting error, that error has to be corrected, of course,“ Morlino said then. “But the person promoting the error never loses that dignity and sacredness of the human person.“

Morlino said that’s just basic Catholic teaching.

He applied the same judgment to politicians who may not conform to church teachings.

“I can’t judge the heart of an individual, but, objectively, those who hold public office and are in public positions have to be challenged, not only for the good of their souls and the state of their own faith,“ he said, adding that if politicians “publicly promote things we can’t abide by, that becomes sinful for them and scandalous for the Catholic community.“

The issue, Morlino continued, isn’t that politicians must take orders from the church, but they must live up to their own vocations.

Morlino’s strong stance on social and moral issues seems to be popular with his fellow Catholics, many of whom are writing to the newspapers in support of him.
Within his church, Morlino has been most controversial in Baraboo, where the pastor of Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, the Reverend Gerald Vosen, was accused of sexual improprieties and was removed from office last September.

The man Vosen is accused of abusing denies the allegations (they were made by the man’s sister), but Morlino and the diocesan body charged with investigating sexual abuse charges have neither confirmed the charges nor returned Vosen to his pulpit. Morlino suggested, obliquely, that other allegations may have been made.

At any rate, Saint Joseph parishioners– and even pastors of Protestant congregations in Baraboo – have protested and marched against what they perceive to be Morlino’s inaction.

Morlino scoffs at the one-word descriptions of Bishop’s records cited above.

“I don’t think of myself as coming to leave a mark,“ he said. “I think the bishop should do what the church wants him to do and that is to try to create an environment in which every person, every day, is invited to meet Christ, risen from the dead, in a gentle and kind the way.“ He added: “I am not the Messiah and things may go awry. But, the gifts I have, I will use. If it turns out later that I have left a mark so be it.“

“I am not the Messiah and things may go awry. But, the gifts I have, I will use. If it turns out later that I have left a mark so be it.“ – Bishop Morlino

Bishop Morlino has certainly made a very positive and very remarkable mark in Madison, and his mark includes:

40 new priests
30 seminarians
Perpetual Adoration Chapel in Madison (well know by Faithful Catholics to generate priestly vocations)
New St. Paul’s Campus Catholic Center at UW Madison (preserving the faith of our youth and generating numerous vocations)
Opening discussion of relativism and the importance of moral truth
Courageous defense of life and marriage
Opposition to embryonic stem cell research
Clarification of Church teaching on controversial issues like immigration
Willingness to take strong stands on protecting victims of clerical sexual abuse, both in his own Diocese, and all the way up to supporting Archbishop Vigano’s calls for Papal transparency.

For more of Bishop Morlino’s accomplishments, see Bishop Morlino was Truly a Churchman of His Time 

See also:

Madison Catholic Herald on Bishop Morlino

Madison’s Bishop Celebrates 15 Years!

Rest in Peace, Bishop Morlino

Madison’s Brilliant Bishop

What on Earth is Going on with the Catholic Church? or The Flip Side of Mercy

SOTU Dems

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SOTU Dems

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday!

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A Very Different Christmas

Christmas will be very different this year in Madison, with the loss of our very beloved Bishop Morlino on November 24, 2018 , and the emptiness left in our hearts by the departure of our courageous Shepherd and Father.

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Bishop is Enjoying Christmas!

But we rise above the sorrow and the sense of loss with the knowledge that our beloved Bishop, where he now is, is enjoying the love and beauty he taught us about, and is actually in a position to help us all more, both collectively as a Diocese, and individually as members of his flock.

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“Apostle of Purgatory”

And yes,  Bishop Morlino, who has been called by some the “Apostle of Purgatory,” might be the first to correct me and to check his “canonization” on which I have just embarked.  But please allow this member of the Bishop’s  flock to point out that he is sure to be treated with the same love, gentleness and mercy by God that he exhibited himself to all of us while he was here.
Just in case, to cover our bases, we will keep our beloved Bishop in our prayers, but I, for one, believe that our very good and courageous Bishop is already in a very good position to watch over us and intercede for us, close to Christ and His Blessed Mother, whom our Bishop so loved.
May Bishop Morlino be enjoying right now that vision that does not disappoint.

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“Ave Maria” in Honor of Bishop Morlino

In honor of Bishop Morlino, because we miss him this Christmas, and in honor of the Bishop’s birthday (December 31st) on the eve of the feast of Mary, Mother of God, here is a free gift for all to download — Ave Maria played on the guitar by my husband Rolf:

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AVE MARIA mp3,  played by Rolf Reitz:

(right click to “save as”)

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We love you, Bishop, Morlino!

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Rolf, Syte, Tracey and Tom Reitz with Bishop Morlino

Happy Birthday, Bishop Morlino!

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Remembering  Bishop Morlino:

Bishop Morlino Was Truly a Churchman of His Time 

Madison Catholic Herald on Bishop Morlino

Madison’s Bishop Celebrates 15 Years!

Rest in Peace, Bishop Morlino

Madison’s Brilliant Bishop

What on Earth is Going on with the Catholic Church? or The Flip Side of Mercy

 What on Earth is Going on with the Catholic Church?

or

 

The Flip Side of Mercy

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Scandals and Sinners are Not New

Scandals and sinners in the Catholic Church are not new.
Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus Christ was a pretty big deal, and he was chosen personally by Jesus Christ to be among the first 12 Bishops of His Church.
So it is not surprising that members of the Church hierarchy can commit sins.
Nobody denies that.
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The Current Pedophilia and Coverup Scandals

Recent news headlines in 2018 show that there continue to be horrific evil sins and crimes being committed by some clergy in the Catholic Church.
Enemies of the Catholic Church, who resent the Church’s moral authority, who do not want to follow Judeo-Christian commandments, and who have been attacking the Church for 2000 years, are very quick to point out sins committed by members of the Church.
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And the mud really sticks.
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The National Review correctly points out that such depraved sacrilegious acts by even ONE priest damage the moral authority and credibility of the Catholic Church:

“This is why, when sex scandals within the Church come to light, observations that the “vast majority” of clergy did nothing wrong strike many as unmoving. If, as Catholics maintain, the Church’s hierarchy derives its legitimacy from a transmission of spiritual authority passed down from the Apostles, then even isolated instances of malfeasance within that hierarchy can shake people’s faith in this claim.”

This is also why so many good Catholic Clergy, including Archbishop Vigano and Madison’s Bishop Morlino,  are calling for complete transparency and accountability throughout the Church, all the way up to our Pope.

Being Balanced and Fair to the Catholic Clergy

Those of us Catholics who love our Church do not enjoy watching the vast innocent remainder of our beloved  holy priests demonized and attacked publicly by hate-filled progressive media.  The media misrepresent our Catholic clergy in most unfair terms.

We realize that saying “but your Honor, the other guy over there committed many more crimes than I did” is never a good defense.

But we also realize that truth is valuable, honor must be defended, and institutions and principles stand, even when some officials betray them.
The Presidency of the the United States was not abandoned when one man got caught desecrating the Oval Office with his sexual sins and depravity.
And all the members of one race are not condemned when one member of that race commits a crime.
Bigotry and prejudice are bigotry and prejudice, even when they are directed at the Catholic clergy, as opposed to a (temporarily) more politically popular group.

In that spirit, we digress to put the magnitude of the problem into perspective, before we continue to discuss the latest Catholic Church sex abuse problem, it’s shocking implications, and possible solutions.

Magnitude of the Catholic Church Problem

Regarding the current pedophilia accusations, because of the progressive media’s dislike for the conservative Catholic Church, few people find out that Catholic priests are actually the least probable to abuse children, less probable to abuse than any other group of people in the world.   Celibacy has also been shown to be irrelevant — pedophilia occurs most commonly among married men who are not in the clergy.   Sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests is less probable than by other men, 100 times less probable than teachers at school, and at least twenty times less probable than the child’s own parents.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), our nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, reports that of the annual 63,000 sexual abuse cases substantiated by Child Protective Services, the perpetrator was most often the parent (80%).  Other relatives were responsible for 6%, 4% were unmarried partners of a parent, and 5% were “other,” (from siblings to strangers, and this category would include all clergy religious of all denominations).

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Since the first major reports starting in 1985, the church has actually studied, analyzed, worked on, and dramatically reduced the incidence of these problems (see John Jay Report Figure 1.1).  The John Jay Report is well worth reading for anybody who is interested in the scandals.
The findings of the John Jay report are Facts are backed up by independent sources like Psychology Today, Newsweek, National Review and insurance companies who calculate risk (and charge litigation insurance premiums accordingly) for religious and other institutions.  Catholic institutions are not charged any larger insurance premiums than any other group.
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Despite the dramatic reduction in Church scandals shown in the above graph, and despite the fact that the above graph represents only a very small fraction of the total sexual abuse of children in the United States, those in the media who resent the traditional Judeo-Christian teachings which the Catholic Church has maintained for 2000 years, continue to dredge up and attack the church for crimes and sins which occurred between 1950 and 2000.

Magnitude of Our Whole Society’s Problem

The message we should take from the above statistics is not that abuse in the Catholic Church is not too bad, but that there is a SHOCKING level of sexual abuse of children throughout all of our society, including abuse by teachers, and ABUSE BY PARENTS, that has been off the radar all this time.  Most of us don’t know about it, and the media has not told us. The numbers are sometimes sketchy and can vary from study to study, but the general picture that emerges is very worrisome and shocking.  The National Center for Victims of Crime tells us that 28% of US kids are sexually victimized during their formative years.

Yes, 28% of US kids are sexually victimized during their formative years.

Back to the Catholic Church

Despite the fact that the Catholic clergy actually have the lowest frequency of child abuse of any group on earth, despite the fact that Catholic Church abuse has now been dramatically reduced, and despite the fact that the Catholic Church has formulated model abuse prevention programs whose implementation should be considered by all other institutions in our society,  the Catholic Church is still making headlines recently regarding sex abuse scandals.

And this time, we cannot just blame the media, which likes to pick on the Catholic Church.
Most recently, some new facts have emerged which challenge even the most faithful members of the Catholic Church.

The Unexpected and Shocking Developments

The new facts to surface regarding the old Catholic Church scandals do not involve frequency of incidence, which seems to have been dramatically reduced, but they involve two aspects of the old coverups which cannot be ignored:

  • The Church is now being accused of coverup, as high up as Pope Francis.

  • The detailed nature of the sexual abuse has been identified — and it is almost exclusively homosexual.

The picture now emerging is one not of pedophilia, but of homosexual abuse of older male children and seminarians by homosexual priests.
These developments create a clash of values in our modern culture that will have no easy resolution.

Clash of Values
First, the Events of Summer 2018

Pope Francis greets Archbishop McCarrick

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Three major new events have brought us to this point of scandal in the Catholic Church this summer.

  • Cardinal McCarrick, one of Pope Francis’ closest advisors, resigned from the College of Cardinals following allegations of sexual abuse of a teenage boy 40 years ago in New York City, as well as sexual misconduct with seminarians over an extended more recent period of time.
  • Separately, a Pennsylvania Grand Jury issued a report summarizing that from 1950 to 2000, 300 priests in Pennsylvania sexually abused over 1,000 children. 90% of the abuse reported by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury was of older male children by homosexual priests.
  • Then, Archbishop Vigano, former apostolic nuncio to the United States, issued an 11 page letter implicating Pope Francis and several senior prelates in covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuse of a youth and of seminarians. He claimed that Pope Francis knew about strict canonical sanctions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009 but chose to repeal them. He accused Pope Francis of not only ignoring Pope Benedict’s sanctions, but also of promoting Cardinal McCarrick to be the Pope’s trusted counselor.  Archbishop Vigano claimed that he personally spoke with Pope Francis about the gravity of McCarrick’s abuses soon after the Pope’s election in 2013.  These allegations have not yet been verified.

Pope Francis, caught by Archbishop Vigano’s accusations during his trip to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families, told media that he is “not going to say a word” about the McCarrick coverup accusations from Archbishop Vigano.

Two weeks later, the Pope’s advisors have stated that the Holy See is preparing an answer to the current debates, presumably referring to Archbishop Vigano’s accusations.
On September 11, the Council of Cardinals expressed full solidarity with the Pope’s handling of the abuse crisis.  No timeline yet on the promised clarification.
On September 12, Pope Francis called the world’s Bishops to a meeting on sexual abuse of children to occur in February 2019.
On September 13, some US Bishop leaders are meeting with Pope Francis to discuss the McCarrick abuses. Pope Francis is receiving Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. conference of Bishops, along with Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, the Vice President; Monsignor Brian Bransfield, the conference’s secretary; and Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Is the Catholic Church Abuse Homosexual in Nature?

There is now much debate on whether the abuse occurring in the Catholic Church is homosexual in nature.
And there are many claims on both sides.
This blogger believes that the statistics speak for themselves, but below is some of the evidence pro and con.

The vast majority of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, 80% of past abuse in the Catholic Church and 90% of the abuse reported by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury, has been of older male children by homosexual priests.

Although the majority of abuses involve older youth, our society is more shocked by cases involving young children.   This issue is complicated by the fact that in the past the term “pedophilia” was used broadly and included activity with teenagers.
For example, sexual activity with 16 year old children is not actually categorized as pedophilia, but as ephebophilia — which is not categorized as a mental disorder, nor is it illegal in many places such as Washington D.C., where the age of consent for sexual activity is 16.  

 

This information, the fact that the bulk of what has been called child sex abuse in the Church turns out to be homosexual ephebophilia, has implications both on possible solutions to the Church’s “pedophilia” problems, and on the clear fact that there are, albeit against Church regulations, homosexual priests in the Catholic Church.
Not only are there homosexual priests, a fact which was not unknown, but those homosexual priests seem to have an elevated tendency to engage in sexual activity, and to engage in sexual activity with youth.

An NIH (National Institutes of Health) NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) PubMed.gov Resources J. Sex Marital Therapy article finds that the “proportion of true pedophiles among persons with a homosexual erotic development is greater than that in persons who develop heterosexually.”

Santa Cruz University psychologist Dr. Thomas Plante’s argues that homosexuality is NOT associated with pedophilia.  Dr. Plante says that clerical offenders tend to be “generalists” who do not necessarily prefer boys, but who turn to boys because they have trust with and access to boys, which they do not have with girls.  Arguments such as this one are not intuitive to most of us, particularly given the statistics and the observations made by people who live in proximity to the gay culture, like the author of Madison’s Capital Times guest column, Can Madison tolerate Catholics?   Dr.Plante does acknowledge that most abusive priests are not pedophiles, since pedophiles are attracted to young, prepubescent children, generally under the age of 11. He does not discuss specifically whether homosexuals could be inclined toward ephebophilia.

Catholic Bishops, who have been studying and trying to solve the problem since 1985, also know something about this issue. Numerous Bishops have labeled this a homosexual problem in the priesthood, including Pope Benedict’s number two man Cardinal BertoneCardinal Burke, Swiss Bishop Eleganti, and Bishop Morlino of Madison, among others.  It has always been Catholic Church policy not to ordain men with deep seated homosexual tendencies.  

Explosive Implications

This association between homosexuality in the priesthood and forbidden sexual activity with teenagers (previously labeled pedophilia, but more correctly called ephebophilia) is the explosive information the Church has been faced with since the publication of the John Jay report around 2010.  This is information that, in the present global gay rights and gay marriage atmosphere, is not something anybody knows how to present to the world.   The political incorrectness of this information, and the potential for backlash following its acknowledgment, does not need much elaboration.

If these two issues are actually linked, that is, if homosexual priests are more inclined towards pedophilia (or, more accurately, ephobophilia, attraction to post-pubescent young men) than are heterosexual priests, then the solution to the pedophilia problem would have to involve a renewed effort to exclude homosexuals from the priesthood, and involve better enforcement of Church policy not to ordain homosexual men.

Nobody needs this blogger to tell them how politically unpopular trying to eliminate any homosexual sub-culture from the Church would be today in 2018.  Since that action is needed to eliminate the 80-90% of  sexual activity which is frequently called “pedophilia,” but which is actually ephebophilia, we need clergy of great courage to speak the truth and to name the problem.

Our Bishop Does Not Disappoint

True to his previous courageous leadership of the Diocese of Madison, our Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin, Robert C. Morlino, was among the first to name this problem and to call for it’s investigation after ex-Nuncio Vigaro sacrificially laid his head on the block and started the process of forced accountability all the way up to our Pope.

Bishop Morlino’s efforts to protect children and seminarians made the national news, and elicited a number of not surprising, naive and misinformed accusations from  liberal Madison’s press, including denial of the facts from Madison’s ex-Mayor- turned-journalist at progressive rag Isthmus Dave Cieslewicz, and a call for apology to the LGBTQ community published in Madison’s Capital Times.

Surprisingly, there was also a thought-provoking and supportive guest column entitiled Can Madison tolerate Catholics? in the Capital Times by non-Christian, non-Catholic Arabist-Islamologist scholar Kevin Barrett, which pointed out his first hand experience observing the association of homosexuality and ephebophilia in California.

Our Bishop Morlino, who has suffered enough at the hands of Madison’s LGBT activists, has yet again very courageously stepped up to defend Truth and to show us the way.

What’s a Liberal to Do?

Liberal Catholics, and our liberal Pope, who are inclined to relax Catholic rules on divorce and remarriage, are faced with a serious inconsistency.

If indeed, homosexuality is linked with ephebophilia, as all the Catholic abuse statistics indicate (science is real) then supporting homosexuals in the priesthood becomes incompatible with elimination of 80-90% of the sexual activity which has been called “pedophilia” in the Church today.

If the Pope was trying to show tolerance, mercy and compassion to the “Lavender Mafia” (gay priests who defy Church teaching on homosexual activity), that has now become unintentionally synonymous with coverup of the old child abuse scandals.

Now liberals in the Church who want to “modernize” the Church have come up against a wall — do you support the homosexual agenda with mercy and compassion, or do you side compassionately with justice for the victims of sexual abuse.

The Flip Side of Mercy

And so we now face the fact that there is a balance between mercy and justice, between compassion for the sinner and compassion for the victim, and there are times when we cannot be on both sides of the fence.

Despite our poor human lack of understanding of why justice must be enforced and sins must be atoned for, that balance does exist, and is as sure as the laws of physics and gravity.

As Catholics, both Catholics in the pews and clergy, many of us have trapped ourselves unwittingly, as we tried so hard to accommodate the cultural values around us, and to understand and excuse the behavior the sexual revolution of the 1960’s has spawned. We have tried to normalize, accept, and sometimes even welcome the homosexual culture into the Catholic Church.  This has been a source of much conflict within the Catholic Church.

Now it turns out that welcoming and tolerating homosexuality, particularly into the priesthhod, brings with it some painful baggage that none of us ever expected– heart-rending injury to our youth.

We cannot rage for justice from our leadership, condemning them for coverups, while we are also the ones who raged for normalization of homosexuality.  Liberal Catholics are now caught between a rock and a hard place.  They cannot be on both sides of the fence.  There is often an unrealized cost to mercy, a cost that nobody knew would have to be paid.

Mercy only allows us to offer ourselves as compensation for wrongs which have been done.  We cannot submit other people to suffering, especially children, in the name of mercy. 

In the most recent scandal, Pope Francis is trapped between his open and welcoming attitude towards gay priests like McCarrick, and the shocking realization that these homosexual priests, often referred to as the “lavender mafia”, live a culture often associated with promiscuity, ephebophilia, and cover up.

The pope and the Church are damned by our society if they don’t welcome and condone homosexual behavior, and they are damned in more ways than one if they do.
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Where Do We Go From Here?

Now that this link between homosexual priests and promiscuous homosexual activity has been established (science is real!), everyone in the church, from each one of us, to our clergy, to our bishops, all the way to the pope, is being forced to choose between the victim and the perpetrator, between justice and mercy, between abused teenage boys and homosexual priests.

So, we better stop pointing fingers, blaming and demanding, and we better remind ourselves that our clergy is 16 times less likely to abuse children than all of the rest of us.  We better start putting our heads together to search for what will likely be uncomfortable and painful solutions. These solutions that will probably involve going back to the age-old church policy, which excludes homosexuals from ordination to the priesthood. Much as we recognize the value of all human beings, we must also recognize that not all of us are suited for every occupation on earth.

American progressives, who include some American Catholics, have pressured the Church to remove any stigma from homosexuality, and even to approve gay marriage.  But when homosexuality becomes associated with sexual abuse of teenagers, or with an increased predilection towards pedophilia, how can we simultaneously pressure the Church to welcome homosexuals, yet eliminate ephebophilia at the same time?

Most people are afraid of even voicing these questions, lest their local ANTIFA throws bricks through their living room windows.
And our Pope, who seems to want to be a nice guy to everyone, is trapped by this dilemma, too.
It takes tremendous courage to step into the middle of this controversy, to take sides with abused children rather than with the hurt feelings of homosexuals, to seek investigation and documentation of the truth, regardless of what unpopular results we might face.

The Most Difficult Question

The last logical, yet very difficult and politically incorrect question to be asked will be the following– if indeed it is demonstrated that the homosexual subculture in the Church is associated with sexual abuse of teenagers, how does this apply to every other institution in our society where adults are in authority over teenagers — the schools, the scouts, sports coaches, and adoption institutions?

The Bigger Picture

One thing so often forgotten in all of these discussions is the bigger picture of sexual sin.
It is always easier to point fingers at another group than to acknowledge our own group’s sins.

Our society demands a certain degree of self restraint in a number of areas.  These include eating, studying, working, refraining from stealing, refraining from “hate speech,” and many more.
Yet our modern society has pretty much abandoned the notion of sexual self restraint.

We are quite capable of such restraint.   In fact, it would really improve our lives and would eliminate much misery, from the pain of divorce, to broken hearts, to STDs, to the culture of abortion, which kills about 1 million children every year in the United States. It would also reduce the shocking 28% of youth being sexually abused today.

When we as a society accept the degree of promiscuity that we now tolerate, how can we blame homosexuals for their lack of self-restraint?
If we followed (Judeo-Christian) Catholic teaching on the responsible use of our sexuality, and we educated and modeled modesty and sexual self control to our youth instead of using Planned Parenthood pamphlets to teach middle schoolers to be “Happy, Healthy and Hot,” the general atmosphere of civilized sexual behavior would reduce all scandals, which surfaced following the 1960’s “sexual revolution.”

Pope Paul VI predicted the misery the sexual revolution would lead to in his 1968 encyclical Humane Vitae (On Human Life).  It’s only 15 pages long.  Read it.

No Witch Hunt, Please!

Homosexuals are not the only ones who need to exercise some self-restraint.
We all do.
We need to remove the log from our own eyes before we criticize the splinter in theirs.

We cannot go after homosexuals in a witch hunt, nor after Catholic priests in a witch hunt.

We should develop a bit more respect for the Catholic Church and her moral teachings, and return to Judeo-Christian values instead.

Next Time You See a Catholic Priest

Next time you see a Catholic priest, say to yourself-
“My children are over 20 times safer with him than they are with me and my spouse.  Maybe I should be grateful to him for devoting his life to preserving the Wisdom passed down to us from Jesus Christ through the Catholic Church.”

Instead of bigoted attacks on the least offenders, remind yourself that anywhere you leave your child– school, daycare, sports, scouts, Olympics — there is always potential for sexual abuse.  MORE potential than in the Catholic Church.

 

The Numbers- Abusers on the Loose

Instead of worrying about the 300 priests in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report (half of whom are dead), worry about the 21,219 registered sex offenders running around free in Pennsylvania today.

There are 747,408 registered sex offenders in the US today, and 747 registered sex offenders in my town of Madison, Wisconsin .

We cannot evaporate these people, we cannot keep them in jail for life, we cannot transport them to a fictional location like on Star Trek, and we have to deal with the existence of these people among us.

The Catholic Church is no different than the City of Madison, the State of Pennsylvania, or the United States.
Moreover, the Catholic Church does not operate any prisons, has no police force, Department of Justice, FBI, army, or any other mechanism to deal with offending priests other than reprimanding them or demoting them.

If we don’t attack the Mayor of Madison, the Governor of Pennsylvania, or the President of the United States for the 28% of our youth who are sexually abused, why is everyone so obsessed with going after the Catholic leadership?
The Church MUST be open and transparent, must prevent future abuse.
But the rest of society has to do the same, because this is a problem that requires action.

 

Most Important of All

Whatever you do, PRAY, and do NOT teach  your child to be “Happy, Healthy and Hot”nor allow the schools to do it.

In the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, join us in fasting and prayer called for by Bishop Morlino:

Masses of reparation are being held throughout the Diocese on September 14, the Feast of the Holy Cross. Bishop Morlino has also invited people to observe the Autumn Ember Days (September 19, 21, 22) “as days of fasting and abstinence in reparation for the sins and outrages committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy.

CLICK HERE for Madison’s Catholic Herald Report on the Mass of Reparation for Sexual Sins

 

 

 

 

Madison’s Bishop Morlino Celebrates 15 Years!

Congratulations, Love and Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! to Bishop Morlino–

–who was installed as Bishop of Madison 15 years ago today, on August 1, 2003.

Madison Catholics are overwhelmed with the blessings this Bishop has brought to our Diocese, and we return with gratitude the love this Bishop so obviously has shown for all of us.

The Madison Catholic Herald has done a wonderful job of summarizing Bishop Morlino’s contributions to our Diocese at:

Bishop Morlino has continued to                                     “badger them lovingly with the truth.”

Bishop Morlino has loved us, taught us, and led us now for 15 years.
He probably has no idea how much he has done for all of us, both as a Diocese, and as individual Catholics, parents, and children!
He has the perfect touch, balancing truth with love while he teaches and shepherds.

May God bless Bishop Morlino very richly both now and forever!
Pray for Bishop daily, as he continues shepherding our Diocese – Rosary for the Bishop.org

 

Some articles this blogger has written in gratitude and support of Bishop Morlino over the years:

Liberal Madison has gone WAY too far…….. – August 1, 2010

Freeedom From Religion… – January 12, 2011

Madison’s Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally – March 23, 2011

Holy Wisdom Monastery – February 28, 2012

“President” Cyrus; No Leader In the World is Powerful Enough to Thwart God’s Purposes or Bishop Morlino: Difficult Week? Rejoice! – March 19, 2012

Bishop Morlino’s Homily- Laetare Sunday 2012 – March 19, 2012

Madison’s Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally – March 24, 2012

Wisconsin State Journal Inflames Parish Conflict with Imbalanced Reporting – April 30, 2012

Gay Marriage and Homosexuality – May 11, 2012

What Happens When You Take Character Out of Politics or The National Disease or Understanding the Role of Religion in Government – June 19, 2012

Americans Pray for Freedom Across the Nation or Fortnight For Freedom or Come and Join Us! – June 20, 2012

Madison, Wisconsin’s Fortnight for Freedom Begins – June 22, 2012

What’s in a Mandate? – June 23, 2012

Auspicious! Awesome. Amazing. ObamaCare Has Been Approved By the Supreme Court. or What, Are You Crazy, Syte? – June 28, 2012

What Do a Madison LGBT Leader and a Madison Cathlolic Blogger Have in Common? or My Conversatiion With the Blue Bird – July 1, 2012

Music and the Mass or Good to Be Back from Vacation! – August 2, 2012

Heckling the Rosary or Renaming the Wisconsin State Journal – September 20, 2012

Catholic Belief Now Defined by Media and Sociologists? – October 28, 2012

Bishops Who Deserve the Purple Heart – November 2, 2012

Madison’s Citizen Dave: Failed Mayor, Now Fails Catholicism – December 13, 2012

Madison’s Media Continues to Diss the Catholic Church- Just in Time for Christmas – December 15, 2012

Instilling Virtue in Future World Leaders… – March 16, 2013

Today’s Catholic Nuns: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly – March 27, 3013

Global Adoration- Say What? – June 7, 2013

Enjoying the Progress? Join the Prayer – June 18, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal Reports on Bishop Morlino’s Ten Year Anniversary in Madison – July 25, 2013

Grading Wisconsin State Journal Report on Bishop Morlino’s 10 Year Anniversary in Madison – July 30, 2013

Wisconsin State Journal Flunks Journalism Again! or What’s Wrong With Gay Marriage? – August 8, 2013

Pope Francis Takes On Obama – September 6, 2013

Diocese of Madison Prohibits Field Trips to Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery – or – Progressive Guide to Attacking Catholics – September 7, 2013

Abortion and Homosexuality- So What Did the Pope Actually Say? or When Two Jesuits Talk – October 4, 2013

Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal Are Up to Their Old Tricks or Catholic Bashing in Wisconsin – February 6, 2014

The Holy Season of Lent: Time for Bashing Catholics in Madison, Wisconsin or The Wisconsin State Journal Defiles Itself Again – March 22, 2014

Should a Young Man Go for the Priesthood? – April 11, 2014

Praying the Rosary- As Pertinent Today As Ever – May 13, 2014

Gay Marriage: Activist Judge Logic Versus Monsignor Logic – July 17, 2014

Setting The Record Straight – August 27, 2014

rogresive Media Pontificates on Right to Free Speech While Trampling It – November 26, 2014

Platteville Journal Editor Dismayed at Being Lumped with Liberal Media – December 2, 2014

Madison’s Brilliant Bishop – June 6, 2018

 

Madison’s Brilliant Bishop

 

So why am I bragging about Madison’s Brilliant Bishop?

To curry favor with the head of the Diocese?
To become popular in Madison, Wisconsin?
To encourage DoS attacks on my website?

No.

I do love our Bishop Robert C. Morlino (a sentiment widespread among Madison’s Catholics).
And he has done many things during the last 2 decades that so many of us admire.
I have been listening to his homilies now for years.

But he has now encapsulated Catholic teaching in one very spectacular address to young people which brilliantly summarizes the challenges we face in our modern culture, and suggests how we should face them.

In his address to the graduating students of Thomas Aquinas College,  he identifies what is so wrong with our culture, explains why Truth is so important, and demonstrates how Catholic teaching equips us with all the answers we need in confronting today’s cultural challenges.

Anyone who treasures Judeo-Christian values, anyone who is puzzled by them, and anyone who struggles to explain these values to their young people will love what the Bishop has to say.

You are in for a treat if you read his Commencement address:

Link to Bishop Morlino’s address at the Madison Catholic Herald

Full text of Bishop Morlino’s Commencement Address:

Commencement Address

Thomas Aquinas College 2018
Bishop Robert C. Morlino

May 12, 2018

A pre-note: My first trip here, I had the opportunity to audit three classes. They were all wonderful. I’ve had 17 years of formal education but in a very brief time, the space of one class, one of the tutors here made the strongest first impression on me than any other teacher that I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some great ones. And of course, I’m talking about dear Molly Gustin. In college I majored in philosophy and English and minored in math. If I had known her, I would have majored in math. I have never seen anything like it. And we hit it off immediately. I even asked her if I could call her “granny.” And she acceded but she had a look on her face as though, “You want to run around the block? I think I know who will win.” But the depth of integrity of dear Mrs. Gustin and the breadth of knowledge, especially about music and mathematics, able to be shared in the space of one class that I audited…I’ll never forget it and clearly I’ve never forgotten her. And I mention her especially because I gather in these days we remember the seventh anniversary of her passing to the Lord. And I did offer Mass for her yesterday. And so I hope as we gather today that she feels all of our love and prayers.

Dear Dr. McLean, Mrs. McLean, dear tutors, staff, students, families, and friends. It is truly an honor to be here with you today. And to you, my dear graduates, congratulations! What a beautiful occasion this is, as we think about how the beauty of God is reflected in the apostolate of TAC and as we think of how the beauty of God is reflected in each one of your lives. And on top of all of that, we find ourselves in a beautiful setting today, where, in this moment, it does not rain.

  1. On Truth

Most college campuses these days are places of chaos and political correctness and those two feed each other. But look at us here! Instead of chaos, there is order. And instead of political correctness, there is truth and charity.

The prologue of St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa contra gentiles is a commentary on Proverbs 8:7, as you know well: “My mouth shall meditate truth, and my lips shall hate wickedness.” This text speaks of truth and charity, for hatred of wickedness belongs to charity. Now we live in the world of “nice” and sometimes in the Church of “nice.” And yet, we all have within ourselves a certain aggressive energy that spells itself out sometimes in hatred. St. Thomas has the key to channeling that hatred: Hate wickedness and make no bones about it. Because that aggressive energy that we all have is best employed hating wickedness. And I know you know I mean hating wickedness, not the wicked person. There’s too little show of hatred for wickedness in our world. As a matter of fact, as I’ve said previously, your peers in this generation and so many others, are running toward hell with much more enthusiasm and strength than so many mediocre people are running toward heaven. And that’s the problem.

And Aquinas begins his commentary, in the very first lines of the Summa contra gentiles, by quoting the sayings of the Philosopher (Aristotle), “It belongs to the wise man to order things.” And Wisdom orders all things in truth and charity. A college campus disordered by political correctness is a place of chaos. A college campus rightly ordered by truth and charity is a place where wisdom can be sought and cultivated.

I really hope you will always look back on your time here with the deepest gratitude. It is a rare gift to live as you have done in such a rich spiritual and intellectual culture – a truly Catholic culture. Of course, the wider culture in which we live is not a Catholic culture. (And I suspect that you’ve noticed that.)

In your studies here, you have learned how to think; how to reason; how to express your thoughts clearly. You’ve striven for that Eloquentia Perfecta, which St. Ignatius Loyola considered such a high ideal, with zeal for the truth and charity for your opponent. You have prayed with St. Thomas, that God would grant you “a keen understanding, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, insight in interpretation, and eloquence in speech” (from the Oratio ante studium). Especially as I listen to the various talks given and the enjoyable informal conversations, I trust that God has granted that prayer for each one of you.

These are rare gifts in our time. We live in the age of the eclipse of reason. Quid est veritas? “What is Truth?” (Jn 18:38). That was Pontius Pilate’s question. Ego sum veritas. “I am the truth” (Jn 14:6). That is the answer. Jesus Christ is the Word, the Logos, made flesh, full of grace and truth (Jn 1:14). He is wisdom incarnate (1 Cor 1:24). He is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6). “For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who belongs to the truth hears my voice” (Jn 18:37).

What is truth? To quote Thomas Aquinas again, truth lies in the conformity between the mind and reality. If I say to you, “It’s raining outside,” (how great that it isn’t!) how do you know whether what I said is true? You look out the window and you see whether what I said agrees with what is in fact the case. Aristotle defined truth in a marvelously clear way, using words of only one syllable each: “Truth is to say of what is, that it is, and to say of what is not, that it is not” (Metaphysics, ch. 7). That’s what truth is. And believe it or not that offends people. How does our culture describe truth? Truth is the opposite of whatever President Trump says or does. It’s the politicization of the truth. And goodness and beauty have also been politicized. Just about the most offensive thing you can say now is that men are men and women are women. Who would ever think that that’s controversial? If you’re a man, then be a man. Be a great man. If you’re a woman, then be a woman. Be a great woman. That’s speaking truth. And that’s what our world does not want to hear. And so now we don’t know what marriage is and we’re not even sure what it means to be a male or a female. People are even trying to come up with proper names to give gender-neutral children. The one I read was SIGH. Not C-Y, but S-I-G-H. So I guess we’re supposed to say, “Come on over here little [*sigh*].

So a part of your mission is to make the voice of reason heard in our culture. You have been equipped with an outstanding education. And that is a gift you have received and that you must also share with others. You must shine the light of reason on the darkness of our world, and that often means you have to be politically incorrect.

  1. On Humanae vitae

And so now let’s be politically incorrect, like St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of political incorrectness: let’s celebrate the 50th anniversary of Humanae vitae; something we should do at such a wonderful institution.

  1. a) What does Humanae vitae tell us? Of course we know that it absolutely condemns artificial methods of birth control: abortion, sterilization, and contraception. But why? Because there is an inseparable link between the procreative and unitive dimensions of human sexuality. That sacred space of sexual union between husband and wife was created by God for His own purpose. And the main purpose of that sexual union is the generation of new life. That’s at the heart of God’s plan for human sexuality: The generation of new life. It’s hardly surprising that almighty God should be interested in those activities through which He brings new life into the world. How would He not be interested in that? People say that the Church should stay out of the bedroom. No. Our culture shouldn’t be focused on the lowest instinctual aspect of the bedroom. God’s plan is to bring to life the highest possibility of sexual union.

And this is not just about biological re-production. It’s about pro-creation, which is a cooperation with God’s own act of creation, where He creates a new human being, a unique and unrepeatable human person with an immortal soul and an eternal destiny. Contraception excludes this procreative dimension of sexual union and by doing that, it exiles God from the very space which He designed for Himself to be the place where He would create new human life, new human beings called to loving union with Him. That’s why contraception is a sin. It debases something beautiful, like graffiti on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

When God drew up His original plan for marriage, He painted himself into the picture (like Raphael painted himself into his painting of the School of Athens). The sexual union between husband and wife is the sacred space where God Himself dwells, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. There doesn’t exist a more beautiful picture of marriage than that. It was painted by God Himself.

But what has our culture done with that picture of marriage? Well, as Leon Kass tells us in his work, Leading a Worthy Life: Finding Meaning in Modern Times, our culture sees sexual union as having two side effects. One side effect is children. And the other side effect is disease. And those can both be avoided. Well, if those are side effects, what does our culture say that sexual union is all about? Of course it’s about pleasure. And of course if sexual union is about pleasure, then there can be no lasting marriage. Because what is there, in that goal of pleasure, that’s worth pledging one’s life for? As a matter of fact, most people find out that if one pledges one’s life for pleasure with a single other person, then one is denying oneself all sorts of other options. Our culture has made it all about pleasure, and so there is no marriage. And so it doesn’t matter what it means to be a male or what it means to be a female.

That is a debased picture of the beauty of God’s plan, where the Holy Trinity inhabits the sacred space of sexual union and there sometimes chooses to bring forth new life.

  1. b) Now what else can we say about God’s plan for marriage, God’s plan for sexual union? We can say that in God’s plan sexual union is all about the next generation: providing and caring for the next generation in light of death. It’s not just about pleasure. It’s about providing and caring for the next generation in light of the fact that we will die. Parents know they can’t live forever, but they can hand on a living legacy in this world. We have an innate longing for immortality. And that longing is ultimately satisfied only through eternal life with God in heaven. But there is also a natural desire to leave something of ourselves in this world in which we can’t remain forever. And that kind of love which the Greeks called eros contains in it something of this striving for immortality, this striving to transcend our limitations.

So sexual union is about future generations, according to God’s plan, and it’s also about the reality of death. Those are godly concerns. But our culture is more concerned with pleasure.

In God’s plan for marriage, where the Trinity is there in that sacred space between husband and wife, where future generations are cared about and provided for in light of death, sexual union is about the good of children. And what is for the good of children? To be born from the loving union of a father and mother who are committed to remaining together for life in service of their family. That’s beautiful. And that beauty attracts as it is proclaimed clearly, faithfully, and forcefully. And you have to do that. You have to proclaim the truth about marriage clearly, faithfully, and forcefully.

Many of you will probably get married. It will be part of your mission to proclaim the truth and the beauty of marriage through your living witness as husbands and wives. That’s a beautiful thing. It will be your mission to lay down your lives for each other and for your children. That’s what marriage is about. It’s about sacrifice.

I might suggest to you young men thinking about getting married, that, when you propose, don’t say: “Will you marry me?” Say this instead: “Will you allow me to be the one who lays down his life for you?” That’s what you should ask her, because that’s what marriage is all about. It’s about children and it’s about sacrifice.

Now some of you will probably not get married. Some of you will answer God’s call to give up marriage – and that is also a sacrifice. Some of you will give up marriage in order to devote yourselves to God as consecrated religious or as priests. As Jesus said to the rich young man in the Gospel: “If you would be perfect, go, give away everything, and come, follow me” (Matt 19:21). And that includes giving up marriage. That is probably the greatest sacrifice that a human being can make upfront. And it wouldn’t be a sacrifice if marriage were not something truly good and truly beautiful.

  1. c) What else can we say about Humanae vitae? Marriage is rooted in human nature. And the moral law is rooted in human nature. So we need to recover an understanding of human nature, of what it means to be human and of what it means to be male and female. And this begins with the rediscovery of final causes, of purpose, in nature. The moderns have forgotten that things have purposes and that meaning lies in the fulfillment of purposes. And so moderns are unable to see the objective grounds of natural law morality.

But it should be obvious that the primary purpose of eating, for example, is to nourish and sustain one’s health; that’s what eating is for. That’s an objective fact. And that’s why it is good for us to eat healthy food – because it fulfills the purpose of eating. And that’s why gluttony is wrong – because it frustrates the purpose of eating. (When I speak in this vein my credibility is not at its peak. Live with it. I believe St. Thomas Aquinas had a similar problem.) Or you can think about speech: the primary purpose of speech is communication; that’s what speech is for; and that’s why speaking truth is good and why lying is wrong – because it frustrates the purpose of speaking. This is the basis of natural law reasoning about sexual morality. The primary purpose of sexual union is the procreation of children; that’s what it’s for; and that’s why contraception is wrong – because it frustrates the purpose of sexual union.

But all of this sounds like a foreign language if you are talking to people who have lost sight of the basic fact that there is such a thing as human nature and that natures are ordered toward the fulfillment of certain ends or goals. If you want to have a fruitful conversation, if you want to get somewhere and not just argue endlessly, you have to find some common ground to start with. But the sphere of the common moral ground we share in our culture keeps getting smaller. So we have to be able to go all the way down to first principles. We have to be able to build arguments, step by step, from very basic self-evident truths all the way to their remote and often complex conclusions. And that requires patience.

III. On Natural Law, Democracy, and Civilization

We have to recover an understanding of human nature – of what it means to be human and of what it means to be male and female – if we do not want to see our culture become more and more dehumanized. And that has already been going on for a long time. The end of natural law means the end of democracy and ultimately the end of civilization. You can’t have a civilized society, and you certainly can’t have a just democracy, without a basic respect for human beings and for their intrinsic value and dignity. Respect for the dignity of the individual human being is grounded in natural law.

Everyone today loves to speak about “human rights”. They think they have the right to whatever they feel they need, but we can only speak intelligibly about ‘human rights’ as human rights if we have a common understanding of human nature. Without human nature, there can be no human rights, and without human rights – that is, rights objectively grounded in human nature, in natural law – the only “rights” that remain are those dictated by power. As our culture rejects reason and truth, especially truth about the natural law, it moves toward a dictatorship. That’s where we’re heading, because if right can’t be determined by reason, and the truth of human nature and natural law, then it will be determined by power. And so the words of the prophet Isaiah are fulfilled in our time: “Truth has fallen in the public squares, and righteousness cannot enter” (Isa 59:14).

 

  1. Courage

Which brings me to my last point, which is this: To preach the truth requires courage. To preach the saving truth of Jesus Christ has always required courage. But even to speak basic truths of human reason, or human nature, or human sanity – even that requires courage. People today have been taught to be offended. People live to be offended. That’s why they need a “safe space” and a “cry closet”. And what they mean by that seems to be a space where they can be safe from hearing the voice of reason and truth. If you speak the truth, you might not be safe. Those who speak truth to a culture where everyone is looking to be offended will be persecuted. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for my sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 5:10). The world has hated Christ, because he gave testimony that its works are evil (Jn 7:7). The world will also hate you if you speak out against its evil works, if you hate wickedness. But “if the world hates you, know that it hated me before you” (Jn 15:18). “In the world you will have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33).

So if you’re going to shine the light of reason in a dark world you are going to need courage. To quote St. Thomas again, “Courage denotes a certain firmness of mind in bearing and withstanding those things wherein it is most difficult to be firm.” In other words, courage makes you discouragement-proof. One of the devil’s principal weapons, especially against young women and men is discouragement. You can be discouragement-proof. This is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which has already been given to you in Baptism and Confirmation to make you courageous in witnessing to the truth – the truth of Jesus Christ, which is known by faith; and the truth of the human person and of human nature, which can also be known by reason.

Now, many Catholics forget that they were confirmed and then they’re hit by a barrage of human problems and they feel that they’re about to be overwhelmed. When you were confirmed God the Holy Spirit promised you that you would have every grace you need to survive and overcome any problem. If you forget your Confirmation, you forget that. Problems come, “Oh what am I to do?” Demand that the Holy Spirit fulfill the promise that He made to you at Confirmation! That’s what you do.

Courage is a gift infused by God. And it is also acquired and perfected through practice. If you want to be courageous in speaking the truth, you have to practice doing it precisely in those situations when it is difficult. Don’t be like Peter during the passion, sitting quietly with your head down hoping that no one will notice you. You are called to be like Peter on the day of Pentecost, speaking the truth boldly without waiting to be asked.

You have been sacramentally equipped by your baptism and confirmation and intellectually equipped by your education to be witnesses to the truth of Jesus Christ. That means you must witness to the truth as Christ taught it. And that means at times you offend lots of people. So it’s very hard to be a witness to Jesus Christ. It’s easier to just go with the flow. “Go along to get along.” Lukewarmness must be cast out! There is no place left in the Church for wimps. All those places are filled. It takes courage to speak the truth of Christ. Do not be afraid!

Let me close with the words of the Saint-Ignatius-Loyola-inspired “Fundador Hymn”, which so well describes our present situation and gives me so much inspiration:

Hell’s black legions are teeming, their harsh cry is heard, over the heath see them marching, their swords flashing bared. Soldiers of Christ forward to the fray!

Sure your heart is no stranger to fear ‘neath the gloom. Calvary’s light thru the night brightens your brow like the noon. Now sounds the war trumpet and fearless the holy host fights without respite, though swords clash on swords yet their banner waves high! Faithful omen of the laurel crown and of peace.

Christ has overcome the world. And he alone is the only hope who never disappoints!

God bless you all. Praised be Jesus Christ!

 

Negotiating Wonderland

OR

TRUMP: To Dump or Not to Dump?

TOPSY-TURVY

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Note 4-9-18: For “To Dump or Not to Dump,” scroll to end of article

Negotiating Wonderland

“Negotiating Wonderland,” where everything is topsy-turvy, is what Donald Trump is doing, and what we all have to learn to do, in order to reinstate democracy and bring sanity back to the United States.

 

Wonderland

Wonderland, aside from being Lewis Carroll’s fictional land where everything is topsy-turvy and unexpected, it is also a great term for our modern global progressive culture, in which age-old values including democracy and religious freedom have been overturned, and political surprises, or Black Swans, surface faster than anyone can keep up with them. We are today living in a true Wonderland, where things change more quickly than ever before, most of us are struggling to keep up with the pace, and we question the wisdom of the giant social experiment that we were  railroaded into by previous administrations.

Negotiating It

Most people struggle to negotiate this Wonderland that has been forced on us.
Except for Donald Trump.
The Donald seems to be keeping up just fine, accomplishing the promises he made campaigning for President, proving that he is the conservative he claimed to be, and winning over more and more approval from the nation he represents as time goes on.
Donald, true to his business self, to his life-long experience as a negotiator, and to his own instructions in his book “The Art of the Deal,” is negotiating Wonderland, and he’s doing it very well.

NEGOTIATING PERILOUS CLIFFS NOW WITH A SHEPHERD

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Wonderland? Yes, Really.

Barack Obama invited this comparison by kicking off his didactic Presidency with a secretly held opulent celebration in 2009 themed on Alice in Wonderland, while ordinary Americans suffered economic hardship from the almost-depression of 2008.  At that time, it seemed inappropriate for the President to throw a glittering White House costume ball while the rest of the country was struggling with economy, unemployment, and bank bailouts.
So, Obama kept his lavish party secret for over two years.

(NOTE THE COLUMN OF SKULLS AT LEFT OF PHOTO)

The ensuing 8 years brought many didactic decrees and upheavals from Obama, so many the Queen of Hearts would be proud of, ranging from the redefinition of marriage, demand for universal free abortion and contraception masquerading as healthcare, to the subversion of government agencies such as the IRS, NSA, FBI, DOJ, HHS, and State Department into dictatorial political arms of the progressive executive arm of the US government.

All led by Barack Obama.

With the help from the still unwitting media who view their support as being politically correct.
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Radical Change and “Cultural” War

It is now clear that Obama had, from the very start, every intention of instituting radical change.

Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election claiming to be a moderate and wanting to bring Americans together and govern from the center. But since he took office, his actions were far from moderate.”- David Horowitz, Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution, the Alinsky Model.

Obama’s successes in transforming the United States occurred primarily in the realm of “culture,” i.e. in morality — in matters of sexual orientation, gender, marriage, and family, and even insisting that modesty be disbanded.

These changes were enforced by fear and intimidation, by loud obnoxious “diversity” and “tolerance” police who routinely denounced, dehumanized, demonized, and destroyed anyone who disagreed with their brazen newfound conceptions of marriage and family, even as our position (not theirs) has been the prevailing position of 99.99 percent-plus of human beings who have bestrode the earth since the dawn of humanity.Instead, in the Obama era, we are the ones portrayed as the outliers, as abnormal, as extremists, as “haters.” If you dissent from this new vociferous breed of human-nature redefiners, they sue you, they jail you, they smear you, they boycott you, they harass you, they ruin you—and they do so (with no sense of their hypocrisy) in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity.” Whether you’re a Baptist grandma who bakes cakes or a Catholic photographer who takes wedding photos or a Mormon florist who arranges flowers, they refuse your appeals to your conscience; they steamroll you. Changes by Obama and his allies here have constituted a major attack on religious liberty, where two-century-old First Amendment guarantees have been torched by modern culture warriors discerning heretofore unknown higher rights like “marriage equality” and co-ed toilets.  – Paul Kengor, CNS News 

Nobody Wants the Radical Change

BRAZEN SCANDALOUS MORAL VIOLATIONS

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After 8 years of Obama’s administration, it was pretty clear that many Americans were upset with the radical transformation of our “culture,” i.e. attempted eradication of many sensibilities that the Obama administration had railroaded in, they were sick of the scandalous morality, and were intent on fighting back.  There was so much discontent among mainstream Americans that 17 opposition candidates stepped forward to oppose the Obama Progressive Radical Agenda in the primaries prior to the election of 2016.

But most reasonable nice people, including 16 of the 17 candidates, were paralyzed by the Alinsky Tactics of the left.  Most nice people were intimidated and transfixed, staring like deer in the headlights at the barrage of abuse coming from the left, at a loss of how to proceed.

ONE LEFT STANDING

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Donald Trump seemed to be the only one not paralyzed, the only one capable of challenging the 8 year radical progressive agenda that Obama began.  And he did that by being unconventional.
Americans instinctively knew who was the best man for the job.
They sensed that it might take a bully to fight bullies, that Donald Trump appears not to fear bullies, and that he might be our best chance.
Yet many cringed at the idea of trusting someone who might be a bully, and someone who might only be pretending to be a conservative, with a relatively liberal past.
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We Cringe

And many of us STILL cringe.
Some are struggling to understand Donald Trump.
Some cringe at his tactics, particularly at his off-the-cuff remarks, and some at his seemingly random tweeting.

We who have been so well trained in the reserved and gentlemanly (& gentlewomanly) behavior of educated Christian gentlemen (and gentlewomen) cringe every time Donald says something impulsive, something shocking, something exaggerated, or something just slightly mean, like calling Kim Jon Un “Little Rocket Man.” Yet look at the results our President gets.

Aside: I now plan to drop the obvious yet cumbersome attempt at politically correct terminology, and I will assume that my readers are capable of generalizing the term “men” and “mankind” to include women and men alike, as has been done for centuries.

The Truth of the Matter

The truth of the matter is that new times call for new measures.

Our gentlemanly Christian instincts serve us well in times of peace, when we are dealing with reasonable, similarly gentlemanly Christian allies.
But in times of war, we are forced to break out different tactics.
No more cards on the table.
No more transparency to all.
No more Mr. Nice Guy.
No more being played for a fool by people who mock our gentlemanly standards and use them against us  (Alinsky tactics).

And the other truth of the matter is that Donald Trump, despite occasional appearance, is really NOT a bully, but a gentleman who has learned how to survive and flourish in the real, difficult world.
A gentleman adept at dodging bullets and engaging in war.

Amazing Credentials

At the private military academy he attended (New York Military Academy, one of the oldest military schools in the United States), Donald Trump learned the history and art of war.  At the Wharton School of Business (America’s best business school 2017 , also outranked Harvard MBA ranking 2017), he learned world class business management.   And in the global business marketplace, Donald Trump excelled and succeeded. His successful business tactics included a certain amount of unpredictability and keeping things “close to the vest,” which any successful business executive will confirm is essential in a competitive world.

These tactics are not really new,  as Jesus instructs the Apostles in Matthew 10:16-20 :

Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of people,k for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

 

Dodging Bullets

When war has been declared on us, either by radical Islamic terrorists, or by progressive oppositional deep state resistance forces within our own country aiming to subvert our morals,  tactics have to change.
We have to call out and shed light on what the enemy is doing.
We have to dodge bullets.
And we certainly do NOT advertise our tactics pubicly for the enemy to read.

Anybody who has seen a World War II movie has noticed that combat soldiers do not walk slowly or majestically in a dignified way from place to place, but dart around zig-zagging, stopping and starting, changing direction, and taking cover frequently, in order to dodge bullets.

Think of Donald Trump, of his calling out of people, of his tweeting, and of his occasionally seemingly erratic behavior, not as being undignified, not as being illogical, but as calling out the enemy, shedding light on their atrocities, dodging their bullets, and keeping them busy trying to decode his intentions while he moves mountains behind the scenes.

Think of President Trump as being shrewd as a serpent and simple as a dove. 
Think of him as engaging Barack Obama’s, Hillary’s, and Soros’ Resistance with clever and misleading tactics of his own.
Think of the powerful effects of his psychological warfare, as he eats chocolate cake with Xi Jinping while hitting Syria with missle strikes, seemingly effortlessly on the back burner.

And realize that if President Trump is confusing you, he is also confusing the enemy.
Be grateful, pray for him, and wait to see the outcome.  So far, we have had nothing to regret, only to celebrate, since his inauguration.  Winston Churchill was equally complicated and perplexing.  And equally brilliant.

Warrior Yet Gentleman

 

In Donald Trump, behind the warrior dodging bullets, we still see many actions of a very gentlemanly Christian man who respects Judeo-Christian values.
This is a man who opposes abortion and loves babies.
He prays (including in the Oval Office), and reveres God.
He supports the Constitution, as written by our Christian founders.
He respects our flag.
He includes and loves all Americans.
He refuses to divide or to favor.
He calls all bluffs.
He offers wise and fair compromises, including on DACA.
And his patience for out of control opponents like Kim Jon Un is legendary.
This is a man who knows how to be decent to anyone who is also prepared to be decent, yet knows where to draw the lines and when to call scoundrels out.

But What About Access Hollywood?

There are definitely some things from Donald Trump’s past that could make one nervous, like his womanizing reputation, illustrated by the Hollywood Access recording of 2005, 13 years ago, in which he talked about grabbing women.

But as Pastor Jeffries has said, “We knew we were not electing an altar boy.”

Also, people do change, and we certainly, as Christians, do give them second chances.  We even gave a pass to a previous Democrat who sullied the Oval Office with sexual misconduct.

Consider also the possibility that the persona Donald Trump puts on in Hollywoood, among half-naked dressed-to-kill Hollywood starlets, in private conversation with Hollywood men, might be different from his real persona and his real views when the company of men and women who dress and behave like Christian gentlemen and ladies.  The successful businessman who adopts the “language” that each group understands, and tells people what they want to hear knows how to “make friends and influence people.”

Whether 13 years ago Donald Trump was trying to impress the Hollywood boys with his lewd suggestions, and whether Donald Trump had some bad attitudes towards women in the past is not the main question.   What is important is who he is, how he behaves, and what he says now in 2018.

Forgiving Donald

Let us also point out that forgiving Donald Trump for a rude locker room suggestion made over a decade ago is much less than we routinely forgive and overlook when it comes to progressives like the Obamas, the Clintons, the Kennedys, and many others, whose transgressions were not words that disgraced the Presidency, but included criminal actions and caused deaths.

Our Christian world is filled with the stories of sinners who repented and went on to live lives of great saintliness and accomplishment.  St. Paul practiced genocide against Christians, St. Matthew was a thieving tax collector, and St. Augustine was a shameless philanderer.
Nobody is suggesting we canonize Donald Trump just yet, but he has been declared by the Heritage Foundation to have achieved  64% of their recommended conservative agenda in just one year, better even than Ronald Regan’s (wonderful) achievement of 49% in his first year.  He has also become the most pro-life President we have ever had.  In my book, his pro-life record alone forgives much rude language.

According to the Heritage Foundation, Trump hasn’t just focused on one agenda area, but he and his team has pushed through administrative moves on foreign policy, deregulation, immigration, tax reform and health care.  These moves are often ignored by much of the media, which is still selling out their profession to favor the progressive agenda, rather than providing honest news coverage.

The Trump administration has scored 81 major achievements and slashed at least 11 major legacy items of former President Barack Obama.

So let’s consider forgiving Donald Trump one rude and immature comment made 13 years ago.

More Accusations Bound to Come

Of course, this will not be the last issue raised by the media, as evidenced by the now proven to be false Steele dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton.
And there are bound to be numerous additional accusations by the left ias they try to stop the Trump administration.
Just like they used in the past, against numerous other good men like Herman Cain in 2011.
We must follow our Constitution, we must allow everyone due process, we must remember that all are innocent until proven guilty, and this principle includes everyone, even the miscreants in Hollywood, whose heads have been rolling in the recent wave of #MeToo accusations, made without even waiting for due process.
In a just world, we would pass legislation that punishes false accusers by assigning the proposed penalty to the accuser, as was done in the case of Susanna in the Book of Daniel   

What Next?

We need to get over all jitters and finally and completely trust President Trump.
Anyone who balks at this suggestion should ask themselves whether there is anything Donald Trump has achieved in the past year that you disapprove of?
When each and every frantic panic was over, Trump had done the right thing, and we had not always guessed his plan at the outset.  Guess what?

This is good.  The opposition is also struggling to figure out the plan.

What Needs to Be Done NOW :

  • IGNORE ALL ACCUSATIONS AGAINST TRUMP. We have heard many shocking accusations against him during the last two years, none of them have been borne out to be true. The left is adept at smearing and lying and accusing, but ignores their own faults.
  • LISTEN TO DONALD TRUMP.  He is giving us instructions every day.  He has told us he needs more Republicans elected in November 2018.  He has even announced his own campaign well in advance for 2020, appointed a stellar campaign manager, and will be using his campaign organization to help elect loyal conservatives in November 2018.
  • FOLLOW DONALD TRUMP ON TWITTER, check his messages every day, and believe what he tweets.
    His tweets are routinely ultimately proved true, no matter how far-fetched they may have seemed at the time of the tweet.  President Trump’s tweets provide a succinct daily summary of non-fake news for anyone who wants it “from the horse’s mouth,” and they place the President’s enemies on notice with fair warning, letting them know the President means business, as they did with Little Rocket Man, Kim Jon Un. This form of direct and blunt communication makes many uncomfortable, but its benefits are often underestimated.
  • GET REPUBLICANS INTO OFFICE IN 2018, so the conservative agenda which Trump is advocating, and which is the only hope for America today, can be passed in this climate of Democrat madness and resistance, in which Democrats will not vote for anything just to spite Trump.  They would not even vote for the DACA they claimed to want, because they could not get 100% of their way, in a government in which both House and Senate and the Presidency are controlled by their opposition, and not a single Democrat voted for our recent tax cuts!
  • HELP TRUMP GET RID OF THE DEEP STATE, those officials in government who oppose the directives of their boss the President, and who follow instead the progressive values they prefer, values which they pushed under their previous boss Barack Obama, & values which they continue to push through nefarious channels such as Antifa and the Deep State, with funding by oligarchs like George Soros.
    One way of helping to get rid of the “Deep State” is by donating generously to organizations like Judicial Watch, who are citizen watchdogs who look out for the Constitution and for accountability in government.
  • HELP TRUMP WITH PRAYER- pray for his family, for our nation, for wisdom for him.
    Pray at Planned Parenthood, pray at Church, pray at home.
  • JOIN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN, which was just announced last week.  The Trump 2020 campaign will not only work on electing Trump in 2020, but plans to work on electing good Republican candidates to positions in 2018.
    CONTRIBUTE to Donald Trump’s  campaign.
    VOLUNTEER to work for his campaign.
  • STAY INFORMED and support conservative radio, TV, publications and organizations.  When an organization is attacked unfairly by the left, contribute or join that organization. Contribute to citizen watchdog groups like Judicial Watch, and to local conservative politicians.  Join the NRA, whether you plan to own a gun or not, simply because the left has been attacking this organization unfairly and heaping false blame on good law abiding people.
  • SPEAK OUT IN PUBLIC, converse with your conservative friends in restaurants, participate in online discussions.
    Do not hide, do not cringe, and do not tow the politically correct line.
    When courageous people speak the truth, this gives others courage, and the movement snowballs.
  • SPEAK OUT AGAINST the subjugation of our children, our schools, our universities, our google searches, our Facebook pages, our news media, and our entire lives to the politically correct, scientifically and morally nonsensical agenda now being pushed by the left.
  • Most important of all, we should PUSH BACK ON THE KILLING OF OUR CHILDREN- the one million aborted each year- by donating to and volunteering at local maternity programs, praying outside Planned Parenthood, and pressuring politicians to support pro-life causes. A NATION THAT KILLS IT’S OWN CHILDREN CANNOT PROSPER.
    VOLUNTEER for pro-life organizations and maternity homes that help women in need

 

We Are At War

Make no mistake, we are at war

The rise of amorality in Politics, the pernicious infiltration of our government and our educational institutions by progressive activists who manipulate and circumvent the voice of American voters, and the now active attacks on the Presidency by numerous agencies in government, all constitute a very real danger to the founding principles of our nation.
The voice of the people, the Presidency itself, and the principles laid out in the Constitution are all being subverted, and we are headed for a Constitutional Crisis.

According to Charles Hurt, there is now a new standard for self-governance in America, established by a powerful big government bureaucracy “which must conduct a massive, sprawling, limitless investigation into any and all aspects of the president we pick.”  Apparently limitless investigation of a candidate selected by the people like Trump (as well as elimination of Democrat candidates like Sanders) was always the plan.

President Trump cannot fight this alone, the entire nation has to support him and back him.  As we speak, the corrupted intelligence agencies of our nation are ganging up against our President.

Former FBI Deputy Director McCabe has been caught lying to the Department of Justice and is blaming President Trump, instead of the Obama-appointed Inspector General Horowitz, who investigated him and recommended his firing.  Fired FBI director Comey, who had released classified information and had mishandled the Clinton email investigation by exonerating her before interviewing her and by failing to interview her under oath, has also been gunning for President Trump, accusing him of repeatedly and inappropriately pressuring Comey to back off in the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn.  And now John Brennan, former head of the CIA, has just released a venomous anti-President Trump tirade on twitter, which was followed by a Samantha Powers tweet stating that “Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan.”

WHAT PUBLIC AND MISPLACED VENOM FROM A SENIOR CIVIL SERVANT!

 

By all appearances, senior members of the intelligence community of the US are in collusion with numerous progressives and the courts, attempting to subvert the legitimate President and his rightful government.

It has now become clear that progressive attempts at “transforming” our nation to their own experimental ideals have not been limited to legal and democratic methods involving persuasion, but that a malevolent network of dirty players have infiltrated our educational systems, our news media, many branches of our government, most internet and social media platforms, and countless other areas of our lives.

We must roll up our sleeves, and get busy supporting the President we elected with our actions and with our prayers in order to reinstate democracy and bring sanity back to the United States.

We must involve God and Judeo-Christian morality (both of which were incorporated into our founding and into our Constitution) in our battle, if we hope to have any luck against the pervasive and destructive forces of progressivism that have so permeated our nation today.

UPDATE 4-9-18:  

TRUMP: TO DUMP OR NOT TO DUMP?
TESTING OUR RESOLVE:

OMNIBUS 2018 was passed and signed by President Trump 3 days after the publication of this article.
Omnibus 2018 funded Planned Parenthood, approved catastrophic deficit spending, and failed to provide one penny for the Mexican border wall, contrary to the wishes of the electorate which elected Donald Trump.

President Trump signed the Omnibus because it funded the military and avoided a government shutdown.

THIS has become the most serious test of President Trump’s resolve and of his trustworthiness so far since his election.

Weighing the necessity of military strength for protection against North Korea, Iran, Russia and China, against moral imperatives such as not killing a million babies per year is a weighty decision indeed.

We can give up in desolation and hand the government to progressives in November 2018,

OR

We can hope that President Trump still has something up is sleeve, is able to outsmart the funding of Planned Parenthood, knows what he is doing, and is not free to telegraph his plans to Barack, Soros, Hillary, et al.

See, for example:

Kimberley Strassel: How Trump and the congressional GOP can undo the worst of the omnibus

Only time will tell.
Note the congressional GOP is required for Trump to be able to undo the worst.

Hope, pray, then pray some more.

Only time will tell.

A President cannot fulfill promises alone when half his own party has joined the opposition.
Our job is to elect conservatives who are conservative in November 2018, to support the Judeo-Christian agenda we voted for in November of 2016.

 

 

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