Syte Reitz

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

Browsing Posts in Faith

Platteville Journal Editor Dismayed at Being Lumped with Liberal Media

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Apparently my article on the progressive media’s coverage of Bishop Morlino last week stung the conscience of the editor of the Platteville Journal, Steve Prestegard.

I got the following 2 messages from him on facebook:

You know, before you lump me in with all the other liberal media, maybe you should find exactly who I am. Try out www.steveprestegard.com for starters.

and

And I wrote this: www.swnews4u.com/section/1/article/24863/

 

My reply to Steve Prestegard:

Steve-

(First, an aside-You also wrote THE BISHOP AND ME.)

The hyper-sensitivity you demonstrate to my criticism suggests an emotional involvement in this issue that is not characteristic of most journalists.

This professional conflict was apparently already obvious to you, judging from your published comments admitting that you are “someone in the media being a participant in the story.”   

Your decision to cover the story at all reflected a lack of perspective and a willingness to give exaggerated coverage to dissidents in the Catholic Church- the same accusation I leveled at Chris Rickert of the WiSJ.

Forgive me for pointing out that you seem to be a dissident who may even have left the Catholic Church, too?  Do you have an axe to grind here?
Slide1

So it was not professional of you to follow the Bishop, to use your status as a journalist to give a platform to several dissidents who clearly attended the Bishop’s talk with intent to disrupt it, carrying signs and humming, who were clearly not there to listen to what the Bishop had to say.

When the media make bad judgments that fail to represent my Church justly, I call them out on it.
You may have noticed one of the headings on my blog- “Don’t diss my Church.”

I was surprised to see your displeasure with my post, in which I primarily called out Chris Rickert.  I made only oblique reference to your involvement, and did not use your name.

Considering your coverage of the event in the Platteville Journal, you actually deserve the same calling out that Chris Rickert received.  But in that post I was addressing a recurring problem the WiSJ exhibits in their imbalanced coverage of the Catholic Church.
Platteville-Journal-April-21-2010-cover

Your coverage was not balanced either, and you over-analyzed what you thought the  Bishop should or should not have done in the face of a confrontational audience.  You came across as a disgruntled Catholic trying to use his job to spread rancor.

If you think that my calling you out is inconsistent with who you are, ask yourself whether your actions in this particular matter were consistent with who you claim to be (journalist/libertarian–conservative/Christian husband, father, Eagle Scout and aficionado of obscure rock music, according to your website.) . You did not behave toward Bishop Morlino as I would expect a Christian or an Eagle Scout to behave.  Judging from the facebook message you sent me, your conscience does seem to be smarting.

Slide2I suggest you read my blog post on the Platteville issue   for a more balanced perspective on who is actually responsible for the closing of the Platteville school that you apparently value– it is not the Bishop of Madison who is responsible for closing that school.

Your disgruntled attitude toward the old Platteville issues, your willingness to participate in the news event you were covering, the emotional nature of your reporting, and your volunteering of your Catholic background in the Platteville Journal article all indicate that you are a disgruntled Catholic or ex-Catholic.  In either case, you have no business airing your gripes publicly and mis-using your position as editor of a Wisconsin paper.

You tried to resurrect an old defunct issue, you did not do your homework on both sides of the question, you got involved personally in the event you were covering, and you dissed my Church.
So when you behave just like the progressive media, don’t be surprised when people associate you with the progressive media.

If you ask me, you owe the Bishop of Madison an apology for the sloppy hatchet job you tried to do on him.

The next time 7 or 8 supportive Catholics decide to attend a talk by Bishop Morlino, doubt whether you will come running, camera in hand, to cover the event, as you did for 7 or 8 obnoxious and rude dissidents.

Please try reporting on some real Catholic news.
And in Platteville, try reporting on the majority of Catholics, who support the wonderful priests who have been assigned there, instead of criticising their sacrificial service to the parish.

 

Election 2014- What Just Happened?

or

Battle for the Soul of America

So- We just survived another election.
The first question debated in the news was “was it a Republican wave?”
And from Democrats, a melancholy “what does this mean?”
Many were also surprised not to see too much jubilation in the “right wing media.”

The Results:

____________________________________________________________________________ 2014 Results ____________________________________________________________________________ Slide1

_____________________________________________________________________.

____________________________________________________________________________

. Clearly a LandslideSlide2

Looking at the figures above, the Democrats got wiped out. Yes, it was definitely a Republican Wave. And that’s without final reports, which could only increase the size of the walloping Democrats recieved.

. Two Big Questions

Why were the Democrats wiped out?

and

Why don’t conservatives seem overjoyed?

. **

What Were the Voters Thinking?

Here are some headlines that may indicate what voters were thinking:

Answer: The Voters Were Thinking Conservativelost-traditional-values

The above headlines indicate that the People of the United States are giving President Obama (and our entire government) a Mandate- a mandate to:

  • protect the family
  • respect faith & conscience
  • repeal ObamaCare
  • represent women properly
  • stop trying to purchase women’s votes with  free offers of birth control (apparently this doesn’t even work in California)
  • respect the rights of Americans guaranteed to us by the Constitution
  • remember who’s boss in the United States

Should Not Be a Surprise

Why were so many surprised by these results?

imagesHere are some facts bout Americans:
Twice as many Americans consider themselves conservative as liberal
.
90% of Americans believe in God.
82% of us pray and believe that God answers our prayers.
70% of parents and 60% of teens support abstinence before marriage.
Close to half of Americans have guns in their homes.

Clearly, Americans tend to be conservative, religious, prayerful, committed to family and to morality, and committed to the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution.

What Was Obama Thinking?

So, in hindsight,  Obama’s attempts to force a radical agenda on the US were naive, condescending and foolish.

Obama’s attempts to steer less educated Americans with his Alinsky tactics only insults our citizens; people are still intelligent, logical and moral without formal education.  In fact, the less educated sometime have the most common sense. (President Obama seems to be the converse of that- no lack of education, but terrific deficiency of common sense. )aaa6_164

The Alinsky formula of lying, dividing, bribing and manipulating a population only works until the subjects realize the name of the game.
Lying to pass legislation, offering baubles such as cell phones and birth control pills to purchase votes, and inventing the existence of “wars” and victims so that the administration could pretend to come to their rescue with executive orders, are all tricks that insult the intelligence of the Americans the Obama administration has tried to manipulate.

Obama ought to have known that Americans would wake up at some point and would revolt against his progressive agenda.
Americans are a trusting, forbearant and tolerant bunch, but they are not fools.

Slide1What is Obama Thinking Now?

Sadly, President Obama and his cohorts do not seem to have gotten the memo.
President Obama is defiant, and is still vowing to achieve his two most unpopular goals, ObamaCare and amnesty, by Executive Order.
Nancy Pelosi is trying to claim that the Democrat wipe-out was due to voter suppression (!!!).

The War is On- in the GOP, and in the Nation

Many conservatives have feared that the Republican establishment may not respond to the message being sent by the electorate in this election, and might focus on trivial accomplishments in non-contentious areas, possibly driving a conservative split in 2016 which would enable the election of a Democrat clone of President Obama (like Hillary Clinton).

This is why many conservative are not overjoyed at the election results.
They fear that the moderate RINOS (Republicans In Name Only), the establishment of the Republican Party, people like John Boehner and Reince Priebus, will take this election as a mandate supporting them and their ever left-leaning agenda.

But there is some hope that the Republican party may respond to the demands of the people, as they should do in this democratic republic.
They may be prepared to undertake the repeal of ObamaCare. Slide1
On other issues, conservatives in the party will have to battle for the soul of the Republican Party.

In actual fact, this is going to be the Battle for the Soul of America.

Gear Up, America!

Gear up, pray hard, get politically involved, and fight this historic battle of the next two years.
The reclaiming of America!
It depends on you and on me.

Time for the democratic return of morality to government.

 

Related Posts:

Elections 2016 or Taming the Black Swan or Selling Out vs Sticking to Principles

The Missing Link – Redefining How We Approach Politics

Pope Francis Takes On Obama

Political Puzzle Pieces Falling into Place

Enjoying the Progress? Join the Prayer

Global Adoration- Say What?

Elections 2016 (and 2014)

or

Taming the Black Swan

or

Selling Out vs Sticking to Principles

 

Back to Politics

Despite the fact that this blog was originally established for the purpose of discussing and defending traditional ethics and morality in our modern culture, we keep digressing into politics.

Who's in Charge?This may be fitting, since what is politics, after all, if not the interaction of human beings on an organized group level; an interaction that certainly ought to be subject to the same rules of morality and decency that apply to individual human interactions?

And since what goes around comes around applies to our personal lives, guess what?  What goes around comes around applies to politics as well.Church and State  (The expression means that bad things you do come back to bite you later, and the good things you do come back to reward you later.)

Readers Demand Political Philosophy

Readers seem to know this, and as elections approach, they keep returning to those old articles here which discuss political philosophy, which explore the crucial interconnection between morality and the State (i.e., interconnection between Church and State).

Such discussions are not commonly available in the public arena in the present political atmosphere, which is so often controlled by fear of political bullies like the Freedom From Religion Foundation and their ilk, who attempt to eradicate all mention of right and wrong from the public forum. These bullies who attack religion are effectively advocating the absence of all morality from government, from law, and from public life.

So after a hiatus following the ethically dubious 2012 Presidential election in which Barack Obama purchased votes by bribery with Obama-phones and other lollipops, and in which conservatives tossed the vote by staying home in disgust, this blogger returns again to discussion of politics, of coming elections, and of election strategies for Elections 2016.

Why the Hiatus?

Slide1The results of the 2012 Presidential election made clear several important facts, which required some time to resolve:

  • The people had spoken, and the Obama administration now had four more years to deliver on its campaign promises.  The United States is, after all, a democracy.  The fair loser steps aside gracefully and lets the wheels of democracy turn.
  • Those people who were foolish enough to vote for Obama needed to experience more Obama consequences, to experience a rise in personal misery index, before they could be persuaded to vote for someone more responsible who does not promise lollipops and who does not lie.  And 2013/14 certainly provided ample rise in personal misery index generated by government; now even Democrats are calling Obama incompetent and are distancing themselves from him before the 2014 elections.  Meanwhile, we conservatives take an imposed rest and simply watch the inevitable  and painful implosion. We don’t enjoy it any more than parents enjoy watching their teens making painful mistakes.
    What goes around comes around. But it takes time.  We all hurt, we all suffer, but nothing can be done to circumvent some suffering in this life.
  • The Republican establishment, which was foolish enough to cheat in order to change Republican convention rules so they could nominate their favorite Compromise Candidate, Mitt Romney, needed to figure out that there is a limit to the degree of compromise their conservative supporters will tolerate before they rebel.  There was great surprise and shock in November 2012, when 4 million registered Republicans failed to come to the polls, handing the election to Barack Obama.

Jumping into PoliticsSo now two years have passed, and we have experienced some of the consequences of the 2012 election.  We have experienced more of Obama’s administration, ObamaCare failures, VA scandals, IRS scandals, implosion of Iraq, border crises, and numerous other debacles.  Establishment Republicans have experienced 4 million registered Republicans staying home from the polls, and losing the election.
During all of which, Nero fiddled as Rome burned.
Political puzzle pieces have been falling into place.
We need to redefine how we approach politics. 

So now it’s time to end the hiatus and time to address the future.
Back into politics!

Confusion Reigns

First observation on returning to politics in 2014: confusion reigns.

Democrats are suffering from the deluge of scandals befalling President Obama as the fruits of his erroneous policies and his lies mature. Today, 58% of Americans, including 30% of Democrats, say that the Obama administration is incompetent at managing the government.  Now, even New York Times correspondents are saying that the Obama administration’s ebola response is another example of Obama not running a competent governmentLiberals have begun to acknowledge Obama’s incompetence.  

Republicans are suffering from highly disfunctional infighting, seemingly incapable of choosing between continuing moral compromise with the opposition, and their fear of unpopularity if they choose responsible conservative policy.

000
Slide2

Support is at an all-time low for both parties, and nobody seems to know how to attract the independent voters from the middle.
Only 24% of American voters identify as Republicans, 31% as Democrats, and a whopping 43% identify as Independents.

This bears repeating: a whopping 43% of Americans identify as Independents!
There are way more independents than Democrats.
There are way more independents than Republicans.

THE LEADING POLITICAL FACTION IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY IS INDEPENDENT.

What does it mean to be Independent?
Being Independent means that nobody tells these voters what to think; they think for themselves, and they owe allegiance to neither party.
If Independents could only agree on a candidate, there would be a landslide election and an Independent victory!

Potential Strategies

How can the two major parties recruit from the 43% of  uncommitted electorate in the middle?
With more lollipops and promises?
With an offer of responsible tough government appealing to those who have suffered enough in this economy?
Will a third party succeed in stealing the election?
Is the time ripe, with broadening disgust with both major parties, for the introduction of a third party?
Slide1

Birth of the Republican Party

Looking at history, the founding of the present Republican party occurred under similar conditions, and resulted in the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency.

640px-Abraham_Lincoln_November_1863The Whigs seemed incapable of coping with national crisis over slavery, so the Republican Party was established (in Wisconsin!) with the primary goal of opposing slavery. (Yes, contrary to what today’s progressives want you to think, the Republican Party was the first to oppose slavery!) The Whigs lost power, and Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, was elected.

So there is historical precedent for the birth of a third party; provided the nation is sufficiently disgusted with the two existing parties.

Are we sufficiently disgusted with the two existing parties today?

Can a third party rise to the occasion in present divided times and succeed in election 2016?

Or would a third party simply divide the conservative vote and hand victory to Democrats?

The Republican Split Today

The Buckley Rule

Slide1Some conservatives advocate nominating a moderate candidate with whom one does not agree (compromising one’s values), as Republicans did in nominating Mitt Romney in 2012, in order to capture the votes of moderate independents, rather than nominating a strong responsible conservative who would capture the conservative independent vote and who is more likely to salvage our nation, as Scott Walker recently salvaged a damaged Wisconsin.

This philosophy, nominating the most conservative person who “can win,” has been called the Buckley Rule, after Bill Buckley, who advocated this approach in 1967.

The problem with this principle is that it assumes that we know who can or cannot win, an quite frankly, we don’t know.  Mitt Romney’s failure to be elected was a prime example of this.  An additional problem with this philosophy is that when conservatives continually sell out and compromise, it allows government to drift permanently towards the left, abandoning important conservative values and allowing the passage of laws which make it impossible to recover conservative ground.

Apparently 4 million Republicans rebelled against the Buckley Rule in November on 2012, and more are likely to follow in 2014 and 2016.

The Limbaugh RuleSlide1

Many who rebel against business as usual in the Republican Party (i.e. rebel against continual and unending compromise) advocate instead voting for the most conservative candidate in the primary and risking losing the moderate vote. This has recently been called the Limbaugh Rule –“in an election year when voters are fed up with liberalism, vote for the most conservative Republican in the primary.”

This is a variation of the Tea Party philosophy, and a variation of my philosophy, which is ALWAYS, not just in an election year when voters are fed up with liberalism, vote for the most conservative candidate in the primary who will uphold traditional Judeo-Christian values, pro-life topping the list, followed by fiscal responsibility.

This approach encourages voting for Tea Party candidates at Republican primaries, hoping to steer the Republican Party establishment in a more conservative direction. This approach appeals to more voters as they become fed up with liberalism and its consequences, and may work in 2016, provided the Republican Establishment does not use it’s power to force through the Buckley Rule (which the “Establishment” apparently favors) over the heads of increasingly conservative American voters. This is what the Republican Establishment did in 2012 to nominate Mitt Romney, by hook or by crook. And it got them exactly nowhere.

The Limbaugh rule says stick to your principles, especially in 2014/2016, when voters are fed up with liberalism.

Third Party Option

tea_party_logoThe Republican split today appears to be so serious that many serious conservatives are considering abandoning the Republican party altogether.

Some are considering the creation of a third party. In this case, there is the danger that this would split the conservative vote, handing victory to the Democrats.

Depending on how stubborn the Republican Establishment (John Boehner, Reince Priebus and other RINOS, Republicans in Name Only) prove to be in the time between now and November 2016, this might sadly become an attractive option for more and more Americans.

OLiberty-Amendments-230

Amendment of the Constitution via Article V

Finally some, like Mark Levin, are so fed up with American politics on both sides of the aisle that they are considering extreme measures like amending the Constitution through Article V of the US Constitution, so that U.S. citizens could override their Senate and their Congress, which have ceased representing them (details at The Liberty Amendments).

This approach would involve returning to much more fundamental founding values and very limited federal government.

The Conservative Dilemma

With four factions advocating four different approaches, the solution to this conservative dilemma is not obvious.
The above four approaches are mutually exclusive, and getting conservatives to agree on one approach would pose quite the obstacle.

  • Those favoring the Buckley Rule would nominate someone like Mitt Romney or Chris Christie again.
  • Those favoring the Limbaugh Rule would nominate someone like Scott Walker or Ben Carson.
  • Those favoring the Third Party Option would replace the Republican Party by a group like the Tea Party.
  • Article V supporters, if successful, would provide an opportunity for radical change and decentralization of government, returning much power to the states and reducing the power of the federal government.

Slide2The first option (Buckley Rule) has already been tried and failed in Election 2012.

Many conservatives favor the second option (Limbaugh Rule) right now. Stick to your principles an nominate the most conservative candidate in the primaries.

But as discontent with Washington continues to grow, it becomes more and more likely that some Americans may abandon business as usual and may opt for the more startling last two options- third party or even overriding Washington DC via Article V.

One thing is certain- the 4 million disgusted registered Republicans who stayed home in November of 2012 are not likely to change their minds and get back on board with John Boehner and the Buckley Rule.

It is much more likely that an additional 4 million will join the first 4 million in boycotting the Republican establishment’s cowardly and ever-compromising path towards defeat.  Yet staying home OR voting for a third party can hand the election to Democrats, even if they do not have majority support.

So What’s a Conservative to Do in 2014/2016 ?

There will be much discussion, much angst, andSlide3

much disagreement among conservatives over which of the above four approaches should be followed in 2016.
There will be even more anxiety over whether the guaranteed lack of unity will defeat us, handing victory to progressives.

But an examination of history, an examination of the forces that determine the fate of nations and of elections, reveals that perhaps we need not worry.
There is a simple and practical approach that may reassure those so very worried about the future.
Hint: it involves simply sticking to your principles and not selling out.
-The approach the Almighty might suggest if anybody bothered to ask Him.

The Determinants of History

What determines history?
What determines the fate of a nation or the fate of an election?

It may surprise some to hear that the determinants of history, the elements that identify or determine the nature of events or that fix their outcome, are not usually voters, nor are they politicians.Slide1

Many historians acknowledge that much of history is determined not by careful planning and strategy, but by fluke events called Black Swans.

Black Swan theory is taught at universities, and Black Swan theory was discussed by the New York Times in connection with the  9/11 Commission, which sought “to provide a ‘full and complete accounting’ of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and recommendations as to how to prevent such attacks in the future.”

Black Swan theory is not a joke; it’s a sobering and probable reality.

So when we talk about the 2016 election, it is wise to consider whether a Black Swan event will be the determinant of the election, and to ask whether it is possible for us or for our politicians to influence that Black Swan event.

 

What IS a Black Swan?

How do we define a Black Swan?

JJPThe Cambridge Japanese Journal of Political Science refers to these unpredictable big events that shape human history, or Black Swans (emphasis mine):

The nonlinear dynamical process of self-organized criticality provides a new ‘theory of history’ that explains a number of unresolved anomalies: Why are the really big events in human history usually unpredictable? Why is it impossible to anticipate sudden political, economic, and social changes? Why do distributions of historical data almost always contain a few extreme events that seem to have had a different cause from all the rest? Why do so many of our ‘lessons of history’ fail to predict important future events? As people, organizations, and nations become increasingly sensitive to each other’s behavior, trivial occurrences sometimes propagate into sudden changes. Such events are unpredictable because in the self-organized criticality environment that characterizes human history, the magnitude of a cause often is unrelated to the magnitude of its effect.

Nassim Taleb is a Black Swan specialist.  He is a scientist, essayist, businessman, mathematical trader and scientist-philosopher who studies the epistemology of randomness and the multidisciplinary problems of uncertainty and knowledge, particularly in the large-impact hard-to-predict rare events called “Black Swans”.

Taleb seeks to create a “platform for a new scientific-minded public intellectual dealing with social and historical events — in replacement to the ‘fooled by randomness’ historian and the babbling journalistic public intellectual.”

Slide1

(Nassim Saleb feels morally bound as a professional philosopher and historian to acknowledge that history is driven by Black Swan events.)

In his book Learning to Expect the Unexpected, Taleb defines the Black Swan like this:

A black swan is an outlier, an event that lies beyond the realm of normal expectations. Most people expect all swans to be white because that’s what their experience tells them; a black swan is by definition a surprise. Nevertheless, people tend to concoct explanations for them after the fact, which makes them appear more predictable, and less random, than they are. Our minds are designed to retain, for efficient storage, past information that fits into a compressed narrative. This distortion, called the hindsight bias, prevents us from adequately learning from the past.

“Much of what happens in history”, he notes, “comes from ‘Black Swan dynamics’, very large, sudden, and totally unpredictable ‘outliers’, while much of what we usually talk about is almost pure noise. Our track record in predicting those events is dismal; yet by some mechanism called the hindsight bias we think that we understand them. We have a bad habit of finding ‘laws’ in history (by fitting stories to events and detecting false patterns); we are drivers looking through the rear view mirror while convinced we are looking ahead.”

So when it comes to elections, whether they be 2014, 2016, or any other election, it would be wise to remind ourselves that Black Swans are often determinants of the outcome.

That’s why nobody can predict election results.

By definition, a Black Swan is an unexpected and surprising historical event that plays a giant role in altering the course of history, yet could not have been predicted, and is not pre-planned by politicians or governments.

Role of the Black Swan in History

remembering-9-11-attacksHistorians and economists both acknowledge the role of Black Swans in human history.

There are many examples of Black Swan events in history, recent and ancient.
Remember the definition: nobody saw it coming, nobody could have seen it coming, it could not be planned for.

Some examples of Black Swan events:

Biblical examples of Black Swan events:holy-cross-justice-icon-of-the-resurrection

Aside: The Bible is a valuable source of political instruction for those who realize the wisdom contained in it.

The above examples of Black Swan events occurred against all odds, were so unlikely that they could not previously be imagined, and they changed the course of human history dramatically.

Black Swans- Good or Bad?

Black Swans can be either good or bad.
To qualify as a Black Swan, an event simply has to lie beyond the realm of normal expectations.
The Christianization of Europe was good.
The terror attacks of 9/11 were bad.
Both were Black Swan events.

Black Swan events can occur not only in politics and in global events, but in our personal lives as well.  One unexpected event frequently steers the subsequent course of a person’s entire lifetime.

Taming the Black Swan

Once one accepts the existence and powerful role of Black Swan events in human history, the next logical question becomes- can we possibly prepare for these events and/or influence these events?
Slide1

By human reason, no.
By definition we cannot expect and prepare for the unexpected.

However, in a nation like ours, in which 80% of citizens believe in God, 80% of citizens pray daily and believe that God answers their prayers, in a nation whose government has been founded on the inalienable rights given to man by God, in a nation structured after Christian morality, it is not unreasonable to bring into this discussion the interaction between God and History, and the interconnection between Church and State.
And this changes the picture dramatically.

In fact, when we acknowledge the interconnection between God and the world, Black Swan events become more easily understood as the intervention of God and of Satan in human affairs.

This view does not refuse to discuss the battle between of Good and Evil battle in our world.  In times of history like the present one, while ISIS mercilessly terrorizes Europe without intervention,  events becomes less mystifying when viewed in their proper light.

Back to Who Is In Charge?

Does this mean that we are helpless pawns at the mercy of warring supernatural forces of Good and Evil, much like the ancient Greeks who believed they were subject to the capricious whims of their warring and jealous gods?Slide1

No!
Unlike the ancient Greeks, we have the ability to steer supernatural events indirectly through our personal choices of good and evil and through our prayers.  We have a direct line to God via saintly lives and prayer, through which we can access the most powerful forces in the universe.  This is the power God has given to human beings. A power, incidentally, resented tremendously by Satan.

Unfortunately, some of us also choose to have a direct line to Satan. The Enemy is unleashed and empowered whenever we shun God’s directives and defy God, particularly when we try to be little gods ourselves.

And so, through moral choices and through prayer, we humans do have great influence on the war between Good and Evil.
Why do you think that Pope Francis’s reaction to the crisis in Syria was to call for global Adoration?
The holy man kwows how to fight spiritual warfare.

Satan always baits us with promises and with lies, but ultimately he delivers misery to all human beings, particularly to those who fell for his ploys.  But God limits Satan’s power, and teaches us how to chain the Evil one, by following the guidelines left to us first by the Ten Commandments, and then by Jesus Christ.

And so the mysterious struggles of Good and Evil are played out in our world, while many of us are unaware that victory is really within our grasp and that we have much more power over world events than we realize.

The Solution

or

Taming the Black SwanAmerica Prays

The solution is simple;

  • Stay close to God through prayer
  • Trust God with patience
  • Play by God’s rules, even in the face of impossible odds (God does the rest)

Simple formula for Elections

The formula for victory is simple- vote for the wisest and most moral candidate, whether you are voting in elections or in primaries, and forget about arguments on capturing independents in the middle by making moral compromises.

Follow the Limbaugh rule, not only when voters are fed up with liberalism, but ALL the time.
It worked for Abe Lincoln, it worked  for Ronald Reagan, and it worked for Saint John Paul II in the dissolution of the Soviet Union.Slide1

Most of America (Independents) needs to reclaim a political party and make it our own.
Both existing parties have failed us abysmally.
Democrats have completely sold out Christian values by promoting abortion and redefining marriage.

In 2014, Independents should go to the polls and vote for Republicans, because they oppose abortion (killing over a million citizens each year), and represent fiscal responsibility as well.
Perhaps the Republican party might be willing to shift to the right.

ballotpedia2-630x286Do your homework; use a neutral source like BALLOTPEDIA.

In 2016, if the Republican establishment resists a shift to conservative values and if the field is littered with numerous conservative candidates who split the vote up as they did in 2012, conservatives should not fear a brokered convention in which many conservatives are pared down to a few with numerous rounds of ballots.
We should not let the Republican establishment force the Buckley Rule, as they did in 2012, forcing the nomination of Mitt Romney against the majority of their party, who supported conservatives.

A message to the Republican establishment: don’t sell out your base and your ethics in some misguided attempt to capture some Independent votes from the middle.
Most Independents want a shift towards conservatism, reality and responsible behavior.Slide1

In 2016, if the Republican establishment tries to force liberalism and the “Buckley rule” as they have in the past, we move to a third, more moral and more conservative party.

Independents think, they admire justice, and they rally behind upstanding candidates.
Independents come in riding on black swans.

Reporting History

Most historians separate history and philosophy/theology into distinct and separate compartments, and only rarely do they acknowledge that human beliefs exert a powerful influence on human behavior and on human history.

It is even more rare for an historian to acknowledge that those humans actions which stem from religious belief (such as prayer or such as heroic action) can actually be effective in dealing with a global or political problem.
The political correctness of today does not permit the inclusion of God, moral choices, or prayer in any analysis.

But those who take their heads out of the sand and realize that this nation was founded on Christian principles and that this is still a nation of God-fearing and freedom-loving people in both parties, will realize that this nation’s history has been and will continue to be be steered by ethics, by prayer, and by God.
Unless the minority, the radical progressives who want to eradicate any mention of God from our lives and from our history, are allowed to intimidate the rest of us into inaction and into silence.God Bless America

The reading of history cannot be partial and biased to exclude the fact that this nations was shaped by Christians, still consists of Christians, and that it’s history has been guided and protected by a very good God.
The role of the supernatural must be acknowledged, if Truth is to be known.
The secularization of human history neglects to consider man’s strongest motivations, denies his noble struggle between the Truth and the Father of Lies, and dismisses his most powerful ally – the Almighty.

Col 2:8 See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ.

Interconnection Between Church and State

The interconnection suggested here between Church and State is not the top-down dictation of moral values by Executive Order that is being attempted by President Obama, dictating what newly invented progressive morality the citizens of the United States must follow.  Nor is it a government-imposed State Religion imposed from above.

The interconnection is a democratic one.

When it comes to refining the relationship between government and religion, or between Church and State, the key is for ethical values to flow from the bottom up, not from the top down.

Nobody wants a specific government-imposed religion. But people clearly do want a code of morality and ethics on which most reasonable citizens can agree.

Instead of eliminating morality altogether from public life, and instead of government (King Obama) dictating his own brand of morality, citizens need to vote their personal religious moral beliefs into law.
The Constitution provides the mechanism by which this fundamentally Christian nation, still identifying itself as 80% Christian, can choose representatives in government who reflect their ethical beliefs.

An Optimistic Future

When the interconnection between Church and State is implemented, not from the top down, but  from the grass roots up,
when we all pray and go to the polls and vote for what is right and what is moral, our nation will heal and will get back on the right track.

David will slay Goliath, and Red Sea will part.

That power is in our hands.
We can marshal powerful forces into play that could never be predicted or imagined on a human level alone.

We can steer the Black Swans- provided we don’t throw away the reins.

 

Related Posts:

The Missing Link – Redefining How We Approach Politics

Pope Francis Takes On Obama

Political Puzzle Pieces Falling into Place

Enjoying the Progress? Join the Prayer

Global Adoration- Say What?

 

 

 

Setting The Record Straight

PART I

or

Is Doug Erickson a George Soros Henchman?

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

Don’t Diss My Church!

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

Madison’s Wisconsin State Journal, Gays and Baptism

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

IMG_1095The Catholic Church Postion

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

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

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Gay Protests at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago

Same-Sex Parents and Godparents

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

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

Gay Attitude Towards the Catholic Church

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

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

Wisconsin State Journal is Surprised

Slide1

Typical Wisconsin State Journal article trashing Catholicism

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

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

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

Wisconsin State Journal Promotes Fringe Radicals

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

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

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

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

Grasping At Straws

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

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

20,000 Signatures

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

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

Slide3

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

Funded by WHOM?

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

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

And Doug Erickson wants to help.

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

Yet the Wisconsin State Journal gives them visibility.

Destructive Versus Constructive GroupsSlide1

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

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

George Soros

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

Slide1

Soros Biography by Dr. Joy Tiz

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

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

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

And Doug Erickson wants to help.

Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal

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

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

 

Dear Baby…

No comments

Dear Baby… (due October 10, 2014)…

Baby Blanket 1000

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Baby Reitz, I also dedicate to you what I dedicated to your father on his birthday in 2013:
An article on the importance of The Baby.

May God bless Baby Reitz and all babies!

Praying the Rosary- As Pertinent Today As Ever

Slide4May 13, 2014: In honor of Our Lady of Fatima, the Lady of the Rosary

A Personal Story

I don’t make a habit of baring my soul; conservative Catholics learn to hold what’s important close to the heart.

But last month, when fellow Serra Club member and friend Mary Uhler, Editor of the Madison Catholic Herald,  asked to interview me on why I make rosaries, it was time to crystallize my thoughts and to tell this particular story. It is a story illustrating how God works very quietly, yet powerfully in people’s lives today.

Most of us, if we reflect back on our lives, particularly on difficult or anxious times in our lives, will realize how God was actually walking along with us in our pain, was limiting our suffering, and was putting that suffering to good use.  He was definitely answering our prayers, provided we prayed.  This is the brilliance of God’s redemptive plan; that he transforms the evil perpetrated by Satan into good, provided we invite His help.  And what better invitation to God

Our Lady of Fatima can there be than the Rosary, the prayer which contemplates the life of Christ through His Mother Mary, whom He shared with us from His cross?

Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

Today is the feast day of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13th.  This miraculous appearance of Our Lady in 1917 in Portugal is one of the most famous appearances of Our Lady, which skeptics would be hard-pressed to refute, given the remarkable evidence.  The miracles of Fatima were witnessed by 70,000 people, and were documented in the press.  The messages of Fatima predicted World War II and the Soviet domination of Russia.  Pope John Paul the Great, now Saint John Paul, attributed his survival of a near-fatal shooting on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima in 1981 (May 13), to Our Lady of Fatima.

And what was the message of Our Lady of Fatima?
In this apparition, the Blessed Mother declared herself “I am the Lady of the Rosary.”
The central message was to pray, to devote ourselves to the Holy Trinity, and to pray the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.
At Fatima, Our Lady gave us the Fatima prayer, which is often incorporated into prayer of the rosary:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.

My Story- What the Rosary Has Done for and Means to Me

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Slide1Here is the story Mary Pubished in the  May 8, 2014 issue of the Madison Catholic Herald, in the Mother’s Day section: Visit the Catholic Herald to see the article, or read an extended version below, which includes numerous photos.

Thank you so much Mary, and thank you so much Catholic Herald!

Extended Version

Why do I make rosaries, and what does the rosary mean to me?

The short answer is that I have discovered that the rosary is one of the most powerful ways that we can tap into the power of God, and I look for ways to share this discovery with others.

That might sound somewhat exaggerated and melodramatic, but those who are aware that historical battles have been won through the power of the rosary (such as Battle of Lepanto) might not be surprised that our own personal battles can be won through the power of the rosary as well.

Homeschooling Mom

Slide1

Copy of the Rosary made for me by my son

As a cradle Catholic I was taught to pray the rosary.  But my passion for the rosary, my desire to make rosaries, and my commitment to promoting prayer of the rosary began much later, while a homeschooling mother.

Our Holy Family Catholic Homeschoolers were being taught to make simple string rosaries at St. Michael’s in Dane many years ago, when my children, older than most in the group, took an interest, instead, in an old man sitting in the corner, quietly making chain rosaries for the Missions with a pair of pliers.

My 12-year-old son became so interested that he resolved to learn how to make chain rosaries, and eventually made a beautiful blue crystal chain rosary for me, a copy of which I still carry with me every day.

Experience in Hospital

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20 Decade Rosary (Olive wood from the Holy Land and St. Benedict Crucifix),made for son Chris when he was at seminary.

Soon after that, my son was struck by juvenile diabetes and was hospitalized, in very serious condition.  Since I stayed with him, the doctors asked me to wake him every hour all night long, to make sure that it was possible to wake him.

I lay on a cot next to him all night, but I doubt whether I got one minute of sleep.  I prayed the rosary in my pocket, which he had made for me, over and over again, and did not stop all night.

In the morning, the resident doctor told me that we were finally out of the woods, but that my son had come within a hair’s breadth of going in to a coma.

Back then, with less technology, the job of keeping oneself alive daily with juvenile diabetes by balancing insulin injections, food and exercise was a challenging one, and my 13-year-old son no longer had time to make rosaries.

I’m not sure why, because I don’t generally think in these terms, but it dawned on me that Satan probably wanted to stop a young man from making rosaries.

My reaction was to get mad, resolving quietly to myself that Satan was not going to stop us; if my son cannot make rosaries, I will make them instead.

Making Rosaries

So, I got my son to teach me, and I started making chain rosaries myself.

At first I made Mission rosaries to send overseas, and then I realized that Madison, Wisconsin also had a need for rosaries, so I made rosaries for anyone who was interested, free of charge.

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Rosaries made for Cathedral Parish

Today I still provide free rosaries for my parish (Cathedral parish in Madison), which welcomes new parishioners with a gift package containing among other things, a rosary.

Importance of Prayer

But there is more to the story. First of all, the anxiety and terror a parent naturally feels in the face of something like juvenile diabetes (JD) was gradually dispelled.

Our son has not had one single emergency room visit (common for most JD patients) now in 14 years, and is healthier and happier than most people are.

I now realize that when we walk with God, ordeals are not terrifying; they become easy.  What should be living hell, instead becomes a joy.

Prayer of the rosary, especially before the Blessed Sacrament at Adoration, has become an essential part of my spiritual life, and of my survival of the challenges of this life. In any crisis, prayer before the Blessed Sacrament brings resolution.

Rosary for the Bishop

Our family’s involvement with the rosary also took some other interesting turns.  Five years after I started making rosaries, I attempted to round up 31 women from the Madison Catholic Woman club to pray the rosary for our Madison Bishop Morlino, who was being attacked unfairly in the local media.

logo_blue_reflectedI wanted to organize one rosary to be prayed for Bishop Morlino each day of the month.  My son Tom, then an 18-year-old college student with an interest in computers, suggested that we put the Rosary for the Bishop program up online to facilitate membership, and he built a website for me –Rosary for the Bishop, http://rosaryforthebishop.org/.

Pretty soon, we added another great brave outspoken bishop to the website, who was in need of prayer. This was Bishop Nickless from Sioux City, Iowa.  We became aware of Bishop Nickless through our other son Chris, who was building and managing the local Catholic radio station in Sioux City.

Spreads Thoughout the World
Slide1

It was not long before Tom decided to add all the US bishops and our Pope to the Rosary for the Bishop website.  From there on, the Rosary for the Bishop website soon took on a life of it’s own.

Out of the blue, we got a request from the editor of the UK Catholic Herald to put all the UK bishops up on the website, and Rosary for the Bishop was featured in the UK Catholic Herald.

Slide1We also got requests from people in South Africa, from Australia, South America, and from various places in Europe.  Today, the Rosary for the Bishop website organizes global prayer of the rosary for bishops, with email reminders available, and with maps and statistics, for over 1580 members from 26 countries, 258 dioceses and from 1,001 parishes, who have prayed over 297,000 rosaries for 453 bishops globally since then.

Bishop Morlino now has over 500 rosaries prayed for him each month, and has had over 45,000 rosaries prayed for him through this program since it began in 2005.

It’s even become a challenge to keep the website updated with all the changes in bishop appointments, and we are currently looking for volunteer help.

My son, who was forced to quit making chain rosaries at age 12, is now a professional web developer who has facilitated global prayer of the rosary in a way I never imagined possible.

Rosary in Lithuanian

Over the years I became more and more aware of the power of the web.  With my Lithuanian roots, I had learned my prayers as a child in Lithuanian, and still pray the rosary in Lithuanian.

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

St. John Paul the Great Praying at Lithuania’s Hill of Crosses, 1993- his mother was of Lithuanian ancestry.

 

When I searched for Lithuanian prayers on the web, I was amazed to find that very few were available, and no audio was available at all.

The 50-year occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union following World War II had almost eradicated religious material from print, and this shortage was reflected online.

So I asked my son Chris, then operations manager of Catholic Relevant Radio in Madison, to record some Lithuanian rosary prayers, and I posted those on my website at www.SyteReitz.com.

Later, as this old lady became more “wired,” and as I got requests from people through the website, I recorded more Lithuanian prayers myself, and posted those as well.  Today, quite a few visitors download Lithuanian rosary prayers from my website.

(See free Lithuanian Rosary mp3s, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 2-16)

Rosary Resources

I also collected rosary resources from the web in English for my website.  I combined instructions on how to pray the rosary with sacred art and with Bible quotes for each of the mysteries, creating a detailed instruction manual.

Slide1A staff member from our parish suggested that I should turn that into a downloadable pdf for mobile devices, so guess what, my favorite web developer Tom was pressed into service again!

The free downloadable How to Pray the Rosary Mobile PDF is one of the most downloaded pages at https://sytereitz.com/2013/10/how-to-pray-the-rosary-mobile-pdf/ .

A Prayer for Children and for Popes

To me, the Rosary is one of the most powerful ways that Jesus Christ, through His Church and through His Blessed Mother, offers us to tap into the power of God through fervent prayer. The rosary invites us to prayer on many levels.  Beginning each decade with the Our Father given to us by Christ Himself, the rosary continues with other beautiful traditional Catholic prayers, which teach us many truths of the Faith. The rosary inspires us to reflect on the life of Christ, and ultimately invites us into contemplative meditation. The brilliance of the rosary is its adaptability to whatever level of spiritual maturity or frame of mind we are in, ranging from panicked repetition to collected meditation.  It is equally appropriate for children and for Popes.   With God, all things are possible, and our rosaries are always as close as our pockets.

The Beauty of the the RosaryDSCN5865sm

The realization that Jesus Christ is just as present, accessible, and willing to be involved in our lives today as He was 2,000 years ago, via something I carry in my pocket or count on my fingers, is something that I treasure and that I want to share with others.  Much as I value my own personal interaction with God, the cumulative talents of the Church and her tradition, as encompassed in the Holy Rosary, surpass any prayer I could personally compose.

Anybody who listens to Bach instead of composing their own melodies will be able to appreciate the availability of beautiful majestic prayer such as the Rosary, that comes from the Church’s 2000 year tradition and has received the stamp of approval from our Blessed Mother.

Even my husband Rolf, who is not Catholic, has encouraged our family in our devotion to the Rosary.  His support and his company at events like the Madison Capitol Rosary Rally for Religious Freedom have been most appreciated.

My favorite Rosaries

ChrisRebeccaRosary

Chris and Rebecca’s Rosary

On a personal note, some of the rosaries most precious to me include the rosary my son first made for me at the age of 12, the 20-decade Holy Land olive wood rosary I made for another son when he attended seminary, the rosary made by me which was buried with my brother 3 years ago, and the sterling silver and Swarovski pearl and crystal rosary I recently made for my son and his wife for their wedding, which they designed for use with their future children during family prayer.  I also treasure the thought that some of the other rosaries I have distributed might be instrumental in bringing others closer to Christ and to His Blessed Mother.

More Photos of My Rosaries:

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Stainless Steel Rosary

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Brown Cocoa Bean Rosary

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Rosaries for Cathedral Parish

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Large black religious habit rosary

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Fire polished glass, olive wood

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Rosary pliers and wire

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Fire Polished Glass

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Olive Wood

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Brown Cocoa Beans

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Blessed Mother Centers

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Sterling Silver, Swarivski Crystal and Pearl

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Sterling Silver, Swarovski Crystal and Pearl

 

 

How to Make a Rosary

Here are some resources that will help anyone interested in making wire rosaries:

Our Lady’s Rosary Makers HOW TO VIDEOS:

Part 1 –
Part 2 –
Part 3 –

TOOLS: Pliers and Wires
Rosary Maker’s Guide – http://www.rosarymakersguide.org/plierswires.htm

PDF instructions w/ diagrams
http://www.olrm.org/publications/pdf_files/wire_inst.pdf

How to Pray the Rosary: https://sytereitz.com/2013/10/how-to-pray-the-rosary/

How to Pray the Rosary mobile PDF :   http://www.sytereitz.com/2013/10/how-to-pray-the-rosary-mobile-pdf/

 

Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for Us!

 

 

 

 

 

Should a Young Man Go for the Priesthood?

Wisconsin State Journal Article

Become a Priest?So- the Wisconsin State Journal interviewed a young man, Jose Flores, who is considering the priesthood as his vocation instead of pediatrics.

The article by Doug Erickson was remarkably well done, was respectful and professional.  Time will tell whether the Wisconsin State Journal has switched to fair reporting on Catholicism, or whether this is another set-up similar to last month’s, and the ball will shortly be spiked, just in time for Easter.

‘Good and Godless’ Chimes In

Melodramatic

“Good and Godless” being melodramatic

Nevertheless, an anonymous reader with the screen name “Good and Godless” had to chime in, in the comment section, on a negative note, bemoaning the resulting loss of a pediatrician who can help humanity “in a tangible and effective way,”  and lamenting “the corrupting influences of religion.”

How melodramatic!

And illogical.
For one thing, what is the likelihood of a pediatrician from Madison spending their life in a place where babies die for lack of doctors?

Which Need Is Greater?

And here’s the most important rational question: In the U.S. today, what is the greater need- more doctors, or more godliness?

Close to half our population can’t even figure out that killing a baby before birth is not morally different from killing a baby after birth.  Nor can they figure out the practical negative impact of abortion on a society and on an economy.  Nor can they figure out how much human misery is generated by divorce, and the importance of repairing struggling marriages.Slide1

What if this fine young man becomes a priest, works with youth, prevents countless young people from engaging in promiscuity, prevents countless babies from being killed by abortion, and saves countless marriages?
What if he teaches countless children the morality and the voluntary self-restraint that is an essential part of Catholicism?
In that case, his value would be far greater as a priest than as a pediatrician. Not only medically in the saving of lives, but also spiritually and psychologically in the saving of the the souls and sanity of the parents.

The Value of a Priest and the Power of Religion

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Priests, by providing people with Sacraments and with moral teaching, prevent countless human tragedies, something that no KGB, NSA, police force, or even (unconstitutional, despotic) presidential executive order can prevent.

A moral population exercising voluntary self-restraint has been the foundation of success in this country.
In God we trust, and on Him we rely.
The formula has worked for over two centuries in the U.S.

Madison Seminarians

Madison seminarians with Bishop Morlino

Go for it, Jose!  Every young man should ask himself where God is calling him to service.
A priest impacts society WAY more than does a pediatrician.
So go to seminary, ask God whether He is calling you to the priesthood, and listen for His answer.

Explosion of Young Men Going into the Priesthood

The Diocese of Madison has had an explosion of fine young men interested in the priesthood as their calling.
Maybe the generation that has been hurt most by the progressive agenda of promiscuity, abortion and divorce, errors which are promoted and defended by people similar to “Good and Godless,” has now grown up, identified the solution, God, and wants to spread the Good News.

Want to know what they are thinking?
Here’s a You Tube of one who tells you:

 

 

 

 

Slide1

Seriously, That Was Obama’s Response!

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

Carrot Seeds?

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

Details of the Historic Meeting between Francis and Obama

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

CNS on Obama & the Pope

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

 

The text:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 What’s Next for the Pope?

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

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

Slide1What’s Next for President Obama?

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

 

 

 

A Contagious Passion for God

Slide1An  Ursuline Sister on The Voice Italia !

Even the ultra-liberal Huffington Post was wowed by a young Italian nun’s passionate belting out of the Alicia Keys love song No One at The Voice Italia (Voice of Italy)  singing competition last week.  The Judges, who vote “yes” by swiveling their chairs around to see the performer when they like what they are hearing, displayed priceless surprise and emotion when they set eyes on 25 year old Sister Cristina Scuccia, an Ursuline Sister of the Holy Family, dressed in a black habit and silver cross, delivering her performance. One tattooed judge’s eyes were glistening, and he wiped tears away clandestinely before telling Sister Cristina “If I had met you during the Mass when I was a child, now I would be Pope!  I would surely have attended all the functions.”  Sister Cristina replied “Well, you have met me now.”..

The Rapper

J-Ax

J-Ax

When time came for Sister Cristina to choose a voice coach from among the judges, she chose that tattooed judge, who had been first to turn around, who told Sister Cristina “We, together, are the Devil and the Holy Water!  You have to choose me,” and who turns out to be the Italian rapper J-Ax.  In response to her choice, J-Ax ran up onto the stage, grabbed and lifted the nun, swinging her around dramatically before putting her down again.

The Video

Watch the video- through to the end- and make sure to click the CC closed captioning at the bottom of the screen after the video starts to play to get English subtitles (video in Italian).  This video has gone viral, with over 33 million views in less than a week:

Why Did She Do This?

Saint Peter

Saint Peter

When asked why she was there at Voice Italia, Sister Cristina said “I have a gift and I am giving it to you.  Shouldn’t things be this way?” – paraphrasing 1Peter 4:10, in which Peter says “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Sister Cristina also told the judges she was there to evangelize.

Where Does the Passion Come From?

Few have speculated on where the Sister’s obvious passion and energy come from, focusing instead on the Sister’s talent and surprising choice of song and forum. The words of the Alicia Keys love song No One, however, sung so passionately that it brought tears to a tattooed Italian rappers eyes, could easily be understood as the passion of this bride of Christ for her Groom Jesus Christ; a passion for God which can match and exceed any possible passion between human beings, a passion that has given numerous saints throughout the ages the strength to face death:

No One

I just want you close
Where you can stay forever
You can be sure
That it will only get better
You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don’t worry ’cause
Everything’s gonna be alright
People keep talking
They can say what they like
But all I know is
Everything’s gonna be alright
And no one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I’m feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel for you
When the rain is pouring down
And my heart is hurting
You will always be around
This I know for certain
You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don’t worry ’cause
Everything’s gonna be alright
People keep talking
They can say what they like
But all I know is
Everything’s gonna be alright
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I’m feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel
I know some people search the world
To find something like what we have
I know people will try, try to divide something so real
So till the end of time, I’m telling you that in the world
No one, no one
Can get in the way of what I’m feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

 

New Evangelization, here we come!

.nun-on-the-voice

Pope Francis’ down to earth “field hospital” attitude, and now Sister Cristina’s “soulful performance,” are pointing the way for an engaged and passionate evangelization that stuns and attracts, and in which we are all called to participate.

Going Viral

The remarkable story was reported everywhere-

There was much surprise, much discussion, and she trended on Twitter after her unbelievable performance, with many Italians sowing their love for “#suorcristina” (Sister Cristina).
Less than a week later, one video of Sister Cristina’s performance has already had over 31 million views.

You Tube EvangelizationSlide1

How’s that for evangelization?

As always, God works in the most mysterious and unexpected ways, touching the most unexpected people, and using the most unexpected means.

No committee on evangelization could have come up with wowing J-Ax on TV with a song belted out by a religious sister wearing a habit and a cross.

Choice of Song

Just wait until they ask Sister Cristina about her choice of song!

When asked about her choice of song, perhaps Sister Cristina will refer them to Psalm 62(63),which expresses feelings remarkably similar to those expressed in Alicia Key’s song, only they are directed at God:

Thirsting for God

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

.

A Local Plug for the New Evangelization

Oremus.
And now,  a plug for some passionate local Madison, WI Catholic rock music by Oremus (Latin for Let us pray) from 2007:

Oremus Catholic Rock
Holy Mary You Tube performance
Grapevine Magazine article
Free player and downloads

Oremus album at iTunes
Oremus album at CD Baby
Song of Benedict single at iTUnes
Song of Benedict single at CD Baby

 

 

The Holy Season of Lent: Time for Bashing Catholics in Madison Wisconsin

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The Wisconsin State Journal Defiles Itself Again

Common Knowledge

rapunzel-warriors-attack-cartoon-miscellanea-686632-1024x640It is common knowledge among people of faith that “enlightened” irreligious progressives who do not engage in customary Lenten spiritual sacrifice/self-improvement, frequently spend Lent attacking Christians and attacking the Catholic Church in the media and elsewhere.

Why? Anybody’s guess.  Too much free time?  Subconscious guilt?  Satan preying on undisciplined minds and spirits?  Conscious exercise of Alinsky Tactics by progressives who want to damage the reputation of the Church?|

After all, the Catholic Church is the largest, most organized and most effective opponent of the radical agenda in the world today, and Madison, home of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the place where embryonic stem cell research was developed and patented, is not a welcoming place for Catholics or for their philosophy.

Predictable Lenten Attacks

So, in predictable fashion, Lenten attacks against Catholics have been escalating in progressive Progressive tactics

Madison in recent weeks, led by the Wisconsin State Journal (WiSJ), which seems bent on self-destruction, like it’s partner publication the Cap Times, which is no longer available in print.

The Wisconsin State Journal just published an interview with Madison’s Bishop Morlino about Pope Francis’ teachings.  Although not biased in itself, the interview spawned vicious online discussion attacks on the Bishop, with “enlightened,” highly educated and “tolerant” Madisonians dredging up old false myths and accusations against the Catholic Church, denigrating Madison’s Bishop, and even ridiculing Catholic liturgical vestments.

Unbiased, or Set Up to Spike?

This Wisconsin State Journal’s “unbiased” interview actually only looked unbiased to those uninitiated to Madison and it’s WiSJ. The interview article was actually a set up, like a volleyball play set up by one player for another to spike the ball.  Once the interview was placed by 0420-1007-3011-4011_man_spiking_a_volleyball_over_the_net_oreporter A (Doug Erickson, who incidentally tried just last month to associate the Bishop of Madison falsely with child abuse allegations elsewhere in the US), attackers followed.  The attackers included a second WiSJ reporter B (Chris Rickert), who ridiculed the Bishop’s interview and questioned his motivations in a second article, in which Rickert presumed to know the mind of God.  The Editor John Smalley participated by publishing three letters from angry readers ( 1,  2,  3 ) who attacked the Bishop and the Diocese.  And finally, attackers included the “regulars;” anonymous Madisonians who attack the Catholic Church, the Diocese, and the Bishop routinely in the discussion forums after each WiSJ article published about Catholics.  These “regulars” include Madison’s biggest bullies hiding their true identities behind screen names, lacking the courage to spread their hateful slander undisguised.

Obama Sets Up and Spikes

This set-up-and-spike tactic is not uncommon among progressives; it was the very tactic used by President Obama to attack the Catholic Church in the early planning stages of ObamaCare.  President Obama invited Cardinal Dolan, President of the United States Conference of Catholic dolan-obamaBishops to the White House, assured him that ObamaCare will respect the religious rights of Catholic institutions, invited Cardinal Dolan to relay the message to the other bishops to put the Catholic Church at ease, unprepared for what was coming next.  The axe fell a few months later, when President Obama issued the Contraception Mandate, to which many other groups were exempt, but to which the Catholic Church received no exemption, thus requiring Catholic institutions to violate their religious beliefs or be punished financially and cripplingly by law.

At present, President Obama is fighting 91 Religious Liberty lawsuits, and the Vatican’s Chief Justice, Cardinal Burke, has declared that Obama’s policies are “Progressively More Hostile Toward Christian Civilization.”

Slide1Intolerant Progressive Dogmatist Attacks

So these set-up-and-spike tactics are not new to progressive politics.  Not too surprising, for a group that advocates free birth control and promiscuity, followed by abortion which perpetrates eugenics, lack of fiscal accountability either in government or in citizenry, and numerous other unethical policies which violate the Ten Commandments and the Constitution of the United States.   The WiSJ simply appeared to be mimicking President Obama in it’s use of tactics against the Catholic Church.

Second Round of Attack – Who Ridicules Victims of Arson?
Stations of the Cross?

The above series of attacks stemming from the interview with Bishop Morlino about the Pope was then followed by reporter B’s (Chris Rickert’s) publishing a very disrespectful piece about the Diocese of Madison’s burnt down Cathedral site in Madison, which now houses a temporary outdoor Stations of the Cross until the economy permits the rebuilding of a Cathedral

Chris Rickert

Who ridicules? Chris Rickert does

downtown.   In this second round of attacks, Rickert failed to even mention that the plot of land had housed a Cathedral burned down by arson, he showed no sympathy for his fellow Christians (he actually claimed to be a Christian in the piece!) for the tragic loss of their Cathedral, and made wise-cracks about the tax-ability of the land, suggested its use for public bathrooms, lamented that the land was not used for soup kitchens, Girl Scout and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and suggested it would be more useful for tossing a football or for “smooching under the stars.”

If Rickert is truly a Christian, he could look into some Lenten spiritual self-improvement rather than ridiculing the Stations of the Cross during Lent.

Professional Journalism, or Professional Suicide?

a9780a28cc69ed355daac0804dc7b679ab81beac_fullThe level of misinformation and disrespect delivered by Rickert’s piece was pretty remarkable for someone who claims to be a journalist and claims to have a “laser-like perspective.”  More remarkable is the fact that his editor, John Smalley, allowed it to be published. Finally, most remarkable of all, is the fact that the second largest newspaper in Wisconsin publishes such literary offal.  Offal which insults the 25% Catholic population of Madison, of Wisconsin and of the United States.  All the while claiming to be a mecca of tolerance, intellectualism and enlightenment.

The Wisconsin State Journal is likely to go the way of other progressive organizations that have imploded from their own boomeranging tactics.  That would include the Capital Times of Madison which abandoned print editions in 2008, and the plunging ratings of MSNBC, CNN, and even of President Obama himself, whose lies and misrepresentations are coming home to roost, both at home and abroad.

More Disgruntled Progressives During Lent

Wisconsin State Journal is not alone in their nefarious activities this Lent.  Apparently, the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison also got a bee in it’s bonnet over religion recently.  They were incensed to hear that (Christian) Governer Scott Walker tweeted a scripture reference recently  (Philipians 4:13), and demanded removal of the tweet.  The scripture verse reads “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”Slide1

Why would the Freedom From Religion Foundation be in such a quandary over the tweeting of a scripture reference?  Because the scripture reference summarizes the Power of Religion and alerts people to the fundamental reason why Freedom From Religion wants eradication of religion from public life—the fact religion advocates an inviolable moral code, which places limits on the actions in which all, including the powerful, can engage. The Freedom of Religion Foundation is terrified of nice men who are powerful; for politicians, these men are dangerous.  Such men include Pope Francis and Scott Walker.  In actual fact, the Freedom From Religion Foundation represents only 1 out of thousand atheists, and only one out of 10,000 Americans, so they do not represent a serious threat to the rest of 80% Christian America, unless we allow ourselves to be bullied into submission by a pathetic and angry minority.  Most atheists (999 out of 1,000) are quite happy to coexist with Christians without demanding to control their tweets.

Have a Good Productive Lent, Everyone

holy-redeemer-churchSo, as the disgruntled media and progressives continue their customary attacks on Christians in Madison this Lent, let’s remember that Religion is Power, and including God in the plan helps us to win the war.  Our opponents can attack and sputter as much as they want during Lent, but as Governor Walker reminds us, in Christ, we can do all things.  Lent is our training camp, the Way of the Cross is our salvation, and the Resurrection and Easter are not just symbolic; they are very, very real.Slide18-e1376614703643-300x190

No wonder the Enemy is sputtering at the approach of Lent and Easter each year!

Have a good and spiritually productive Lent, everyone!

.
Praise be to God!

 

 

Want to Complain?

COMPLAIN TO:

Want to Pray for Our Bishops?Slide1

Check out the cool global map  at Rosary for the Bishop, a website organized in 2005 to help support Bishop Morlino against the attacks he was suffering in Madison, and which now coordinates 1580 members from 258 dioceses and from 996 parishes, who have prayed 278,300 rosaries for 456 bishops globally since then.

Join the effort by signing up to pray as little as one rosary per month for the bishop of your choice. Note: Pope Francis is also a bishop, and you can sign up to pray for him.

Against odds like this, Chris Rickert, Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal have little chance.

Slide2

See what happened the last time we took to global prayer: Making Sense of Syria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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