Syte Reitz

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

Browsing Posts in Uncategorized

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!

 

To Win Election 2016: Ride the Black Swan!

 

REAL Hope and BIG Change

As numerous October surprises unfold on the eve of Election Day 2016, we conservatives can set asidslide1e the feelings of futility and helplessness we sometimes felt as we watched the progressive takeover of our nation that has been grinding slowly since the 1960’s.

There IS now great hope and opportunity for the restoration of the Judeo-Christian values on which our nation was founded, and which have brought us to the prosperity that we have worked for and enjoyed until recently, for over 200 years.

We now have the opportunity for a very rapid reversal of the moral slide in this election, provided we ride the Black Swan.

And what IS the Black Swan, and how do we ride it?

We actually hold power WAY beyond the sum of our cumulative votes, if only we would realize it and use it.

So let’s get to the background and clarify what this means.

slide1CNBC, Trump and the Black Swan

CNBC recently referred to the recent FBI/Comey/Weiner/Hillary e-mail developments a a “black swan development.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “black swans” refer to a serious political theory which holds that some most significant events in human history are not the result of careful human planning by professional politicians or by democratic elections, but are steered instead by completely unpredictable, seemingly almost random events which can alter the course of history very dramatically.

So CNBC appears to view the most recent Hillary email scandal as potentially game-changing, and certainly not proceeding according to plan.

Are Black Swans Good or Bad?
Are They Truly Uncontrollable? 

This is where I like to interject the observation that Black Swans, both in nature and in political theory, are NOT necessarily considered negative, evil or dark.  Black Swan analogy was introduced simply because the Black Swan is so rare that at one point in history it was thought not to exist.  The Black Swan represents a very rare and very unpredictable event, which can be either good or bad, but which defies all odds and probabilities.Slide2

In my world view, which is based on a strong Faith in a very good, very brilliant, very invested and very accessible God, Black Swan events represent the influence of the ever-present war between Good and Evil, between God and Satan, on human events.

And what only those with very strong faith realize, is that the tides if this war are seriously affected by the moral standards we humans adopt and the prayers that we pray as the people of God.

Yes, WE can control the Black Swans, albeit indirectly and only God willing.  But we fight back evil with courage, hard work, and most importantly, PRAYER.

Media and God and Probability

The media has recently begun acknowledging the existence of God, although intermittently, and recently The Daily Mirror even acknowledged that Britain’s Brexit appeared to be affected by an “Act of God.”  Now, CNBC seems ready to acknowledge at least the role of rare and unpredictable Black Swan events in elections, and to suggest the possibility that Hillary Clinton’s election may be threatened by such Black Swan events.

So let us summarize briefly why the recent Hillary email developments seem to defy all odds, then move on to the question of how we can contribute to the course of American history in ways that make us feel less powerless.

nypostemailsThe Scenario

  • * Numerous Black Swans have been arriving during this election season, including Donald Trump himself, who was a big surprise to everyone.
  • * But most recently, Hillary’s clandestine private email server was hacked, and her traitorous global pay-for-play game was exposed on Wikileaks.
  • * Hillary was sufficiently powerful to get President Obama to influence the head of the FBI Comey, and the Attorney General of the United States Lynch, to gloss over Hillary’s negligence and the multiple felonies she had committed.
  • * The only way the head of the FBI could squirm out of the bind he was in, torn between serving Justice and answering to Congress, yet obeying directions from President Obama and Attorney General Lynch, was by promising Congress that he will reopen the case and inform them if any additional information surfaces regarding the case.
  • Note that the only alternative to this promise of Comey’s would have been to refuse to promise to reopen the investigation if additional evidence surfaced.
  • Next, what are the chances that a sexually disordered man happens to be married to Hillary’s closest aide, and that aide uses her home computer for backups?
  • Also the chance that that man sells out his wife and barters his computer for clemency when he is caught sexting with 15 year old girls?humacomposite
  • Back to the backups- what is the chance that an accidental backup occurs, if you believe yesterday’s news, as Huma Abedin apparently claimed.  She accidentally backed up 650,000 emails while trying to back up her contact list. (?!)
  • Alternatively, they may have been purposeful backups.  When you’re dealing with Mr. & Mrs. 54 body-count Clinton, even if you are a close associate, it might be wise to keep some insurance backed up at home.
After all, the Clinton empire resembles very closely the TV series House of Cards.
  • And so, the FBI becomes aware of hundreds of thousands of emails, in all probability including the 30,000 or so that Hillary scrubbed from her server before turning information over to the FBI in March.
 The FBI must reopen the investigation.
  • And now the FBI director MUST inform Congress, or face future prosecution himself for participation in what now called by some the Clinton Cartel and it’s traitorous global agenda.
How fortuitous is it that Congress demanded a promise from Comey that locked Comey in?
  • Most recently, Hillary demands that the details be disclosed.  Of course.  So that the case against her could be compromised and important evidence would have to be excluded from future trials. Hillary is always looking for fools. It’s worked for her well in the past.

The Probability

slide1If we took the trouble to calculate the odds of each of the above events happening, and to determine the probability of all of them happening in a series, you would probably find that the probability is so low that it’s comparable to the probability of a meteor hitting the earth this afternoon.

And that is the definition of Black Swan events.
Events that were not planned by politicians or other groups of people, events that defy all odds, and events that have transformative power over human history.

An example of such an event is the Christianization of Europe by the Emperor Constantine, who, it may comfort us conservatives to know today, as we conservatives chew our fingernails over Mr. Trump, it may comfort us to know that the Emperor Constantine was not particularly saintly at the time. Yet he ended the era in which Christians were fed to lions, an option that Hillary Clinton might even find attractive today, if the recently found emails of her staff ridiculing Catholics  and attempts to infiltrate and change the Catholic religion from the inside are any indication of Hillary’s views.slide1

It is not surprising to people of Faith that God often uses human individuals who are not close to or “inside” the Church for His purposes. This is where I start chuckling, and admire immensely the sense of humor God so obviously has.

…AND SO…

So…

We have to recognize a good black swan when we see one.
We have to welcome and ride the numerous Black Swans that are arriving.
We do NOT say no to the lifelines God is sending.
And we have to keep praying for more Black Swans, or they will stop arriving.

We all have to VOTE
* We MUST go to the polls.
* WE HAVE TO VOTE FOR TRUMP, who officially supports the Constitution and the Judeo-Christian principles on which it was based.  Who has defended Christianity and the unborn publicly more than once.  
* We have to vote Republican down the line– THIS election is not about parties, but about choosing a system of ethics. Judeo-Christian ethics, or the Dictator-of-the-Day ethics that progressives represent?
If you don’t want Hillary and Abortion set up as our new Gods,  you have to vote for Trump.

slide1

We all have to PRAY
* Pray for the Election
* Pray for the re-Christianization of the United States
* PRAY FOR TRUMP, that his “conversion” to conservative principles and his pledge to protect Christianity and unborn children in the United States is sustained and supported by action on his part.

Reminder

I got an important reminder from a friend, Nancy Bartlett, President of Republican Women of Dane County:  prayers of thanksgiving and praise are always due to our very awesome God, before, during and after all our crises.

Even if Donald Trump and the ethical Republican Platform don’t win this election, this 2016 election has already brought the most important issues to the forefront of discussion- the dismemberment of unborn babies and protection of the religious freedom of Christians.  Being able to talk about these things publicly and in political circles is an important first step.  And Donald Trump is responsible for this change.  Praise be to God!  How mysterious are His ways.

See How to Pray the Rosary PDF

 See Also: A Woman Speaks Up –on Trump

 

A Big, Big Deal

Slide1We have no guarantee that the Donald has undergone conversion, but it is comforting to learn that Donald Trump has OK’d the Republican Party Platform, which was just reviewed by the Platform committee, a Republican Platform which remains as conservative as ever on all the most important moral issues- abortion, traditional marriage, and religious freedom.

This is a BIG development, a BIG Black Swan, and something worth watching as the election progresses.
Donald seems to have acknowledged that the Republican Party is not his to hijack, and that the conservative values represented by Republicans in recent decades DO matter to the American people.  If the Donald wants the backing of the America, he needs to listen to the people.

Concomitantly, polls are showing a surge of support for Trump, in comparison with Hillary.Slide1

Not a slam-dunk for morality and the future of America yet, but definitely a hopeful and positive development.

And who seemed to be the primary news source noticing?
MSNBC!
Their article is entitled:

Trump Campaign Supports GOP Platform That Moved Further Right

Presumably MSNBC took note because they were distressed by the notion that Donald Trump just might support the conservative social moral values that built this nation, rather than furthering the progressive agenda advocated by the Obama administration.

Me?
For me, this is cause for celebration.
Black Swans continue to arrive this election season, and I continue to pray, and watch in wonderment.

 

 

Oremus Catholic Rock Music

.
oremus CD babySome friends have been asking for the music from our sons’ Catholic Rock Music group, Oremus, which was a wonderful product of their high school and college years.

Oremus composed some original music, performed at many Catholic events, recorded some praise and worship songs, put out two CDs available from CD Baby, maintained a popular website, and  have a You Tube that has had over 13,000 visitors.  Now their website has been retired.  Both are adults, married, with families of their own, and too busy to continue Oremus Catholic Rock.

Here is their music for our friends who have been asking- enjoy!:
Incidentally, Oremus is Latin for “Let us pray.

(Photos below)

 

Above All:

.

Holy Mary:

.

Song of Benedict

(Original Composition, reduced length):

.

Come Back (Original Composition):

.

Let All Mortal Flesh:

.

Your Face (Original Composition):

.

Blessed Be Your Name:

.

The Hero (Original Composition,

reduced length):

.

Solid State Symphony Overture (Original Composition):

.

Solid State Symphony Movement 1 (Original Composition):

.

Solid State Symphony Movement 2 (Original Composition):

.

Solid State Symphony Movement 3 (Original Composition):

 

Oremus performing at a CareNet benefit sponsored by Madison Mallards and Relevant Radio Madison- with Brian Kelly of Relevant Radio, and the Mallards Duck

Oremus performing at a CareNet benefit sponsored by Madison Mallards and Relevant Radio Madison- Tom, Chris, the Mallards Duck and good friend Brian Kelly of Relevant Radio Madison- July 31, 2009

The Song of Benedict Album Cover

The Song of Benedict Album Cover

.

.

 

 

 

Battle of Wisconsin Results:

Slide1

.
(See Wisconsin Supreme Court Election background at Get Off Your Couch…)

Slide1

.

.

Slide1

.

.

 

 

Thanks be to God,

and God Bless America!

As Wisconsin goes, so let America go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Off Your Couch and Keep Wisconsin On Track-
It’s SO Important to Vote Tomorrow!

Note (added Apr. 7m 2016): See April 5 Election Results at Battle of Wisconsin Results.
Note (added Mar. 19, 2016):

JoAnn Kloppenburg’s supporters tried to smear Rebecca Bradley recently, digging up Justice Bradley’s statements opposing abortion and gay issues a quarter century ago when she was 20 years old.
Although Rebecca Bradley’s statements were overemotional back then, the fact remains that many Americans still oppose abortion and the redefinition of marriage, and Bradley was courageous in voicing her conservative views in college.

JoAnn Kloppenburg has no shortage of extreme views at the other, progressive end of the political spectrum:

Kloppenburg is an off-the-deep-end radical, and you should not vote for her unless you are enjoying the present fallout we are suffering from radical progressive agendas both in Madison and nationwide.  If you vote for JoAnne Kloppenburg, you are voting for a Judge who considers herself above the law.

Rebecca Bradley, on the other hand, respects the (conservative) value of respecting and following the law, not legislating from the bench, leaving legislation to the legislative branch, and refusing to us smear campaigns such as those her opponent supports.

Vote again on April 5, 2016; Vote for Rebecca Bradley!

Note (added Feb. 17, 2016): Thanks for Voting!

Rebecca Bradley came in first in the Feb 16 Primary yesterday (Martin Joseph Donald was eliminated).
Stay vigilant and vote again on April 5, 2016, when Wisconsin will be making a final choice between Rebecca Bradley (conservative) and JoAnn Kloppenburg (liberal).

The Background

 

Seal_of_the_Supreme_Court_of_Wisconsin.svgMuch of the liberalization of our contemporary culture has been accomplished by liberal judges at various levels overruling the will of the American people.  Examples include the reversal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the Roe v. Wade legalization of abortion.

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court had it’s share of liberal judges, with three liberals out of seven Supreme Court Judges five years ago.

Some of the liberal Judges were spinning out of controltrying to smear one of the conservative Judges, Justice Prosser in an apparent effort to liberalize the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  Their attempts, if you believe the testimony of the majority of Justices who witnessed the event, included desperate measures such as assaulting a fellow Justice, involving the press, and then lying about what had happened.Slide1

The attempt to change that balance failed, and the conservative majority has since been strengthened in 2015 by Governor Walker’s appointment of Rebecca Bradley, another conservative Judge.  Justice Rebecca Bradley is not to be confused with the other Justice Bradley, Ann Walsh Bradley, who was the source of the problems in 2011, and who was responsible for assaulting a fellow Judge and trying to cast him as the aggressor, despite the testimony of witnesses.  This led to a shocking game of Which Supreme Court Justice assaulted which Supreme Court Justice, and which one lied?

So let’s make sure we get this straight:

  • Just so there’s no confusion:
    Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley is the liberal Justice involved in the assault scandal in 2011.
  • Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley is the conservative Justice running for reappointment now in 2016, agains two liberals.

Two Judges With the Same Name in the Wisconsin Supreme Court?

Yes, the Wisconsin Supreme Court now has two women Justices with the last name Bradley.

The newly appointed Justice Rebecca Bradley (conservative) is running in a primary tomorrow with two Democrats, JoAnne Kloppenberg and Martin Joseph Donald.

The two candidates who receive the highest number of votes for Bradley’s seat in the February 16, 2016, primary will then face each other in the April general election. The winner will begin serving a 10-year term on the court.

If you care about the preservation of Christian morality and religious freedom for Christians in America, vote tomorrow for Justice Rebecca Bradley.

Vote for Justice Rebecca Bradley!

Slide1

 

Check out Justice Rebecca Bradley’s website:

JusticeBradley-Logo

Why Rebecca Bradley is running (from her website):

After practicing law in the private sector for over 16 years, I answered a calling to public service as a Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge in Children’s Court, where I dedicated myself to strengthening families, protecting children in need, keeping the community safe, and treating all participants in the court system with dignity and respect. I then served as a Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge, reviewing decisions made at the trial court level and writing opinions in all areas of the law. I am honored to bring over 19 years of experience in the legal and judicial professions to our State’s highest court. Serving the people of Wisconsin as a member of the judiciary has been the most rewarding experience of my professional life, and I am grateful to those who expressed confidence in me with their support and votes. I humbly ask the voters of Wisconsin to retain me as their Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.

I became a judge because I care deeply about Wisconsin and its many communities. I was born and raised in the city of Milwaukee. After my Dad lost his job in the 1980s recession, my family struggled like many Wisconsin families. But I was blessed with parents who instilled in their four children a strong work ethic, the importance of education, and the value of a strong family. My sisters are stay-at-home mothers. My brother is a public high school teacher. My family’s experiences gave me a unique appreciation for the challenges faced by families all over our great state.

I am committed to the rule of law and applying the law fairly and impartially. When I proudly took the Oath of Office, I swore to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin. I understand my duty to apply the law as it is written and not as I may wish it to be. I have faithfully exercised this duty in hundreds of cases as a judge on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, and as a Justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. It is my honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Wisconsin.

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:

 

 

 

 

Political Puzzle Pieces Falling Into Place

Political Surprises

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

Puzzle together

Turnarounds that were really not expected.

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

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

What Political Surprises?

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

Shocking Reversals

Shocking Reversals

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back to shocking reversals-

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

Magic Political Potion?

Slide1

John Boehner……..or Harry Reid?

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

Putting Together the Pieces

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

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

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

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

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

The Ideology

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

New Modus Operandi (Method of Operation)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Solution

solutions2

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

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

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

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

Already Accomplished

What has already been accomplished?

Predicting the Outcome

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

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

From the Bible:

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

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

Psalm 119

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

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

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

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

 

Psalm 74

Arise, O Lord, and defend your cause.

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

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

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

God is Good!

No comments

Slide1

Obama at Holy Cross Cathedral

Slide2

Obama, Who is Forcing Catholics to Act Against Their Faith, Speaks Today at Boston’s Catholic Cathedral

.                                                    – CNS news headline, April 17, 2013

Some main points made in the article:

  • The US Catholic Bishops have made a unanimous declaration that the Obama administration is violating the civil rights of American Catholics, by forcing them to act against their faith in a matter involving the life and death of innocent human beings in the HHS Mandate.
  • Obama’s position on gay marriage, should it prevail, would also criminalize the refusal of a Catholic parish to hire a “married” homosexual to teach in its elementary school.
  • Pope Francis wrote that the movement for same-sex marriage was Satanic. (The implications of same-sex marriage are not obvious on the surface, but are explored at Gay Marriage and Homosexuality)

 

Questions and points:

  • Why did the Archbishop of Boston and chairman of the bishops’ pro-life committee, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, welcome Obama to speak at his Cathedral, literally giving Obama a pulpit?
  • Let us hope and pray that the good Cardinal plans to confront Obama on the Cardinal’s turf.
  • Time will tell where this remarkable event will lead.
  • Cardinal Dolan’s confrontation with Obama last year led to some public discussion of these important questions regarding religious freedom and civil rights.
  • Let’s hope Cardinal O’Malley does the same thing.
  •   This issue is far from over.

 

 

All Posts