Syte Reitz

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

Browsing Posts tagged Wisconsin State Journal

Today’s Catholic Nuns: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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No Big Surprise

It’s not a big surprise to see that the liberal media prioritizes liberal dissident Catholics over faithful Catholics when they cover Catholics at all, and prioritizes liberal dissident Catholic nuns over faithful Catholic nuns when they cover Catholic nuns at all.

Catholic teaching frowns on much of the modern liberal agenda as immoral, so it would be self-defeating for liberals to cover Catholic beliefs in an accurate or persuasive way.
Media prefers to highlight dissident Catholics like Biden and Pelosi, implying that these renegades are representative of real Catholics.  In this way, the media seeks to legitimize the radical progressive agenda.

There is no question that Catholic dissidents do exist, and that dissident Catholic nuns do exist.
But the exact number of dissidents, and the degree to which the media misrepresent Catholics in their attempts to justify the liberal agenda, are important subjects to address.
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What is the Future of the Catholic Church? continue reading…

Madison’s Media Continues to Diss the Catholic Church- Just in Time for Christmas

 

Background

The past week has produced a barrage of media attacks on the Catholic Church in Madison.
Should not be too surprising; it is common for media to attack the Church immediately before Christmas and immediately before Easter.  Happens every year.  Happens nationally.  Happens globally.
Satan seems particularly resentful of these most important celebrations of Christ’s birth and Resurrection, during which the Christians of the world strengthen their commitment to Christ.  Satan becomes particularly active at these times.

While the rest of us are engaging in sacrifice, prayer and charitable works for Advent, trying to make ourselves more worthy to celebrate the miracle of Christ’s birth, the secular media fills that time with attacks on our beliefs.  Must be some guilt worm eating away at their insides. Or something. 😉

I’ve only addressed the worst one of the Madison media attacks this week, the attack by Madison’s  previous ex-Mayor Dave, but the attacks have been numerous, and Dave’s was not the first one.

Doug Erickson, Dave Ceislewicz and Chris Rickert

The attacks started with Doug Erickson and the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ), folllowed by Dave Cieslewicz’s copycat article at Isthmus.  Dave’s article was the most obvious and vicious attack on the Church, so I addressed that one first in my last blog post.  Chris Rickert’s WSJ article followed.  The WSJ Doug Erickson and Chris Rickert attacks are typically a bit (though not much) more subtle than that of Dave Cieslewicz, and they use less slightly less direct means in attempting to discredit the Catholic Church in Madison. A complete list of articles and links which followed in the Madison media is included below.

The Nuns

The springboard for these attacks on the Church was the fact that Bishop Morlino of Madison directed Madison Catholic parishes not to enlist the services of two aged nuns who were trying to hold “retreats” in which heretical beliefs, contrary to Catholicism, were promoted.  The nuns were teaching “indifferentism,” the belief that all faiths are equal.

What’s Wrong with Indifferentism?

The rejection of indifferentism is not unique to the Catholic Church; most religions reject indifferentism and by definition, most religions believe that their own religion represents the truth more accurately than others do.  If they did not believe this, they would have no reason to stay in their own church. Duh.

Indifferentism poses a logical impossibility, since religions contradict each other in some areas, so they cannot all be true simultaneously.  Indifferentism attacks all religions, not just Catholicism, by implying the invalidation of all contradictory beliefs, essentially dismantling the veracity of all religions at the same time.
It’s the first domino used by militant atheists who try to discredit all religious belief.

A more correct position would be to acknowledge that all religions hold varying degrees of truth, and that some religions err in some areas.  Religious individuals obviously believe that their own religion is the most accurate one and holds the truth.  If they did not believe that, they would switch to a more accurate religion.  So attempts by anyone, media or nuns, to insist that all religions are equally good would be about at logical as insisting that all schools and universities are equally good.  They are not.

And most religions hold enough of the truth to realize that religions should respect each other and should focus on the important truths they hold in common, rather than infighting over the elements over which they disagree.

Atheists Reject Indifferentism

Even atheists reject indifferentism, insisting that their beliefs are more true and more “rational” than those of religious people.
Some even go to the extreme of wanting to ban public espression of Christain beliefs and ridiculing Christian beliefs publicly themselves.

Madison’s media has written numerous sympathetic and positive articles about Madison atheists, without criticising their rejection of indifferentism.
How can Madison’s media be so biased when they represent the Catholic Church?

So WSJ Leaked the Bishop’s Letter

So the  WSJ leaked the content of the Bishop’s letter, which warned Catholic parishes not to enlist the services of the two nuns who taught indifferentism, as well as teaching other heresies.
The letter was leaked to the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) by an unnamed person.
-Violation of confidentiality.
Doug Erickson published the details of the Bishop’s directive.
-Violation of charity.
How would you like it if the WSJ published the private details of your reprimand from your boss?  The Bishop’s correction of the two nuns was meant to be private, and nobody, including nuns, want their mistakes and sins laundered in public.

Spin as Usual; It’s Madison

Doug Erickson’s article gave a very sympathetic spin to the two aged nuns, minimizing the heretical nature of their teaching and emphasizing their wonderful and sweet qualities.
This generated the usual WSJ-anonymous-discussion-forum-free-for-all, in which Madison’s Church haters reliably crawl out of the woodwork, spewing hateful vitriol towards Catholicism and Madison’s Bishop, while simultaneously bringing a landslide of web traffic to WSJ’s website to view the circus.  Revenue is always useful, particularly at the expense of the Catholic Church’s reputation.

Catholics Fight Back

This Catholic-Church-attacking phenomenon has become so predictable in Madison, WI, that numerous real Catholics in Madison (as opposed to the two dissident nuns whom WSJ seems to favor), have even developed an alert system to watch for  WSJ attacks on the Church, and numerous faithful Catholics flock to join the WSJ discussion forums in defense of the Church.

In my case, my indignation at this treatment of Catholics in Madison over the years, particularly by the WSJ, the Capital Times, and the Isthmus, inspired me to establish a website three years ago for the sole purpose of defending my Church, my religious beliefs, and my conservative political beliefs which stem from my faith.

Apparently my voice reflects the views of numerous faithful people, since my humble amateur blog, with sparse and sporadic posting, has already received over half a million hits this month, as of  December 14th.

But of course, the faithful Christians/Conservatives whose views I represent are of no interest to Madison’s media.  They are more interested in two dissident nuns.  Madison’s Progressive media’s only interest is the rampant spread of progressive culture in Madison.

List of Madison Articles on the Two-Nun Issue in Less Than One Week

Not satisfied with their initial attempts to mis-portray and embarrass the Bishop of Madison, Madison’s newspapers  continued to publish a series of articles and letters related to the initial article all week.  Granted, some of the letters printed by WSJ were supportive of the Bishop, but often support was quickly followed by insult, as in Chris Rickert’s article published on December 13th.

 

The Diocese Offered Information

Of course, the Diocese offered accurate information as soon as the the Bishop’s private letter was leaked, but as usual, Madison’s media paid little heed to that.
Here are the links to the Diocese information:

From the Vicar General From the Vicar General
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Statement to Priests from VG Re: Wisdom’s Well
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Synopsis documents from VG re: Wisdom’s Well
Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Also: Monsignor James Bartylla: Catholic Church must protect truth of Gospel WSJ, Dec 12

Back to the Media Attacks

Chris Rickert’s WSJ Article; Pretense of Support Cloaks Deceptive Attack

Nobody could keep up with the barrage of old and false accusations listed above, which is cleverly interspersed with just a few supportive letters, to camouflage the thrust of the attack.
Not going to tackle each one, but Chris Rickert, a WSJ reporter, should know better than to write what he wrote in his Dec 13 article which pretends at first to support the Bishop.
Here’s my online forum response to Chris Rickert’s deceptive attack on the Catholic Church:

Chris Rickert-

You claim to defend the Bishop’s decision, yet you end with a doomsday forecast on the future of the Catholic Church, and a personal pronouncement that “official Catholicism is a regressive and controlling throwback in a modern world.”
That’s not even accurate reporting. It also borders on hate speech.

FYI, Catholicism is growing in Madison (30+ seminarians vs. 4 ten years ago), is growing in the United States, and is growing worldwide.
If you want to distinguish Catholicism into orthodox and heterodox, orthodox Catholicism is also growing. And it’s growing in Madison. Madison should look outside the bubble and face reality. And religion reporters should report on that reality.

Incidentally, creating categories of Catholicism is ridiculous; do we have orthodox and heterodox math?
Heterodox math is wrong math, and heterodox Catholicism is wrong Catholicism.
There is only one kind of Catholicism, and then there are different faiths, which are not Catholicism.

Speaking of orthodox Catholicism, I hear that one of the nation’s top Catholic bloggers, Father Z, is celebrating a Latin Mass in the Diocese of Madison this weekend. I’m sure that event will be packed.
It’s historic, it’s new, it’s Catholic, it’s orthodox, and it’s popular.
Is the WSJ planning to cover that story, and to cover it respectfully, or does that not fit your political agenda?
Or perhaps WSJ religion reporters prefer to sleep in on Sundays?
If you are serious journalists and interested in covering that event, information can certainly be obtained from the Bishop’s Office.

You also call Catholicism an uncompromising faith.
Are you advocating that truth should be compromised?
Or do you have no interest in truth?

The WSJ has not been reporting on religion, it has been dissing religion.
That is not the job of religion reporters.
Got to wonder where WSJ finds its religion reporters and what their qualifications are.

Syte Reitz

 

WSJ, Capital Times and Isthmus Tactics

The tactics used by Madison’s left in attacking the Catholic Church are immoral, dishonorable and repugnant.
They violate the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.
They resemble deceptive and unChristian standards of behavior like Alinsky Tactics and the  Thirty-Six Strategems, such as:

  • When the enemy is too strong to be attacked directly, then attack something he holds dear.
  • Make a sound in the east, then strike in the west.
  • Create something from nothing.
  • Hide a knife behind a smile.
  • Defeat the enemy by capturing their chief.
  • Sow discord in the enemy’s camp.
  • Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon
  • Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

 

Sadly, in Madison, Wisconsin, this is nothing new.

 

 

 

 

To My Friends Who Are Democrats…

(See former Hillary Clinton aide postscript at end.)
Pitching politics has been counter-intuitive for me for most of my lifetime.

I have never belonged to one political party, and still refuse to join one.
I refuse to be a groupie following one charismatic individual, and I do not relinquish my free will to control by any organization or group.
Admittedly, I have been quite conservative most of my life; although there have been exceptions to that, too, particularly during my college days.

A Realistic View

My view of politics is a realistic one; nothing’s black, nothing’s white. Nobody is 100% right, nobody is 100% wrong. I like to enquire, to think, and to adopt the best of what everyone has to offer. That includes ideas from more than one political party.

The United States seems limited to two major parties.  Not a bad system, from the viewpoint of avoiding governance by a minority, smaller than 51%.  Since one party is not likely to encompass all the ideas of a particular individual, we have to weigh the pros and cons offered by the two major parties at each election, and choose the party that satisfies our most important considerations at that historical time.

But Aren’t You a Republican?

Anybody reading this blog must have noticed that my writing seems to be very pro-Republican in 2012.  But those who read carefully will notice that I rarely use the word Republican. I rarely use the name Romney.  Instead, I use the word conservative.

What About Most Americans?

Few Americans are extremists.
Few people are radically conservative or radically liberal.
Most of us are in the middle.
Even those who are quite conservative, like me, believe in the right of others to reject my beliefs. Religious Christians respect the gift of Free Will given to us by God, and we respect the freedom guaranteed to us by the Constitution of the United States.
Few liberals are callous, insensitive to the bankrupting of America, or to the extermination of 54 million unborn American citizens by abortion, a problem particularly affecting black communities.
Few conservatives are callous, insensitive to the plight of the poor, or to the horrors of war.

Most Americans appreciate that good people can view things from different perspectives, and those who disagree with us probably have noble motivations.  Even if we believe that our opponents have their facts mistaken, we can admire them for their dedication to justice and to fairness, which we share.

Most Americans are independent in spirit, and have voted for candidates from both political parties over the years.
For many years, the differences between Democrats and Republicans were not overwhelmingly large; both supported Judeo-Christian principles, and both supported the rule of law as outlined in the Constitution of the United States.  Did you know that as recently as 1999, Harry Reid opposed abortion?  So did Joe Biden, Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

But 2012 is different.

What’s Different in 2012?

Barack Obama is the difference in 2012.
Barack Obama, unlike previous Presidents, and unlike most Americans and most liberals, has shown himself to be a rigid, inflexible idealist.

The unification, transparency, and justice that he promised, and on the basis of which he was elected, have been replaced by a dictatorial, extreme and unaccountable set of policies, executed by czars, which have pushed America into gridlock.
His policies and mandates do not follow the rule of law.

President Obama’s ideals don’t represent those of most liberals or most Americans, yet he tries to mandate compliance with his ideals.  He issues mandates without approval of the House, Senate, or Supreme Court.  When the legislature refuses to pass what President Obama wants, he bypasses them with a mandate. Then he promises Vladimir Putin that he will have “more flexibility” after this election.

How Has Barack Obama Reneged On His Promises and Violated the Rights of Americans?

President Obama has reneged on a number of the duties to which he was sworn at his inauguration, and on a number of campaign promises he made in 2008.

Barack Obama has imposed his will on our country in many areas:

  • Morality and Freedom of Conscience
  • Economy
  • Prospects for Students
  • Foreign Policy
  • Immigration

Morality and Freedom of Conscience

Barack Obama has ignored the opposition of 2/3 of America on federal funding of abortion, and has even gone beyond federal funding of abortion, forcing Catholics to pay for the contraceptives and abortifacients of others.  He has dismissed the concerns of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and has ignored lawsuits filed by 43 Catholic organizations.  The courts are now starting to strike down this unconstitutional mandate.

Barack Obama’s radical and unfettered promotion of unrestricted abortion free of charge has elicited the protest of numerous moral leaders, including Catholic Bishops, the 94 year old Billy Graham, Jews, Baptists, and numerous other Christian churches.

Such a radical promotion of abortion and contraception no only renders our society inhuman from the point of view of morality, but also has economic consequences, since shrinking and aging populations will face rapidly mounting debts.

Abortion is already a much, much bigger deal than most think. Under Barack Obama, abortion will be taken to unprecedented levels.
Against the wishes of 2/3 of America.

Economy

Barack Obama has not passed a single budget in four years, and submits budgets to the legislature so unrealistic, that they get ZERO Democrat votes in the Senate, which is held by Democrats.
Sometimes it appears that the President doesn’t understand the math.
Recently, he admitted on national television that he struggles with 7th grade math.  This cannot be good.

Barack Obama has raised the national debt by 50% in just 4 years with his spending, creating a per capita national debt of over $50,00 for each of us, when it was just $33,000 four years ago. Since only half of us pay any federal income tax, that means a per capita debt of about $100,000 for each person who pays federal tax, and a per household debt of over $250,000 in the United States today.  Since the average household income in the United States is $50,000, that’s already quite a debt, a debt of five years income for each of us.  If Barack Obama is reelected, the national debt is projected to go up an additional 47% over 10 years, bringing the household share of the national debt to over $375,00.  That will be a debt of seven and a half years income for each of us ten years from now.  If you think you have paid off your mortgage by then, you can start a new mortgage on a $375,000 house.  That’s for the average family earning $50,000 per year.  If your income is higher, your extra debt will be higher.

Scrooge McDuck

Quite some plan Barack Obama has for us, considering that our per capita national debt is  already worse than Greece’s today, at the outset, right now.

Barack Obama’s plan to tax the rich is so naive that it betrays the fact that he struggles with 7th grade math.  There are not enough rich people in America to get appreciable income from increasing their taxation, and his recent proposal would require DOUBLING the taxes of all people earning $250,000 per year; a move that would wipe out the ability of small businesses to hire workers or to expand.  The President seems to be reading too many comic books.

(Dismal) Prospects for Students

Already, 53% of recent college grads are jobless or underemployed. Considering the fact that the average graduate faces $27,000 in loan repayment, and the fact that the average college grad starting salary is $44,000, this does not spell good news for college grads or their families.  College students are demoralized, they do not want to live in their parents’ basements, and the parents do not need to face supporting unemployed adults instead of saving for retirement.

The jobs these students would have been getting in the absence of Obama’s naive policies are destroyed by ObamaCare costs for employers and Obama’s intention to double taxation on small business owners, who will not hire and expand.

Barack Obama insults the intelligence of these young people by offfering them free abortions and free birth control pills (value $500 and $9/monthly) in exchange for their votes, in return for a future of unemployment, debt and low pay.  With poor people, he tries to buy their votes with free “Obama-phones.” 

Foreign Policy

In the light of recent events in Benghazi, the most positive possible interpretation of Barack Obama’s negligent actions in failing to protect our Embassy staff would be that he did not provide security for the Benghazi because he did not expect anyone in Libya to touch Americans, perhaps because we are such nice people.  Can anyone be that naive?

Barack Obama acted as though we are in Libya handing out candies to trick-or-treaters, and he did not expect them to come out wielding knives, or heavy weapons such as the ones which were used against the Benghazi embassy – automatic weapons, mortars and rocket propelled grenades.  When caught criminally unprepared, coverup followed.

An even less flattering explanation of Barack Obama’s actions would include Obama sacrificing our global standing intentionally.  Obama has been accused of an anti-colonialist mentality, which considers that the US needs to be downsized globally in it’s lifestyle, it’s power and it’s wealth.  The movie 2016:Obama’s America documents these claims by Dinesh D’Souza, a University President who bases most of his claims on Obama’s autobiography, Dreams of My Father, as well as research into Obama’s life. 2016: Obama’s America is showing in theaters now, has grossed more than $33.45 million in the United States.  The movie is now the second biggest political documentary in film history.  Yet this record-setting film is virtually being ignored by the mainstream media, which protects Obama from criticism routinely and shamelessly.

Another less flattering explanation of Barack Obama’s actions would include accusing him of intentionally reducing US Power because of the secret Marxist ideology taught to him by Marshall Davis, a Communist Party USA propagandist who is mentioned in Obama’s autobiography .  This theory is based on the documented fact that Obama’s mother posed for pornographic photos taken by Marshall Davis, who, it is suggested, could also be Barack Obama’s father.  These suggestions are explored by the movie Dreams from my REAL Father, which can be watched instantly on Netflix.  If you have not seen this film, I suggest you watch it this weekend, before you vote.

Finally, a third movie, The Hope and the Change, is available to watch for free on Hulu at http://www.hulu.com/watch/409925.   The Hope and the Change is a documentary about independent and Reagan Democrat voters who cast their ballots for Obama in 2008 and will not do so in 2012.  These voters feel betrayed by Obama’s false promises of hope and lofty rhetoric.

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Immigration

Barack Obama has refused to enforce immigration laws at the US border with Mexico, and has sued Arizona when Arizona tried to enforce laws themselves. In this, and other areas, Obama has failed to defend the Constitution of the United States and to enforce its laws.
He has demonstrated a naivete in economics and in foreign policy that has placed our nation  in tremendous danger.

The Point

So the point is: Barack Obama is not your normal Democrat.
Barack Obama does not respect the voice of the American People, 2/3 of whom oppose ObamaCare, 2/3 of whom oppose federal funding of abortion, and 2/3 of whom oppose Obama’s recent violations of the religious liberty of Catholics.
Barack Obama does not respect the division of governmental power between Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches.
Barack Obama does not respect his own promises of 2008.
Barack Obama is not who he told us he was.
Barack Obama does not plan to work with all Americans, he just plans to continue pushing his extreme agenda, with which even Democrats disagree.

What To Do

Take Clint Eastwood’s advice; let Barack Obama go.
Mitt Romney’s campaign has been based on love of America, and on pragmatism and cooperation which can end the gridlock. He’s demonstrated his ability to work across the aisle as Governor of Massachusetts.
The election of Mitt Romney would give the Democratic party, which used to represent more moderate views, an opportunity to regroup and respond to the will of the American people.

 

PostScript: A former Hillary Clinton aide Gigi George is backing Romney because:

“For most of my life, I’ve been an active Democrat. I am proud to have worked for President Bill Clinton and then-Senator Hillary Clinton, and, during that time, I saw firsthand what can be accomplished by strong, bipartisan leadership. I know what it means to work across the aisle on issues that are important to the American people. And that’s why I am supporting Mitt Romney. Governor Romney has a plan to restore the prosperity this country deserves and expects. He will work with people of good will no matter what their party, and he will pursue the policies that are in the best interest of our country, no matter who proposes them. That’s what President Obama promised to do four years ago. But like so many of his promises, bipartisan cooperation is just another one he has broken. We can’t have four more years of failed policies and two parties that can’t work together. We need the change Mitt Romney is offering.”

More Postscipts:

  • My Catholic pastor in today’s Cathedral Parish Church bulletin:
    I certainly intend to exercise my right to vote on Tuesday – in fact, I would crawl the four blocks to my polling place over broken glass in order to vote this year. And I trust that you will too – vote, that is.
    Personally, I am hopeful about the current elections. I am optimistic that we will have a good number of newly elected leaders who will be more sensitive to our moral concerns and our freedom of religion. And, God willing, sufficiently prudent decisions will be made so that we can avert the national collapse that appears (at least to me) to loom on the horizon…  (see above link to finish reading)

    500 Admirals and Generals Endorse Mitt Romney

Catholic Belief Now Defined by Media and Sociologists?

Doug Erickson and Michele Dillon

This Sunday, reporter Doug Erickson and Sociology professor Michele Dillon attempted to define Catholic beliefs without consulting the Catholic Church.

The Wisconsin State Journal Progressive, in its usual presumptive manner, has bypassed reality and offered their Wisconsin readership a fantasy, in which Catholic Church doctrine is not longer determined by the teachings of Jesus Christ or by the Magisterium of the Church with the Pope and Bishops, but doctrine is declared up for grabs by the individual, and “Cafeteria Catholicism” is encouraged.

Doug Erickson’s article on the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council bypasses  contacting the Catholic Church, the Bishop of Madison, or the Vatican, and relies on the word of one dissident Catholic, a professor of sociology from New Hampshire, to interpret the meaning of Vatican II.  And MIS-interpret she does.

Cafeteria Catholicism as about as valid as cafeteria mathematics, cafeteria medicine, or cafeteria law.  The teachings of mathematics, or of medicine, or of the law are not subject to the whims of individuals, and those who misrepresent a discipline are doing a disservice to all.

The article goes beyond Wisconsin State Journal’s and Doug Erickson’s usual imbalanced reporting and misrepresentation of the Church this time by completely omitting any input at all from religious experts of the Catholic Church.

  • The Catholic Church has actually organized a year’s worth of events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Vatican II.  The commemoration is called the Year of Faith, is listed on the Vatican website, and Doug Erickson missed this; the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provides information and videos on the Year of Faith, and Doug Erickson apparently missed these.
  • The Diocese of Madison has a year’s worth of events scheduled around the Year of Faith, listed on the Diocesan web page, and Doug Erickson also missed this.
  • Madison’s Cathedral Parish has a year’s worth of homilies and discussion groups planned on the documents of Vatican II, listed on the website, and Doug Erickson, again, has missed this.
    .
    This hat-trick is remarkable.

Bishop Morlino stands with Pope Benedict

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Listen to Bishop Morlino’s homily today for his reaction to this article and on their misrepresentation of Vatican II.

For additional accurate information on Vatican II, Monsignor Holmes, rector of Madison’s Cathedral Parish, has also scheduled about 20 homilies on the documents of Vatican II.  The first two of this series are available on the parish website at Revelation and Faith and at Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium.

The Wisconsin State Journal and Doug Erickson should stop masquerading as religion reporters who “explore matters of faith, values and ethics in Wisconsin”, and should be truthful about their attempts to misrepresent Catholicism and undermine the wisdom of the Catholic Church, or they should at least do a little research.

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Heckling the Rosary

or

Renaming the Wisconsin State Journal

 

Don’t Diss My Church

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

Why Pray the Rosary at Madison’s Capitol Square?

Catholics praying the rosary at Capitol Rosary Rally

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

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

Who Heckles Children Praying the Rosary?

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

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Is the Wisconsin State Journal Heckling the Rosary?

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

Doug chose the headline:

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

Hmmm… GOP “pep-fest?”


Better Headlines not considered by WSJ:

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

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

A More Accurate Headline:


WSJ  Rosary Rally Article- Thinly Disguised Radical Dem Propaganda

 

Thinly Disguised Radical Dem Propaganda Headline

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

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

Who are These Hecklers Favored by the Wisconsin State Journal?

Rosary Heckler Number One

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

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

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Second Rosary Critic

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

Second Rosary Critic

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

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

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

Third Rosary Heckler

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

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

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

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

Schoenstatt Sister after the first Capitol Rosary Rally

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

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

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

 

.Rosary Hecklers in General

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

Madison Teacher’s Union Protesters

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

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

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

Progressives Misjudging Catholics?

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

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

Ignoring Two Thirds of America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not the First Time WSJ Has Slanted the News

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

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

Twisting and Misrepresenting Catholicism

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

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

Saul Alinsky, author of “Rules for Radicals”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Discussing the Actual Issue

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

First Congressional Prayer, 1777

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

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

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

Discussing the Double Standard

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

Further Important Issues Omitted by the WSJ report:

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

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

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

Shame on the Wisconsin State Journal for Ethics Violations

Shame on Doug Erickson

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

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

Renaming the Wisconsin State Journal

The Wisconsin State Journal should be renamed:

the Wisconsin State Journal Progressive

 

Invitation: Come and Join Us!

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

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

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

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

Why Even Atheists Should Stand Against Presidential Mandates

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Americans Pray for Freedom Across the Nation

Or

Fortnight For Freedom

Or

Come and Join Us!

 (Fortnight for Freedom, 7PM July 21st, 2012, at the Wisconsin State Capitol, on the State Street steps.) 

Background

The First Amendment

President Obama’s Contraceptive Mandate has violated the First Amendment, depriving Catholics in the United States of their freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, by forcing Catholics institutions to provide abortifacient pills to employees of Catholic institutions, forcing Catholics by law to do something Catholics believe to be morally wrong.

Women’s Issue?

This is not a “women’s health” issue, because the pills are as affordable as aspirin, tissues, and other medical supplies which have often been considered “over-the-counter,” and which have frequently not been covered by insurance policies in the past.  In fact, women use numerous products that are not, and are not likely ever to be covered by insurance, including cosmetics, lotions and sanitary products.  All of the “services” covered by the “Contraceptive Mandate” are extremely affordable, and any woman who can afford aspirin or a meal at McDonald’s can afford to pay for these items herself.

By choosing to mandate (to require by law) the free provision of abortifacient pills, the Obama administration is not trying to help women.  The administration is trying to place financial strain on the Catholic Church, which is one of the largest and strongest opponents of the Obama administration’s “social” agenda.  If Obama succeeds in pushing through ObamaCare and the Contraceptive Mandate, Catholic institutions will be forced by their conscience, like Saint Thomas More, to break the law.  Cathoilics will be forced into civil disobedience, into not providing abortifacient services, and then into paying $2,000 yearly penalties per employee, which are estimated to bankrupt most Catholic institutions within two years. Goodbye Catholic universities, Catholic High Schools, Catholic Grammar Schools, Catholic hospitals, Catholic soup kitchens, Catholic adoption agencies, etc., etc.  Goodbye the role that Catholics and their institutions have played in our national life since the birth of this nation.

Hello, one more segment of the economy that the Obama administration can take over, in addition to health care and General Motors.  Also, a blow to the Catholic Church, the largest (25% of Americans are Catholic), most organized and strongest institution involved in opposing the Obama administration’s “social” agenda, particularly abortion.  Two birds with one stone.  Isn’t the Obama administration wickedly clever!?

Obama’s strategy

The Obama administration’s biggest agenda, both nationally and worldwide, is abortion.  But they have realized from recent polls that Americans are increasingly opposed to abortion, and now a majority of Americans cannot be relied upon to support Obama’s, Hillary’s and Sebelius’ national and global abortion agenda.  To understand why abortion is so important to these people, see Abortion: a Much Bigger Deal Than You Think.

Since Americans are no longer likely to support the abortion agenda, the abortion agenda must be sneaked in under a less controversial issue, such as contraception. By sneaking in abortifacients under the phrase “Contraceptive Mandate,” the Obama administration hopes to get the support of the American majority against the Catholic Church.  It also hopes to divide the Catholic Church, and thus to reduce the power of the Catholic Church, rendering it less able to oppose Obama’s “social” (translated: moral) issues, such as abortion, gay marriage, and government funding of numerous medical strategies that facilitate promiscuity and discourage or demote traditional family life. Divide and conquer.  Isn’t the Obama administration wickedly clever!?

So Now, What’s Happening?

Americans Are Praying

So what do we do when the wicked set snares for us?

People praying the the Wisconsin State Capitol on Corpus Christi Sunday, June 10, 2012

Good Christians pray for God’s help:

For my eyes are upon you, O Lord,
in you I take refuge; do not take away my soul.
Guard me from the trap they have set before me,
From the snares of evildoers.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
While only I pass over them safely.
– Psalm 141:8-10

When and Where?

Starting Tomorrow!

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has organized a national 2-week prayer effort, the Fortnight for Freedom, which starts tomorrow, June 21st, 2012.  It begins on the feasts of St. Thomas More  and St. John Fisher, who gave their lives for religious freedom. The Fortnight for Freedom ends on July 4th, our American Independence Day.

The bishops have called us to focus “all the energies the Catholic community can muster” for religious liberty during this time.
Special prayers, novenas, Masses, rosaries, and concerted ringing of Church bells, are planned.  Friday, June 28th, the Priestly Ordination Mass will be dedicated to Religious Freedom through Fortnight for Freedom:

Diocese of Madison, WI announcements, events and details (click).

USCCB National announcements, events and details (click).

What’s Going On in Madison?

In Madison, this begins with a Capitol Rosary Rally on Thursday, June 21st, 2012, at the Wisconsin State Capitol at 7:00 PM, on the State Street Steps of the Capitol Building.
Madison’s Bishop Morlino will join the first rosary event.

Rosary rallies will be held at the Madison Capitol every Thursday at 7 PM, through November 1st, 2012, until the General election.

Come and Join Us!

Come to help us Catholics pray, or come to watch, or come just to lend Catholics moral support.  You don’t have to pray the rosary to attend; you only have to be in support of religious freedom for all Americans, and be willing to ask God’s help.  Catholics happen to be the largest religious denomination in the United States, and are thus able to organize, but all who support religious freedom are welcome to attend.

Why Pray? Why the Rosary?

Catholics have found the Rosary to be a particularly powerful form of prayer throughout the ages.  The victory of Christian forces which prevented the Islamic invasion of Europe at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 was attributed to Pope Pius V’s call for all of Europe to pray the rosary.  The Christian fleet was at a material disadvantage, and the Turkish fleet had superior numbers, yet the Christian fleet won.

At the hour of victory, Pope Pius V, who was hundreds of miles away at the Vatican, is said to have gotten up from a meeting, went over to a window, and exclaimed with supernatural radiance: “The Christian fleet is victorious!” and shed tears of thanksgiving to God.  – EWTN library 

The Battle of Lepanto was first celebrated liturgically as “Our Lady of Victory,” and was later renamed “Our Lady of the Rosary.”

Aside: to address some of the misinformation out there about Catholics, Catholics do not worship or deify Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ.  They simply ask her assistance in pleading with her Son Christ, much as a child might ask their mother’s intercession when they ask their father for something.  Catholics presume that Christ has a soft spot in His heart for his Mother.

Isn’t the Rosary a repetitive prayer condemned by the Bible?

Pope John Paul II: “The rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at a heart a Christ-centered prayer. It has all the depth of the gospel message in its entirety. "

No, the Rosary is not simply a repetitive prayer.  It is a complex form of meditation, in which many of the events of Christ’s life and passages from the New Testament are contemplated.  The Rosary is a prayer that gives structure to the complex series of meditations that are going on in the hearts and minds of those who are reciting the rosary.

The Bible passage most often quoted by those who object to the rosary is Matthew 6:7, which objects to “empty phrases” and to “vain repetitions.” Neither of these applies to the rosary, which is neither empty nor vain.  Jesus Christ Himself used serious repetitive prayer during the Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:39-44) and Christ instructed people to be persistent in their prayer (Luke 18:1-8).  More information.

Americans Have Been Praying
Before this Most Recent Effort

Americans have been praying for our government for quite some time now.  Many denominations are organizing and praying; please send in prayer programs and references if you want them added to this list.  Most of my references are Catholic, since that is what I know best.

Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rallies across the U.S.

March 23, 2012 Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally, also Madison’s Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally

Madison’s novena prior to the June 8, 2012 Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally

National headcount for June 8, 2012 Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rallies

Interfaith Novena:  – 9 days of interfaith prayer leading up to the June 8, 2012 Stand Up For Religious Freedom rally.

When will the media do their job, report on these national grass roots events, and give poor me a vacation from trying to compensate for their news blackouts?

Hey, Wisconsin State Journal (and all the rest of the media out there): I searched your site for “Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally” and it came up with Your search did not yield any results.
Really. Not surprised.
We’ll include some prayers for conscientious reporting by the U.S. media tomorrow, too.

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Hat’s off to some media who do have articles on the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rallies or Fortnight For Freedom this week:

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Catholic Free Press
National Catholic Reporter
Family Institute of Connecticut Blog
Colorado Catholic Herald
AfricanAmreicanConservatives
TheCatholic Commentator……
added : WALL STREET JOURNAL just covered Fortnight for Freedom
added: CNS News covers Forthnight for Freedom

…. mostly religious, small and/or conservative organizations.

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Boo to ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN; 160,000 people have been rallying in 161 cities across the US for religious freedom, and ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN gave us a news blackout.

Expecting a media blackout again for Fortnight for Freedom, but God plans to listen.

 

 Remember: Come to the Fortnight For Freedom, 7PM Thursday, June 21st, 2012, on the State Street steps of Wisconsin’s Capitol Building in Madison!

 

Added after the event: Some AUDIO resources for those who are interested in understanding what is in the Mandate and why the Catholic Church is concerned:

Gay Marriage and Homosexuality

 

Homosexuality is a hot topic that was bound to make it onto this cultural values blog at some point.
The Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality (which I support) is not popular in Madison, where I live. Madison is a very liberal– no, radical place. Home of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and numerous other radical groups.

I have delayed discussing homosexuality on my blog in the past.  Primarily because I would rather focus on the “wooden beam in my own eye” before pointing out “the splinter in my brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3   In other words, I am in no rush to discuss the sins of others.  I am also no expert on this subject.

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?
How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?
You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:3  

 However, recent events in the news have brought the subject of homosexuality to the forefront of public discussion again, and perhaps it is time for me to weigh in with some thoughts.  I will defer to experts on the subject and provide some useful references below for those who are interested in understanding why the preservation of traditional morality and of traditional marriage is so important to so many Americans.

Recent events:

Vice President Biden announced five days ago that he was ‘absolutely comfortable” with homosexual marriage, thus putting President Obama on the spot regarding Obama’s position on homosexuality.

Obama "evolving"

Most recently, President Obama had said that his position on homosexual marriage , although he was opposed a few years ago, is “evolving.”  So now President Obama was placed on the hot seat regarding this issue.
Three days ago, North Carolina approved and amendment banning gay marriage, and banning same-sex civil unions as well.

Yesterday, President Obama announced his personal support of gay marriage, after statements in the past opposing gay marriage.  He attributed this change to his “evolving stance” on gay marriage.

The other two Presidential candidates (Mitt Romney and Ron Paul), mirroring the values of the majority of Americans, still stick to the traditional definition of marriage as one man- one woman.  And no, the Republican primary is not yet over!  (Updated post coming soon.)

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Where Does America Stand on Gay Marriage?

Some data indicates majority support of gay marriage

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Gallup results indicate that half of Americans support legal gay marriage.
The results seem to be hovering right around 50/50, within the margin of error, within the last two years.

CNN polls indicate that a slight majority of Americans support gay marriage (50% support, 48% oppose).

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Some data indicates majority opposition to gay marriage

North Carolina’s passage of a state constitutional amendment legally preventing gay matrimony yesterday makes North Carolina the 30th state to implement a ban on same-sex marriage.  30 States out of 50 is 60%.  This implies that 60% of America opposes gay marriage. continue reading…

Wisconsin State Journal Inflames Parish Conflict with Imbalanced Reporting

or

100 Minus 40 Equals 60!

 

Wisconsin State Journal’s (WSJ) reporting on the troubled infighting at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Platteville is sadly lacking, and contributes to the confusion and discord going on at St. Mary’s right now.

The Problem

The initial event precipitating such extreme dysfunction at St. Mary’s, which has culminated in the closing of the parish school, was the fact that 40% of the parish demanded the firing of the conservative priests assigned to the parish.

News flash: This means that 60% of the parish APPROVED THE CONSERVATIVE PRIESTS, a fact that seems to be neglected by WSJ’s selective reporting and by dissidents at St. Mary’s.

Aside: The Church is not a democracy, and even if it was, the dissidents at St. Mary’s who disapprove of the conservative priests are in the minority.

The Problem Grows

The St. Mary’s dissident 40% went well beyond protest and demands.  They withheld giving, causing a parish financial crisis, which has led to the closing of the school.  Now they wish to blame the Bishop for the closing of the school.

How ridiculous would it be to refuse to give to Goodwill or to Salvation Army, then to upbraid them for inadequate service to the poor?  Or to refuse to pay taxes, then upbraid the government for not providing free services?  Or for a spouse to withhold their contribution to a household, then expect the mortgage to get paid?

Hostages Taken

Additional shocking fact: the liberal 40% of the parish is holding the rest of the parish hostage, demanding the removal of two priests as ransom, before they return giving to the previous level and prevent the closing of the school.  This was not covered adequately by the WSJ article.

Yes, 40% of the parish is holding 60% of the parish hostage, with everyone’s children in the balance.

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Failure to Report

Bad reporting

Another neglected fact: that the Bishop’s 5-page letter actually focused almost exclusively on communication, problem solving and forgiveness.  Yet the WSJ article, particularly it’s headline, focused on one warning that was mentioned by the Bishop, at the end of the letter, after numerous appeals for cooperation in solving the problems of the parish.

Comparable secular headline:  Policeman DARES to warn 90 mph speeder that he may be ticketed next time! After pleading with the driver for 15 minutes to be more considerate of his own safety, and the safety of others, policeman DARES to state that next time the speeder will get ticketed.

Imbalanced Choice of “Experts”

Choice of “experts.”  The WSJ quoted two liberal “experts,” who used inflammatory wording such as “medieval” and “nuclear option” to characterize Bishop Morlino’s letter. WSJ failed to quote two equally conservative “experts.” This hardly makes for balanced reporting.

Little New Here

The story here is not that Bishop Morlino is threatening dissenters, as the WSJ headline implies.
The story here is old, a story of division between liberals and conservatives.
In every segment of  American society today, in every religion, and in politics, there is a divide between liberals and conservatives.
It is happening at the national level with discontent over ObamaCare, and at the State level, with attempts to recall Governor Walker. It is happening in every Church in America.

Some people believe in maintaining the old rules of Judeo-Christian morality (conservatives), while others want to define their own rules (liberals).

Gallup:
40% of Americans are continuing to describe their views as conservative, 35% as moderate, and 21% as liberal.
If you split the moderates 50/50, that would be 57% conservative and 38% liberal.
Rounding off, 60% conservative, 40% liberal (the magic St. Mary’s number surfaces!)

Sadly, the liberals, still in the minority (somewhat like the 40% at St. Mary’s), are less patient, more angry, more demanding, and more willing to engage in questionable tactics, such as holding children’s education hostage in an effort to get their own (minority) way.

The Liberal/Conservative Struggle and Lilberal Tactics

I have written whole blog articles on Alinsky tactics; tactics that encourage the use of ANY method, moral or immoral, to achieve one’s goal.  This philosophy is old:  Machiavelli promoted it circa 1500AD : “ the ends justify the means.”

Translated into modern jargon, they say “I  am right, and I am SO right, that my rightness is more important than democracy, more important than truth or than fairness, and in order to achieve my perfect goal, I am allowed to trample the rights of others—to challenge democratic elections, to intimidate people to achieve my goal, to hold others hostage, and to force them to agree with me by hook or by crook.  Violence is even O.K. if it helps me to achieve my noble goals.

These tactics are being used by 40% of America nationally (Obama administration’s passing of OBamaCare via lies made to Stupak ) and locally (Madison teacher’s union demonstrations  and Governor Walker recalls, complete with approval of fraudulent Mickey Mouse petitions).

St. Mary’s Not Surprising

Why are we then surprised that there is one Wisconsin Catholic parish where the same liberal/conservative conflict occurred and where the liberals tried to use the same nasty tactics?

Too bad the WSJ cannot write a more balanced report on this issue.

A Final Note

So the Catholic Church is a group whose leaders are drawn from volunteers who pledge their lives

Devoting a lifetime to the spiritual needs of others

to the service of the Church so completely that they give up commitment to a family life, in order to allow a more complete dedication to the members of the Church and their spiritual needs.

And the increasingly secular society in which we live has a dwindling interest in participating in this mission.  Few encourage their children to enter this life of service by becoming priests or nuns.

However, in the face of dwindling numbers of priests, the “dilute” or “cafeteria” Catholics (who do not want to devote themselves completely to the way of life taught by the Church) still want service from the Church, still want the Bishop to staff their parishes with priests, and now even want to control what kind of virtually free priests they are given and “fire” the priests whose personalities they do not approve.

O.K.
Let’s get this straight.
I want a service.
I want someone to clean my house, or to teach my children, or to repair my house.
Send me a trained expert virtually for free.
They better do the job my way.
Even though I am a novice, and they are experts on the subject, with 8 years training or more. If I don’t approve of the job they are doing, I will “fire” them, and you better send me some new ones whom I like better.
If you don’t, I will get out the Alinsky tactics of lying, cheating, ridiculing, and maligning them.
And, of course, the liberal media will assist me in my tactics to undermine the people who are serving me for free.
Yet heaven forbid that anyone even suggest that the free sacrificial service to me is discontinued!

Shame on Everyone

Shame on St. Mary’s dissidents.
Shame on Wisconsin State Journal’s selective and inflammatory reporting.

They should both get on their knees before Bishop Morlino, ask his forgiveness for maligning him, and thank him for the sacrificial service he and the Catholic Church provide to Madison.

Here's a start- a WSJ reporter (guess which one?!), already on his knees before Bishop Morlino, contemplating the Bishop's words at the Religious Freedom Rally March 23rd. Now we just need an apology, and we're good to go!

Impossible, you say?
Maybe not…

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Wisdom Monastery

4 comments

Our Lady of Good Counsel

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Doug Erickson of the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) recently contacted me for a “faithful Catholic” view of Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton.
His article can be found at Holy Wisdom Monastery provides church services for disaffected local Catholics.

Doug’s WSJ article discusses the membership and philosophy of the Holy Wisdom group in some detail, but relegates input from real Catholics, including from the Diocese of Madison (quoting space limitations), to a last paragraph entitled “detractors.”

For the sake of accuracy, the Diocese’s complete statement and my complete statement to the WSJ are provided here:

Diocese of Madison’s clarification: click here for PDF statement.

My complete statement:

Doug’s Questions:

About 335 people are members of the weekly Sunday congregation at Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, a community of Benedictine sisters. More than half are estimated to be disaffected Catholics who’ve left parishes in the Madison diocese over disagreements with Catholic Church doctrine in general or Bishop Morlino specifically.

The service is called a “Sunday Assembly with Eucharist.” It used to be a Catholic Mass, and still is structured like one, but the sisters are no longer under the jurisdiction of the diocese (as of 2006). Consequently, it is an ecumenical service where women preach and distribute the communion bread and wine. The language is “inclusive,” with no gender-specific references to God. Same-sex relationships are celebrated and same-sex marriage advocated.

1.) Have you heard of the service and, if so, what are your thoughts about it?
2.) Many of the people who worship there still call themselves Catholics, despite disagreeing with the Church on issues such as birth control, abortion, same-sex marriage and female priests. In your opinion, are they Catholics? Why or why not?
3.) As someone who supports the bishop and Church doctrine in general, does it bother you when hear about parishioners who leave their parishes for these types of reasons?

Benedictines of Middleton

Thanks, Doug, for your questions.  I welcome the opportunity to answer them.

The faithful Catholics of Madison who are aware of the existence of the community you mention, Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, are aware that it has departed from the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Bishop Morlino and Pope Benedict graciously granted the nuns’ petition to abandon their Catholic identity in 2006, and wished them well in their ecumenical efforts.  They are no longer Catholic Benedictine sisters.  One of their three members is Presbyterian, and they are no longer a Catholic religious order.  Perhaps a more appropriate name for them would be Ecumenical Women of Madison to avoid confusion. continue reading…

Wow…  3 miles from my home, and 3 blocks from my parish in Madison…

Wisconsin State Capitol, Wed eve, Mar 9, 2011

Wisconsin State Capitol Building, Madioson, WI




Angry mobs broke a Capitol door panel this morning just before police arrived, prompting the closing of the building.  About 200 demonstrators remain inside the Capitol building since last night.  The Capitol will not open, police said, until a law enforcement assessment of the building and security requirements have been completed.

Last night, police “ceded control of the State Street doors and allowed the crowd to surge inside.” Some report that demonstrators broke windows—see the situation here:

Last night, Republican legislators were told to flee Madison for their own safety(Senator Grothman, March 9, 2011).

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Mayor Dave Cieslewicz instructed Madison Police Chief not to allow his officers to participate in removing demonstrators from the building.    Last week, the City of Madison also issued a supportive statement about crowds  “peacefully assembled to exercise democracy andFirst Amendment rights.”
Media has been reporting protests as “peaceful,” although there is much evidence to the contrary.

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Senator Grothman cornered by angry mob

Last week Police gave no protection to Senator Grothman when a mob of 200 pursued him.
President Obama has been supporting the unions, not Governor Walker.
The impression many conservative Madison, Wisconsin residents have is that liberal/union crowds have run amok, and that Madison’s liberal City government, liberal police and liberal media are forsaking their responsibilities to the public and are assisting the rebels.
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This is being done because a minority objects to legislation which duly elected conservative legislators

Wisconsin State Journal Cartoon

are attempting to pass, according to democratic process.  Incidentally, contrary to liberal propaganda, Governor Walker is not eliminating ALL collective bargaining rights for teachers, he is  just trimming them to be a little more in line with the rest of Wisconsin’s workers.  If teacher collective bargaining in Madison were left unrestrained, all the cuts unions are pretending to accept this week could be reversed next week.

During recent weeks, even the liberal Wisconsin State Journal has begun showing support for Governor Walker — to the dismay of the Isthmus, an extremely liberal Wisconsin paper.

Again contrary to liberal claims, last night’s vote to limit union collective bargaining was valid – Wisconsin Open Meeting Law states that “every public notice of a meeting be given at least twenty-four hours in advance of the meeting, unless “for good cause” such notice is “impossible or impractical.”  If “good cause” exists, the notice should be given as soon as possible and must be given at least two hours in advance of the meeting.
It would be difficult to imagine that threats of mob attack on legislators in the absence of police protection would not constitute “good cause.”  Two hours notice WAS given. In actual fact, the possibility of this vote was discussed several weeks ago, so the 14 renegade Dems had closer to 3 weeks notice that this vote was imminent.    The Dems have been out-maneuvered legally, and they are raging mad.

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All very shocking and  becoming scary–  the tactics being used by unions/liberals who were voted out in November. Even MORE shocking,  they seem to have the cooperation of Madison’s City government, police and media.  The situation has become more disturbing than anyone previously realized.  We are well on our way to MOB RULE– by a loud unruly minority.

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http://istandwithwalker.com/

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Governor Walker is a long-overdue Godsend – may God help him and may God help us all!

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The culmination of these events occurred on Ash Wednesday, at the beginning of Lent.  Lent is a time to give up comforts and privileges for our own spiritual strengthening and edification, and for the common good.  The unions/liberals at the Wisconsin Capitol should be reminded of this.  In difficult economic times, the unions need to take their fair share of cuts and limitations for the common good, so that thousands of others would not be left without jobs at all.

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A prayer marathon is in order.

God come to our assistance, Lord make haste to help us.

Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

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