Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gone in 60 Seconds with Sphinx

Apparently I look like the character "Sphinx" from the movie "Gone In 60 Seconds". Why do I bring this up well because four different people in the span of one week have asked if I was the actor Vinnie Jones who portrayed "Sphinx" in the movie "Gone In 60 Seconds". When I was in college, before I started shaving all my hair, I was told I looked like Jim Carey from "Ace Ventura" (more the hair than anything else). Then when I got into grad school I was told I looked like Robin Williams. When I first shaved my head of all its hair almost three years ago I was told I looked like Nicolas Cage and then Bruce Willis. Now it is Vinnie Jones. I travel constantly for work and four different TSA personal asked me if I was that actor. I don't know why they are all TSA, but what struck me as odd was that they all watched "Gone In 60 Seconds", which was a pretty decent action film but was an 'ok' hit at the box office. I have been told I look like Jason Stathom of the movie "Transporter". But Vinnie Jones seems to take the cake recently. Now that I googled his character and movie and identified him as Vinnie Jones it is scary to see the uncanny resemblance. I'm not going to post a personal pic of mine, but those who know me feel free to chime in, this is one ugly dude!
Monday, October 30, 2006

More Support for the Tridentine Mass

I am aware of certain bloggers who will do anything to discredit the yearning for the Tridentine Mass, but there is a groundswell of support that won't be ignored by this particular blogger. Here in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston we have an active and growing congregation at Annunciation Church. In the past the previous bishop did all he could to extinguish this ancient rite of the Church. People from as far away as College Station drive to the only Mass in the entire archdiocese of 1 million plus Catholics. Nationally I've seen the rumblings and yearnings for of the Tridentine Mass with the bursting seminary over at the Diocese of Lincoln of the Fraternal Society of St. Peter to the increased presence of Christ the King and the obstinate SSPX. A younger generation of parishioners born after the hijacked reforms of Vatican II have contributed to the resurgence of this very solemn and reverent Mass. To read more click here.
Friday, October 27, 2006

Bright Sun

“Bright Sun of the Family” March 11, 1942 The wife and mother is the sun of the family. With generosity and devotion, with constant readiness, she watches over and provides for everything that helps to make life happy for her husband and children. She radiates light and warmth. It is usually said that a marriage is successful when each spouse strives from the beginning to insure not his own, but his partner’s happiness. Although this sentiment concerns both parties, it is the chief virtue of the wife, who is born with a mother’s instinct, a heart full of wisdom… The wife is the sun of the family, with her bright look and the warmth of her words which sweetly pierce the soul, move and soften it…Her eyes flash a world of meaning, and one word bespeaks a world of affection. Looks and words that dance up from a mother’s heart create the paradise of childhood, always radiating goodness and kindness even when they admonish or rebuke, for the more sensitive a child’s soul, the more profoundly he accepts the dictates of love. But what happens if the family is deprived of this sun? What if the wife continuously, on every occasion, even in the most intimate relationships, complains of how many sacrifices married life is costing her? Where is her gentle affection when excessive discipline and uncontrolled anger, or annoying indifference, smother in the children any feelings of joy and comfort at their mother’s side, when the harsh voice of her scolding and recriminations sadly disturbs and embitters a devoted family life? Where is that tender love and generosity when, instead of creating an atmosphere of welcome peace in the home, by her natural simplicity and tidiness, she poisons the air by being a restless, nervous, and demanding woman? Dear wives, this is where your responsibility for family harmony and happiness can lead. It is your husband’s role to provide for your home, and it is your role to arrange its comfort and well-being to assure the serenity of your two lives. For you this is not only a role of nature but a religious duty as well, an obligation of Christian virtue, the practice and merit of which will win you an increase in the love and grace of God. “But,” one of you may say, “this demands a life of sacrifice.” Do you believe that anyone here on earth can enjoy true and lasting happiness without earning it by some privation or denial?…Do you think that perhaps your husband too does not make sacrifices, often numerous and difficult ones, to provide an honorable living for his family? It is precisely these mutual sacrifices, borne together for the good of all, which give to married love and family happiness the stability, the holy depth and exquisite nobility which are rooted in the mutual respect of the husband and wife and which exalt them in the love and gratitude of their children. (Dear Newlyweds, p. 178-180)

Monastery Reality Show

Apparently I am uncool since I seem to miss some interesting tv shows lately. This time it's the 'Monastery' on The Learning Channel (TLC). They take five men from various backgrounds and throw them in a monastery in the middle of the New Mexico desert and film them for 40 days. Very interesting concept. The first show aired this past Sunday evening (how appropriate, on God's day that is) on TLC. The tv show takes place at 'The Monastery of Christ in the Desert' located in Abiquiu, NM. The monastery follows the Benedictine life with no external apostolates and is affiliated with the international Subiaco Benedictine Congregation. This monastery was founded in 1964 in a quiet northwestern corner of New Mexico. They are pretty much self sufficient and they welcome all visitors, Catholic and non-Catholic. From the various reviews that I've read from mostly Catholic bloggers the show seems to be a disappointment. The five men seem to be barely Catholic, in fact one of them is Episcopalian. Which of course brings many conflicts to the fore. But it is tv so they are wanting to create some tension to make it viewable. Nonetheless take a look at a couple of videos here. For 'The Monastery' show homepage on TLC click here. To learn more about 'The Monastery of Christ in the Desert' click here. (Hat Tip: Monastic Skete and A Catholic Life)
Thursday, October 26, 2006

Michael J. Fox vs. Unborn Children

Michael J. Fox wants to experiment on the body parts of unborn children. Joseph Goebels must be smiling from down below at his newest conscript. This 'ad' is in response to Michael J. Fox's television commercial for his support of a candidate that supports the use for experimentation of human body parts, or what the PC crowd calls, 'stem cell research'. Missouri is voting on an amendment (prop 2 in this upcoming state election) to the constitution that will legalize this sort of experimentation. To learn more about this prop 2 click here. To view the real video in response to Michael J. Fox grotesque support of prop 2 click here. To read the response of the Catholic League click here. (Hat Tip: Catholic and Enjoying It!) All human beings are equal, but movie stars are more equal than others. UPDATED: MSM fails to investigate Michael J. Fox's claims on his commercials as they hype his illness; for more click here.

The Husband’s Duties in the Home

“The Husband’s Duties in the Home” April 15, 1942 In married life, the man is the head of the woman and ordinarily excels her in strength and vigor. This distinction, however, does not humiliate her spirit, for however often she undertakes apparently slight tasks, in reality her attainments are great and powerful because of her responsibility in creating a happy family life, thus meriting her husband’s gratitude. Nevertheless, however cordial this gratitude may be, you men can and must do more. Your dominance as head of the family does not consist alone in performing the activities required by your profession. You also have an active role to play in the home itself which is the proper domain of your wife…You will be sharing responsibilities with your wife who is often overladen with work and worry. …What could be more deplorable or repugnant to Catholic sensibilities than to meet in a Christian environment anything even remotely resembling a once too familiar sight among peoples not yet illumined and softened by the divine mystery of Nazareth: a wife bent under a heavy load like a beast of burden, walking ahead of her husband who follows her and watches, smoking tranquilly! …Hard times come to every family, times that mingle joy and sorrow, difficulties and disappointments, misfortunes and tears; times of birth, sickness, and struggle…Then the woman cannot possibly cope with her manifold duties, now more burdensome and urgent. Then everyone at home must do his best, even the young ones; but the first work must be done by the father, the head of the family, who in critical moments will have to set the example, through his help, knowledge and foresight, giving of himself promptly and without reserve. (Dear Newlyweds, p. 174-176) My friends reflections on this: Oftentimes, modern women feel slighted when the husband is referred to as the “head of the household”. This is, however, the traditional understanding of the paternal role, and it is not necessarily for the purpose of bestowing greater honor on the man than the woman, but to instill in the man a sense of his grave responsibility in providing for his family’s spiritual and physical needs. For the Christian, authority implies service. The roles of the husband and wife are equal in dignity even if they support different functions of the family.

U. of St. Thomas (Houston) Gains National Ranking

I don't read the National Catholic Register and I couldn't find this information at their website, but according to Quintero at L.A. Catholic the University of St. Thomas scored positively in 10 survey questions that were given to all Catholic universities in the United States. Only 21 colleges received this rating so be proud you Celts of the University of St. Thomas (UST)! Not even the infamous Dr. Paul "Saul" Hahn's argument that St. Thomas Aquinas was to stupid to be considered a Doctor of the Church affected the rating (I guess he didn't receive the survey questions, phew!) ...and here are the other universities to make the list: U. of St. Thomas (Houston)... of course . . . and kudos to the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston for having the U. of Dallas (Irving, TX) make the rankings! (where our seminarians go, through an agreement with the Diocese of Dallas) Aquinas College (Nashville) Augustine Institute (Denver) Ave Maria U. (Naples, Fla.) Belmont Abbey College (Belmont, NC) The Catholic Distance U. (Hamilton, VA) The Catholic U. of America (Wash., DC) Christendom College (Front Royal, VA) College of St. Thomas More (Fort Worth) Franciscan U. of Steubenville (OH) Holy Apostles College and Seminary (Cromwell, CT) John Paul the Great Catholic U. (San Diego) Magdalen College (Warner, NH) Our Lady of Corpus Christi (Corpus Christi, TX) St. Gregory's U. (Shawnee, OK) Southern Catholic College (Dawsonville, GA) Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula, CA) Thomas More College of Liberal Arts (Merrimack, NH) U. of Sacramento (Sacramento) Walsh U. (North Canton, OH) (Hat Tip: L.A. Catholic)

Praying for an End to Abortion in Houston

This past Saturday (October 21) we had four young adults turn up to pray the Rosary in front of the notorious abortion mill on 3601 Fannin Street. Here is a picture of other prayer warriors from Strake Jesuit and Pope John XXIII schools who were praying at the other end of this abortion mill. (these are not the four I mentioned, but four others that arrived later than my group of merry prayer warriors) For the previous weeks pics click here.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Beginning of the End for Europe

I've written about it in the past, now I see it happening to often to wait any long to blog about it. The one year anniversary of the Intifadah in France where thousands of Muslims took to the streets for three months in an orgy of car burnings, riots, and vandalism is approaching. It is safe to say that when the Muslims began their riot (intifadah in France) it was the beginning of the end for Europe. Why did this occur? Why me, a Catholic and an American living far away from Europe am I concerned about this? Well to answer the second question, it has everything to do with me, my Catholic faith, and the future of my offspring. I will touch on this during the course of this posting. Why did this occur? The end of the beginning occurred when Spain capitulated to the Muslims after the Madrid bombings. This was the end cap of what the French Revolution of 1789 had started and that is the decapitation of Christianity from European life. Without faith, without Christianity, the so called European secular-humanist (referred to from here on out as 'man') only believes in himself instead of Him (ie, God). They deny the existence of God and celebrate their own existence instead. Without an afterlife to look forward to the European man looks inward, that is, selfishly enjoying himself in the world without consequence. Thusly when a Muslim threatens his life, instead of standing up to fight for his country, his life, his livelihood, he submits. Because why die for something when you have nothing to look forward to? It is a philosophical as well as a legitimate question to ask oneself, especially if you are a European and/or a non-believer. This is what is happening in Europe. Why does this concern me? It concern's me because this is the final product of the so-called 'Enlightenment'. Separating man from God for the betterment of self. "I live therefore I am" retorts a headless French intellectual when questioned on the existence of God. This 'Enlightenment' has procured two World Wars, Hitler's Germany, Stalinist Russia, Mao's China, and Pol Pot's Cambodia. Many people, especially sophisticated liberals don't want to be reminded that the worst century in human existence so happens to be the 20th century! The European social welfare system has lulled the European masses into permanent hibernation. When one can claim a toe nail injury and receive compensation for a lifetime because you can't work (this happens every day in all places England) why you have idle time on your hands. Why bother with responsibility, why bother with gaining maturity, when you can cash your welfare check and jump on a plane for a quick holiday to the beaches of Spain! No need to believe in God since the state will guarantee happiness! No need to obey the ten commandments or adhere to strict moral structures when you can have non-committal sex without the guilt. You can approve of homosexual marriage because you don't care. You can 'rationalize' the death of millions of unborn children because they can't speak for themselves, even better you won't have a guilty conscious because you tell yourself they aren't even 'human' yet since they haven't left the womb. Well let's take this one step further, why bother with having children period because they suck the life and finances out of you anyways, you want to 'enjoy' your life don't you, so begone with the little rascals and spend the extra money on lavish vacations and nicer cars. This is already happening here in the United States. When a Democratic politician (I haven't heard any Republicans... yet) howls about the benefits of the ideal social welfare model that is Europe, don't fall for the lies. Satan is the father of lies and he works through others to push his own agenda. Shoot, even if you're an atheist you need to look at what is happening in Europe right NOW. Emigration has exceed immigrants into Germany. Many young college-educated Germans are already leaving Germany because of the deteriorating of civic life. Not the deteriorating of welfare programs but the fear of death at the hands of Muslim youths wreaking havoc all over Germany. The coming Exodus in which I blogged about is occurring sooner than I expected. This is not an anomaly. Well right now it is, but the anomaly doesn't go away the United States will see the largest influx of Europeans since the 19th century, it will be even greater. When Europe becomes unlivable, which it is increasingly becoming in cities such as Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Paris, this small spicket of immigrants to the US will be like a tidal wave. Oh Tito, you're becoming an 'islamophobe'. Facts beg to differ. Rapes of young European women are common among the Muslim community. They constitute the great majority of agitators. Rape squads of young Muslim men come out after dark in such enlightened cities such as Brussels, Paris, and Stockholm, Sweden. Senseless 'honor' killings of young Muslim women also occur. The riots in France last year that occurred all over France over a three month period. We need to put this into context now. After the OJ verdict the riots in LA lasted a week and only occurred in certain sections of LA. Why should you the reader of this blog be concerned? Well civilizations don't die out because of outside forces, they die from within. When you take away God from the equation, you take away the reason for living. Am I wrong? Take another look at Enlightened Europe. They have lost the will to live and are now in a 40-60 year cycle of decline where Muslims will eventually become the majority and they will become the minority or in Islamic jargon, dhimmi's. For an in-depth examination of the Coming Exodus from Europe click here. For a further examination of this topic click here. To read American and European sources on this topic click here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. UPDATED: France prepares 50,000 riot police for the second anniversary of the Intifadah in France. The French still don't have a clue... to read more click here.

The Mystery of Fatherhood

I've been receiving these daily devotionals from friends of mine and from time to time I will share them with you. “The Mystery of Fatherhood” March 19, 1941 Reflect upon these words of fatherhood, God’s and yours: your children in your image and your likeness. Yes, your children will be in your image… Be their model in the journey to goodness…may they find the light of their way by watching you, by imitating you, and by remembering, when some day you will no longer be at their side, your warnings and advice, evidenced and confirmed by a complete fulfillment of all the duties of Christian life, the delicate and inner sense of uncompromising, unshakeable faith and confidence in God which you exhibited under the most difficult trials. May they remember a mutual love grown ever deeper through the years, a helpful and charitable goodness devoting itself to every misfortune. Your children will expect much from your careful vigilance over their first steps and the first awakening and opening of their minds and hearts…But louder than any words will be the voice of your example, an example which will continue for many years to be a mirror reflecting your practical life before their eyes, in and out of the family circle, an example which they will probe and judge with the terrible clarity and relentless penetration of their youthful curiosity. How beautiful and worthy of remembrance is the blessing Raguel gives young Tobias when he learns whose son he is, “A blessing be upon thee, my son, because thou art the son of a good and most virtuous man” (Tobit 7:7)…Perhaps you will not always be able to provide for your children the pleasant and beautiful life you dream of for them…but more than earthly possessions, which even for the powerful and the elite can never change this valley of tears into a paradise of delight, it is your obligation to give your children and heirs even finer things: the wealth of faith, an atmosphere of hope and charity, inspiration for a courageous and constant Christian life. (Dear Newlyweds, p. 172-174)
Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bishop Olmsted Shames Orthopraxy Bishops

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix has recently released a question and answer booklet that addresses hot-button political issues to help Catholic voters. The name of his new book is 'Catholics in the Public Square'.
Bishop Olmsted's booklet, in a question and answer format, answers 29 poignant questions about Catholic teaching and civic issues such as separation of Church and State, public policies, political issues, and voting responsibilities. Olmsted explains how certain policies, such as capital punishment, are a matter of opinion but other issues, like a pro-life stance, are non-negotiable at all times. The booklet does not endorse or condemn any specific candidate, political party or legislative proposal.
Bishop Olmsted contrasts his apostoliclic mission from many orthopraxy bishops in the United States that hide behind their chancellors and issue edicts on soft issues such as immigration reform while abandoninging pro-life issues. Bishop Olmsted also strengthens other bishops who are hesitant to fulfill their apostolic duties by his example. Some strong statements that Bishop Olmsted issues is the denial of Communion to politicians who create scandal, such as Congresswoman Pelosi, by supporting abortion.
Olmsted explains that certain social issues can be left up to the opinion of the voter and two Catholics may legitimately differ in opinion. However, he is careful to express that "there are other issues, such as abortion or euthanasia, that are always wrong and do not allow for the correct use of prudential judgment to justify them."
To read more about Bishop Olmsteds new book click here. To read 'Catholics in Public Square' click here. UPDATED: Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Denver flexes his apostolic muscles once again (*sigh*, the laypeople of Denver are fortunate) makes clear that the abortion issue should be the "foundational" issue for Catholic voters. For more click here.

Missouri: Vote 'NO' on 2

A response to Michael J. Fox's Video that supports killing humans. To learn more about Proposition 2 click here. Noel Sheppard of NewsBusters chimes in, for the link click here. UPDATED: Washington Post fails to critique the advertisement of Michael J. Fox. Why do I even bother updating these things from the MSM. The Left will not ever understand where they are coming from. Nonetheless thank goodness for the Media Research Center, they have pointed out WaPo's mistakes. For the article click here. For a more comprehensive analysis of Michael J. Fox's commercial 'misinformation' click here.

Egyptian Imprisoned for Converting to Christianity

Conversion stories have always interested me. All kinds of conversion stories. Whether they are lapsed Catholics reverting back to our faith or evangelicals such as Steve Ray. But converts from Islam to Christianity fascinate me the most. Probably because they are not as well known as the others due to several factors. Number one being that those who convert face death, persecution, and rejection from their (former) peers. How sad that an allegedly great faith such as Islam has no confidence whatsoever in what it stands for. Such is the case of Bahaa el-Din Ahmed Hussein el-Akkad (Bahaa) of Egype who was a former Islamic scholar and sheikh. Yes, a sheikh.
For more than 20 years, the former sheikh was a member of the fundamentalist Islamic group Tabligh and Da’wa, which actively proselytized non-Muslims but strictly opposed violence.
Bahaa converted in 2005 and was immediately detained by the notorious State Security Investigation (SSI) indefinately with no charges. The charges were finally revealed as "committing blasphemy against Islam". He has been in jail for over 18 months now and counting. He is rotting in one of Egypts worst jails, the Wadi el-Natroun Prison where most of Egypts worse Islamic militants are jailed in spartan conditions out in the desert.
"He is locked in a place where he may die because his age, body and mind cannot tolerate this cruelty and stubbornness of the state security authorities,"
He is 57 years old and is unable to cope with his surroundings at his age. His conversion arised from his disillusionment of Islam.
"This is a proof to all Muslims,” El-Akkad wrote, “that the person who studies the two religions from an objective and serious perspective will choose the Christian approach."
Let us pray for his safe and quick release from jail. Let us pray also for all those that have converted to Christianity in the Middle East but have kept it a secret due to a fear of losing their lives. Finaly let us pray that Egypt, as well as the rest of the Islamic world, will allow freedom of worship in their respective countries. For more on this article click here.

12 Questions Catholic Should Be Able to Answer

There are questions that we as Catholics encounter when we engage in conversation about our faith. Whether it be with non-Catholics or Catholics these questions come to mind that we should be able to dispel. Such as 'There's no such thing as absolute truth', 'Christianity is no better than any other faith' and 'there are inconsistencies and contradictions in the Bible'. Well I ran across 12 questions that every Catholic should be able to answer. I've reprinted them here with the link to the source. These 12 pedagogical question and answer list is from Deal Hudson the editor of Crisis magazine. 12 CLAIMS EVERY CATHOLIC SHOULD BE ABLE TO ANSWER 1. "There's no such thing as absolute truth. What's true for you may not be true for me." People use this argument a lot when they disagree with a statement and have no other way to support their idea. After all, if nothing is true for everyone, then they can believe whatever they want and there's nothing you can say to make them change their minds. But look at that statement again: "There's no such thing as absolute truth." Isn't that, in itself, a statement that's being made absolutely? In other words, it applies some rule or standard to everyone across the board -- exactly what the relativists say is impossible. They have undone their own argument simply by stating their case. The other problem with this statement is that no relativist actually believes it. If someone said to you, "There is no absolute truth," and you punched him in the stomach, he'd probably get upset. But by his own creed, he'd have to accept that while punching someone in the stomach may be wrong for him, it might not be wrong for you. This is when they'll come back with an amendment to the original statement by saying, "As long as you're not hurting others, you're free to do and believe what you like." But this is an arbitrary distinction (as well as another absolute statement). Who says I can't hurt others? What constitutes "hurt"? Where does this rule come from? If this statement is made based on personal preference, it means nothing for anyone else. "Do no harm" is in itself an appeal to something greater -- a sort of universal dignity for the human person. But again, the question is where does this dignity come from? As you can see, the further you delve into these questions, the closer you come to understanding that our concepts of right and truth are not arbitrary but are based in some greater, universal truth outside ourselves -- a truth written in the very nature of our being. We may not know it in its entirety, but it can't be denied that this truth exists. ************************************************* 2. "Christianity is no better than any other faith. All religions lead to God." If you haven't heard this one a dozen times, you don't get out much. Sadly enough, the person making this claim is often himself a Christian (at least, in name). The problems with this view are pretty straightforward. Christianity makes a series of claims about God and man: That Jesus of Nazareth was God Himself, and that he died and was resurrected -- all so that we might be free from our sins. Every other religion in the world denies each of these points. So, if Christianity is correct, then it speaks a vital truth to the world -- a truth that all other religions reject. This alone makes Christianity unique. But it doesn't end there. Recall Jesus' statement in John's Gospel: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me." In Christianity, we have God's full revelation to humanity. It's true that all religions contain some measure of truth -- the amount varying with the religion. Nevertheless, if we earnestly want to follow and worship God, shouldn't we do it in the way He prescribed? If Jesus is indeed God, then only Christianity contains the fullness of this truth. ************************************************* 3. "The Old and New Testaments contradict one another in numerous places. If an omnipotent God inspired the Bible, He would never have allowed these errors." This is a common claim, one found all over the internet (especially on atheist and free-thought websites). An article on the American Atheists website notes that "What is incredible about the Bible is not its divine authorship; it's that such a concoction of contradictory nonsense could be believed by anyone to have been written by an omniscient God." Such a statement is generally followed by a list of Biblical "contradictions." However, claims of contradictions make a few simple errors. For example, critics fail to read the various books of the Bible in line with the genre in which they were written. The Bible is, after all, a collection of several kinds of writing...history, theology, poetry, apocalyptic material, etc. If we try to read these books in the same wooden way in which we approach a modern newspaper, we're going to be awfully confused. And the list of Bible "contradictions" bears this out. Take, for example, the first item on the American Atheist's list: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Exodus 20:8 Versus... "One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind." Romans 14:5 There! the atheist cries, A clear contradiction. But what the critic neglects to mention is something every Christian knows: When Christ instituted the New Covenant, the ceremonial requirements of the Old Covenant were fulfilled (and passed away). And so it makes perfect sense that Old Testament ceremonial rules would no longer stand for the people of the New Covenant. If the critic had understood this simple tenet of Christianity, he wouldn't have fallen into so basic an error. The next item on the American Atheist list is similarly flawed: "...the earth abideth for ever." Ecclesiastes 1:4 Versus... "...the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." So, the Old Testament claims that the earth will last forever, while the New says it will eventually be destroyed. How do we harmonize these? Actually, it's pretty easy, and it again comes from understanding the genre in which these two books were written. Ecclesiastes, for example, contrasts secular and religious worldviews -- and most of it is written from a secular viewpoint. That's why we find lines like, "Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything." (Ecclesiastes 10:19) However, at the end of the book, the writer throws us a twist, dispensing with all the "wisdom" he'd offered and telling us to "Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man." (12:13) If a reader stops before the end, he'll be as confused as the critic at American Atheists. However, since the viewpoint that gave birth to the notion of an eternal earth is rejected in the last lines of the book, there's obviously no contradiction with what was later revealed in the New Testament. (And this is just one way to answer this alleged discrepancy.) The other "contradictions" between the Old and New Testaments can be answered similarly. Almost to an item, the critics who use them confuse context, ignore genre, and refuse to allow room for reasonable interpretation. No thinking Christian should be disturbed by these lists. ************************************************* 4. "I don't need to go to Church. As long as I'm a good person, that's all that really matters." This argument is used often, and is pretty disingenuous. When someone says he's a "good person," what he really means is that he's "not a bad person" -- bad people being those who murder, rape, and steal. Most people don't have to extend a lot of effort to avoid these sins, and that's the idea: We want to do the least amount of work necessary just to get us by. Not very Christ-like, is it? But that mentality aside, there's a much more important reason why Catholics go to Church other than just as an exercise in going the extra mile. Mass is the cornerstone of our faith life because of what lies at its heart: the Eucharist. It's the source of all life for Catholics, who believe that bread and wine become the real body and blood of Christ. It's not just a symbol of God, but God made physically present to us in a way we don't experience through prayer alone. Jesus said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:53-54). We're honoring Jesus' command and trusting in that promise every time we go to Mass. What's more, the Eucharist -- along with all the other Sacraments -- is only available to those in the Church. As members of the Church, Christ's visible body here on earth, our lives are intimately tied up with the lives of others in that Church. Our personal relationship with God is vital, but we also have a responsibility to live as faithful members of Christ's body. Just being a "good person" isn't enough. ************************************************* 5. "You don't need to confess your sins to a priest. You can go straight to God." As a former Baptist minister, I can understand the Protestant objection to confession (they have a different understanding of priesthood). But for a Catholic to say something like this...it's disappointing. I suspect that, human nature being what it is, people just don't like telling other people their sins, and so they come up with justifications for not doing so. The Sacrament of Confession has been with us from the beginning, coming from the words of Christ Himself: "Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.' And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.'" (John 20:21-23) Notice that Jesus gives His apostles the power to forgive sins. Of course, they wouldn't know which sins to forgive if they weren't TOLD what sins were involved. The practice of confession is also evident in the Letter Of James: "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed." (James 5:14-16) It's interesting that nowhere does James (or Jesus) tell us to confess our sins to God alone. Rather, they seem to think that forgiveness comes through some means of public confession. And it's not difficult to understand why. You see, when we sin, we rupture our relationship not just with God, but with His Body, the Church (since all Catholics are interconnected as children of a common Father). So when we apologize, we need to do so to all parties involved -- God AND the Church. Think of it this way. Imagine you walk into a store and steal some of their merchandise. Later, you feel remorse and regret the sinful act. Now, you can pray to God to forgive you for breaking His commandment. But there's still another party involved; you'll need to return the merchandise and make restitution for your action. It's the same way with the Church. In the confessional, the priest represents God AND the Church, since we've sinned against both. And when he pronounces the words of absolution, our forgiveness is complete. ************************************************* 6. "If the Church truly followed Jesus, they'd sell their lavish art, property, and architecture, and give the money to the poor." When some people think of Vatican City, what they immediately picture is something like a wealthy kingdom, complete with palatial living accommodations for the pope and chests of gold tucked away in every corner, not to mention the fabulous collection of priceless art and artifacts. Looking at it that way, it's easy to see how some people would become indignant at what they think is an ostentatious and wasteful show of wealth. But the truth is something quite different. While the main buildings are called the "Vatican Palace," it wasn't built to be the lavish living quarters of the pope. In fact, the residential part of the Vatican is relatively small. The greater portion of the Vatican is given over to purposes of art and science, administration of the Church's official business, and management of the Palace in general. Quite a number of Church and administrative officials live in the Vatican with the pope, making it more like the Church's main headquarters. As for the impressive art collection, truly one of the finest in the world, the Vatican views it as "an irreplaceable treasure," but not in monetary terms. The pope doesn't "own" these works of art and couldn't sell them if he wanted to; they're merely in the care of the Holy See. The art doesn't even provide the Church with wealth; actually, it's just the opposite. The Holy See invests quite a bit of its resources into the upkeep of the collection. The truth of the matter is that the See has a fairly tight financial budget. So why keep the art? It goes back to a belief in the Church's mission (one of many) as a civilizing force in the world. Just like the medieval monks who carefully transcribed ancient texts so they would be available to future generations -- texts that otherwise would have been lost forever -- the Church continues to care for the arts so they will not be forgotten over time. In today's culture of death where the term "civilization" can only be used loosely, the Church's civilizing mission is as important today as it ever was. ************************************************* 7. "Dissent is actually a positive thing, since we should all keep our minds open to new ideas." You might hear this argument a lot today, especially in the wake of the abuse scandal in the Church. Everyone wants to find a solution to the problem, and in doing so some people are advocating ideas that are outside the pale of our Catholic faith (i.e., women priests, being open to homosexuality, etc). A lot of people blame the Church for being too rigid in its beliefs and not wanting to try anything new. The truth is, a lot of the ideas for reform that are floating around today aren't new. They've been around for a while, and the Church has already considered them. In fact, the Church has spent its entire life carefully examining ideas and determining which ones are in line with God's law and which aren't. It has discarded heresy after heresy while carefully building up the tenets of the Faith. It should come as no surprise that there are thousands of other Christian churches in existence today -- all of them had "new ideas" at one point that the Church had decided were outside the deposit of faith. The Church has an important responsibility in protecting the integrity of our Faith. It never rejects ideas out of hand, as some dissenters would claim, but has two thousand years of prayer and study behind the beliefs it holds to be true. This doesn't mean that we can never disagree on anything. There's always room to discuss how best to deepen our understanding of the truth -- for example, how we can improve our seminaries or clergy/lay interactions -- all within the guidelines of our Faith. ************************************************* 8. "Properly interpreted, the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. Rather, it weighs against promiscuity -- whether homosexual or heterosexual. Therefore, we have no reason to oppose loving homosexual relationships." As homosexual activity gains greater acceptance in our culture, there'll be more pressure among Christians to explain away the Bible's clear prohibition against it. It's now the standard liberal party line to claim that the Bible -- when understood correctly -- doesn't disallow homosexual activity. But this claim flies in the face of clear passages in both the Old and New Testaments. The first, of course, is the famous story of Sodom and Gomorrah. If you recall, two angels were sent by God to Sodom to visit Lot: "But before [the angels] lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house; and they called to Lot, 'Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.' Lot went out of the door to the men, shut the door after him, and said, 'I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. Behold, I have two daughters who have not known man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.' But they said, 'Stand back!' And they said, 'This fellow came to sojourn, and he would play the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.' Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door. But the men put forth their hands and brought Lot into the house to them, and shut the door." (Genesis 19:4-10) The message of this passage is pretty clear. The men of Sodom were homosexuals who wanted to have relations with the men inside the house. Lot offered them his daughters, but they weren't interested. Shortly thereafter, Sodom was destroyed by God in payment for the sins of its people -- namely, their homosexual acts. This fact is confirmed in the New Testament: "Just as Sodom and Gomor'rah and the surrounding cities, which likewise acted immorally and indulged in unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire." (Jude 7) But these certainly aren't the only passages in the Bible that condemn gay activity. The Old Testament contains another unambiguous condemnation: "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination." (Leviticus 18:22). And these statements aren't reserved to the Old Testament alone. "For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error." (Romans 1:26-27) It's awfully hard for a liberal Christian to explain this away. There's simply no mention here merely of gay promiscuity or rape; rather, Paul is weighing against ANY homosexual relations (which he describes as "unnatural," "shameless" and "dishonorable"). Liberal Christians are in a bind. How, after all, does one harmonize homosexuality with the Bible? Their solution, it appears, is to strip the Bible of its moral power, and run in rhetorical circles trying to escape its clear message. ************************************************* 9. "Catholics should follow their conscience in all things...whether it's abortion, birth control, or women's ordination." It's true -- the Catechism says quite plainly, "Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. 'He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters'" (1782). This teaching is at the heart of what it means to have free will. But that doesn't mean that our conscience is free from all responsibility or can be ignorant of God's law. This is what the Catechism refers to as having a "well-formed conscience." The Catechism assigns great responsibility to a person's conscience: "Moral conscience, present at the heart of the person, enjoins him at the appropriate moment to do good and to avoid evil.... It bears witness to the authority of truth in reference to the supreme Good to which the human person is drawn, and it welcomes the commandments. When he listens to his conscience, the prudent man can hear God speaking" (1777). In other words, our conscience isn't just "what we feel is right" - it's what we judge to be right based on what we know of the teachings of God and the Church. And in order to make that judgment, we have a responsibility to study and pray over these teachings very carefully. The Catechism has a section dedicated entirely to the careful formation of our conscience -- that's how important it is in making right decisions. And in the end, whether right or wrong, we're still held accountable for our actions: "Conscience enables one to assume responsibility for the acts performed" (1781). When properly formed, it helps us to see when we've done wrong and require forgiveness of our sins. By seeking a fully-formed conscience, we actually experience great freedom, because we're drawing closer to God's infinite Truth. It's not a burden or something that keeps us from doing what we want; it's a guide to help us do what is right. "The education of the conscience guarantees freedom and engenders peace of heart" (1784). ************************************************* 10. "Natural Family Planning is just the Catholic version of birth control." Natural Family Planning (NFP) has enemies on all sides. Some believe that it's an unrealistic alternative to birth control (which they don't think is sinful anyway) while others think that it's just as bad as birth control. NFP has had to walk a fine line between both extremes. First of all, the main problem with birth control is that it works against the nature of our bodies -- and nature in general. It aims to sever the act (sex) from its consequence (pregnancy), basically reducing the sacredness of sex to the mere pursuit of pleasure. NFP, when used for the right reason, is more of a tool used for discerning whether a couple has the means (whether financially, physically, or emotionally) to accept a child into their lives. It involves understanding your own body, taking careful stock of your situation in life, discussing the issue with your spouse, and, above all, prayer. Rather than cutting yourself off from the full reality of sex, you are entering into it with a better understanding of all aspects involved. People who favor birth control point to those people who can't afford more children, or whose health might be at risk from further pregnancies. But these are perfectly legitimate reasons to use NFP -- situations where it would be perfectly effective -- and the Church allows its use. Other people think that taking any sort of control over the size of your family is like playing God, rather than letting Him provide for us as He sees fit. It's true that we must trust God and always accept the lives He sends us, but we don't need to be completely hands-off in that regard. For example, rather than throwing money around and saying that "God will provide," families carefully budget their finances and try not to overextend their means. NFP is like that budget, helping us prayerfully consider our situation in life and act accordingly. It's part of our nature as humans to understand ourselves and use our intellect and free will, rather than passively expecting God to take care of everything. We're called to be good stewards of the gifts we're given; we must be careful never to treat those gifts carelessly. ************************************************* 11. "Someone can be pro-choice and Catholic at the same time." While this may be one of the most common myths Catholics hold regarding their faith, it's also one of the most easily dispelled. The Catechism minces no words when talking about abortion: It's listed with homicide under crimes against the fifth commandment, "Thou shalt not kill." The following passages make this clear: "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception" (2270). "Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable" (2271). "Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life" (2272). It can't be stated more plainly than that. Some people might argue, however, that being "pro-choice" doesn't mean being in favor of abortion; lots of people think abortion is wrong but don't want to force that opinion on others. There's that "what's true for you might not be true for me" argument again. The Church has an answer to that, too: "'The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin'" (2273). The sanctity of life is a universal truth that can never be ignored. Advising someone to get an abortion, or even voting for a politician who would advance the cause of abortion, is a grave sin, because it leads others to mortal sin -- what the Catechism calls giving scandal (2284). The Church stands forcefully and clearly against abortion, and we as Catholics must take our stand as well. ************************************************* 12. "People's memories of their past lives prove that reincarnation is true...and that the Christian view of Heaven and Hell is not." As society becomes increasingly fascinated with the paranormal, we can expect to see claims of "past life memories" increase. Indeed, there are now organizations who will help take you through your previous lives using hypnosis. While this may be convincing to some, it certainly isn't to anyone familiar with the mechanics of hypnosis. Almost since the beginning, researchers have noted that patients in deep hypnosis frequently weave elaborate stories and memories...which later turn out to be utterly untrue. Reputable therapists are well aware of this phenomenon, and weigh carefully what the patient says under hypnosis. Sadly, though, this isn't the case with those interested in finding "proof" for reincarnation. Perhaps the greatest example of this carelessness is the famous Bridey Murphy case. If you're not familiar with it, here's a quick outline: In 1952, a Colorado housewife named Virginia Tighe was put under hypnosis. She began speaking in an Irish brogue and claimed to once have been a woman named Bridey Murphy who had lived in Cork, Ireland. Her story was turned into a bestselling book, "The Search For Bridey Murphy," and received much popular attention. Journalists combed Ireland, looking for any person or detail that might confirm the truth of this past-life regression. While nothing ever turned up, the case of Bridey Murphy continues to be used to buttress claims of reincarnation. That's a shame, since Virginia Tighe was exposed as a fraud decades ago. Consider: Virginia's childhood friends recalled her active imagination, and ability to concoct complex stories (often centered around the imitation brogue she had perfected). Not only that, but she had a great fondness for Ireland, due in part to a friendship with an Irish woman whose maiden name was -- you guessed it -- Bridie. What's more, Virginia filled her hypnosis narratives with numerous elements from her own life (without revealing the parallels to the hypnotist). For example, Bridey described an "uncle Plazz," which eager researchers took to be a corruption of the Gaelic, "uncle Blaise." Their enthusiasm ran out though when it was discovered that Virginia had a childhood friend she called Uncle Plazz. When a hypnotized Virginia began dancing an Irish jig, researchers were astounded. How, after all, would a Colorado housewife have learned the jig? The mystery was solved, when it was revealed that Virginia learned the dance as a child. As the Bridey Murphy case shows, the claims of past-life regression are always more impressive than the reality. To this day, not a single verifiable example exists of a person being regressed to a former life. Certainly, many tales have been told under the control of a hypnotist, but nevertheless, evidence for reincarnation (like that for the Tooth Fairy) continues to elude us. (Hat Tip: Dr. Philip Blosser's Homepage)

BBC Admits to More Anti-Christianity Coverage

This just tells me more of what I already know, that the BBC has a entrenched culture that is absolutely antagonistic towards Christians and Christianity in general.
The executives were asked what they would do if Cohen decided to throw ‘Kosher food’, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bible, and the Quran in the garbage bin. The executives said they would allow everything to be thrown in the garbage bin, save the Quran, for fear of offending the British Muslim community.
And it gets even better:
One senior BBC executive admitted to the ‘Daily Express’, "There was a widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness. Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it."
The BBC needs to get their funding cut completely and let the free market determine what people want to watch as opposed as should watch. For more on this article click here. (Hat Tip: NewBusters by Gary Sheffield) For previous postings of BBC bias click here and here. UPDATED: More analysis of BBC bias and their avertion to admitting it click here.
Friday, October 20, 2006

Houston's Abortion Front Lines

Each Saturday morning a small group of Catholic young adults join together in praying the Rosary in front of a notorious abortion mill here in Houston. We are spiritual warriors waging a war against Lucifer. Sometimes there are 3-5 of us, other times we number 10-12. Here are three warriors for Christ praying the Rosary in front of the abortion mill on 3601 Fanin Street at around 8:30 am this past Saturday. I'm the one holding the camera ;~D You can see a deathscort walking to the left edge of the picture and to the right of us is the main entrance. Unfortunately there were 13 abortions that day, though 5 less than usual.

Four Little Words Meme

Esther of A Catholic Mom in Hawaii tagged me with this new meme. I believe I am to write about what the four following words and what they mean to me: Responsibility: Following through on my obligations. For me they mean practicing my Catholic faith honestly, diligently, and charitably. Through practice I hope to inspire others in the joy I find in being a Christian and hopefully they to will convert (or revert) to our beautiful Catholic faith. Reality: Knowing that God is transcendent in our lives and thusly I acknowledge this through my humble practice of my faith. Knowing that ultimately only Jesus matters. Through His example and teachings I to can attain peace, joy, and happiness (ok, a bit sappy here). That is reality. Renewal: Renewal means to me that each time I bless myself with Holy water when entering a Catholic church, I am renewing myself by a simple reenactment of my baptism. Renewal also means to me that there is always hope through Jesus. Prayer, devotions, contemplations, readings, sacraments, and fellowship all renew me in my faith in Jesus. Reflection: Reflection means to me making an inventory of the day of what I did right and wrong. Thanking Him, asking forgiveness, and then prayer brings closure to reflection. Here are the following I choose to tag: 1. Bill Cork of Built On A Rock 2. Tony of Catholic Pillow Fight 3. Fr. Philip N. Powell of Domine, da mihi hanc aquam! 4. Moneybags of A Catholic Life You can choose the four words I chose above or these four words: Meekness, Modesty, Miracles, Mary. Plus Katerina & Michael, Fidei Defensor, and Katelyn haven't answered from my last meme.
Thursday, October 19, 2006

Missouri to Vote on Nazi Eugenics Law

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League points out the obvious when it comes to stem cell research. I will admit that most of this goes over my head, but when the citizens of Missouri go to vote on November 7, they will be offered an opportunity to violate the Nuremberg Code by allowing 'experimental cloning'. In convoluted language, the amendment to the Missouri constitution will protect all forms of stem cell research allowable under federal law. Reading the fine print says otherwise.
The initiative says that 'No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being.' But when the fine print is read, it actually allows for therapeutic cloning. . . 'What therapeutic cloning does is to create a human embryo for the purpose of extracting stem cells, and in doing so it kills the embryo. However, in Missouri the conversation has not been about therapeutic cloning' it has been about 'somatic cell nuclear transfer' (that's the Orwellian euphemism preferred by the Stowers Institute, the financial source of almost all the $29 million spent on this stealth campaign). As bioethicist Wesley J. Smith has written, 'biologically, the act of human cloning is asexual reproduction performed via somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT. This act of cloning culminates in the creation of a new human embryo.' 'Researcher William L. Saunders has said that SCNT, or what he calls 'experimental cloning,' violates the Nuremberg Code. He is correct: Article 5 bars experiments 'where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur'. 'Because SCNT deliberately creates life for the purpose of destroying and harvesting it, it violates the Nuremberg Code. Hopefully, Missourians will not be fooled.'
Article 5 of the Nuremberg Code states "No experiment should be conducted where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur; except, perhaps, in those experiments where the experimental physicians also serve as subjects." Basically this begins to wade into 'when a human is human' debate. For Catholics it's plain and simple. In bizarro world it depends who speak with, ie, relativism at its worse. To read more about his vote click here. To read the Nuremberg Code click here. (Hat Tip: Catholic League) UPDATED: A commercial that responds to Michael J. Fox's attempt to sell killing humans will be shown during the World Series. To view the video click here.

Europe Needs to Return to Their Christian Roots

In what seems to be a theme of Pope Benedict XVI's papacy his holiness (should I use a capital here?) is encouraging Europe to rediscover their Christian roots.
The pope's hourlong speech, interrupted repeatedly with applause, explored a favorite topic of his 18-month-old pontificate: that personal faith should have a cultural impact, particularly in areas of the family, marriage, protection of human life and education.
When one hears a U.S. Catholic politician state his faith is private, that is the problem. Besides suffering from psychosis, our 'personal' faith does have an impact on culture which in turn forms public policy. Anyways, for more on this speech by Pope Benedict XVI click here.

Spinal Growth Opportunities for the USCCB

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has the opportunity to follow Catholic doctrine by voting on a document that would condemn hatred towards people with homosexual inclinations. At the same time an ongoing conversion is needed of them. Which is pretty much what is being done in many parishes outreach programs. The problem is that most of these programs don't assist those that have homosexual inclinations with their personal conversion to Jesus Christ.
In 1999, Pope John Paul II barred a US priest, the Rev. Robert Nugent , and nun, Sister Jeannine Gramick , from "any pastoral work involving homosexual persons," declaring that they had refused to communicate the church's teaching about "the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts and the objective disorder of the homosexual inclination."
Of course homosexual license groups, otherwise called 'gay rights advocacy' in bizarro world, have mixed reactions towards this document.
Harry Knox , the director of the religion and faith program at the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy organization, said, ``it's dangerous and immoral for the church to make the kinds of statements that they are thinking about making."
For more on this article click here. UPDATED: Whispers has an excellent analysis of next months Plenary in Baltimore on this forthcoming document. It seems that contraception and church music will also be addressed, maybe Tony will appreciate that. For Rocco's posting click here. Jeff over at the The Curt Jester makes a great point of why the document will hope that active homosexual partners will raise their children Catholic. For more click here.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006

ASA Rejects Anti-Christian Defamation Allegation

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rejected the claims that a Gay Police Association (I'm not making this stuff up by the way) advertisement depicting the Bible next to a pool of blood with the implication that the Bible was responsible for homophobia.
"We recognized that the juxtaposition of passionately held iconography, such as the Bible, alongside the image of blood, was likely to be deemed inappropriate by some" their judgment stated.
By "some". How convenient. Treating Christians as if they were a subculture or insignificant minority group residing in the United States. 85% of Americans claim to be Christians and 98% claim a belief in God. For more on this lavender story click here.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Jesus Protects Buffalo Family

It seems that a statue of Jesus protected a family in Buffalo during a violent snowstorm. As the snowstorm calmed down, the Verrastro family looked out the window as they noticed that the statue of Jesus was left untouched except for two branches laying on His arms in the shape of a cross. The statue was left over from the old Annunciation School. For more of this story click here. UPDATED: Here's the pic (above) that I had a difficult time downloading on my blog.
Sunday, October 15, 2006

Stewardess Suspended for Wearing Cross

British Airways slide into dhimmitude reflects a growing trend in Europe, submission to Islam either by violence or political correctness. Muslim and Sikh employees can wear their symbols without threat of suspension, but if you're a Christian that wants to wear an extremely small cross, you will be suspended.
The airline's uniform code states that staff must not wear visible jewelry or other 'adornments' while on duty without permission from management. It makes exceptions for Muslim and Sikh minorities by allowing them to wear hijabs and turbans. But Miss Eweida, 55, from Twickenham, insisted her cross, which is smaller than a ten pence piece, was not jewelry but an expression of her deep Christian faith.
For more of this ridiculous political correctness click here.
UPDATED: Miss Eweida rejects British Airways 'compromise' by moving to recruitment. Which begs the question, wouldn't she be an affront to anyone who gets offended by the Cross? To read her rejection click here.
Friday, October 13, 2006

Russian Christians Impact in Sacramento

Russian Christians are making a major impact in the California political scene, especially in the area moral values. Several years ago evangelical Christians began sponsoring Russian immigrants from the Ukraine, whom predominantly were evangelical not Orthodox nor Catholic. Arriving in America, these immigrants were escaping religious persecution under the communist regime and wanted to stay what they thought was the Christian bastion of Sacramento. They got a rude awakening when they witnessed their first 'Gay Pride' parade. To say the least, they increasingly got worried about raising their children in a depraved and fallen society. Instead of sitting back and 'accepting' the status quo, they began to organize massive demonstrations and counter-demonstrations to the homosexual scene as well as lax educational standards by getting voted into school boards and setting up Russian language radio stations and newspapers (with an evangelical Christian slant). This came as a huge surprise to the lavender mainstream media and the homosexual agitators. (Can I add again please that massive doesn't do justice to the good work of these Russian evangelical Christians.) Me as a Catholic, as well as many of you reading this, can take their fine examples of being politically active in defending our Christian morals and values from the secular onslaught that has subjugated many across the political spectrum. By blogging, praying, and many other Catholic activities we should be heartened by the effort, zeal, and activism of our separated Christian brethren. Spiritual warfare is how we as Christians can defeat false ideologies of relativism, secularism, hedonism, materialism and liberalism (I can go on forever here). We all have our charism's that God has gifted to us in order to grow in our Catholic faith. We need to use these gifts to battle these evils such as the Russian Christians are doing in Sacramento. I recommend you all to read this article from this mornings LA Times and gain some added perspective on what we are facing here in America. For those that understand where I am coming from reading this article will only reinforce your will to continue in your journey with God. For more on the article click here.

France Outlaws Denial of The Armenian Genocide

France has enacted a law that makes it a crime to deny that the Armenian Genocide occurred. Why the big deal? It was Adolph Hitler that commented that 'nobody remembers the Armenians' when planning the 'Final Solution' of the Jews. During the tumult of the early 20th century, Ottoman Turks systematically exterminated 1.5 million plus Armenians from eastern Anatolia because they demanded 'religious rights' to practice their Christian faith. The Ottoman Turks were of course Muslim. The politics behind this is that Turkey is seeking European Union (EU) membership and France is the most influential member of the EU. This issue of the Armenian Genocide touches on a larger issue and that is the lack of respect and freedom for Christian minorities in Muslim majority countries which is in sharp contrast to the lopsided freedoms given to Muslim minorities in (post-)Christian countries.
The National Assembly, defying appeals from Turkey, approved legislation Thursday that would make it a crime to deny that mass killings of Armenians in Turkey during and after World War I were genocide.
For more on this article click here.
Thursday, October 12, 2006

Churchill on Islam

A young 24 year old Winston Churchill describing the faith of Muhammad, Islam and the Muslims, after being involved with Kitchener's campaign in the Sudan.

How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.

The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.

--Sir Winston Churchill (The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50 [London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899]).

For more click here.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Priests Rebel Against Cardinal Egan

A Whispers in the Loggia exclusive: A group of priests called 'Committee of Concerned Clergy for the Archdiocese of New York' are asking for a vote of 'NO CONFIDENCE' (emphasis original) for Archbishop Edward M. Egan. A letter is being sent by said committee to all the priests of the Archdiocese of New York asking for a vote in and submitting the vote to the United States Papal Nuncio.
Using strong language throughout the 950-word missive, the authors allege a widespread finding that Egan's relationship with his priests has been "defined by dishonesty, deception, disinterest and disregard."
For more on the Whispers in the Loggia exclusive click here. FLASHBACK: Cardinal Egan demands Fr. Pavones resignation from Priests for Life in 2001. For the article click here.

Keep The (Catholic) Faith

Pope Benedict XVI said in his Wednesday audience to not lose your Catholic identity when in dialogue with other faiths.
"Central concern of this writing is to put Christians on guard from all those who give as pretext the grace of God to excuse their own licentiousness and to lead astray other brothers with unacceptable teachings, introducing divisions within the Church, 'under the influence of their dreams,'" the Pope added.
Benedict XVI continued: "Today we are no longer in the habit of using such controversial language, which nevertheless tells us something important: That in all the existing temptations, with all the currents of modern life, we must preserve the identity of our faith."
To read more on this click here and here.

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