Notre Dame Has Lost Its Way

Yesterday Western Journalism posted an article about the commencement speaker at Notre Dame this year. The University has a long standing tradition of inviting the president to give the commencement address during his first year in office. However, this year, in order to avoid the predictable protest, the University invited Vice-President Mike Pence. Well, that didn’t go exactly as planned.

The article reports:

Notre Dame seniors Immane Mondane and Jourdyhn Williams started a “#NotMyCommencementSpeaker” white board campaign in protest of the vice president’s scheduled commencement speech.

The students are inviting their classmates to take photos holding white boards with “direct quotes from Pence that are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, offensive, or ostracizing to members of our community.”

…“For me personally, [Pence] represents the larger Trump administration,” Mondane told Notre Dame’s student-run newspaper, the Observer. “ … his administration represents something, and for many people on our campus, it makes them feel unsafe to have someone who openly is offensive but also demeaning of their humanity and of their life and of their identity.”

Williams added that the presence of Pence on the grounds of Notre Dame’s campus is in direct violation of the University’s Catholic mission.

The Catholic Church used to be pro-marriage and pro-life. Has that changed? These are university students, why are they so opposed to hearing ideas that might not agree with their ideas? Who is teaching them this lack of tolerance? Are they typical of our university students? If they are, the country had better look elsewhere for its future leaders.

They are illustrating one of the principles of one of the best-known communist leaders in America.

Rule 13 of Saul Alinsky‘s Rules for Radicals:

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

If they can’t attack President Trump, they will go after his Vice-President instead. It is no wonder it is so difficult to find honest men to hold public office. Why would anyone put up with being accused of all sorts of awful things because he holds a Christian view of marriage? Isn’t it ironic that students at one of our leading Catholic Universities no longer support the Christian view of marriage.,

Vetting The Candidates

Tim Kaine is the Democratic candidate for Vice-President. He is a former governor of Virginia and seems to be well-liked. However, there are some elements of his background that are troubling.

The Center for Security Policy reminds us that in 2010 then Democratic National Chairman Tim Kaine attended the annual fundraising banquet of the Islamic Center Dar Al Hijrah in the Washington DC suburbs.

The article reports:

The reasons the others (seven elected officials were “invited”: former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, now Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Sen. James Webb (D-VA), Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova, Fairfax Supervisor Penny Gross, and Virginia State Delegate Kaye Kory….Within a few days, Senator James Webb and State Delegate Kaye Kory‘s names were removed from the invitation.)  should not legitimate the Dar Al-Hijrah fundraiser, we had written them, included the Islamic Center’s continued support for the Dar al-Hijrah imam in 2001, Anwar Al-Awlaki, the senior al-Qaeda recruiter for three 9/11 hijackers, imam and mentor to the accused 2009 Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Malik Hasan who killed 13 people, and online mentor to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspect in the Christmas Day 2009 attempt to blow up  Northwest Airlines Flight 253.   We described several other Dar Al-Hijrah leaders linked to terrorism and supporting violent jihad against America, including the current imam who will host the April 3 event.

This is not the kind of company American political leaders should be keeping.

The Hill posted a story about some of Tim Kaine’s background and beliefs on Friday.

Here are some excerpts:

According to the mediaTim Kaine took a life transforming “mission” trip to Latin America in 1980. Conveniently left out of these stories, are the radical reality of the Cold War in Latin America and Tim Kaine’s Soviet sympathizing mentors. In fact, whatever Kaine’s intentions, he more likely met Karl Marx than Jesus Christ while there. 

Connect the dots with a little history, and an alarming picture emerges of Kaine’s adventures with radicals and revolutionaries in 1980s Latin America.

Reports indicate that in Honduras, “Mr. Kaine embraced an interpretation of the gospel, known as liberation theology…”

Liberation theology is not standard Catholic doctrine–it is more in line with the preaching of President Obama’s friend Reverend Wright.

The article reports:

Journalistic and academic research has now shown that Liberation Theology itself was quite possibly a product of a Kremlin disinformation campaign designed to undermine the Church and bring Catholic countries into the Soviet sphere. The top-ranking Soviet Bloc defector of the Cold War, Gen. Ion Pacepa admits that he was personally involved in the operation.

And contrary to the myth, this was never Pope Francis’ theology of choice.

The article concludes:

In Virginia he ran as a moderate and ruled as a liberal. Today he runs as a “Pope Francis” Catholic but on abortion and marriage, Kaine opposes Francis.

On the conscience rights of groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor, Kaine sided with Obama. Francis sided with the Little Sisters, whom he visited in Washington a year ago to publicly show his support.

As in the 1980s, Kaine’s “Catholicism” serves neither his Church nor his country, but a Leftist political agenda that has proven to be on the wrong side of the Church, on the wrong side of history, and against the interests of freedom and the United States.

I struggle with people who claim to be Catholic and support abortion. The Catholic Church has been on the front lines of the abortion issue since Roe v. Wade. They have set an example that I wish the other churches in America would embrace–the idea that your faith influences your moral and political choices. Tim Kaine may call himself a Catholic, but it is obvious that he does not believe the teachings of the Catholic faith.

Why Europe As We Have Known It Is Lost

Gates of Vienna posted an article today about a funeral to be held in St. Pauli‘s church is Hamburg, Germany. The Christian-Muslim funeral is for a young IS fighter “Bilal” who was killed last summer in Syria at the age of 17.

The article reports:

She is glad to have the opportunity for a funeral, says the mother. “A burden” fell from her heart. Such a farewell ceremony is important for his friends, too. The funeral service will be conducted by Pastor Sieghard Wilm and the Albanian Imam Abu Ahmed Jakobi. Florent Prince N., as his name was originally, was baptized as a Christian and converted to Islam later.

Florent was born in Cameroon, came to Germany as an infant, and grew up in St. Pauli [an inner-city district of Hamburg]. Probably when he was 14, he came into contact with the radical Salafist scene, and converted to Islam. In May last year, he travelled on a fake passport to Syria to fight for the Islamic State.

In Syria, it seems, he realised that the circumstances had little to do with what had been promised to him. He therefore recorded an audio message in Rakka in Southwestern Syria, in which he criticised the IS. Shortly thereafter, he was dead. In early March, the audio file was distributed. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution thinks it is possible that he was punished for his message by the IS.

Pastor Wilm himself knew Florent from his work with youth. He [Florent] had been a friend of the pastor’s foster son for several years, and active in the community. There are photographs of him climbing up the facade of St. Pauli Church. It was important to him, so Wilm, that Christians and Muslims celebrate together, to make it clear that they pray to a “god of peace”.

You mean the ‘religion of peace’ that just killed 25 Iraqis by dissolving them in nitric acid (story here)?

The article at the above link also states:

ISIS has published a list of punishments for crimes, everything from theft and homosexuality to “spying for the unbelievers.”  The punishments seem almost unbelievably cruel to us, but all of them have a sharia law justification.  When it put 13 teenagers to death for watching soccer on television, it cited their ‘breaking religious law’ as the reason for their murder.  When it crucifies people accused of banditry, there is a reason in sharia law for the practice.

Thus, this reported method of execution by acid ought also to have a sharia law justification.  None has yet been forthcoming, but if the report is true there must be some reason why ISIS thought it was an appropriate and fitting punishment for spies.  Regardless of the opinion of Western experts on Islam, ISIS believes it is enacting sharia accurately.  They have studied it carefully, and always have reasons for their atrocities that are rooted in sharia law principles.

The young man died fighting for ISIS. I don’t think a Christian funeral was appropriate. A Muslim funeral would have been appropriate. I am not making a judgement on the fate of the young man’s soul, I am simply reflecting on the fact that he was a Muslim at the time of his death. The god of Islam is not the God of Christianity. If you compare the Koran and the Bible, that fact becomes very evident. The Bible makes it very clear that God loves the Jewish people; the Koran calls for the destruction of both Christians and Jews. Christians who choose to align themselves with Muslims will eventually have a very rude awakening.

Strange Priorities

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff posted an article at Power Line about the upcoming visit to America by the Pope. President Obama will be welcoming the Pope and has made some interesting choices as to who his guests for the occasion will be. These guests include transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, and a nun who criticizes church policies on abortion and euthanasia. I would consider the current Pope someone who leans to the liberal side of things, but this is definitely not a tactful move on the part of President Obama.

On Friday, The Washington Post commented:

What struck us as we read about this small controversy is the contrast between the administration’s apparent decision to risk a bit of rudeness in the case of the pope and its overwhelming deference to foreign dictators when similar issues arise. When Secretary of State John F. Kerry traveled to Havana to reopen the U.S. Embassy recently, he painstakingly excluded from the guest list any democrat, dissident or member of civil society who might offend the Castro brothers.

And when Chinese President Xi Jinping comes to the White House next week, shortly after the pope leaves town, it’s a safe bet that he won’t have to risk being photographed with anyone of whom he disapproves. Chen Guangcheng, the courageous blind lawyer, for example, lives nearby in exile, but he probably won’t be at the state dinner. Neither will Falun Gong activists, democracy advocates or anyone else who might, well, give offense.

That is truly sad. You would think that basic manners would prevent this sort of behavior. We really need to think about the character of the people we elect to the Presidency. I truly think this is a character issue. A religious leader certain deserves at least as much respect as a ruthless dictator.

Idealism vs. Reality

Breitbart.com reported yesterday that The Vatican had released a statement on Tuesday praising the Iranian nuclear agreement and calling for a worldwide reduction of nuclear weapons. I think the idea of a world without nuclear weapons is wonderful. I also think a world with unicorns and butterflies buzzing around all day would be wonderful. Both of these are very unlikely. I would like to mention that the world existed for centuries without nuclear weapons. During that time there were wars–regional and worldwide. The problem is not the nuclear weapons–it is the desire of evil people who come to power in some nations to subjugate other nations. It was done with swords and stones long before the advent of nuclear weapons. Oddly enough, The Vatican seems to forget the nature of man.

There is another part of this statement that is troubling.

The article reports:

The Holy See “has no illusions about the challenges involved in achieving a world free of nuclear weapons,” he admitted, but called for “concerted steps” for all nations to disarm.

Gallagher also appeared to single out Israel in calling for “the establishment of zones free of nuclear weapons … especially in the Middle East.” Since 1963, the Vatican has opposed the possession of nuclear weapons, Newsweek reports.

The news about the Vatican’s pro-Iran deal position comes as Pope Francis is set to visit Washington, D.C., on September 22. He will then be welcomed to the White House by President Obama on the 23rd. On the 24th, he is set to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress.

The establishment of a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East is an interesting idea. As far as we know, the only nation in the Middle East that currently has a nuclear capability is Israel. Speculation is that they have had this capability since sometime in the 1950’s. Obviously, they have never used their capability, although they came close in 1973 when they were in danger of being overrun. I would like to suggest that Israel’s nuclear capability is probably one of the main reasons Israel still exists. Taking away Israel’s nuclear capability will not bring peace–it will almost surely guarantee war.

World peace is a wonderful idea, but you don’t get it by making deals with people who cheat on inspections, build secret nuclear reactors, and shout, “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” Unfortunately, the only way peace can be achieved is to eliminate threats to it–human threats–not weapons threats. Weapons in the right hands are a force for good; weapons in the wrong hands are a force for evil. I really think The Vatican might want to rethink their statement.

Some Perspective From The Federalist Website

The Federalist posted the following statistics:

AbortionStatisticsThe article also included the following statement by The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

It has long been troubling to many Americans that the nation’s largest abortion network, performing over a third of all abortions, receives over half a billion taxpayer dollars a year. This concern has rightly grown in recent years.

The most recent revelations about Planned Parenthood’s willingness to traffic in fetal tissue from abortions, and to alter abortion methods not for any reason related to women’s health but to obtain more “intact” organs, is the latest demonstration of a callousness toward women and their unborn children that is shocking to many Americans.

The Catholic Church comes to this issue from a perspective rooted in experience. Catholic charitable agencies and pregnancy help centers have helped countless pregnant women find life-affirming alternatives to abortion. Our hospitals and other health facilities are second to none in providing quality health care for women.

We support the legislative proposal to reallocate federal funding, so that women can obtain their health care from providers that do not promote abortion. It is my sincere hope that you will be able to help advance this goal by supporting S. 1881.

The Senate did not vote to defund Planned Parenthood, but I suspect that the issue will come up again. It is time for the government to stop funding a group whose founder wanted to eliminate all ‘inferior human beings’ and create a race of thoroughbreds. Somehow that idea sounds vaguely familiar, and it didn’t end well the last time it was tried.

 

 

The Vatican Signs A Treaty With Palestine

CBN News is reporting today that the Vatican has signed a treaty with the “State of Palestine.” Just for the record, there is, nor has there ever been, a State of Palestine.

As I have previously posted:

As Walid Shoebat stated, “One day during the 1960s I went to bed a Jordanian Muslim, and when I woke up the next morning, I was informed that I was now a Palestinian Muslim, and that I was no longer a Jordanian Muslim.”

The article reports:

Israel‘s Foreign Ministry called the text of the treaty “one-sided” and expressed regret.

“This hasty step damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement, and harms the international effort to convince the PA (Palestinian Authority) to return to direct negotiations with Israel,” the ministry said in a statement.

“We also regret the one-sided texts in the agreement which ignore the historic rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and to the places holy to Judaism in Jerusalem,” it continued.  “Israel cannot accept the unilateral determinations in the agreement which do not take into account Israel’s essential interests and the special historic status of the Jewish people in Jerusalem.”

The article reminds us:

Vatican officials say the document signed Friday reflects the church’s support of a “two-state solution” to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians

No mention was made about Hamas, the terror group which entered into a unity government with the Palestinian Authority and calls in its charter for Israel’s destruction.

Christians are being martyred in the Middle East as we speak, and the Vatican is making treaties with terrorists. One has to wonder if they have lost their way.

 

The Only Reason I Would Even Remotely Consider Air Conditioning Evil

I appreciate air conditioning–particularly after moving to North Carolina. However, there is one area where I have a sightly different view of air conditioning. The biggest mistake America ever made was air conditioning Congress. Had we allowed our Congressmen and Senators to sweat it out in the former swamp that is now Washington, D.C., we would probably have been a lot better off. They would have gone back to their districts in the summer and might have done a better job of staying in tune with their constituents.

Michelle Malkin  also posted some comments on the subject at CNS News:

Perhaps the head of the Catholic Church, who condemned “the increasing use and power of air-conditioning” last week in a market-bashing encyclical, is unaware of the pioneering private company that has donated its time, energy and innovative heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment to the Vatican‘s most famous edifice for more than a decade.

That’s right. While the pontiff sanctimoniously attacks “those who are obsessed with maximizing profits,” Carrier Corporation — a $13 billion for-profit company with 43,000 employees worldwide (now a unit of U.S.-based United Technologies Corp.) — ensures that the air in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel stays clean and cool.

Has the Pope considered the benefits of air conditioning to people with asthma and allergies–the fact that it filters out pollen and can limit the number of mold spores coming into the house?

Just for the record, industrialized countries have not destroyed the planet–most industrialized countries have made an effort to control pollution and improve the environment. That is the result of having the money available to do those things–as a result of their industrialization.

The Pope is a spiritual leader. Air conditioning is a little out of his area. Until he is willing to give up his air conditioning, speaking against air conditioning seems a little over the top.

 

This Will Not Help The Peace Process

CBN News is reporting today that the Vatican has officially recognized a Palestinian state. The leaders of Palestine have assumed that this means Israel will go back to the 1967 borders and that Jerusalem will be the capital of the new state. This is not a recipe for peace. Nations of the world have poured billions of dollars into the West Bank, one area the Palestinians are claiming for their new state. The current government of Palestine has used that money to buy weapons and build tunnels to attack Israel. The current government of Palestine has also refused to acknowledge that Israel has the right to exist. This is not a recipe for peace.

The article reports:

“Formal Vatican recognition of Palestine, a state that, in reality, does not yet exist, is a regrettable move and is counterproductive to all who seek true peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” AJC (American Jewish Committee) Executive Director David Harris said.

“There is a reason why the U.S., the European Union and others have long agreed that statehood can only be achieved through direct, bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” he continued.

“Meanwhile, the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] is ruled by the Palestinian Authority, whose leader, Mahmoud Abbas, just marked the tenth anniversary of what was meant to be a four-year term, and Gaza is governed by Hamas, a terror organization. What and where exactly is the ‘State of Palestine’ today?” Harris queried.

“We are fully cognizant of the Pope’s good will and desire to be a voice for peaceful coexistence, which is best served, we believe, by encouraging a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, rather than unilateral gestures outside the framework of the negotiating table,” Harris concluded.

This is not a recipe for peace. It is encouraging a non-democratic government that supports terrorism in its quest to wipe out Israel.

Something To Consider

I am posting this article simply because I doubt that the media in general will cover it. I have drawn no conclusion other than to say that if the KGB hadn’t done it, someone else would have.

On Friday, The New American posted an article reporting that a communist defector is claiming that the Soviet KGB invented “liberation theology” and was responsible for its spread through Catholic countries in Latin America in the 1970’s.

The article reports:

Liberation theology “was born in the KGB, and it had a KGB-invented name,” the former general said. During those years, the KGB had a penchant for “liberation” movements, he noted, citing as examples the “National Liberation Army of Columbia created by the KGB with help from Fidel Castro; the National Liberation Army of Bolivia, created by the KGB with help from ‘Che’ Guevara; and the Palestine Liberation Organization created by the KGB with help from Yasser Arafat.”

The theological movement, Pacepa said, was born in 1960 as a “disinformation” program approved by KGB Chairman Aleksandr Shelepin, the coordinator of the Communist Party’s international policies. The program was designed to give the KGB “secret control of the World Council of Churches (WCC), based in Geneva, Switzerland, and use it as cover for converting liberation theology into a South American revolutionary tool,” Pacepa said. The WCC was a large and tempting target as an international ecumenical organization representing more than half a billion Christians of various denominations in 120 countries.

Whether or not the above is true, the World Council of Churches has taken some very odd stands on various quasi political issues over the years–some of which simply do not line up with the Bible.

The Catholic Church was not the only denomination taken in by liberation theology–many Protestant churches in America still preach it. The basic tenant of the theology is that salvation is achieved through correcting social and economic injustices. This is in total contradiction to what the Bible says. Jesus commands us to help the poor and do what we can to undo social injustice, but states that the poor will always be with us.

In his second letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul stated,” For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” – King James Version (Cambridge Edition) 

Again, I don’t think that applies to people unable to work, but it does apply to those who are unwilling to work. Our welfare programs could accomplish a lot with that philosophy.

At any rate, the idea that the KGB started liberation theology is put forth for your consideration. Please follow the link above to read the entire article at The New American. There is a lot of interesting information there. Your are welcome to sign in and comment.

A New Dimension Of Vandalism

WTHR.com in Indiana reported yesterday on three separate acts of vandalism on Columbus, Indiana, churches. Saint Bartholomew‘s Catholic Church, East Columbus Christian Church and Lakeview Church of Christ were vandalized Saturday night.

The churches were spray painted.

The article reports:

“It was just one word. It said ‘Infidels!’” Father Doug Marcotte said of what was spray painted on Saint Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Columbus overnight Saturday.

Parishioners saw that, along with the word “Qur’an 3:151″ on their way into mass Sunday morning.

“It’s certainly not a warm and fuzzy verse. It talks about the infidels, their refuge being the fire,” explained Father Marcotte.

Specifically, that passage of the Qur’an reads: “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve for what they have associated with Allah of which He had not sent down [any] authority. And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”

Saint Bartholomew’s wasn’t the only Columbus church vandalized.

“It’s really bizarre and the fact that they hit two other Christian Churches. It’s not like we’re all in a line. So why did they pick the three of us,” asked Father Marcotte.

Members of the Muslim community have offered to help clean up the mess. The fact remains that the Qur’an calls for the killing or forced conversion of ‘infidels.’ This may have been the actions of a fringe group, but they were acting within the beliefs of their religion. We need to recognize that there are people living in this country that do not love America and the freedom of religion that exists here. Any Muslim who believes the Qur’an also believes in the killing or conversion by force of non-Muslims. I hope that if the people who did this are caught, they will face a long jail sentence.

Under The Surface Of The Pope’s Visit To Israel

Caroline Glick posted an article on her website today about the recent visit to Israel by Pope Francis. There were a few incidents during the visit that simply were not friendly to the Jewish state and its heritage.

The article reports:

In one of his blander pronouncements during the papal visit, Netanyahu mentioned on Monday that Jesus spoke Hebrew. There was nothing incorrect about Netanyahu’s statement. Jesus was after all, an Israeli Jew.

 
But Francis couldn’t take the truth. So he indelicately interrupted his host, interjecting, “Aramaic.”

 
Netanyahu was probably flustered. True, at the time, educated Jews spoke and wrote in Aramaic. And Jesus was educated. But the language of the people was Hebrew. And Jesus preached to the people, in Hebrew.

 
Netanyahu responded, “He spoke Aramaic, but he knew Hebrew.”

 
Reuters’ write-up of the incident tried to explain away the pope’s rudeness and historical revisionism, asserting, “Modern-day discourse about Jesus is complicated and often political.” The report went on to delicately mention, “Palestinians sometimes describe Jesus as a Palestinian. Israelis object to that.”

 
Israelis “object to that” because it is a lie.

It seems like a minor point, but it is not. Jesus was Jewish. Period.

The article continues:

Consider first Francis’s behavior at the security barrier.

 

Reasonable people disagree about the contribution the security fence makes to the security of Israelis. But no one can reasonably doubt that it was built to protect Israelis from Palestinian terrorist murderers. And Francis ought to know this. Francis’s decision to hold a photo-op at the security barrier was an act of extreme hostility against Israel and the Jewish people.

 

As the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires, Francis may have heard of the November 2002 massacre at Kibbutz Metzer. Metzer was founded by Argentine communists in the 1950s. Metzer is located 500 meters from the 1949 armistice lines which made it an obvious beneficiary of the security fence. But true to its radical roots, in 2002 members of the kibbutz waged a public campaign against the planned route of the security fence. They feared that it would, in the words of Metzer member Danny Dovrat, “ignite hostility and create problems” with the kibbutz’s Palestinian neighbors.

 

 
Thanks to that concern, on the night of November 10, 2002, a gunman from the “moderate” US- and EU-supported Fatah terror organization faced no physical obstacle when he entered the kibbutz. Once there he killed two people on the street and then entered the home of Revital Ohayon and executed Revital and her two sons, Matan, 5, and Noam, 4 years old.

 
Fatah praised the attack on its website and pledged to conduct more assaults on “Zionist colonizers,” and promised to continue “targeting their children as well.”

The Catholic Church does not have a good record in supporting Israel or the Jewish people. Pope Francis needs to condemn the killing of innocent civilians by the Palestinians rather than support a government that has chosen to purchase arms instead of building infrastructure with the money given to it by the United Nations and other countries.

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This Warning Applies To All Of Us

The Daily Caller reported today on the 10th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast held in Washington, D.C., early this morning.

The article reports:

“My message for you today is a somber one,” said Professor Robert George, who lectures on civil liberties at Princeton, to a packed ballroom of Catholics that included failed Virginia Senate hopeful Ken Cuccinelli. “The days of acceptable Christianity are over. The days of comfortable Catholicism are past. …It’s not easy anymore. There are costs to discipleship, heavy costs that are burdensome to bear.”

Soon enough he’d get specific. George stressed that there are “powerful forces and currents in our society that press us to be ashamed of the Gospel. For example, if you believe that marriage is the consensual union between a man and a woman, you’re portrayed as bigoted, even hateful. …If you believe these things, some forces say you are a bigot [who is] against homosexuality [and] you ought to be ashamed.”

This warning applies to all Americans–whether they are Catholic or not. There was a time when we really didn’t pay a lot of attention to what our elected officials were doing–they shared our values and we trusted them. Now, if you are an average American with traditional values, most elected officials can’t hear you. Even if they do share your values, they are so bombarded with a media that has no values and the pressure to be re-elected, they cannot support the values most Americans support. We are in danger of losing our country. The things that we once held dear are not valued by those currently in power in America. Patriotism and faith are considered passe by those in charge of the media and those in charge of our government. If we are going to take our country back, we need to do it one vote at a time. All of us need to get out and vote, and we need to make sure that those people who share our values also vote.

Pay attention. The next two elections will determine whether you remain free to treasure the values you grew up with.

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Bringing Back The Old Play Book

Why is it that when someone expresses concern about the 1.2 million babies killed in the womb in America or attempts to lower that number, they are accused of waging ‘war on women?’ It seems to me that women’s health is broader than the right to kill their offspring. Evidently this is an issue where you don’t cross the left–even if you are one of them.

U.S. News & World Report posted an op-ed piece last Tuesday by Jamie Stiehm about Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s stay order applying to an appeal by a Colorado nunnery, the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The piece states that:

Justice Sotomayor undermined the new Affordable Care Act‘s sensible policy on contraception. She blocked the most simple of rules – lenient rules – that required the Little Sisters to affirm their religious beliefs against making contraception available to its members. They objected to filling out a one-page form. What could be easier than nuns claiming they don’t believe in contraception?

…Catholics in high places of power have the most trouble, I’ve noticed, practicing the separation of church and state. The pugnacious Catholic Justice, Antonin Scalia, is the most aggressive offender on the Court, but not the only one. Of course, we can’t know for sure what Sotomayor was thinking, but it seems she has joined the ranks of the five Republican Catholic men on the John Roberts Court in showing a clear religious bias when it comes to women’s rights and liberties. We can no longer be silent about this. Thomas Jefferson, the principal champion of the separation between state and church, was thinking particularly of pernicious Rome in his writings. He deeply distrusted the narrowness of Vatican hegemony.

The article is snarky at best. The writer obviously does not understand the idea that some people apply what they learn in church to their daily lives. The Catholic Church is not the only religious group that opposes abortion–they are simply the largest and most vocal. Evidently, when you disagree with the liberal view that abortion should be underwritten by the government, you are accused of not understanding or applying the concept of separation of church and state. That concept was not in the Constitution. In fact, in the early days of America, there were churches that met in the Capitol building. Our founders understood that Biblical morality would be a good foundation for our representative republic. Unfortunately, most of our current politicians have forgotten this.

 

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A Small Step Forward For Religious Freedom In America

No one has yet argued that Christians have the right to practice their faith in their churches, but ObamaCare has raised the question as to whether they are permitted to practice their faith outside their churches and even in the business world. Two of the major players in the legal fight to defend religious principles in regard to ObamaCare are Hobby Lobby and the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has recently won a significant victory.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is reporting today that New York, US District Court Judge Brian Cogan ruled that the HHS mandate forces the Catholic Church and its associated organizations to curtail its religious expression, and enjoined HHS from enforcing it.

Ed Morrissey points out that the HHS mandate on birth control is not a legislative mandate and was never passed by Congress. This is a regulatory mandate.

The article reports the Judge’s statement:

Cogan ruled the plaintiffs “demonstrated that the mandate, despite accommodation, compels them to perform acts that are contrary to their religion. And there can be no doubt that the coercive pressure here is substantial.”

“They consider this to be an endorsement of such coverage; to them, the self-certification compels affirmation of a repugnant belief,” Cogan wrote. “It is not for this Court to say otherwise.”

The article looks at this decision in the light of the coming case regarding Hobby Lobby and how that will impact the implementation of ObamaCare on the whole. Please follow the link to read the article and see why this case matters.

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More Ridiculousness

Hold on to your hat–the government is attempting to shut down God. The Daily Caller reported yesterday that the Priests who are in government service or are under contract to the military have been threatened with arrest if they celebrate Mass on Sunday.

The article reports:

“With the government shutdown, many [government service] and contract priests who minister to Catholics on military bases worldwide are not permitted to work – not even to volunteer,” wrote John Schlageter, the general counsel for the Archdiocese for the Military Services USA, in an op-ed this week. “During the shutdown, it is illegal for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so.”

According to its website, the Archdiocese for the Military Services “provides the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries and spiritual services to those in the United States Armed Forces.”

The article points out that this ruling on the part of the Obama Administration is not in accordance with the First Amendment rights of the American military. This is not something the government of a free country should do.

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The Need To Balance Rights

CBN News posted a story today about a new law passed in San Antonio, Texas, to prevent discrimination against LGBT Texans. Now before I go into exactly what the law does, I want to go on the record as saying that I do not support discrimination against anyone for any reason. However, there are certain situations where common sense needs to dictate decisions regarding people with different views on various issues. For instance, I have no problem with civil unions, but I do not support gay marriage. Why? Because as soon as the state endorses gay marriage, is it obligated to force pastors of churches who believe homosexuality is a sin to perform those marriages? I watched the Catholic adoption agencies leave Massachusetts because the state would not grant them a religious exemption to allow them to deny adoptions to gay couples. Their right to practice their religious beliefs in the adoption process were denied. If you pass a law against discrimination against LGBT people, is a pastor who holds the Biblical view on homosexuality free to state that view from the pulpit?

The article points out:

For San Antonio’s faith community there are several red flags. The ordinance criminalizes those with a biblical view of sexuality as it forbids bias against homosexuality or bi-sexuality.

Those charged and declared guilty by the city will face a Class C misdemeanor on their record and fines of up to $500 a day.

Also, the ordinance forbids appointed officials on city boards from showing any bias. 

Allan Parker, president of The Justice Foundation, a San-Antonio-based Christian legal non-profit, has worked to analyze and explain the ordinance for San Antonio’s churches.

He said the ordinance is vague and unclear but he believes it can and will be used against Christians, especially those in the business world who disagree with unbiblical sexuality.

“The leverage of the city to pressure any business to caving in is enormous under this,” he explained.

Would this law punish a bakery if it chose not to bake a cake for a homosexual wedding because of their religious beliefs? What about the rights of the bakers? Are their religious beliefs as important as the wedding participants? Where does the First Amendment (the government shall not interfere with the free exercise of religion) play into this?

As I said, I don’t support discrimination against anyone, but I do support the right of everyone to practice their religion and state their religious beliefs. This law is not in agreement with the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

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I Guess It Depends On Which Religion You Want To Be Free From

On Friday, Breitbart.com posted an article about the proposed Ohio Holocaust Memorial. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) wants to remove the Star of David from that memorial.

The article reports:

In a June 14 letter to Richard H. Finan, chairman of the Capitol Square Review and Advisory Board, two FFRF officials said they have no objections to a Holocaust memorial at the statehouse, but claimed that the cut-out version of the six-pointed Star of David would be a violation of the separation of church and state as provided for in the Constitution.

“Permitting one permanent sectarian and exclusionary religious symbol… would create the legal precedent, for instance, to place an equally large or larger permanent Latin cross on Capitol grounds,” wrote Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-presidents of the Madison, Wisconsin group. Gaylor is the daughter of Anne Nicol Gaylor, author of Abortion Is A Blessing. Barker said that the Holocaust memorial, as currently proposed, would amount to a “constitutionally problematic endorsement of religion.”

Yes, I realize that people other than Jews were sent to Concentration Camps and executed, but we need to realize that the majority of the people killed by the Nazis were killed because they were Jewish. When the Nazis took over a country, they forced the Jews to wear the Star of David on their clothes in order to separate them from the rest of the population. The Star of David played a very important role in the Holocaust.

But let’s look at some of the past work of the FFRF. The article reports:

In March 2012, the FFRF also placed an anti-Catholic ad that was published by the New York Times. The ad, which criticized the Church’s position against ObamaCare’s HHS mandate, stated, “It’s time to quit the Roman Catholic Church. Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages?”

The ad accused the Catholic Church of promoting “acute misery, poverty, needless suffering, unwanted pregnancies, overpopulation, social evils and deaths.”

In an appeal to Catholic women, the ad asked, “Apparently, you’re like the battered woman who, after being beaten down every Sunday, feels she has no place else to go.”

In response to the publication of the FFRF ad by the New York Times, Pam Geller of Atlas Shrugs submitted an ad along the same lines to the Times entitled, “It’s Time To Quit Islam.” The Times, however, rejected Geller’s ad because “the fallout from running this ad now could put U.S. troops and/or civilians in the [Afghan] region in danger.”

The Catholic Church never told its female members that it was okay for their husbands to beat them. The Catholic Church never forced women to cover themselves from head to foot before they went outside. The Catholic Church has never advocated the hanging of homosexuals. Why is there a double standard here?

The Holocaust directly involved the Star of David. To exclude the Star of David from the memorial is another form of anti-Semitism.

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The Pope Is Catholic

It seems like an obvious statement, “The Pope is Catholic,” but the American news media almost seems surprised at his Biblical views.

NBC News posted an article about some of the ‘firsts’ the new Pope represents. Pope Francis is the first Latin American pope and the first Jesuit pope. He also is a believer in traditional Catholic theology–not to be swayed by what those outside the Church are doing or saying.

The article reports:

George Weigel, a senior fellow at the nonprofit Ethics and Public Policy Center who is a Vatican analyst for NBC News, agreed that the choice of Bergoglio “speaks to the church’s commitment to the poor of the world and compassion in a world that often needs a lot of healing.”

At the same time, “this is a John Paul II guy,” Weigel said, referring to Pope John Paul II, who elevated Bergoglio to archbishop in 1998 and cardinal in 2001. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, “he tried to call that community back to orthodoxy,” Weigel said.

The new pope has been a vocal opponent of abortion and especially of same-sex marriage, saying in 2010 that its role was to “seriously injure the family.” He said the practice deprived children of “the human growth that God wanted them given by a father and a mother.”

The Church (regardless of denomination) is supposed to stand for something. Right and wrong do not change, regardless of what society decides to do. It will be interesting to watch how Pope Francis expresses this view. It is also wonderful to see a pope who cares so deeply about the poor and is willing to adopt a humble, simple lifestyle. I am not Catholic, but I think Pope Francis is the right man for the job.

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The Pope Resigns

Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, resigned today. The National Review posted an article reporting his resignation and the questions that arise from that resignation. The article points out that the demands of the office of Pope are such that a man suffering from some of the ailments of old age may not be suitable to remain in the position. Another question that arises from Pope Benedict’s resignation is how much input a living Pope should have in the choice of his successor.

The writer of the article describes Pope Benedict as the Church’s “doctrinal watchdog.” He compares him to Pope John XXIII:

Both were very aware that secularization has been a mounting tide. Both tried to shape the Church for dealing with it, not by focusing on its evils and condemning them, but by promoting a more effective proclamation of the Gospel.

…One can see Pope John XXIII’s deep faith and his desire to engage with modernity in Humanae Salutis, the apostolic constitution by which he formally convoked Vatican II on Christmas Day 1961. These same concerns animated his interventions during the Council. In my judgment, the strategy evident in that document, which is so dependent on solid faith and hope, has been the strategy of the Popes since John, perhaps especially of John Paul II but not least of all Benedict.

It is a wise man who knows when it is time to step aside and let someone else lead.

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When A Compromise Isn’t A Compromise

On Thursday CNS News reported that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, had stated that the Catholic Church will not accept an offer by the Obama Administration that would exempt the Catholic Church from the Heath and Human Services (HHS) mandate on contraception, but not exempt Catholic business owners. The mandate forces employers to provide health insurance that covers sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, all of which violate the tenets of Catholicism.

The article quotes Cardinal Dolan:

“In obedience to our Judeo-Christian heritage, we have consistently taught our people to live their lives during the week to reflect the same beliefs that they proclaim on the Sabbath,” said Cardinal Dolan. “We cannot now abandon them to be forced to violate their morally well-informed consciences.”

We need to look at what is actually going on here. Oddly enough, this is not about money–it is about principle. The principle involved is simple, “Will the government allow people of faith to practice their faith outside the walls of their churches?” This is a very important argument. Right now the Obama Administration is targeting the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is one of the largest denominations in America, and many Catholics do not necessarily agree with the stand the Catholic Church has taken on abortion and birth control. Therefore it should be fairly easy to push that principle back inside the walls of the church. The idea here is to set a precedent. If Catholics can be forced to practice their religion only inside the walls of their church, who is next? What about Bible-believing churches who believe the Biblical teaching about homosexuality? Can they be forced to perform gay marriages? What about Bible-believing Christians who own businesses? Can they be forced to cater a homosexual wedding? That is where this is headed. The goal of the Obama Administration, for whatever reason, is to force believing Christians back into their churches. As Christian charities shut down (as Catholic adoption agencies were forced to do in Massachusetts), the government will exercise more control over the lives of the average American. This is not good for religious freedom or individual freedom in America.

As I stated, this is not about money. There are many affordable forms of birth control that are available–some through government agencies or planned parenthood. Most people of the age where this would be an issue spend more per month of their cell phones than they would or do on birth control. Money is not the issue–the freedom to practice your religion outside the walls of your church is.

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Statement By The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

This is the statement regarding last night’s Vice-Presidential debate issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on October 12:

Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:

“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”

This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.

HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.

USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.

For more details, please see USCCB’s regulatory comments filed on May 15 regarding the proposed “accommodation”: www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/rulemaking/upload/comments-on-advance-notice-of-proposed-rulemaking-on-preventive-services-12-05-15.pdf

 

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Someone Is Finally Telling The Truth

One of the casualties of political correctness is honesty. We simply do not call things what they are for fear of causing offense or facing the consequences of what actually is.

Politico posted an article yesterday by Newt Gingrich commenting on recent events in the Middle East.

The article quotes Mr. Gingrich:

The president asserted we have to oppose “the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.”

Clinton reinforced his analysis when she said, “We condemn in the strongest terms this senseless act of violence.”

This concept of “senseless violence” is at the heart of the left’s refusal to confront the reality of radical Islamists.

These are not acts of senseless violence.

These are acts of war.

We can’t successfully deal with a situation until we realize what it is. One of the things pointed out in the article is the question of how this video clip reached Egypt and Libya. Does anyone actually believe that the film was responsible for these attacks? Have we forgotten the emphasis terrorists put on dates and the fact that the attacks occurred on September 11?

The article concludes:

It is no accident that the embassy in Cairo issued a groveling statement, apologizing to the haters for having inconvenienced them with American freedom of speech.

The embassy was simply following Clinton’s lead, set months earlier in her meetings with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The OIC has a long- term campaign to manipulate the U.S. government into defining any criticism or improper reference to Islam as unacceptable.

No one should be confused by this. As Andy McCarthy wrote yesterday, the Islamist definition of heresy would destroy American free speech.

The Obama administration is waging war on the Catholic Church while appeasing the most extreme elements of Islam.

This is the bizarre situation we now find ourselves in.

We need to remember–When America has a weak President, the world is a more dangerous place.

 

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A Chance That The First Amendment May Be Upheld

There is a possibility that the First Amendment (free speech, religious freedom, etc.) may actually be upheld in the courts. The Blaze reported yesterday that a Federal court has upheld a lawsuit against the controversial contraception mandate, filed by Catholic-owned employer Hercules Industries.

On Wednesday I posted an article about Hercules Industries and their right to reflect their religious beliefs in their corporate policies. The Justice Department denied them that right and they have appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Colorado.

LifeNews.com reports:

A federal court issued an order Friday that halts enforcement of the Obama administration’s abortion pill mandate against a Colorado family-owned business while an Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit challenging the mandate continues in court.

…Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys obtained the first-ever order against the mandate on behalf of Hercules Industries and the Catholic family that owns it. The administration opposed the order, arguing, contrary to the U.S. Constitution, that people of faith forfeit their religious liberty once they engage in business.

The decision only applies to the company, and the court emphasized the ruling did not apply nationwide.

This is good news. Federal judges had dismissed two other lawsuits against the contraception mandate. The decision of the Tenth Circuit to hear this case will eventually bring this matter before the Supreme Court regardless of what the ruling by the Tenth Circuit is.

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Losing Our First Amendment Rights

Townhall.com posted an article today about Hercules Industries, a Colorado-based corporation, a business owned and operated by the Newland family, that manufactures heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment.

The article reports:

The Newlands believe the morality the Catholic faith teaches them must animate their lives not only within the walls of the churches they attend, but literally everywhere else, as well — in the way they deal with their families, their neighbors and, yes, their business.

The Newlands sued to protect their free exercise of religion in this regard because Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius issued a regulation, under the Obamacare law, that requires virtually all health care plans to cover — without cost-sharing — sterilizations, artificial contraception and abortifacients.

Unfortunately, the family lost the lawsuit. The article reports:

In response to the Newlands’ complaint that ordering them to violate the teachings of the Catholic Church in the way they run their business is a violation of their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion, the Obama administration told the federal court that a private business has no protection under the First Amendment’s free exercise clause — especially if the business is incorporated.

“The First Amendment Complaint does not allege that the company is affiliated with a formally religious entity such as a church,” said the Justice Department. “Nor does it allege that the company employs persons of a particular faith. In short, Hercules Industries is plainly a for-profit, secular employer.”

“By definition,” said the Justice Department, “a secular employer does not engage in any ‘exercise of religion.'”

“It is well established that a corporation and its owners are wholly separate entities, and the Court should not permit the Newlands to eliminate that legal separation to impose their personal religious beliefs on the corporate entity or its employees,” said the Justice Department.

The message here is very simple. You are free to practice your religion in your church. The government will no longer allow you to exercise your beliefs anywhere outside of that church building. This is a far cry from the early days of America when churches were routinely meeting in the Senate and House of Representatives and public prayer by elected officials was accepted and expected. The attack on the First Amendment rights of religious people is one of the main characteristics of Obamacare. Obamacare needs to go away as quickly as possible!

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