Kim Davis on being released from jail & a leftist pounding on the doors of the Supreme Court

As I’ve been watching the left continue its violent push to make the rest of us comply with their demands and the craziness of their Kavanaugh stuff to the point where we actually had a Democrat editor justifying the shooting of Steve Scalise as the natural consequence of his votes.

Seeing all this I couldn’t help but think of the contrast between their actions and those of Kim Davis.

For those of you who have forgotten Kim Davis is the former Democrat who refused to issue gay marriage licences with her name on them in Kentucky when the Supreme Court imposed Gay Marriage overriding the laws of her state and others.

She sought compromise, her opponents would have none of it:

Davis didn’t seek publicity, those who choose to force her hand did, as marriage licences were available just a few miles away. Even as the country’s media and elites demonized her and pundit after pundit attacked her she went to court to defend her position citing her religious beliefs seeking a compromise that would allow her to function without her name being on marriage certificates.

She was threatened with jail, and accepted it:

On Thursday the judge in the case gave her one last chance to fold her card, she declined saying it was a heaven or hell issue to her. So the judge had her jailed, meanwhile four of her five deputies agreed to issue the licences to gay couples as he commanded and on Friday began doing so.

And did so without anger or hate

Kim Davis has gone to jail without fear, without complaint. She did not scream defiant curses, she did not call for violence in her name. Her only worry was disobedience to the Lord.

And when the courts decided that she should be freed how did she react

Kim’s Davis’ entire speech was about God and serving him and thanks and love for her supporters.

No critique of the judge, no anger over her imprisonment, no fancy words about the political irony of a bunch of Republicans defending an elected democrat. No talk about the likelihood of her being re-imprisoned. Everything completely consistent with the dignity of the stand she took for the sake of her soul and others.

And when offered muscle to protect her from all those who were threatening her in person and online she declined:

Given her situation the offer of armed protection must have been attractive, she has been vilified and hated not only by the left for her principled stand but by some on the right objecting to her civil disobedience on law and order grounds. How easy would it have been for her to accept this offer of protection. How comforting might it have been to know people considered her so important they were willing to fight for her. How tempting.

I’m pleased to say she did not give into this temptation:

Oath Keepers has been contacted by Kim Davis’ legal team at Liberty Counsel, and they have, on her behalf, declined our offer of assistance in protecting her from a possible repeat incarceration by Federal District Court judge David Bunning. We will, of course, respect her wishes, and are hereby issuing a stand-down for our security volunteers who were planning on deploying to Morehead, Kentucky on Monday.

She didn’t even fire or critique her deputies who issued the licences that she would not:

Now the last thing the left could hope for was that she would fire her deputies, allowing them to attack her for demanding a conscience exception while not allowing her subordinates to do the same.

Alas poor leftists, that was not to be:

Before starting her workday, Davis appeared defiant, saying she will not issue any marriage licenses that go against her religious beliefs. But she left the door open for her deputies to continue giving out marriage licenses to same-sex couples as long as those documents do not have Davis’ name or title on them.

The marriage license that the couple received said “pursuant to federal court order” on it, and instead of listing Davis’ name and Rowan County, it says city of Morehead, the county seat.

Her willingness to stand without violent confrontation, taking the penalties prescribed by law and not attack those who went after her had a salutary result at the ballot box:

Alas for our liberal friends the voters of Kentucky clearly knew which side they were on too and it wasn’t close

Bevin was able to defy pundits, political insiders and polling — including one released by his own campaign in October that showed him losing — and emerge a winner Tuesday night.

In the end, it wasn’t even close. Bevin won 107 of the state’s 120 counties on his way to a nine-point victory.

Who made the compromise she sought a legal reality

“To ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored, I took action to revise the clerk marriage license form,” Bevin said in a statement.

Davis’s team was delighted:

“This is a wonderful Christmas gift for Kim Davis,” the group said. “Kim can celebrate Christmas with her family knowing she does not have to choose her public office and her deeply-held religious convictions.”

I think driving Kim Davis from the Democrat party will cost them for decades to come.

And in the final irony David Ermold one of the men who forced the confrontation that sent her to jail ran couldn’t even win the Democrat primary to unseat her despite a ton of money from bigtime liberals

A gay Kentucky man who was denied a marriage license by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis nearly three years ago has lost his bid to unseat her. 

David Ermold had been seeking the Democratic nomination for county clerk in Tuesday’s primary in Rowan County, Kentucky. Though Ermold’s high-profile campaign raised more than $200,000 from supporters, including donations from Amy Schumer and Susan Sarandon, he lost to challenger Elwood Caudill Jr. in the four-way primary, the Lexington Herald-Reader reports

and liberals in the press are still angry, particularly as she has a book out:

Holier-than-thou public figures such as Gov. Matt Bevin, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and evangelist Franklin Graham rallied to Davis’ cause. Those three have now written promotional blurbs for her book, which has the arrogant title, “Under God’s Authority.”

“When history called upon Kim, she was both ready and willing to respond,” Bevin wrote. “Will the same be said of you?”

Pardon me while I pound my fist.

if she’s pounding her face now wait till Kim Davis gets re-elected again.

The media and political left after decades of attacking Christians for thinking with their Bibles are suddenly all God and scripture when attacking Donald Trump and are particularly dismissive of devout Christians who support him.

So for those of you unfamiliar with scripture or the teachings of Christ  (which would be most or all of the left and media these days)  who want to understand why Christians like myself are such strong supporters of Donald Trump let me or rather Jesus Christ explain it clearly:

What is your opinion? A man had two sons. He came to the first and said, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ He said in reply, ‘I will not,’ but afterwards he changed his mind and went. The man came to the other son and gave the same order. He said in reply, ‘Yes, sir,’ but did not go. Which of the two did his father’s will?” They answered, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Amen, I say to you, tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you. When John came to you in the way of righteousness, you did not believe him; but tax collectors and prostitutes did. Yet even when you saw that, you did not later change your minds and believe him.

Matt 21:28-32

And that in a nutshell is the difference between the Democrat/Left/Media and the Obama Years and Donald Trump.  The Democrats talk a good game about helping people, about fairness, about creating jobs, about defending America, about women’s rights and protecting kids, but when given power they instead deliver for their cronies, favor their foot soldiers, depress manufacturing and the energy sector, send billions to our enemies, and keep their silence concerning those in Hollywood and media who abuse and degrade women.

Meanwhile these same media people take a fit if President Trump tweets something they don’t like, equating it to Nazism, while ignoring an economy that is booming, a jobs market unparalleled, particularly for blacks and Hispanics,  standing up for manufacturing and energy, destroying  our enemies in Syria while withdrawing the unofficial protection that the media/left gave to those who were preying on women in both the News media and Hollywood.

Put simply, rather than just talking a good game and doing nothing, Trump, despite his occasional speech & tweet meandering consistently does the will of the people who hired him, treating the voters as an employer to be satisfied rather than as rubes to be deceived.

He is the proverbial sinner/ tax collector entering the kingdom of heaven before the self righteous elites.

That’s really all that you need to know.

“Faith?” The Wizard’s laughter shook the sky as the horde behind him joined in. “My mages, warlocks and minions number in the hundreds, my swordsmen the thousands and you would face us alone with but faith?”

‘Yes” Replied the man standing alone between the city and the multitude. “All I have is faith…”
he began, and the horde, led by the wizard, roared in laughter

“…the size of a mustard seed.”

Suddenly even as the rest continued to cackle, the wizard’s laughter died abruptly in his throat and the man saw forming in the wizard’s eyes the beginning of wisdom.

Let’s be blunt.

If Mike Huckabee was a Muslim with the exact same positions on Homosexuality and Gay Marriage as he holds as a Christian then the same folks who demanded and forced his resignation from The Country Music Foundation after a single day would today be celebrating his appointment.

Well in fairness the world’s hatred is part of Christianity’s job description and if Mike Huckabee is hated for it he’s in good company::

If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father. John 15:18-24

In an age of Christian persecution you find out who really believes pretty fast.

Only a clever Human can make a joke about virtue

The Screwtape letters

We interrupt our coverage of Al Franken to talk about…comedy.

If there has been one staple of modern humor from our cultural “betters” it’s been the willingness to belittle and berate Christianity. Over the decades we have seen stand up comics, TV and movies gleefully make Christianity the butt of jokes and insults galore. Nor has Christ himself been immune from bad jokes on Family guy to Jesus as a mythical figure on Southpark in a way that would have been unthinkable just 60 years ago. All of this is protected of course by the 1st Amendment in the same way that my critique of them is and while I am all in favor of rebuking such humor I would not dream of forbidding it.

Now I’m a big fan of comedy from the Three Stooges to Monty Python to Blackadder and I even admire the folks at South Park because they at least are willing to hit everyone equally (They are practically the only folks to hit Islam in the way they’ve hit Christianity) but as a person who has always insisted that the proof that God has a sense of humor is his creation of man it got me thinking. “Can one portray or reference Christ in a humorous non blasphemous way and still be funny?

I thought about it for a while and could only think of three instances over the last 40 years that meet this bill. They now follow in reverse order with the best job of not insulting Christianity, not perverting Christ message and still being funny. Here are are

#3 Mel Brooks The meaning of Life, the private dinner

It’s 33 AD and Mel Brooks is Comicus a “stand up philosopher” who with his friends have escaped execution in Rome and fled to Judea. On their arrival they get employment at an in where Comicus on his first day is assigned to serve at a private party.

Best exchange

Jesus: Yea Yea so you say, but one who sits among us has already betrayed us this night.
Various Disciples: Who? Who? Who Who could it be?
Comicus: [Pointing] Judas! [Judas jumps startled] Would you like a beverage try the Mulled Wine it’s terrific!

Now one might object to the “Jesus!” “What?” exchange but it’s such a mild thing that it doesn’t take away from the Humor or the comedy.

#2 Monty Python The Life of Brian Arms for an ex-leper 1979

Brian and his mother have just left a stoning and pass by several lepers begging along with one ex-leper

Best exchange

Brian: Who cured you?
Ex-Leper: Jesus did, sir. I was hopping along, minding my own business, all of a sudden, up he comes, cures me! One minute I’m a leper with a trade, next minute my livelihood’s gone. Not so much as a by-your-leave! “You’re cured, mate.” Bloody do-gooder.

The quick banter and physical humor of Michael Palin as the ex-leper is great but it’s the writing that makes this work. Jesus doesn’t appear in this sequence at all but the character of the ex-leper is not only funny, but biblical as you might recall from Luke 17 where Jesus cures 10 lepers and one of them comes back in thanks and Jesus exclaims in verse 17 and 18

“Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?”

I can’t speak for the other eight but as far as the Monty Python crowd is concerned one is wishing he still had a better begging selling point than being an ex-leper.

 #1  Mad TV 1998  Movie Trailer  Terminator 3  The Greatest Action Story Ever Told

Arnold returns as the Terminator is sent back in time to protect one of the most figures in history however the man he is trying to protect is not willing to dodge his destiny.

This is a complete winner. The production value of this skit very high for a TV show, it’s well written but most importantly there is not a single part of this skit that isn’t hilarious from the Terminator’s encounter with the wise men in Bethlehem, to the final line (“Don’t worry, he’ll be back.”) said to a wailing woman as Jesus carries his cross. Even more amazingly there is not a single scene that either mocks the Christian message nor perverts the message and mission of Jesus.

This is best illustrated by the best exchange and funniest scene Arnold/Terminator breaks into the last Supper repeatedly killing Judas while an increasingly frustrated Jesus keeps healing him while trying to explain that it’s necessary for it to happen for the salvation of the human race. The entire exchange is classic but his bit in the middle is just incredible

Jesus: Stop! Stop Killing Judas!
The Terminator: But he’s going to betray you.
Jesus: I know! Look look I’ve got a lot on my mind right now and you’re really starting to stress me out Ok? OK!

Not only is it absolutely hilarious but it fits in so perfectly with the scriptural anguish that Jesus is going through My soul is sorrowful even to death.” MT 26:38, MK 14:34 ” He was in such agony and he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood falling on the ground.)” Luke 22:44 that it even becomes poignant reminder of what Christ went through spiritually to save man, in the same what that the Passion of the Christ on a much grander scale illustrated what he went though physically.

This is a pretty long list for a period of 40 years but as Lewis said through screwtape it takes a really clever person to make a joke about virtue and our culture and despite the high opinion people of today have for themselves, as a culture we are not as clever as we once were.

But if you can think of a skit or scene that fits the bill that I might have missed, feel free to include it is comments.

I speak to Author Arthur Powers Book of Jotham at the 2017 Catholic Marketing Network

You can Buy his book here

The Rest of my Catholic Marketing Network posts are here.

by baldilocks

As a few people may have noticed, I’ve been going back over posts from my old blog, which I started in 2003. One of the things which has hindered me in deciding what to write about is that, often, I feel like I’m repeating myself. But a long-time fan turned that notion around for me by reminding me that repetition is the vehicle of learning.

The following, from 2004,  is apropos of nothing popular in Social Media right now. Who knows when that will change? It could be seconds after you read it.


A guest asked the following questions about Islam, and the Koran.

juliette i’m not that familiar with the qu’ran. could you give me a citation for your reference?

could you also tell me if this type of activity is a constant over the history of the region? if we go back to 1905 for example, would we see someone lynched then?

finally, could you tell me how lynching and mass terrorism against african americans was able to continue for a full 100 years, without reference to the judeo-christian ethic?

Are Muslims following the tenets of their religion or ignoring same?

Let’s turn it around. During the heyday of white American terrorism of black Americans in the South, were white American Christians following the tenets of Jesus the Christ or ignoring them? If the latter was true, it isn’t too hard to figure it out how it could be so: the same way that present-day Christians ignore the tenets of their religion. You may be familiar with some of the “lesser” ways: lying, cheating, stealing, committing adultery, dishonoring one’s parents, etc. Or even worse, twisting the tenets of their religion to suit their own purposes.

This last sort of behavior shouldn’t have to be explained to anyone who steps out of his/her door in the morning. And failure to live up to one’s professed standards or twisting those standards to self-serving purposes isn’t a failing unique to those who are religious.

It took men of the Christian and Jewish faiths — black men, white men and others — to shame the bulk of white Americans into living up to the spiritual and secular ideals they professed to revere and cherish, whether it was “love thy neighbor as thyself” or the idea spawned from that, “all Men are created equal.”

Back to your first question: does it matter whether jihad started 35 years ago or three years ago? Here’s my point: there is nothing in Islamic doctrine that can be used to shame the Islamists to stop using terror in the attempt to achieve their aims. No Dr. Malik Shakir will come out of the Mosque holding up Muhammad as the “Prince of Peace” who commanded believers to turn the other cheek or take the two-by-four out of his own eye first. Why not? This is why:

“Slay the infidels wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. (Koran 9:5)

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [Islam], until they are subdued. (Surat At-Taubah 9:29)

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Apostle have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection. Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. (Koran 2: 98)

Again, Muslims who terrorize, lynch, burn, and enslave are merely living up to their credo, not ignoring or going against it. That’s why (besides fear of other Muslims) you haven’t seen any Muslims in large numbers publicly repudiating terror. (There are one billion Muslims, right?)

As a wise person said, when someone tells you that they want to kill you, believe them.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

by baldilocks

Yesterday at Hot Air, John Sexton posted a piece about a radio station’s cancellation of an appearance by public atheist Richard Dawkins. The station’s reason? They say they don’t support “hurtful/abusive speech” and are unwilling to give it a platform. Hurtful/abusive speech, in this case, is code for speech critical of Islam, which Dawkins has been offering of late.

His response to the cancellation:

I am known as a frequent critic of Christianity and have never been de-platformed for that. Why do you give Islam a free pass? Why is it fine to criticise Christianity but not Islam?

I think we all know the answer to Dawkins’ rhetorical questions but this is a much more complicated situation than mere fear on the part of the broadcasters in question.

Sexton and others have referred to the radio station—KPFA—as a ‘Berkeley station.’ But that isn’t quite an accurate description of the station’s foundational aspects. Yes, it has always been located in Berkeley, but it isn’t a stand-alone station. It’s part of the Pacifica Foundation created in 1949 by pacifist Lewis Hill and is part of the foundation’s radio network.

Stations included in the network are KPFA, KPFB in San Francisco, KPFK in Los Angeles, WPFW in Washington D.C., WBAI in New York City, and KPFT in Houston. There are also dozens of affiliate and affiliate translator stations.

In short, Pacifica’s KPFA is the flagship of a fairly old progressive institution.

(Personal note: in the nineties, when I was a community college student, one of my professors advised us to listen to KPFK in order to hone our critical thinking skills. I took that advice and listened for years afterward. The professor’s advice was very useful, but probably not in the way that he intended. Listening to KPFK helped me discover that I was not a Leftist.)

Pacifica’s stations bill themselves as independently-operated by local broadcasters and as listener-sponsored. Both are true, but that last part is only half-true. These stations receive grants from sources like the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Institute and…the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. From the latter’s website:

CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

CPB is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services.

CPB’s mission is to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content and telecommunications services. It does so by distributing more than 70% of its funding to nearly 1,500 locally owned public radio and television stations.

Emphasis mine.

(From what I recall of KPFK’s fund drives, the size of the grants depend on the size of the haul each station takes in during its fund drives.)

In other words, Pacifica stations are funded by voluntary donations from supporters, big-time left-leaning, one worlder foundations, and involuntary “donations” from American taxpayers – none of which has prevented the overarching Pacifica Foundation from having financial and personnel drama throughout its existence, but there you go.

Back to the Dawkins controversy: it’s clear why his appearance was cancelled. Oh, sure, Pacifica is afraid of getting blown up, but it’s more than that. Islam is the new Darling of the Left;  all the old flames: blacks, Spanish-speakers, women, homosexuals…and atheists…have been kicked to the curb and the new Darling must be protected at all costs.

And, to, once again, step out on the predict-the-future limb, the Organized Left is preparing for the day when Christ’s earthly Church here in America will be under the type of persecution similar to that of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East.

The Organized Left is merely picking a side, once again.

And, kudos to Dawkins for his lack of hypocrisy and for his bravery.

(Thanks to Ace of Spades HQ)

FORGOT TO ADD THIS:  Here’s a very interesting link about the life of Lewis Hill and the upbringing of his baby, Pacifica.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

UPDATE DTG: This story dovetales perfectly with a series of posts of mine from which concludes The common thread of the left is the destruction of Judeo Christian culture, standards belief and If you start from that position it all makes perfect sense.

Update 2: Instalance Thanks Glenn, well done Juliette


This blog is a venture in capitalism. If you like the work Juliette and our other Magnificent Seven writers do you can help finance them by picking up my new book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) prayer now available at Amazon

A portion of every sale will go to WQPH 89.3 Catholic Radio) or show your approval by Hitting DaTipJar




Olimometer 2.52

and if you really want to help for the long term consider subscribing and get my book as a premium


Choose a Subscription level



And as I’ve said if you can’t spare the money I’ll happily accept your prayers.

The 40 Martyrs of Sebaste, also known as the Forty Martyrs of Armenia and also as The Holy Forty, were a group of Roman Soldiers who were cruelly tortured and killed for their refusal to renounce their Christian faith during the reign of Emperor Licinius in 320 AD. Their Feast Day is March 10 for Roman Catholics, and March 9 for those who belong to Eastern Orthodox Churches. Via EWTN‘s online library, excerpted below is their story, as it was told in a homily by St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, on the Holy 40’s Feast Day:

These holy martyrs suffered at Sebaste, in the Lesser Armenia, under the Emperor Licinius, in 320. They were of different countries, but enrolled in the same troop; all in the flower of their age, comely, brave, and robust, and were become considerable for their services. St. Gregory of Nyssa and Procopius say they were of the Thundering Legion, so famous under Marcus Aurelius for the miraculous rain and victory obtained by their prayers. This was the twelfth legion, and then quartered in Armenia. Lysias was duke or general of the forces, and Agricola the governor of the province. The latter having signified to the army the orders of the emperor Licinius for all to sacrifice, these forty went boldly up to him, and said they were Christians, and that no torments should make them ever abandon their holy religion. The judge first endeavoured to gain them by mild usage; as by representing to them the dishonour that would attend their refusal to do what was required, and by making them large promises of preferment and high favour with the emperor in case of compliance. Finding these methods of gentleness ineffectual, he had recourse to threats, and these the most terrifying, if they continued disobedient to the emperor’s order, but all in vain. To his promises they answered that he could give them nothing equal to what he would deprive them of; and to his threats, that his power only extended over their bodies which they had learned to despise when their souls were at stake. The governor, finding them all resolute, caused them to be torn with whips, and their sides to be rent with iron hooks; after which they were loaded with chains, and committed to jail.

Days had passed, and the men still would not abandon their Faith, which of course did not go over well with their tormentors:

The governor, highly offended at their courage, and that liberty of speech with which they accosted him, devised an extraordinary kind of death, which, being slow and severe, he hoped would shake their constancy. The cold in Armenia is very sharp, especially in March, and towards the end of winter, when the wind is north, as it then was, it being also at that time a severe frost. Under the walls of the town stood a pond, which was frozen so hard that it would bear walking upon with safety. The judge ordered the saints to be exposed quite naked on the ice;[1] and in order to tempt them the more powerfully to renounce their faith, a warm bath was prepared at a small distance from the frozen pond, for any of this company to go to who were disposed to purchase their temporal ease and safety on that condition. The martyrs, on hearing their sentence, ran joyfully to the place, and without waiting to be stripped, undressed themselves, encouraging one another in the same manner as is usual among soldiers in military expeditions attended with hardships and dangers, saying that one bad night would purchase them a happy eternity.[2] They also made this their joint prayer: “Lord, we are forty who arc engaged in this combat; grant that we may be forty crowned, and that not one be wanting to this sacred number.” The guards in the mean time ceased not to persuade them to sacrifice, that by so doing they might be allowed to pass to the warm bath. But though it is not easy to form a just idea of the bitter pain they must have undergone, of the whole number only one had the misfortune to be overcome; who, losing courage, went off from the pond to seek the relief in readiness for such as were disposed to renounce their faith; but as the devil usually deceives his adorers, the apostate no sooner entered the warm water but he expired. This misfortune afflicted the martyrs; but they were quickly comforted by seeing his place and their number miraculously filled up. A sentinel was warming himself near the bath, having been posted there to observe if any of the martyrs were inclined to submit. While he was attending, he had a vision of blessed spirits descending from heaven on the martyrs, and distributing, as from their king, rich presents and precious garments; St. Ephrem adds crowns to all these generous soldiers, one only excepted, who was their faint-hearted companion already mentioned. The guard, being struck with the celestial vision and the apostate’s desertion, was converted upon it; and by a particular motion of the Holy Ghost, threw off his clothes, and placed himself in his stead amongst the thirty-nine martyrs. Thus God heard their request, though in another manner than they imagined: “Which ought to make us adore the impenetrable secrets of his mercy and justice,” says St. Ephrem, “in this instance, no less than in the reprobation of Judas and the election of St. Matthias.”

And so there were still forty of them, naked and freezing, on the iced over lake, all night long. In the morning, it was ordered that, whether already dead or still yet showing signs of life, the loyal Christian men’s bodies would be loaded onto carts and then burned until nothing was left of them. Even the mother of the youngest man remained unshaken in her loyalty to God when she found her son, who was still alive at the time:

When the rest were thrown into a waggon to be carried to the pile, the youngest of them (whom the acts call Melito) was found alive; and the executioners, hoping he would change his resolution when he came to himself, left him behind. His mother, a woman of mean condition, and a widow, but rich in faith and worthy to have a son a martyr, observing this false compassion, reproached the executioners; and when she came up to her son, whom she found quite frozen, not able to stir, and scarce breathing, he looked on her with languishing eyes, and made a little sign with his weak hand to comfort her. She exhorted him to persevere to the end, and, fortified by the Holy Ghost, took him up, and put him with her own hands into the waggon with the rest of the martyrs, not only without shedding a tear, but with a countenance full of joy, saying courageously: “Go, go, son, proceed to the end of this happy journey with thy companions, that thou mayest not be the last of them that shall present themselves before God.”

After they were burned, the ashes of the Martyrs were thrown away in a river, but other Christians had managed to collect some ashes and they carried them away as religious relics.

As we remember the brave and loyal men who died nearly 2000 years ago for their faith in what is now Syria, let us also please remember and pray for Christians around the world who are still routinely persecuted, tortured, and murdered for their faith to this very day.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals – including Siberian Husky Dalmatian Lab Puppies and their parents. 

See also by Zilla at DaTechGuyBlog:

Remembering Saint Scholastica

#NYCatholic: St. Peter’s Church

World Trade Center Bombing 24th Anniversary

Remembering Saint Katharine Drexel

So they called them back and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. Peter and John, however, said to them in reply, “Whether it is right in the sight of God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges. It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.”

Acts 4:18-20

I’ve often said here on the blog that the only reason to be a Christian in general and a Catholic in particular is because it’s true.  If it’s not true after all we’re just an Elk’s Club that meets on Sundays.

We’ll apparently there aren’t a lot of people who want to join the Sunday Elk’s clubs:

we found 93 percent of clergy members and 83 percent of worshipers from growing churches agreed with the statement “Jesus rose from the dead with a real flesh-and-blood body leaving behind an empty tomb.” This compared with 67 percent of worshipers and 56 percent of clergy members from declining churches. Furthermore, all growing church clergy members and 90 percent of their worshipers agreed that “God performs miracles in answer to prayers,” compared with 80 percent of worshipers and a mere 44 percent of clergy members from declining churches.

Or to put it another way, if you don’t actually believe in Christ,  why would you expect people to follow you into Christianity, assuming you want them to:

For example, because of their conservative outlook, the growing church clergy members in our study took Jesus’ command to “Go make disciples” literally. Thus, they all held the conviction it’s “very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians,” and thus likely put effort into converting non-Christians. Conversely, because of their liberal leanings, half the clergy members at the declining churches held the opposite conviction, believing it is not desirable to convert non-Christians. Some of them felt, for instance, that peddling their religion outside of their immediate faith community is culturally insensitive.

If you aren’t really into that entire “We must obey God rather than man” business then you aren’t

The really funny part of this story? The fact that discovering believing in something vs believing in nothing tends to attract more people was “counterintuitive”.

Well to a reader of the Washington Post it would be wouldn’t it?

Closing thought, I’d like to ask those members of the clergy who don’t believe in the central tenants of Christianity why they remain?  I suspect the answer mimics this exchange from the old Yes Prime Minister episode “The Bishop’s Gambit:

James Hacker: Humphrey, what’s a Modernist in the Church of England?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: Ah, well, the word “Modernist” is code for non-believer.
James Hacker: You mean an atheist?
Sir Humphrey Appleby: No, Prime Minister. An atheist clergyman couldn’t continue to draw his stipend. So, when they stop believing in God, they call themselves “Modernists”.

When as I suspect, these “modernists” eventually become as extinct as the Shakers only Washington Post readers will be surprised.