christrio

Even with the iconic statue of Jesus Christ watching over the Rio Olympics, NBC and mainstream media outlets have chosen to ignore the importance of religion among athletes.

For example, swimmer Michael Phelps, one of the greatest Olympians ever, lost his way until he found God a few years ago.

“I was a train wreck. I was like a time bomb, waiting to go off. I had no self-esteem, no self-worth. There were times where I didn’t want to be here. It was not good. I felt lost,” Phelps said.

After his second DUI, Phelps got a call from former NFL star Ray Lewis, who helped the swimmer onto the road of religious recovery.

Simone Biles, the gymnast who won four gold medals, carries a rosary in her warmup bag and lights a candle in church before an event. Instead of emphasizing her religious beliefs, NBC and others talk about her mother, a former drug addict.

Katie Ledecky, a Catholic like Biles, says a Hail Mary before each swimming event and proudly makes her religious views known. Simone Manuel, the first African-American woman to earn a gold medal in swimming, praised God after winning the 100-meter freestyle. Her reference to God got edited out when NBC put up the video on YouTube.

After Usain Bolt of Jamaica, the fastest man in the world, won his third gold medal in the 100-meter sprint, he fell to his knees to pray. The NBC commentators apparently couldn’t bring themselves to utter the word “prayer.”

Many other examples exist, but NBC and other mainstream media have focused on less significant details of athletes’ lives rather than their trust in God. Fortunately, faith-based news organizations have chronicled what the athletes themselves consider their most important characteristic: their belief in God.

The Christian Post wrote about U.S. athletes and their faith at http://www.christianpost.com/news/10-christian-team-usa-athletes-at-rio-olympics-2016-who-put-god-first-167556/

Eric Metaxas interviewed religion writer Terry Mattingly about God and the Olympics at https://soundcloud.com/the-eric-metaxas-show/terry-mattingly-5


Christopher Harper, a longtime journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law. Read more at www.mediamashup.org

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WWII: Germans surrender to Russians outside Moscow

by baldilocks

Daniel Greenfield again documents the terms of Europe’s willing surrender to the Dar al-Islam.

The UN Commission of Experts identified 1,600 actual cases of rape in the Bosnian War that took place in the former Yugoslavia over a period of years. In Germany, 2,000 Muslim migrants sexually assaulted 1,200 women in a single night in cities across Germany.

The former was considered one of the worst war crimes of the decade. Its perpetrators were bombed and then faced war crimes trials. The perpetrators of the latter received a slap on the wrist.

In Cologne, Hassan and Hussein were handed suspended sentences. Hassan, who had demanded that a man hand over two women to him by bellowing, “Give me the girls, give me the girls – or you’re dead” was tried as a juvenile offender and was sentenced to community service and an integration course.

(…)

Selin Goren, a spokeswoman for a left-wing refugee group, admitted to lying that the men who sexually assaulted her were German instead of Arabs because the act of the rape had a “political dimension”. Instead of thinking of the men who had assaulted her, she thought of a pro-refugee rally in which she had called for fighting “against racism and sexism”.

And predictably the former took a back seat to the latter.

When the police officer asked her if refugees had been responsible, she retorted that they had spoken German while resenting the officer for being so racist as to assume, correctly, that Muslim migrants were to blame.

A friend had told her that she acted like a battered wife protecting her abusive husband.

It’s an accurate description of not just her, but of the entire left which has turned its own values inside out in order to protect Muslim rapists from a theocratic culture not fundamentally different than ISIS which believes that women are fair game during their gleeful invasion of Europe.

My opinion: European in general and Germany specifically isn’t done paying the spiritual price for the perpetrating/allowing the massacres of the 20th century. And I’m not only referring to the Jews–Russians, Poles—both Jew and Gentile—Romani…and the list goes on. Europe’s spiritual problems are and have always been about leadership.

The spiritual price(s) for bad leadership: delusion and the desire for death, brought on by godlessness. Of course, godless leaders were the catalysts for the massacres in the first place.

Observing from across the water bids these questions. How many Americans are similarly deluded? And what of our leaders?

Related:

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Enjoy your reward, Fr. Jacques Hamel.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game (click on left sidebar image), was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

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Red Oak MosqueBy John Ruberry

Muslims, many of them refugees from war, keep coming to America. Other than for the obvious reasons, the opportunity for a much better standard of living than what is expected in their home countries and the opportunity to collect government benefits, who have to wonder why this is happening.

I have some things to say to the Muslims who want to emigrate here.

If you believe in theocracy, in other words, sharia law, as many Muslims do, then America, with its long history of separating religion from government, is not for you.

Although this very recent development is still very controversial, in the United States, men can marry men and women can marry women, and yes, they have sex with each other. Millions of unmarried Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, are sexually active. If this bothers you, then America is not for you.

Women and men in America, and teens too, often where next to no clothing. If this angers you, then America is not for you.

Dogs are beloved animal companions for many Americans. If you believe that Islam teaches you that dogs are unclean and that they should be avoided, then the United States is not for you.

Porky's Rib Fest
Porky’s Rib Fest ad, Bridgeview, IL

While not as popular as beef or chicken, pork is a popular meat choice for many Americans. If this dietary selection gives you anguish because of what is written in the Quran, then America is not for you.

About three-quarters of American adults drink alcoholic beverages several times a week. Beer commercials are a staple of sports television and are common fare on many other TV programs. If you don’t approve because Islam teaches that alcohol is forbidden, then America is not for you.

Of course in this verbal exercise I could easily substitute France for the United States and make the same point.

Amish wagon in Michigan
Amish horse carriage in Michigan

And yes, to be fair, there are members of religious groups who have lived in the United States since before its founding, such as Orthodox Jews and the Amish, who feel uncomfortable with some of these American mores I just pointed out. Mormons too. But there is a big difference in regards to Islam. The first two I just mentioned don’t proselytize–although Orthodox Jews preach to other Jews–they are what I call beehive religions. You don’t bother them and they don’t bother you.

But Islam–read your history, naysayers–is not only a proselytizing faith, it is a conquering one. But three or four million Muslims can’t overthrow America.

Yet they keep coming.

Why?

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

Dialogue from the otherwise worthless Jeff Bridges film Wild Bill may shine some light on this paradox. John Hurt’s character remarks to Wild Bill Hickok as they arrive in hedonistic Deadwood, “This town… I really think it’s like something out of the Bible.”

“Which part?” Hickok replies.

“The part right before God gets angry.”

Is this how Muslims view our country?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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”.

James Hacker: How could the Church of England suggest an atheist as Bishop of Bury St Edmunds?

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Well, very easily. The Church of England is primarily a social organization, not a religious one.

Yes Prime Minister The Bishop’s Gambit 1986

Father Damien Karras: I think it might be helpful if I gave you some background on the different personalities Regan has manifested. So far, I’d say there seem to be three. She’s convinced…
Father Merrin: There is only one..

The Exorcist 1973

 

Stacy McCain has struck again with a long post on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and while Stacy is highlighting the goals of feminism here there is a point I’d like to make from his piece to wit:

To convey a general idea of what sort of ideas nowadays prevail in ELCA circles, the election of Elizabeth Eaton to the denomination’s top post prompted this enthusiastic outburst from Linda Post Bushkofsky, executive director of Women of the ELCA:

As the presiding bishop election process winnowed down nominees, three of the final four candidates were women. . . . As I’ve written before . . . it’s not just about numbers. To respond to the needs facing the church and society in the 21st century, a collaborative leadership style is needed, and studies show that women more naturally use this form of leadership.

Stacy notwithstanding the disgrace here isn’t the ELCA pushing feminism per-se the disgrace is that nowhere in this statement is the goal for a Christian church to find a candidate that will serve the word of God.

Now none of this is a surprise, we talked about the decision of the largest batch of Lutherans to allow married gay clergy as I wrote at the time:

Hey this was just what he was envisioning when he broke away from us Roman Catholics all those centuries ago starting the reformation and all that.

So now the Lutherans have endorsed specific biblical sin among clergy I say good luck to you guys.

I quoted a lot of Lutheran blogs at the time (2009 so long ago it seems) and one of them Balaam’s Ass put it well:

Unless God intervenes by His grace, these proposals will be passed.  The ELCA will then join the Episcopal Church in its further apostasy.

But who is surprised?  It’s like Jenga: you can remove one or two or even a few blocks, but eventually the weight cannot be sustained.

Six years after that statement this is the Christmas prayer you are hearing in a Lutheran Church:

Ebenezer Lutheran Church in San Francisco where, on Christmas Day 2015, Pastor Stacy Boom posted this “prayer”:

Sophia our Goddess,
As a full moon rising,
You unveil your vision of love
for the universe
and work within us
to bring about your healing purposes.

You are reading this right, this is a prayer being put out by a “Christian” Church founded by Martin Luther because we Catholics were getting the worship of God wrong.  It concludes:

Sophia our Goddess,
As a full moon rising,
You are the One Sacred Thread
and Source for All Times,
Grandmother, Mother, and Child,
Blessed She!

This is definitely not a Christian prayer. Any student of the occult would recognize the reference to “Grandmother, Mother, and Child” as an invocation of the so-called “Triple Goddess” (Maiden, Mother, Crone) of modern neo-pagan Wicca. So far gone is the ELCA in its abandonment of biblical truth that it accepts witchcraft in its “Lutheran” pulpits.

And some Catholics complain about Pope Francis?

You might be shocked by this, I’m not.  Christianity without Christ is the logical conclusion to Martin (I know better than the church) Luther’s rebellion.  It’s the whole vine branches thing that Christ talked about:

I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing  Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.

John 15:5-6

Now don’t get me wrong the Catholic church had some folks like this but when it did God raised a simple poor Clare nun who fought the culture war in the church

and won.

Stacy talks about feminism corrupting everything it touches and sounds the call to fight.

I submit and suggest that we must fight, but let’s be clear, feminism isn’t the enemy, it’s a tool being used by the same enemy that we’ve been fighting from day one.

One final thought, the invitation that I mentioned back in 2009 still stands:

if you are a Lutheran who actually takes Christianity seriously that old Roman Catholic Church that Martin decided wasn’t good enough before is still there.

We’d be pleased to welcome you in.

We can use good soldiers in the fight to save souls.

Red Oak MosqueBy John Ruberry

France has entered a new and unhappy phase–the land of liberté, égalité, fraternité is now in its terror age.

Seven days into 2015, twelve people were murdered by radical Muslims inside the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine that regularly poked fun at Muhammad, including publishing naked cartoons of him.

On Friday–known as Jumu’ah, the day of prayer, for Muslims, a series of coordinated attacks in the French capital killed over 120 people, the Islamic State caliphate immediately claimed responsibility for the barbarism.

France has always been an uncomfortable fit for its roughly five million Muslims, the first wave of which settled there after the end of its war in Algeria in 1962. Its strict secularism flies in the face one of Islam’s central beliefs–that the faith is not only a religion but a way of life, and that includes the legal code. Sure, some Muslims in France support the secularism of the Fifth Republic, but younger Muslims less so.

Of the Friday attacks, ISIS promises, “This is just the beginning.” And even if just twenty percent of French Muslims support the Islamic State, that’s one million radicals ready to tear down the nation.

Of course many French people remain in denial. While I was driving to work yesterday morning, I switched on NPR, where I listened in disbelief as a French political scientist, Nicole Bacharan, said of the Muslim immigrants living among her in Paris, “they are as French as we are.”

Has Bacharan bothered to ask Muslims–both the native born and the immigrants living in France–if they agree with her?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

gay flagBy John Ruberry

Like it or not, same-sex marriage is the law of the land. As a conservative with libertarian leanings, I favored civil unions for gays for years, in essence, marriage in all but name. What is now called traditional marriage reaches back into pre-history–social norms should not be thrown overboard so quickly.

As for the other side of the gay marriage debate, the media focus has been on what Friday’s US Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in favor of what some call marriage equality means for observant Christians who oppose it.

But what about Muslims? The Daily Beast managed to find a few Muslims who favor gay marriage, but it’s safe to say that followers of Islam overwhelmingly oppose it.

And I believe that Muslims considering emigrating to the United States–and for that matter, other Western nations–might want to consider staying home instead.

Other than our high standard of living, there is much in America for Muslims not to like. Arranged marriages are not only rare but are frowned upon. Dogs, beloved members of many American families, are viewed as only slightly better than pigs in Islamic society only because of their hunting and protection skills. As for those pigs, most Americans eat pork. Women in the United States wear whatever they want–or in some cases, how little they want. And the great majority of Americans drink alcohol–and advertisements for intoxicating beverages can be found almost everywhere. We can change our religion if we like–or, as has been happening more frequently, choose no faith at all. While somewhat controversial, religious satire is common in the USA. For the sake of brevity I’m stopping here.

Bridgeview, IL
Bridgeview, IL

And since Friday–two men, or two women, can marry each other in a government-sanctioned marriage from Portland, Maine to Honolulu, Hawaii.

Guam too.

Despite President Obama’s ridiculous claim that “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding,” there is very little Islamic about America.

And the roughly three million Muslims in America won’t be able to change that.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

All last week people were asking/and emailing me to comment on the Pope’s new encyclical.

While a lot of Pixels have already come out concerning it, many of them before it was released, I told everyone who asked that rather than bother with what the MSM has been saying I was going to withhold judgement until the Vatican actually released the document and see for myself.

Thursday I read Laudato Si. and noted what I thought the biggest news from the document was:

Friday, Saturday and Sunday I wrote about the parts of the document that our friends in the media decided to neglect.

Now today I want to address the a basic fact of this encyclical itself, something that people are forgetting, “what is its purpose?”

an encyclical denotes a pastoral letter written by the Holy Father for the entire Church.  This document focuses on a pastoral issue concerning a matter of doctrine, morality, devotion, or discipline. 

Catholic answers has more:

They condemn some prevalent form of error, point out dangers which threaten faith or morals, exhort the faithful to constancy, or prescribe remedies for evils foreseen or already existent.

Laudato Si.  is a long and detailed document.  It is liberally sprinkled with footnotes quoting the Church, its saints, previous Popes and even his own previous pronouncements.

In other words it’s a sermon and like any sermon is about teaching people, particularly the faithful,  about how one should act.

A fair reading of this document clearly indicated what is being taught, it preaches against lifestyle of consumerism absence of social interaction (and in fact encourages such interaction on the local level) and reliance on technology and stuff leads to an empty life.

18. The continued acceleration of changes affecting humanity and the planet is coupled today with a more intensified pace of life and work which might be called “rapidification”. Although change is part of the working of complex systems, the speed with which human activity has developed contrasts with the naturally slow pace of biological evolution. Moreover, the goals of this rapid and constant change are not necessarily geared to the common good or to integral and sustainable human development. Change is something desirable, yet it becomes a source of anxiety when it causes harm to the world and to the quality of life of much of humanity.

These are basic themes that the church has been teaching for a while.  A Lesson that was important in the world 65 years ago where missionary priests were leaving Europe and America for Africa and South America and a lesson that’s important today, Missionary priests are coming to America from Africa and South America and he takes the time to quote these bishops of Africa (chapter 14)

As the bishops of Southern Africa have stated: “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation”. [22] All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements and talents.

Now there are people who are getting very upset about the passages concerning global warming and scientific consensus and acting on the best information that is currently known to science.  Mostly because like myself I think the science is a lot more iffy than is being presented.  They like the social teaching, particularly on abortion and life but they’re sure the left will try to use this as a club to move their agenda, and they will.

But those guys are missing the reality and the reality is this.

It takes a long time to move governments and move agreements but a very short time to move individuals.

If we’re right and the science is on our side then in the years that it takes for governments to meet, to negotiate and to even begin to move agreements the reality of the science will trump the left, after all the encyclical does say…

Honesty and truth are needed in scientific and political discussions; these should not be limited to the issue of whether or not a particular project is permitted by law.

But the lessons for individuals those can be applied today, now at once, and because they deal with eternal truths those lessons will be true no matter where the science on global warming goes.

Those eternal truths taught by this encyclical will change hearts and bring people closer to Christ by steering individuals to the right, this is what it’s all about, no matter what any individual hoped to do with this document, no matter if it’s a democrat pol looking to get a short-term advantage or a bureaucrat in Europe is hoping for graft or even if a cleric trying to ingratiate with others by attempting to manipulate a papal encyclical and the Holy Father who released it.

That’s the reality of Laudito si.  It’s a reality divorced from politics.  The church and the Pope doesn’t teach for the  benefit of a particular political party in a particular country.  It’s not all about republicans or democrats or Europeans or Africans.

It’s about souls it always has been and if people attempt to use it for evil they will find it.  I’ll give the last word to CS Lewis again

On the other hand we do want, and want very much, to make men treat Christianity as a means; preferably, of course, as a means to their own advancement, but, failing that, as a means to anything-even to social justice. The thing to do is to get a man at first to value social justice as a thing which the Enemy demands, and then work him on to the stage at which he values Christianity because it may produce social justice. For the Enemy will not be used as a convenience. Men or nations who think they can revive the Faith in order to make a good society might just as well think they can use the stairs of Heaven as a short cut to the nearest chemist’s shop.

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I’ve just finished reading the Pope’s Encyclical letter LAUDATO SI’ and I have a lot to say about it, but that will wait for later right now however I’d like to note one thing concerning this letter that in the long term will likely be the most important thing about this document.

At the start of Laudato Si’ in paragraphs 3-6 Pope Francis cites Pope St. John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope St. John Paul II & Pope Benedict XVI and their various writings on the environment as an introduction for this thesis. For anyone familiar with encyclicals this is nothing odd, Popes often draw on the writings and sermons of the church over the years to show the continuity of the sermon he is giving.

What is Unusual is that what happened starting in paragraph 7

I would mention the statements made by the beloved Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, with whom we share the hope of full ecclesial communion.

And continued on from there:

8.  Patriarch Bartholomew has spoken in particular of the need for each of us to repent of the ways we have harmed the planet, for “inasmuch as we all generate small ecological damage”, we are called to acknowledge “our contribution, smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and destruction of creation”.[14] He has repeatedly stated this firmly and persuasively, challenging us to acknowledge our sins against creation: “For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins”.[15] For “to commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God”.[16]

9. At the same time, Bartholomew has drawn attention to the ethical and spiritual roots of environmental problems, which require that we look for solutions not only in technology but in a change of humanity; otherwise we would be dealing merely with symptoms. He asks us to replace consumption with sacrifice, greed with generosity, wastefulness with a spirit of sharing, an asceticism which “entails learning to give, and not simply to give up. It is a way of loving, of moving gradually away from what I want to what God’s world needs. It is liberation from fear, greed and compulsion”.[17] As Christians, we are also called “to accept the world as a sacrament of communion, as a way of sharing with God and our neighbours on a global scale. It is our humble conviction that the divine and the human meet in the slightest detail in the seamless garment of God’s creation, in the last speck of dust of our planet”.[18]

I am a lay Catholic and do not claim any knowledge beyond what I have read or taught but to my knowledge I’ve never known of a post schism Encyclical that gives three paragraphs to an eastern orthodox patriarch.

Furthermore this is not a one way street.  At 7:26 this morning Time Magazine put out a piece written by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: An excerpt:

Invoking the inspiring words of Scripture and the classics of Christian spirituality of East and West (particularly such saints as Basil the Great and Francis of Assisi), while at the same time evoking the precious works of Roman Catholic conferences of bishops throughout the world (especially in regions where the plunder of the earth is identified with the plight of the poor), Pope Francis proposes new paradigms and new policies in contrast to those of “determinism,” “disregard” and “domination.”

This is just a few days after the close of Halki Summit II, on Theology Ecology & the World hosted by the Patriarch

In the third year of our brother Pope Francis’s blessed ministry, we count it as a true blessing that we are able to share a common concern and a common vision for God’s creation.

This is REALLY Big I think people don’t understand just how big this is.

While the MSM is busy quoting the Pope and mentioned the Patriarch in their stories I don’t think they understand that the big story that is going to have a profound effect on the history of the world is not any statement on the environment.

It’s that a Catholic Pope is quoting an Eastern Orthodox Patriarch in an encyclical and said patriarch is complimenting him back.

200 years from now that’s what people will be talking and writing about.

 

 

 

 

it would seem so.

We are bombarded daily with news that even a few short years ago would have been unimaginable.

A recent article in Salon written by an abortion worker refers to an aborted baby as an “unwanted growth” and by removing it they “preserved the woman’s chosen course.”  Seeing tiny arms and legs floating in a bowl made her even more pro-choice pro-abortion.

Planned Parenthood, the leading abortion provider in the country, tweeted that they thought telling girls to protect their character on prom night was “despicable.”

And the latest Gallup poll states:

Americans are more likely now than in the early 2000’s to find a variety of behaviors morally acceptable, including gay and lesbian relations, having a baby outside of marriage, and sex between an unmarried man and woman. Moral acceptability of many of these issues is now at a record-high level. source

One glaring observation of this poll is that while support for abortion has gone up by three points, support for the death penalty has gone down by the same three points.

To see these findings in action, I need go no further than my own very conservative area where the illegitimate birth rate among teenagers has skyrocketed. Marriage is no longer important, and multiple children by different fathers is common.

Marriage and family, the bedrock of a civilized nation, is all but destroyed.  I have no doubt that when the Supreme Court issues it’s ruling on same-sex “marriage”, it will come down on the side of the homosexuals, thereby completely changing the definition of marriage.

Benjamin Franklin emphasized that without virtue, free societies could not properly function.  He said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

When was the last time you even heard the word “virtue”?  If people conformed to accepted virtues, none of what is going on would be possible.

There is much talk on many sites, usually the ones focused on the economy, about some big event coming along to collapse our country.  Trust me on this, it won’t happen like that.  In fact, it’s already happening and has been for decades.  The slow drip of immorality and depravity has already transformed our country into something most of us don’t recognize anymore.

The elites don’t want a collapse, they want slaves who will be willing to do their bidding.

John Adams, in a letter dated October 11, 1798, to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts said:

[…]we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness would break the strongest cords of our Constitution, as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

I have no intention of being anyone’s slave, and I hope you don’t either.

 

The future belongs to those who show up

Mark Steyn

He was fruitless and subtracting

Mel Brooks

You might recall a bit back the shock when in 2011 a republican won a special election for congress in ny-9 a seat once held by Anthony Weiner & Chuck Schumer now lost since the last census. One of the reasons for this was the unnoticed rise in the orthodox jewish community in the city.

That came to mind when I Noticed this piece at Glenn’s site talking about women not having children.  It hit me that the premise is not entirely true, women are having children just not the women the media cares about

Women between the ages of 15 and 44 who attend religious services at least weekly have 1.42 children on average, compared with the 1.11 children of similar-age women who rarely or never attend services. More religious women said they also intend to have more kids (2.62 per woman) than nonreligious women (2.10 per woman), the survey found.

Religious mothers also have a larger share of the total births in the United States. Women who attend religious services represent only 51 percent of U.S. women ages 15-44, but account for 56 percent of births.

And the media’s favorite Pope is leading the charge to keep it up:

Pope Francis on Wednesday (Feb. 11) once again praised big families, telling a gathering in St. Peter’s Square that having more children is not “an irresponsible choice.”

He also said that opting not to have children at all is “a selfish choice.”

A society that “views children above all as a worry, a burden, a risk, is a depressed society,” Francis said.

Depressed? Gee that sounds an awful lot like the feminists that Stacy McCain has been writing about:

“Yes, she’s a ridiculous self-parody of feminist absurdity,” says the reader, “but how did she get that way? Why is Jess Zimmerman the particular kind of fool she is?”

It may be helpful to pursue Ms. Zimmerman’s archive at xojane.com and learn, for example, that she was an adolescent “cutter” (“At cool camp I traded self-injury stories and tips with the other cutters”) or that she has a sister who is both more attractive and more successful.

It’s no coincidence that each year the pro-life marches contain more and more young people, particularly woman and their children brought up in religious homes, many educated in religious schools while not immune to the influences of the MSM culture are much more likely to hold the values that their parents hold dear.

They will be bouncing children and grandchildren on their knees while the women in Stacy McCain’s sex trouble series prepare their cat lady starter kits

The irony of all this?  The cultural “leaders” noting the lack of children haven’t figured out that they are rapidly becoming a niche market and as we become a more streaming society and the gateways to culture and entertainment are less controlled by them their influence will drop even more.

The only question is, will I live long enough (mid 70’s or 80’s) to see it happen?

They MSM & their cultural allies are all Pauline Kael, they just don’t know it yet

******************************************************************************

If you like your journalism scripted  from inside the swarm there are plenty of places you can get it from.

If however you think that you might like something that doesn’t come from that swarm mentality all with the same angle.  I would ask you to hit DaTipJar and help me pay for it.

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We’re extending our March premium to April for tip jar hitters of $50 or more is Stacy McCain’s book:  Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature

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IndianaBy John Ruberry

Twenty years ago if you were unhappy with a business, let’s say a check out clerk was rude to you or you were served a rotten meal, you had some effective ways of getting back. Of course these methods still exist. You can never patronize that business again and tell your friends not to do so as well.

Last week a South Bend, Indiana television reporter ventured outside of her city and traveled to tiny Walkerton, a place she probably never heard of before, where she interviewed one of the owners of Memories Pizza, a family business, who told the reporter that because of their Christian beliefs they would not cater a gay wedding–if they were was asked. The reporter found the “gotcha” story in the sticks that she was seeking in regards to Indiana’s new Religious Restoration Freedom Act.

Then the militant left went on the attack. The owners went into hiding after receiving a death threat.

And then the online attacks poured in Actually they’re still coming. Memories’ Yelp page has been inundated with “reviews” from people who lives almost everywhere but northern Indiana. On the other hand, a high school coach from nearby Goshen took to Twitter to suggest that Memories be burned down. She has since been suspended.  As I mentioned in my post here last week, Yelp’s CEO condemned Indiana’s RFRA, although just last month his firm opened an office in Illinois–which has a similar law.

Years ago I was at a concert where Elvis Costello answered a heckler who was shouting that he should play “Clubland,” by replying with something blues singer Little Willie John once said. “I remember the good old days,” Costello quipped, “they’re gone now. ”

True, very true.

But there is some good news. Supporters of Memories Pizza and religious freedom started a GoFundMe.com drive for the owners of the restaurant–and it has received $800,000.

The internet is a two-edged sword.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

MosqueBy John Ruberry

Here is a headline from earlier this month that caught my eye and it comes from, surprise, the Washington Post: At last, a Western country stands up to Saudi Arabia on human rights. Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, had planned to speak at an Arab League event in Cairo and her office’s website published her speech beforehand. Wallstrom’s remarks included a call for expanding women’s rights and more democracy in the Islamic world. Even though Saudi Arabia wasn’t specifically mentioned, the Islamo-supremacist kingdom blocked Wallstrom from giving that address.

Meanwhile on the floor of the Swedish parliament, Wallstrom condemned the 1,000 lashes and ten-year prison sentence of Raif Badawi, a Saudi critic of Islam. He was received only 50 of those whippings–poor health has so far so far saved him from the other 950. The Saudis are merciful–who knew? Wallstrom calls this sentence, correctly, “medieval.”

The foreign minister, who promised a “feminist foreign policy” when she acceded to her post, has since made some make-nice comments about Islam. But that has not stopped the Saudis from recalling its ambassador from Stockholm and from pulling visas from Swedes.

Sweden has responded by cancelling a ten-year old arms agreement with the kingdom.

Not surprisingly, with the exception of the Washington Post, there has been little coverage of the Sweden-Saudi dispute by the American media, which surely causes great cognitive dissonance among the self-appointed gatekeepers of information who regularly promote feminist issues. But it seems with the Wallstrom story, moral relativism wins the day again.

I have a solution to this quandary. Stick to the facts and let the consumers of news decide what to think.

As for the Wallstrom, I have this to say: Keep up the good work.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Well if Danes wanted to try to unite Muslims and Jews after the horrible attacks last month this is bound to do it:

Denmark’s government has brought in a ban on the religious slaughter of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat, after years of campaigning from welfare activists.

It drew swift condemnations in Jewish media:

Commenting on the change, Israel’s deputy minister of religious services Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan told the Jewish Daily Forward: “European anti-Semitism is showing its true colours across Europe, and is even intensifying in the government institutions.”

And Islamic media:

Al Jazeera quoted the monitoring group Danish Halal, which launched a petition against the ban, as saying it was “a clear interference in religious freedom limiting the rights of Muslims and Jews to practice their religion in Denmark”.

Supposedly this will protect animals from “inhumane” practices.  What the law will actually accomplish is to:

1.  Make activists feel good about themselves

2.  Cripple or put local farmers and producers out of business

3.  Increase prices as shops are forced to import Halal & Kosher food from outside Denmark.

4.  Further isolate Muslims who are not connected to Islamists by giving them common cause

5.  Give the Jewish Community of Denmark one more reason to leave

In fact don’t be surprised if radicals paint this as an attack against “all muslims” making a bad situation in the country even worse.

In the long run however I don’t expect this law to have a long life, the future belongs to those who show up and I suspect like a lot of the rest of Europe those who seek election in Denmark in a generation or so will likely find themselves more depending on the vote of an increasing muslim population than of animal rights activists.

 

doesn’t always work the way you want it to.  No siree.

I wanted to post something inspiring about Lent and our Lenten journey.  I’ve been pondering this for over a week unable to think of one inspiring thing to write about.  It finally occurred to me that I didn’t have anything inspiring to say.

We’re living in a world gone bonkers, and are not equipped with a sense of exactly how to fix anything (if it’s even possible at this point). I don’t know how this makes you feel, but it leaves me feeling helpless and despairing of any real solutions.

I can conquer the despairing part, since it’s a sin against the Virtue of Hope to not trust in the Lord.  The other sin against Hope is presumption, the attitude that states; “I can do this by myself without the help of God.”

But what about the helpless part?  It seems to be a close cousin of despair.   In just the last few days, we have been inundated with a super big helping of stuff we can’t do anything about.  Netanyahu warns us about the impending disaster of Iran building a bomb (I agree), we’re witnessing the wholesale slaughter of Christians in the Middle East, Hillary Clinton using her own account for government emails, and Obama wanting to raise taxes through executive order.

The forty days of Lent coincide with the forty days Jesus spent in the desert fasting and praying before beginning his public ministry.  The devil did his best to tempt Him:

The temptation of Jesus in the desert shows us the tactics of the “Dark Lord.”  Bread, a symbol for all that sustains our physical life, is a great blessing.  But Satan tries to make material things the ultimate, distracting us from a deeper hunger and a more satisfying food.  Political power and all leadership is intended by God for the sake of serving the common good; Satan twists things to make leaders self-seeking, oppressive tyrants like himself.  The lust for power and fame ironically leads not to dominion but to slavery to the Dark Lord (remember what happened to the Nazgûl in the Lord of the Rings!).  Then there’s religious temptation, the trickiest of them all– Manipulating God for our own glory, using his gifts to make people look at us rather than at Him.  Sounds a lot like the Pharisees. source

It seems like we’ve been living in a perpetual Lent since our current administration came into power.  In some respects we have.

My solution is to spend this Lent telling myself that there is a whole bunch of stuff I can’t fix.  All I can do is let God sort it out and place my trust in the One who loves us most, and follow His example through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.

 

A Word About Comments:

I’ve long had an uneasy relationship with WordPress.  Okay – time for truth.  WordPress hates me with a hate that burns so hot it could well melt the earth.  It goes on periodic tantrums and refuses to allow me to log on or leave comments at WordPress sites. Then, for no apparent reason, it once again leaves me alone.  Talk about feeling helpless!

I’m a big believer in answering comments left on my posts. I figure if someone is nice enough to leave a comment, I should honor them with a response.  I was unable to do that with my last few posts. In time I will get this straightened out.

In the meantime, please know that I read your comments and appreciate them.

 

 

Stop the HatredBy John Ruberry

The Nazis used the term “Judenfrei,” free of Jews or clean of Jews, when all of the Jewish residents were removed from a city or town, or even a whole country, as was the case with Estonia in 1942.

The Islamic State is working to create a new Middle East that is Christianfrei–free of Christians–in the region where the faith was founded in 33 AD, 500 years before the birth of Muhammad.

ISIS is enslaving and killing Christians in Iraq–and Christian and girls and women are being regularly raped, as is also the case in Syria. Libya has a miniscule Christian population, but that hasn’t prevented the Islamic State from killing Christians there–21 Egyptian Coptics were beheaded last month in a grisly execution videotaped by the terror group.

Egypt and Lebanon are the other Middle Eastern nations with sizable Christian populations. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the president of Egypt, responded to the murder of his citizens by bombing ISIS positions in Libya and although a Muslim, al-Sisi has been a harsh critic of radical Islam. As for Lebanon, a newspaper there claims that it will be the next target for the Islamic State.

While condemnations of ISIS atrocities are for the most part universal, there has been little uproar over the Islamic State’s effort to religiously cleanse the Middle East of the Christian faith, unlike the ethnic cleansing campaign by Serbia–which was eventually stopped–in Kosovo and Bosnia.

“Never again!” was the cry after the Holocaust. Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, another Holocaust is well under way.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Our humble little burg has made national news; as it turns out, big government does not approve of the Little Free Library.

The little library controversy began (in Shreveport, at least), a couple of weeks ago when Ricky and Teresa Edgerton received a cease and desist order from the Metropolitan Planning Commission zoning division who advised that their Little Free Library was in violation of a zoning ordinance regarding commercial activity.  As most of us realize, of course, there is no “commerce” involved with a Little Free Library.

The premise of the Little Free Library is “take a book, leave a book.”  That’s all there is to it.  These units have popped up all over the country; some are “official” Little Free Libraries, and some are simply neighborhood driven.  Official Little Free Library owners are “stewards” who either pay a charter fee or purchase their unit from the Little Free Library organization.  You can do that, or you can just build one yourself or put an old newspaper box outside your house.  There is one near my house, for example: an old newspaper box refurbished, painted, and now serving as a neighborhood book swap.

Apparently someone complained about the Edgerton’s library and thus the MPC got involved.  Via The Shreveport Times:

MPC Board chairman Lea Desmarteau addressed the matter in a message posted to her Facebook page.

“Our current zoning ordinances are antiquated, therefore unfortunately lead to these types of situations. However, there is a silver lining. The MPC is in the process of a massive rewrite of these antiquated codes and ordinances,” she wrote. This has not been done since the 1950s, she said.

The MPC seems to be trying to work out the problem.  Meanwhile, the story went viral on Facebook and last week the controversy appeared in an L.A. Times article.  In Los Angeles a little library owner was told to remove his unit because it was “an obstruction.”

There was a zoning controversy in Kansas City last year.

Nebraska has wrestled with the issue.

So has Wisconsin.

And now Shreveport.

What in the world do these people have against free books?  And community building?  What mean-spirited person would complain about such a thing?

In Shreveport, the support for the library has been positive.  The Little Free Library Shreveport community has printed signs that say “I support The Little Free Library” which people are placing in their yards.  There’s a petition circulating to be presented to the Shreveport City Council this week which now has over 2,000 signatures.  The number of little libraries has increased significantly since the controversy.  The Shreveport Times posted an editorial:  “Why Pick on the Little Free Libraries?”

From what I can tell, these units are small, inoffensive, and usually kind of cute.  They encourage both kids and adults in neighborhoods to read and to share books.  They foster a sense of community in these neighborhoods.  I’ve never seen anything offensive in my local unit. So, what’s the problem?

Seems like a win-win to me.

 Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport

See it?
See it?

By John Ruberry

“See it
For the same reason no one ever
Pointed a telescope at the sun”
The Clash, Red Angel Dragnet.

The last 100 years can safely be placed into the following eras. World War I (1914-1918), Interwar (1918-1939), World War II (1939-1945), the Cold War (1945-1991), and the present epoch, the Age of Islamic Terror (1991-present). Certainly there were Muslim-inspired terror acts before 1991, such as the assassination of Anwar Sadat ten years earlier by an Islamist. But the Cold War was the driving international political force then.

Now Islamic terror and the rest of the world’s response to it is the global impetus of change, for good or for ill.

And what has happened since 1991? Some of the atrocities include the first World Trade Center attack, Osama bin Laden’s two jihad fatwas, al Qaeda’s African embassy bombings and its bombing of the USS Cole, 9/11, the 2002 Bali bombings, the 3/11 bombings in Madrid, Hamas’ takeover of Gaza, Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, the 7/7 bombings in London, Hezbollah’s war with Israel, the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Fort Hood, thousands of sectarian murders in Iraq and Pakistan, the Boston Marathon bombings, the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Benghazi, the ascent of the Islamic State in Syria and northern Iraq, and this month’s Charlie Hebdo slaughter in Paris. This rundown reads like a listing of the theaters of conflict during the Second World War.

Sometimes radical Islamists attacks other Muslims, such as last week’s removal from office of the president of Yemen by Iranian-backed Shi’ites.

For the most part world leaders ignore or obfuscate the reality that they are living in the Age of Islamic Terror. President Obama regularly refers to Islamic terror as “violent extremism,” a term that is broad enough to include gang-bang murders on Chicago’s South Side. Great Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, says his nation is not at war with radical Islam, countering it’s “just a huge challenge our society faces.” But the war is there. Just as the sun is there as well–even if we don’t point a telescope at it.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Barbara: Why can’t you see what I’m trying to do?
IAN: I can.
BARBARA: Well you’re not helping. Tlotoxl’s evil and he’ll make everyone else the same.
IAN: They are the same, Barbara. That’s the whole point. You keep on insisting that Tlotoxl’s the odd man out, but he isn’t.
BARBARA: I don’t believe it.
IAN: Well, you must. If only you could stand away from this thing, you’d see it clearly. Autloc’s the extraordinary man here. He’s the reasonable one, the civilised one, the one that’s prepared to listen to advice. But he’s one man.

Doctor Who  The Aztecs 1964

A lot of people in media have (rightly) given attention to this Muslim man whose quick thinking saved lives.

As panic ensued, up to 15 customers in the store hurried down to the store basement, when Bathily had an idea.

“When they ran down, I opened the door [to the freezer],” he told France’s BFMTV.

He quickly shut off the freezer and switched off its light. As he closed the door to shelter the customers inside, he told them, “Stay calm here. I’m going out.”

This basic humanity is exactly what we need to see out of the Muslim world.

The  problem is while we are reading about this individual we are also reading about this:

“Bomb strapped to girl ‘about 10 years old’ kills 19 in Maiduguri, north-eastern Nigeria,”

and this

A German tabloid that reprinted cartoons from the French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo lampooning the Prophet Mohammed was targeted in firebombing Sunday, police said.

And this

The offices of a Belgian newspaper that republished cartoons from the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were evacuated on Sunday, January 11, after receiving an anonymous bomb threat, its staff said.

The evacuation of Le Soir, a French-language daily, came as thousands of people marched through Brussels in solidarity with France following Islamist attacks on Charlie Hebdo and other sites.

And this from the Saudi Arabia where apparently they don’t understand their religion either:

A Saudi Arabian blogger has been publicly flogged after being convicted of cybercrime and insulting Islam, reports say.

Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail, was flogged 50 times. The flogging will be carried out weekly, campaigners say.

and finally lets close with this which makes Charlie Hebdo attack look mild by comparison:

Boko Haram militants opened fire on northern Nigerian villages, leaving bodies scattered everywhere and as many as 2,000 people feared dead, officials said.

“The attack on Baga and surrounding towns looks as if it could be Boko Haram’s deadliest act,” Amnesty International said in a statement.

It’s up to those who insist that this is a small minority of Islam to take action to change the story ratio because until they do.  Ian’s point at the start of the post is going to be hard to refute.

MosqueBy John Ruberry

Five days ago free expression was attacked in Paris when Cherif Kouachi and his brother Said, who were trained by Al Qaeda in Yemen, screamed “Allahu Akbar” (God is great!) while killing 12 people with AK-47s, most of them journalists employed by satire magazine Charlie Hebdo. The terrorists were killed by French police two days later.

Muslim apologists quickly filled the airwaves, explaining that such atrocities are not compatible with Islam and that murderers such as the Kouachi brothers are outliers of the faith–bad apples.

Maybe.

I generally don’t agree with HBO’s Bill Maher, a strident atheist, but when he said last week about Islam, “When there are that many bad apples, there’s something wrong with the orchard,” I have to admit he’s on to something.

Radical Muslims were of course behind the 9/11 attacks in the United States, as well as the 3/11 Mardid and 7/7 London bombings. The jihadists who have seized much of Iraq and Syria–while murdering thousands of Christians and Yazidis–have announced the founding of a new Caliphate. The Fort Hood murderer considered himself a Soldier of Allah. And while western journalists were devoting the lion’s share of its coverage to the Charlie Hebdo killings last week, another Islamist group, Boko Haram, murdered all of the residents–2,000 people–in the Nigerian village of Baga. These are the same criminals who kidnapped 200 teenage Nigeria girls who were the subject of Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls Twitter campaign. It didn’t work–the teens are still missing.

Islam–you have a problem. Yes, there are many Muslims that I know who like most people, just want to live their lives and be left alone.  But my guess is that the radicals oppose them too.

Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who did his nation and the world a huge service by ousting the Muslim Brotherhood from power, is calling for a “religious revolution” within Islam. In a New Year’s Day speech, Sisi said, “Is it possible that 1.6 billion people should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live?”

If the rest of the world’s inhabitants don’t accept Islam, what Sisi said of the radicals very well may be true.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Yesterday I was commenting on Saturday’s Daily Mass being the final mass of the liturgical year with the vigil mass (at 4 PM here in my neck of the woods) being the official start of Advent and the Catholic New Year when a Presbyterian lady pointed out that Advent is the start of the new year for most of the rest of Christendom (except the eastern Orthodox whose year begins Sept 1st) and then commented on some of the feasts denominations celebrate.

As a lifelong catholic I’d never even heard of Reformation Sunday celebrated around its anniversary of Halloween.  That coincidence has sarcastic Catholic humor written all over it.

Other than the dropping of an “l” in the word “all” that statement is of course a fact that should surprise nobody, particularly not my readership.

However it might be a shock to some of my readers that in some of the lands where the Reformation of Luther and Henry VIII were the strongest “Reformation day” and the denominations that celebrate it aren’t doing well

Despite the aforementioned social and cultural visibility of Protestantism in Northern Europe, however, the Lutheran and Anglican Churches there are dying. British sociologists predict that practicing Anglicans will soon meet the fate of the Dodo and woolly mammoth, falling from 800,000 to just 50,000 by mid-century (Episcopalians face similar disastrous prospects in North America). In Sweden, 4 percent of Lutherans attend services regularly, while the corresponding figures in Norway and Finland are below 2 percent.

via the Anchoress who notes that in the Northern European lands of the Reformation there is a bright growing side for Christianity however they’re not all that inclined to celebrate reformation day either:

Northern Europe is proving to be fertile ground for converts. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI created the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, allowing Anglican priests to cross the Tiber. Since then, many Anglican clerics, frustrated with Canterbury’s eschewing of tradition, have done so. Scandinavian converts are hoping that the Vatican will create a similar ordinariate for Lutherans. Meanwhile, one of Scandinavia’s best-known Christian leaders – charismatic pastor Ulf Ekman – recently converted to Catholicism along with his wife. He said that the Catechism of the Catholic Church is the best book he has ever read.

Northern Europe is clearly one of the world’s most Godless regions. Yet, at the same time, the Catholic Church, while a minority denomination, is experiencing a revival that only Counterreformation popes could have dreamed of.

and it’s not just adult converts, on vocations they’re doing well too:

Currently, Scandinavia is one of the most vocations-rich regions in the Northern Hemisphere. The Church has 103,000 members in Sweden and 17 seminarians. By contrast, the Archdiocese of Vienna has thirteen times as many faithful but fewer than twice as many men studying to be priests.

So why is the Catholic Church growing while others are shrinking, here’s a clue

As Christ said, His followers are to be the salt of the earth. The Lutheran and Anglican Churches have long lost their taste. Other than some fading rituals, they have become largely indistinguishable from the broader secular culture. The fact that the Lutheran bishop of Stockholm is a practicing lesbian perhaps best epitomizes what has happen to Northern European Protestantism.

Someone might want to give those figures to Rome before the end of the Synod on the family.

Clarence: Heyyy, it’s the boys from Africa, how y’all doin this evenin’?
Prince Akeem: Sir, where can one go to find nice women here?
Clarence: You gotta get out and look, they ain’t just gonna fall on your lap.
Semmi: We’ve been to every bar in Queens.
Clarence: Well, that’s where you messed up, son, you can’t go to no bar to find a nice woman. You gotta go to a nice place, a quiet place like a library, there’s good women there and ‘erm, church, they’re good girls.

Coming to America 1988

God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.”

Genesis 1 27-28a

At PJ Media via Glenn Dr. Helen comments on why the geeks are willing to resist social pressures thrown at the by the culture rooted in radical irrational feminism:

Perhaps what the reader is observing in Gamergate and Shirtgate is that the geeks involved not only don’t have the social conditioning to “make nice,” but that they have less to lose than conformists such as the media or feminists who need other women and men to join their worldview.

Women give them more trouble than they give to typical alpha guys; and with fewer women available to them, it makes it less appealing to conform in order to get more women. What’s the point? In addition, as Vox points out, they have their games and other things that matter more to occupy their time and don’t need the reinforcement of the society (and women) to function in their world.

In a sense it’s the same for the Beta Female, who allow themselves to be used by the alpha male for which she can’t compete otherwise and/or uses feminism to justify her own unspoken feelings of inadequacy.

This is in fact another price paid by both the beta male & female by the decrease of the power of religion in general and Christianity in particular.

Consider Catholicism and weekly (and or daily) Mass and the subculture it creates.

  • You have a group of people who cross the entire spectrum of wealth from lower class to the rich worshiping together where they are taught the equality of value of each soul in the eyes of God.
  • You have their children attending in common where they on at least a weekly basis see each other regularly and gain familiarity with each other in a social setting. Said weekly meetings are augmented by cultural events (from bake sales to parish festivals to Holy days were additional Mass attendance is required.
  • You have the common classes for First Communion (around age 7-8), First Confession (around age 9-11) and confirmation (around age 16) where they mix.
  • You have the families being familiar with each other thus being able to reinforce said connection and give the stamp of approval of “acceptability”.
  • This group will age together, see each other regularly and when back home for the Holidays see each other again at Mass reinforcing the familiarity of a lifetime.

Now in such a group there are of course going to be the same proportion of alpha & beta males of females but because of the nature of the church and the culture the ability to not only cross those barriers but to find an acceptable beth match is dramatically increased, particularly since both the parents and the church encourage such matches.

And while I don’t know what other denomination do in the Catholic Church there is usually a full year of marriage preparation involving the prospective couple and the church.

Does this mean that the geek, the odd, the unattractive or the annoying are guaranteed a mate?  Of course not but it means the odds of not only such a match but that said match will work increases dramatically.

For almost the entire history of the United States this has been the case but with the rise of radical liberalism, feminism and the secular culture in the last two generation the society in general and the beta males and females who benefited from this system in particular find themselves lost.

This is not considered a bug but a feature, that’s what the attacks on the church from the outside culture and the inside by radical feminism & liberalism have been so dramatic.

But it’s also why in the end the churches will win, there is a reason the population of Orthodox Jews in NY is increasing dramatically in proportion to secular jews and why EWTN & Mother Angelica are winning the culture war within the church.

The future and the culture belong to those who show up.

Final Goal 2014
Olimometer 2.52

If course if you can do both, I’m  fine with that too.

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For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation;  but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Exodus 20:5b-6

 

On Monday I was reading a bit from the Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska.  The revelation to her has led to, not only the institution of Divine Mercy Sunday the week after Easter,  but the practice of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at Divine Mercy Chapels worldwide.  This is not only a spectacular triumph over the forces of evil but a great example of what can be done when one is willing to be dedicated to the words of Christ.

However considering the words of said diaries and the revelations therein that I’ve read thus far there is one thing  I’ve perceived that is absolutely painful to read.

Frustration!

The frustration is not so much that people are unaware of the Mercy of God, although St Sr. Faustina was specifically tasked to promote and propagate said mercy, it’s that so few people take advantage of it.

Here you have Christ, God himself,  while remaining fully God becoming man and suffering torture and death for the sins and people don’t bother to take advantage of that sacrifice to be forgiven.

And when Christ says he will forgive sins he means it.  It doesn’t matter what your sin is,  Mass Murder,  Genocide, Rape, Theft on a global scale that sin can be forgiven.  No sin is so large that the blood of Christ and the divine Mercy of God can not forgive it.

Yet people don’t bother.

And it’s not like it’s a difficult procedure either.  If you are a non-christian who has never been baptised it’s incredibly easy.   The act of baptism cleans  ANY & ALL sins from the soul, period!

Even if you are an ISIS terrorist who has been killing and raping his way across the Middle East.  Even if you are an Imam who has been calling for the murder and rape of infidels.  Even if you have spending your entire life doing all you can to disparage God and to persecute the church, the simple act of Baptism changes everything.  Every single sin you have committed to that point, from a simple white lie, to mass murder is washed away.  Forgiven, forgotten  forever.

If you have previously been baptised it’s not very hard either.  There are over 417,000 Priests and Bishops in the world.  Each and every one of them can administer the sacrament of Confession.

Thanks to the nature of the Sacrament of Confession said forgiveness is not even contingent on the perfect contrition for sins due to the love of God, even imperfect contrition due to the fear of hell is good enough to get you absolution.

Nor does committing the sin at a later time preclude you from absolution.  Temptation will always exist but as long as at the time of confession you sincerely regret your sin and intend to not commit it again you will be forgiven!

Two minutes of your life for complete forgiveness,  people spend more time that waiting in line for a coffee…and they don’t do it.

Every moment of life,  the hand of forgiveness is offered and every day people refuse it, ignore it or put it off.

I could be wrong but I think this is the greatest pain that Christ suffers.

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“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.”

Cardinal Francis George

A general rule of thumb for public officials is, if tweets like this:

Remind people of things like John 18:19-23:

The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his doctrine.  Jesus answered him, “I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area 10 where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing.  Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.”

When he had said this, one of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?”

Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”

It’s probably best to back away a bit:

But in a breaking development Wednesday, Houston Mayor Annise Parker appeared to be backing away from the initial requests. Janice Evans, a city spokeswoman, told Law Blog in a statement:

Mayor Parker agrees with those who are concerned about the city legal department’s subpoenas for pastor’s sermons.  The subpoenas were issued by pro bono attorneys helping the city prepare for the trial regarding the petition to repeal the new Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) in January.  Neither the mayor nor City Attorney David Feldman were aware the subpoenas had been issued until yesterday.  Both agree the original documents were overly broad.  The city will move to narrow the scope during an upcoming court hearing.  Feldman says the focus should be only on communications related to the HERO petition process

And start spinning:

“Let me just say that one word in a very long legal document which I know nothing about and would never have read and I’m vilified coast to coast,” Parker said. “It’s a normal day at the office for me.”

That statement isn’t consistent with the tweet we started this post with is it?

I suspect that the critiques from Ed Morrissey:

This demand was intended to send a message to the dissenters. When that backfired, the city backpedaled and claimed they were the victims, but that’s nonsense — and it still reveals exactly what Houston has in mind with its equal-rights ordinance.

National Review:

So, if a pastor is engaged in a theological discussion with a fellow pastor on the covered topics, that will have to be produced. If a pastor texts a friend his position on “restroom access,” that has to be produced. 

Oh, and did I mention that the pastors aren’t even parties to the lawsuit?

The sexual revolution, apparently, brooks no dissent. Not even from the pulpit, or in Skype chat boxes.

Texas Sparkle:

This is a gross violation of the First Amendment. This should come as no surprise, because the left seems to think the First Amendment only applies if you agree with them.

and Ted Cruz:

The City of Houston’s subpoenas demanding that pastors provide the government with copies of their sermons is both shocking and shameful.  For far too long, the federal government has led an assault against religious liberty, and now, sadly, my hometown of Houston is joining the fight.  This is wrong.  It’s unbefitting of Texans, and it’s un-American.  The government has no business asking pastors to turn over their sermons.

Likely didn’t move her as much as pieces from people like Doug Mataconis 

More importantly, the rules about tax exemptions for religious institution do not prevent churches and Pastors from taking stands on political issues of the day or even advocating certain positions. If they did, then people like Martin Luther King Jr. would have been violating those rules throughout the Civil Rights Movement.  According to some reports, the city is arguing that the churches were engaging in supposedly illegal campaigning by backing the repeal measure and helping to organize the signature, but even if that’s true it strikes me that any law that would prevent such activity would be a violation of the First Amendment rights of both the churches and the Pastors themselves, not to mention being a pretty extreme intrusion by the state into the church’s operations.

and allies like Charles Kuffner who while referring to the Pastors as “haters” leads his post with:

Not sure about this.

and is concerned about this

The other concern is that the HERO haters will do an effective job at portraying themselves as victims. It is the one thing they are really good at, after all. It looks like they succeeded, unfortunately.

FYI; that last phrase is what we in the real world call “projection”.

but I suspect the thing that moved her the most is fear of a possibility raised by Stacy McCain:

Christians in Texas are not going to surrender without a fight, and every Democrat in Texas ought to be held accountable for what radical Democrats led by Annise Parker are doing in Houston. Every Democrat in the state should be publicly challenged by Republicans either to endorse Mayor Parker’s extremist agenda, or else to denounce it. And every Texas Democrat who claims to oppose Mayor Parker’s agenda should then be called upon to condemn any Texas Democrat whosupports Mayor Parker’s agenda. It is high time, you see, that “moderate Democrats” stop pretending to be moderates, because the Democrat Party is not a moderate party.

And he suggests not stopping with Texas

Mayor Parker’s radical agenda is the agenda of the Democrat Party, not only in Houston, not only in Texas, but everywhere. The sooner Democrats are forced to admit this, the sooner the American people can decide whether they want to follow the Democrat Party down this highway to hell that Democrats are paving at taxpayer expense.

Because this is in fact the agenda of the Democrat party and the last thing their candidates need in what’s already looking like a wave election is to be given the choice between keeping their radical base happy or exposing their radical agenda.

But they shouldn’t worry there is a zero possibility that the mainstream media that forced the entire republican party to answer for Todd Akin’s remarks would hold democrats to that same standard.

The real question is this.  Will the media attempt to stigmatize Christianity reach the point where the left will see this type of behavior as a positive electoral decision.

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Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.

Matthew 10:8

The Doctor: You’re running out of time.
Courtney Woods: For what?
The Doctor: Everything! Human beings have incredibly short lifespans. Frankly, you should all be in a constant state of panic. Tick tock, tick tock.

Doctor Who The Caretaker 2014

 

…As I live, says the Lord GOD, I swear I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked man, but rather in the wicked man’s conversion, that he may live

Ezekiel 33:11a

Via Instapundit a writer at Slate finds himself confused by a reality that his culture can’t understand:

Missionary doctors and nurses are stationed throughout Africa, in rural outposts and urban slums. Rather than parachuting in during crises, like some international medicine specialists, a large number of them have undertaken long-term commitments to address the health problems of poor Africans.

This isn’t news to any faithful Christian .  Any person familiar with history knows  Christians have been the spearpoint of helping others.  In Africa for example the Catholic Church is very active:

 

Church africa

 

The Screen shot come from this video (via sacred space) with figures from dating from 2011.  (In fact we had a 2nd collection in our church two weeks ago to help support this work) and of course these number don’t count activities by various protestant denominations which, while not to the scale of much larger Catholic Church,  are quite commendable.

But all of this brings unease to our secular writer

And yet, for secular Americans—or religious Americans who prefer their medicine to be focused more on science than faith—it may be difficult to shake a bit of discomfort with the situation.

“Focused on science?  Does the writer think Christian doctors are using rattles and bleeding their patents to equalize their humors?

For all that,snark,  the writer, to his credit notices that there is something wrong with how he feels

And yet, truth be told, these valid critiques don’t fully explain my discomfort with missionary medicine. If we had thousands of secular doctors doing exactly the same work, I would probably excuse most of these flaws. “They’re doing work no one else will,” I would say. “You can’t expect perfection.”

I’m not altogether proud of this bias—I’m just trying to be honest.

While this fellow has gotten a lot of grief on comments I’m not bothered by the story because honesty echoed by different liberal writer earlier this week is the first steps to realizing that there is something wrong there is still that inexplicable unease.

Frankly it’s logical that Christians, believing in heaven, hell (and purgatory if Catholic) therefore seeing this life as a transitory phase in their existence might be less adverse to risking said life that others.  Contrariwise it’s just as logical that an Atheist rationally concluding he has but one life, is not about to risk it for a bunch of people thousands of miles away that he’s never met.

Completely logical, completely rational, makes perfect sense, particularly if one has a worldview that morality is relative and not an absolute handed down from on high, but if that’s so why is atheist writer Brian Palmer uneasy about all these Christian Doctors risking their lives fighting Ebola?

That answer is quite simple.

You see the reality is we are created in God’s image, all of us.  Because of that fact even if one has spent a lifetime denying God’s existence, this intrinsic truth of our nature creates, a gut feeling, an instinct a little whisper in the ear saying that maybe, just maybe all we have been conditioned to believe about Christianity as vast wasteland of ignorance & hate by the media, by our circle and by the secular culture might be wrong.

That merest hint that your worldview, celebrated by the dominant media culture is lacking, threatens to divide you away from your comfort zone and is makes the other side in this spiritual battle very nervous and he’s and his friends will fight like ravenous wolves to snuff that spark out.

It’s also means those Christian Doctors are getting it right because creating that discomfort is part of the job description.  I’ll give Christ the last word:

Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.  For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;  and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’

Matthew 10:34-36

 

….because obviously all of the Christian biblical scholars who have lived and written over the centuries had scripture wrong till they came around:

But the wrong-headed belief that hitting children is not only a good thing but a “God thing” is rooted in poor and partial readings of the Bible, as well as ignorance about modern social science

After all  our youth are so much more well-adjusted than the youth of the days before scripture was removed from schools.

Smithy notes an issue with Dyson’s credentials

The logical extension of Dyson’s error would be to say that the shepherd never uses the rod as a weapon against predators, either. That rod should merely be used to “guide” the wolf along more mindful, aware, tolerant lines of behavior.

The operative phrase here is “an ordained Baptist minister and professor of sociology at Georgetown University”. Per Wikipedia, there isn’t any evidence that MED ever, actually, you know, ministered anywhere. Thus it seems we have another specimen of guy with a lot of degrees that’s as wise as a thermometer.

I wonder what Dyson’s ministerial credentials say about the sin of pride?

 

 

by baldilocks

In 2005, I wrote this is relation to C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity.

One of the things which occurs when one becomes a Christian is that all past sins come back up to hit one in the head like a hammer. All of the terrible stuff that you had blocked out and had no intention of ever thinking about again breaks through that mental wall behind which it was imprisoned. I call that wall the Wall of Forgetfulness and of Rationalization. Accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior bulldozes that barrier and crushes it to powder.

“Oh yes. Remember when you did that? And that? And what about that?” I was a particularly heinous person in that I did what was right for me first and foremost and to hell with who it hurt.

Have I changed? In a sense, no. My first inclination is to still do what’s right for me first and all others second (a particularly strong trait in the first-born). My second inclination, however, now is to remember what that can lead to—becoming the type of person who not only sees truth as relative, but whose method of thinking always makes her desires equivalent to what is good and real and makes the opposite true as well: what she doesn’t want becomes wrong and false.

The Bible says that Satan is the Father of Lies; these progeny include the lies that you tell yourself. And once you get into the habit of lying to yourself about yourself, it becomes almost instinctive. But when reality butts against your instinct, it interrupts the play of the little DVD of self-serving scenarios running in your head and you scream “no!” and try to turn your “truth” into reality…if you’re really far gone into self-delusion, that is.

A genuine conversion to Christianity throws cold water on all of that fantasy and shows you what you are and were on your way to becoming and points you in the opposite direction. You still fall short sometimes but you know you have broken the rules and you don’t try to cover it up or rationalize it away. Simply becoming a Christian doesn’t put Big J’s approval on everything an individual Christian does. We still sin and, if the conversion is true, we feel the sting of guilt even more keenly because we know what the rules are.

But also we know that we are incapable of sticking to the rules perfectly. And, most importantly, we know that our adherence to the rules isn’t what has saved and will save us anyway.

But what happens to the person—especially the one who calls herself a Christian—who continues to willfully take the wrong turn, who consciously makes the choices dictated by her appetites? Or her pride?

There’s a reason that one’s Christianity is referred to as a “walk of faith.” Every step of the way is still fraught with choices; “Do I take the road of faith or the road of sin?” is a question that has to be, a choice that has to be made every single day—every single moment.

Lewis is ever mindful of the fact that Christians believe in eternal life; that the soul lives forever. In one of the chapters of Mere Christianity, “Morality and Psychoanalysis,” he estimates how a person’s morality affects the soul’s composition and its eventual fate.

People often think of Christian morality as a kind of bargain in which God says, “If you keep a lot of rules I’ll reward you, and if you don’t I’ll do the other thing.” I do not think that is the best way of looking at it. I would much rather say that every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before. And taking your life as a whole, with all your innumerable choices, all your life long you are slowly turning this central thing either into a heavenly creature or into a hellish creature: either into a creature that is in harmony with God, and with its fellow-creatures, and with itself. To be one kind of creature is heaven: that is, it is joy and peace and knowledge and power. To be the other means madness, horror, idiocy, rage impotence and eternal loneliness. Each of us at each moment is progressing to the one state or to the other.

That explains what always used to puzzle me about Christian writers; they seem to be so very strict at one moment and so very free and easy at another. They talk about mere sins of thought as if they were immensely important: and then they talk about the most frightful murders and treacheries as if you had only got to repent and all would be forgiven. But I have come to see that they are right. What they are always thinking of is the mark which the action leaves on that tiny central self which no one sees in this life but which each of us will have to endure—or enjoy—for ever.

To me, this seems to be a particularly Catholic way of thinking–Catholics, feel free to argue–and though I have no intention of converting, it makes a lot of sense to me. If you’re going to be stuck with ‘you’ forever, it behooves you to try to become the type of person that you want to be stuck with for that long. After your threescore and ten are done (plus change, if you’re lucky/unlucky), all opportunities for modification will be past. To put it in geek-speak, in the eternal life realm, you’ll have all the features and bugs that you’re ever going to have. Apart from radical change, a person is always headed in one direction or the other; therefore the time to make changes is now.

Life is short. Well, this one is.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012.

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J. B. Books: I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.

The Shootist 1976

One of the real weakness in today’s society is a lack of basic understanding of what freedom means.  With our education system moving ever leftward let me explain to those who do not understand the basics or who choose to deceive others what the basic freedom of religion is:

1. Freedom of religion is the freedom to worship God as you please, to raise your children to worship God as you do, to proclaim the word of God as you understand it in public and to defend those words it public if ridiculed to the best of your ability and means.  It is the freedom to proselytize, evangelize, and to convert any who are willing to be converted.

Finally Freedom of Religion is the freedom to obey the word of God as your faith teaches it without the state forcing you to violate it or to impose a penalty upon you for obeying it.

That is freedom of religion now here is what freedom of religion is not:

2. Freedom of religion is NOT the freedom to force others to worship God as you do or to force them to raise their children as you do. Freedom of religion is not the freedom from critique or public ridicule of your religion, nor is it the freedom from proselytizing and evangelizing from other faiths or the ability to stop people from leaving your faith.

Freedom of religion is not the ability to use the state to coerce others to obey the word of God as you see it nor impose a penalty on those who choose to cling to their own faith or no faith at all.

If you wish to do the first, I will defend your right to do so, even if you are propagating a religion I think is wrong, although I reserve the right to advise against it and point out your errors and the danger of them.

If you wish to do the 2nd, I’ll fight you.

 

Update:  added evangelize to the paragraphs above per this excellent piece by the Anchoress:

Evangelization differs from Proselytizing — and gets closer to the Incarnational example of Christ Jesus — by being non-confrontational. Rather than repelling people by preaching at them, it attracts in large measure through a kind of positive passivity that allows room for the Holy Spirit to work.

 

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Thanks to a religious vow taken by the men of our house Wednesdays has, with the rare exception of the occasional fish and chips, become Pizza night in the Ingemi household.

Fitchburg Massachusetts has the distinction of housing 15 different Pizza places, From Pizza Hut, Papa Ginos & Little Caesars, to family owned locations like Patriot Pizza, Village Pizza & the Cleghorn House of Pizza and that doesn’t counting convenience stores like Cumberland Farms or supermarkets like Market Basket.  That works out to about 1 for every 2687 people in the city.

That gives plenty of choices and that’s a good thing because it seems all of us have different tastes, and pies we don’t care for.  If it was up to Sam we would never order from Espresso’s.  I’ll eat Parkhill if it’s in the house but will not order it if given the choice.  Danny doesn’t care for Domino’s pie when it’s meatless and if Valery doesn’t like the Pie at a place, she goes for the chicken parm.

This isn’t a reflection on the quality of the various pies they are just made to different tastes.  I spoke to the owner of Zedas on the subject, he is careful to keep up quality and tries to make a pizza that can appeal to the largest number people but in the end there are always going to be some people who just have different tastes.  That’s just life.

And this brings us to the subject of sin.

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church there are all kinds of sins described, offenses against truth, others property, modesty, family, life , the dignity of marriage. and God and others.

Some of these sins are graver than others,, some of them society frowns on, others are promoted and lionized,  some are primarily self-destructive and others harm thousands, some are done brazenly and other in secret out of shame.

Most important of all, these sins appeal to different people, there are those who would steal the coins off  corpse’s eyes but would never raise a hand against anyone, there are people who will play the field married or no, but wouldn’t touch a dollar that belongs to someone else, there are those who would spend every cent they had on a drunken binge, but would never neglect a prayer or a mass, there are those who would never tell a lie but couldn’t hold their tongue when it comes to gossip about someone else’s problems.

Sin is in fact, a matter of taste, and do not doubt for one moment that like the various pizza places in Fitchburg the Devil does his best to tempt you to those tastes.

So when you see your brother sin, remember while it is certainly proper to call sin, sin make sure you don’t do so in pride, because if you do you might find yourself being served the same helping of sin, with just a different flavor.

 

The book of Ecclesiastes is a fascinating piece of literature albeit “Sacred Literature” from the ancient world.

The book of Ecclesiastes along with the books of Proverbs and the Song of Songs represent the trilogy of books authored by Solomon.

Old Testament scholars believe that Solomon – who was the son of David the first great King of Israel – wrote the magnificent “Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) when he was a young man enraptured in love (as an aside, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.. let us leave this subject for another discussion….).

Solomon composed the book of Proverbs during his mature years or during the time that his great Wisdom and Mental faculties were on display when men and women from the ancient world traveled days and months to imbibe the sage advice that flowed from his mind and heart.

Ecclesiastes was written during the latter stages of his life when it appears that he had become somewhat cynical and perhaps even somewhat melancholic as he reflected upon his life.

Solomon was one of the richest men who ever lived; he literally was able to do almost anything that his heart and ambition desired to do.

Yet, in the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon repeats over and over again that “all is vanity” and that “there is nothing new under the sun.

In the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, Solomon exclaims that:

What does the worker gain from his toil?

I have seen the burden God laid on men.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

He has also set eternity in the hearts” of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.

That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3.9-13 NIV).

 How would one even begin to exegete these verses?

The first verse in this stanza would remind the observant reader of “the book of beginnings” or the book of Genesis.  Adam was told that “by the sweat of his brow he would eat his food” (Genesis 3.19).

Solomon appears to be echoing this thought.

With regards to his statement that “he has seen the burden God laid on men” one might ask, “Is true work a burden or a joy?”  The answer to this question may greatly depend upon the job that an individual may have to do at a given moment.

Solomon continues and avers that “God has set eternity into the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Centuries later Sir Francis Bacon would concur with King Solomon when he wrote a commentary on one of Solomon’s proverbs (25:2):

“For he [Solomon] sayeth expressly, the Glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the Glory of a King is to find it out [Proverbs xxv, 2]:

 as if according to that innocent and affectionate play of Children, the Divine Majesty took delight to hide his works, to the end to have them found out; and as if Kings could not obtain greater Honour, than to be God’s play-fellows in that game;

specially considering the great command they have of wits and means, whereby the investigation of all things may be perfected.”  

— Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning (1605), Book I.

Yet, while Solomon extolled the glory and joy of work, investigation, and inquiry, he also would warned the readers of the book of Ecclesiastes that –

“…of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body” (Ecclesiastes 12.12).

There comes a time when we must take a time out to rest from our labors and lay our burdens down.

Perhaps we might begin to think of the Labor Day Holiday weekend as a time to –

  • …cease from making many books, articles, study, and the work that so often wearies the body.
  • …think creatively and meditate upon the things that matter most in life.

Perhaps “Labor Day” is a time for a reassessment to see if a life course change is in order and if we are in need of priorities realignment?

If indeed Our Creator has placed “eternity into our hearts” as affirmed by King Solomon, then just perhaps “Labor Day” is a time for us to cherish our families, our loved ones, and to be thankful for the freedoms that we have in this great land of ours.

Happy Labor Day!

 

 

 

My friend Stacy McCain has just put up his latest post in a series about radical feminists:

No one is surprised to learn that the woman who organized SlutWalk Chicago is a Gender Studies graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago. Parading around in your panties to protest against “rape culture” may seem crazy to normal people, but normal people don’t major in Gender Studies. Normal people don’t want to “Smash Patriarchy” or “F–k the System,” either.

I highly recommend his entire series, but if Stacy wants see some really radical women who don’t care one fig about what other people think or say about them as they express their femininity this is it:

Via Father Z whose post started thus:

Dear Fr. Z,I am entering my sophomore year at Christendom College, and I recently made an 8 minute video on the chapel veil to explain why women wear it and to encourage women to wear it. I think you would appreciate the content and the quality. If you like it, perhaps you can share it with the women who read your blog.

I have two sons 23 & 21, If they brought home a woman as strong and faithful as the young lady in this video I would happy.

The noted Political Philosopher Dr. Russell Kirk wrote a book called The Roots of American Order (1974).  Dr. Kirk espoused the belief that a safe and stable “Societal-Order” precedes a society’s or a nation’s ability to grow, expand, or to produce cultural innovation.

Dr. Kirk was described as a “Paleo-Conservative”; Mr. Kirk was an exponent of the type of political conservatism espoused by the former British Statesman Edmund Burke.

Mr. Kirk was one of the original contributors to the magazine entitled “National Review”’ this magazine was founded by the late William F. Buckley, Jr.

In the Roots of American Order, Dr. Kirk proclaimed that before there can be a stable economic, political, or social environment that there must first be safe and secure political and social institutions which allow people to feel a sense of peace and well-being.

How do we maintain and promote domestic and international order?

Mr. Kirk and Mr. Buckley both put forth the axiom that if a nation desired to stay free that they must prepare for war and be ready to meet dire threats head on without being unnecessarily bellicose.

The events on the world scene are both troubling and frightening.

Recently the international terrorist group the Islamic States of Iran and Syria (ISIS) ruthlessly murdered (beheaded!) a journalist named James Foley; his crime:  he simply reported on world events transpiring in the Middle East.

ISIS is committed to exporting their unique form of murder, extortion, and fear worldwide.

The existential question is this:  What should the family of nations – especially the democratic governments of Europe and America – do in response to ISIS’ malicious and heinous activities?

Should the United States seek to exterminate and root out this form of terrorism at its source?

Should the United States and the democratic governments of the world form a Confederacy and share Intelligence reports and resources in an endeavor to treat terrorists in a similar manner to how governments worked against Pirates in the late 18th century and in the early decades of the 19th century?  This approach took decades to bear fruit, but eventually it worked.

Finally, should the United States adopt an “isolationist posture” and simply play “defense” and attempt to protect the home front and quietly withdraw from the International Scene

King Solomon wrote nearly 3,000 years ago in the book of Ecclesiastes that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3.1).

Prayers, Entreaties, and well wishes should go out to President Barack Obama and to the members of Congress who analyze intelligence reports and who must work together with formulating a coherent foreign policy response which is adequate to the grave and perilous events that have overtaken us.

Students of the Presidency inform us that the decisions that a President makes not only shape the immediate environment, but the policies put forth by the Executive branch help to determine the nation’s ability to adequately respond to external and internal threats in the future.

Let us pray that the men and women at Foggy Bottom (the State Department); the Pentagon (Department of Defense) and Homeland Security give the President the intelligence reports that he  and his staff will need to successfully navigate our nation into a tumultuous future.

Let us pray that the President’s mettle, temperament, and conceptual outlook will lead him to make wise and prudent decisions that best protect our nation – and inspire free democracies to stand firm against terrorism.

This is a time for sober, deliberate, and thoughtful responses which are equivalent to the severe nature of the worldwide terrorism that seeks to bring about chaos and disorder.

Let us look deep down within ourselves to see if we are willing to fight for our families, our lives, and our sacred honor and for the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States of America.

 

We Talked about the Black Mass coming to Oklahoma City back in July. The local Archbishop has to counter this event on two fronts, first spiritually:

I am especially concerned about the dark powers that this Satanic worship invites into our community and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly. Since it seems this event will not be cancelled, I am calling on all Catholics of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to counteract this challenge to faith and decency through prayer and penance.

Specifically, I am asking that the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel be included at the conclusion of every Mass, beginning on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6) and continuing through the Feast of the Archangels (September 29). I invite all Catholics to pray daily for divine protection through the intercession of this heavenly patron who once defeated Lucifer in his rebellion against the Almighty and who stands ready to assist us in this hour of need.

Secondly, I am asking that each parish conduct a Eucharistic Holy Hour with Benediction to honor Christ’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, between the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15) and September 21, to avert this proposed sacrilege.

Finally, I invite all Catholics, Christians and people of good will to join me in prayer for a Holy Hour, outdoor Eucharistic Procession and Benediction at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Oklahoma City at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 21, the day of the proposed sacrilege. We will pray to avert this sacrilege and publicly manifest our faith in the Lord and our loving gratitude for the gift of the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives.

All of these are excellent suggestions for any parish anywhere to follow. He however has also decided to use a secular tactic as well:

Archbishop Paul Coakley filed the lawsuit Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court. Coakley alleges that the Dakhma of Angra Mainyu and leader Adam Daniels unlawfully obtained the consecrated host to be used in the mass. A consecrated host is a wafer of bread that Catholics believe is the body and blood of Jesus.

According to the lawsuit, only ordained Catholic ministers or extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion can handle the consecrated host.

The press release of the Diocese is here

When I heard “lawsuit” I assumed it would be on the basis of “offense” but on 1st amendment grounds that would not likely hold water as people do not have a constitutional right to avoid offense, but Public Catholic has a list of the applicable laws concerning stolen goods.

There are also Blasphemy laws in the state but I doubt they would (or should) stand up under a federal challenge.

It’s a creative approach whose prospect of success depends frankly on how the host was obtained.

It’s very possible that an unfaithful Priest or Eucharistic Minister provided the host (anyone who thinks the evil one doesn’t have agents in the church is a fool) and that might be an excellent counter but such a person would not be anxious to be exposed.  There is also of course the possibility that a person receiving via the hand rather than the tongue palmed one (Fyi:  this is one of the reasons why I think receiving by the hand is a bad idea) and provided it, that would likely make such a suit moot.

But it’s also very possible that the city fearful of a lawsuit might be looking for an excuse to cancel and this suit might be just the ticket for them.

While those who disbelieve may not acknowledge it, this is not only pure evil but extremely dangerous and prayer and action are just the thing to counter it.

I’d encourage all Catholics and any of our Protestant friends willing to either follow the Archbishop’s advice or follow whatever prayer tradition they have and make the fight boldly.

Update: Fr Z on the argument:

The legal approach, the argument that the Church is the owner of the Eucharist, which is property, is interesting. You might recall that a while back I commented favorably about something written by Fishwrap’s Phyllis Zagano (HERE), who had said that what these loons were planning was “vandalism of religious property“. At the time I expressed reservation about that approach. This lawsuit in OK turns on it.

He links to the National Catholic Register story which goes into some of the details of the argument.


Michael Caspino, one of two attorneys who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the archdiocese in Oklahoma District Court said the legal argument for the case is simple: “A consecrated Eucharist belongs to the Church.”
Caspino, the CEO and partner at the Busch & Caspino law firm in Irvine, Calif., told the Register that the Church has exercised “dominion and control” over the Eucharist for more than 2,000 years. The lawsuit provides information on Church processes set up to safeguard the consecrated host.
“The Satanists procured the consecrated host by illicit means, theft or fraud,” Caspino said. “We are simply asking the court to return the stolen property to its rightful owner, the Roman Catholic Church.”

Interesting argument.

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Olimometer 2.52

As monthly goals have not been working out let’s bottom line things.

We need a total of  $7225 to cover the rest of the expenses for the year.

If you think the coverage and commentary we provide here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below and help keep the bills paid.

Consider the lineup you get In addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

Captain Peter Blood:  I bid 20,000 pieces of eight

Arabella Bishop:  I don’t wish to be bought by you

Captain Peter Blood  As a lady once said to a slave, ‘you are hardly in a position to have anything to say about it’.

Captain Blood 1935

Chris D’Amico (MF):  What hell are you doing?

Dave Lizewski (Kick Ass):  Saving your whiney ass.

Chris D’Amico (MF):  No I won’t let you have this.  I’d rather die.

Kickass 2 2013

One of the things I hear most often concerning Hell is the idea of how unfair it is.

I can’t tell you how many time I’ve heard the “Well the God I believe in wouldn’t send person X to hell, or I don’t believe in a cruel God like you do etc etc etc.

Generally this is used to justify whatever acts or sins a person wants to do, basically setting their standards rather than those clearly set out in scripture.

Believers of course are no different, you’ll constantly find people excusing and justifying their sins at the time they are committing them (I’m certainly no exception) and even worse you will find people redefining what sin actually is rather than looking at remorse and repentance.

In other words I certainly don’t deserve damnation and it would be cruel of God to allow me to be damned.  In fact it would be UNFAIR.

Nothing could be further from the truth and the clue to this is in God’s name itself:

“But,” said Moses to God, “when I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ if they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what am I to tell them?”   God replied, “I am who am.” Then he added, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you.”

Exodus 3:13,14

While one can’t completely grasp the nature of God as we’ve talked about before the reality of God is knowable by both right reason, and by direct revelation  (for those who question said revelations just remember there is not a single person alive who ever met or heard Tiberius Caesar, Boudicca, Genghis Khan,  Alexander the Great or Plato either yet do you question their existence?) and not only do we have such revelations we have basic rules that have been recorded and taught for centuries (millennia if you are talking pre-christian revelation) and propagated in the single most popular and best selling written volume of all time.

Now it’s fair to say that many people don’t understand said rules and might even question them, but that doesn’t preclude their existence or their viability.

People for example might understand that gravity works, you drop something gravity draws it to the ground, the tides take place because of the gravitational pull of the moon, the moon revolves around the earth because of the gravitational pull of the Earth.  Earth rotates around the sun because of its Gravitational pull.

Yet we don’t know WHY matter has a gravitational pull.  We might be upset about dropping a glass of wine but we don’t consider gravity sending the liquid to the rug unfair.   One might be disappointed that the tides or the phases of the moon don’t suit our timing, be we don’t consider ourselves wronged over them.

When in the famous movie Thelma & Louise their characters drove off that cliff there were a lot of women in the audience that were angry over the fictitious circumstances leading to that decision but I guarantee you not a single one of those ladies were furious that the consequences of driving that car off the cliff was it falling at a rate of 32ft. per second per second.

Bottom line we know enough to respect the rules of Gravitational laws without completely understanding why they exist.

Yet when it comes to heaven and hell we have clearly defined rules, rules that have been known and propagated since the days of the Roman empire and we object and scream “unfair” to the possibility that choices we make might have consequences that we’ve already been warned about.

And it’s not like there are not ways to avoid those consequences.  Just as a stunt man might who jumps off the building can be saved by an airbag laid out for him, God forgiveness is there for the asking.

Sacramental confession if one has imperfect contrition or perfect contrition for one’s sins can mitigate the eternal consequence of any sin, in fact a person has their entire life to the very last second for that contrition to take place.

Because of the nature of life it is rare if not impossible to know if a person failed to take advantage of that fact however while I would not wish that fate on any person from the Head of Hamas to Hitler there is one thing that has to be said:

Every single person who enters Hell does so at their own choice.

God will happily forgive sin and give a person every opportunity to accept the hand he extends but if a person insists to their final breath that they don’t wish to accept that hand and the salvation that comes from it he will respect that exercise of free will and let a person fall.

And that is the true pain of Hell.  Not the suffering outside of time or even the perception of those who have escaped your fate, it’s the knowledge and self awareness that your permanent separation from God, and the eternal fate you are experiencing was your own free choice.

There are a lot of adjectives that can be used to describe that fate, “unfair” is not one of them.

 

I’ve had a brief but friendly exchange with a commentator named Pam concerning my piece on spiritual malpractice both inside the Catholic church (I heard an excellent example of this recently in a sermon that suggesting lesson of the loaves & fishes was sharing as if the significance of the loaves & fishes was a multitude sharing their afternoon rations rather than Christ miraculously feeding the five thousand).

My point was that the fruit of the reformation or anyone that preaches to please is basically serving themselves rather than Christ or the Church.

Yesterday the Anchoress elaborated on the subject in a post about a young girl who foolishly decided to follow a fad:


When people ask me what I think is “the biggest idol we face”, meaning what is the most challenging Strange God that needs to be swept away from us, I tell them “the zeitgeist; the need to be part of every trend. It is a most insidious idol, because it seems so innocuous; we’re just doing what everyone is doing, wearing what everyone is wearing, driving what everyone is driving, right?”

In truth the idol of the zeitgeist, of being hip, is one we bow down to daily and we train our children to prostrate themselves to it, from a very early age, when we communicate to them that yes, they need the lastest game; they must wear the latest styles; they should certainly have the trendy gear. And this is an idol that blocks us from faith-practices, from reality and eventually from ourselves:.

She also includes a quote from her book where she really nails down the reality that I’ve mentioned of playing with doctrine to woo the masses:

If Christ and his Church are to be a “sign that will be contradicted” (Lk 2:34), the Church of What’s Happening Now is the vehicle of worldly affirmation; its only membership requirement is that one be immediately and unquestioningly in tune with the conventional wisdom of the day

And if we don’t move the world will try to move us.

You should read the Anchoress’ entire piece, in fact you should read her book as well.

I guarantee you that before another generation is born we will see churches redefine sin even farther with the media celebrating them when they do and when they can’t get a church to move they’ll spin what is taught falsely to achieve the same end.

And I further guarantee that if you choose to redefine sin the forces of the Zeitgeist will celebrate you and you’ll be complemented for it publicly for the rest of your days…

…after that you’re on your own.

Cardinal Lamberto: Look at this stone, it has been lying in the water for a very long time, but the water has not penetrated it. [Breaks it open] Look, perfectly dry. The same thing has happened to men in Europe. For centuries they have been surrounded by Christianity, but Christ has not penetrated. Christ doesn’t live within them.

The Godfather Part 3 1990

In a few years the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is coming up, while thousands of Protestant denominations will doubtless celebrate this event and I can’t help but suspect that if Martin Luther knew the result of his break with Rome he would have never done it.

Nary a month seems to pass when passes when we hear of one protestant congregation voting to redefine sin or change doctrine for the sake of getting people back in the pews or getting in touch with the times or whatever such excuse we hear causing schism within schism (it is no coincidence that many people seeing these changes have found their way back to Rome).

While doctrinally the Catholic Church has not gone that way there are plenty in it who would like to see that route taken, particularly in academia and media. This has been the cause of a lot of trouble in the church over the past 50 years. But more importantly than trouble for the church has been what is the risk it has meant for the faithful.

A great example is the doctrine of Hell.

Hoaxes not withstanding this Pope has preached on Hell an awful lot.

However many priests tend to dodge the subject, the media downplays or mocks it plenty of priests tend to duck an issue that generates snickers from our secular world. To this I give a quote from Fr. Marcel Nault who died in 1997 a priest who constantly preached on Hell:

One cannot specialize and preach everything, but the Lord Jesus invited me to preach on Hell. A monsignor said to me, “Marcel, don’t preach on Hell. People don’t like that, you scare them.” And in a very friendly way that Monsignor said to me, “Marcel, I have never preached on Hell and look at the position I have. I will never preach on Hell.”

After a long silence, I looked him in the eye and said, “Monsignor, you are on the road to Hell for all eternity. You preach, Monsignor, to please the crowd, instead of preaching to please Christ.”

Let me remind all that the primary purpose of any priest pastor or minister of any type is to keep people from damnation. That’s the goal and the bottom line and you don’t achieve this avoiding painful truths.

Let me put it another way, yesterday I went for a Colonoscopy, it is a very effective way to check for early signs of Colorectal cancer. Any polyp found and removed is screened for cancer. My radio co-host had cancer discovered in one such screening because it was caught early he was able to receive treatment and has been cancer free for years since.

This is my second such exam and let me tell you the prep work is VERY unpleasant, worse that the exam itself but it can save your life

Now imagine if I decided that because the exam prep was unpleasant I decided not to do it. Or picture if the doctor after finding a polyp decided not to test it or if he found cancer decided not to tell me about it because it would scare me?

The former would be an act of stupidity on my part or an act of malpractice on his.

Whenever a Christian pastor of any denomination entrusted with a flock decides that he is going to preach the popular rather than the truth, who decides that doctrine doesn’t mean a thing, who sacrifices the sacraments and the truth for the sake of popular opinion they are committing malpractice only the price of the settlement is a lot higher than any premium an insurance company will charge.

And in the end that has been the fruit of the Reformation.   Little by little it walked away or abandoned unpleasant or unpopular truths  and since any person could reinterpret scripture or a congregation could decide what was true by a vote it slowly wore faith away.

When it came into being Christianity was the religion of Europe and thanks to the efforts of the Catholic Church it was ready to spread into the new world. It has taken Christianity 1500 years to reach that point.

It only took the reformation 500 years turn Europe into a place where Christianity is so diluted and divided that within a generation or two Islam will take from indifference what it could not take by the sword.

What a shame.

The left was already up in arms over the Hobby Lobby ruling and now the potential of Christians being able to follow their religion has proved a surprising reaction from the LGBT community:

Several major gay rights groups withdrew support Tuesday for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that would bolster gay and transgender rights in the workplace, saying they fear that broad religious exemptions included in the current bill might compel private companies to begin citing objections similar to those that prevailed in a U.S. Supreme Court case last week.

They have been vocal about denouncing religious objections to co-operation with Gay Marriage. Strangely enough, Pam Geller notes that this vocal outrage doesn’t extend to other actions done in the name of religion:

Ali Muhammad Brown was charged with executing two gay men in Seattle. Brown was previously prosecuted federally following an FBI probe into an Islamic group suspected of supporting jihadists overseas.

Mind you there have been some news coverage for this Seattle PI

Police contend Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young met Brown outside a Capitol Hill club after Said contacted Brown through an online search for sex partners. Brown is alleged to have left with both men and killed them minutes later using his girlfriend’s handgun.

the Seattle times:

Police say Brown, Said and Anderson-Young drove to Anderson-Young’s house, where Brown pulled a gun and killed the two men then drove off in Said’s car. It was later found abandoned in South Seattle.

Newsday:

Police said they linked Brown to the slayings after finding his fingerprints and three spent 9mm shell casings inside Said’s car. The mother of Brown’s children told police that her 9mm semiautomatic handgun was missing; she said Brown had access to the gun, charges said.

Oddly none of those stories talk about why were these men targeted:

sources tell Q13 FOX News that Brown underwent jihadist training in California in April and they believe the two men were attacked simply because their sexual orientation offended what police say are Brown’s radical Muslim beliefs.

If you are hearing about this for the first time it’s likely because national gay groups don’t seem to think that radical Muslim beliefs that provoke murder are as dangerous as Christian belief that forbids us to bake a cake for a gay marriage.

Pam Geller notes this isn’t the first time that anti-gay murder has come up there:

Seattle has a problem. They won’t run our ads highlighting Muslim oppression of gays, despite this savage reality. If you recall, a devout Muslim set fire to a packed Seattle gay bar during a New Year’s celebration shortly after midnight on January 1. Seattle’s largest and longest-running gay nightclub was doused in gasoline and set aflame by Musab Masmari. He was arrested on his way to the airport.

You might recall we wrote about that nightclub fire that the MSM completely ignored.  At the time Stacy McCain asked the obvious question

Does #LGBT Care About a Religious Extremist Burning a Gay Bar?

Apparently not, if the religious extremist is named Musab Musmari, who police say “poured gasoline on a carpeted stairway and set it ablaze” inside Seattle’s “popular gay nightclub” Neighbours on New Year’s Eve, when 750 people were inside the club.

And now Pam does the same

Where are the left-wing, the gay and LGBT organizations denouncing the Islamic texts that inspire such mayhem and murder of gays? Where is that fierce gay leadership condemning Muslim oppression of gays under the sharia? The silence is deafening.

They were loud and proud against our ads. They were holding press conferences condemning me. Gay organizations in America say nothing, but loudly condemned my ad campaign highlighting Muslim oppression of gays under the sharia. Why haven’t we heard from this City Council, or this Human Rights CommissionSFHRC head Theresa Sparks, but most especially the enemedia that scrubs their coverage of motive? They called our ads hate and issued a resolution condemning our AFDI ad campaign (the first of its kind) against our organization for merely quoting Muslim political leaders, spiritual leaders and cultural voices in the Muslim community who call for the torture and death of gay people.

The answer is simple, the incentive system isn’t there.  Black Masses at harvard produce Eucharistic Processions, Obamacare mandates against religious groups produce lawsuits, bans against Pam’s ads produce TV clips and lawsuits.

However speaking against Islam produces murder and threats of murder.

If you don’t believe me ask Seattle based cartoonist Molly Norris, or rather you could ask Molly Norris if she hasn’t spent the last four years in hiding due to a fatwa on her life.

I’ll give Glenn Reynolds the last word with the warning he has given often:

May our political class take joy in the incentive system they are creating.

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Olimometer 2.52

July Rolls on and our hope of getting back to back months of meeting our financial goals continues

If you think this coverage and what we do here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below and help keep the bills paid.

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 58 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

O you of little faith,  why did you doubt?

Matthew 14:31b

Major Blass Vivar: There is only a small French Garrison in Torrecastro. The people of the town know the legend, secretly believe it. As soon as we raise the banner over the little chapel, the people will rise up against the French invader.

Lt. Sharpe:   Rise up? For a rag on a Pole? Are you mad Major?

Louisa: It’s a legend Mr. Sharpe the People believe in it

Shapre’s Rifles 1993

In her piece about the historic prayer service today that will be offered at the Vatican today with Pope Francis, Shimon Peres, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (along with late addition Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople ) Elizabeth Scalia notes the skepticism as the the utility of these prayers as a reflection of Christian skepticism with their own faith:

But we don’t really believe that, do we? Even as so many Christians pretend that “meh, he didn’t really mean what he said about marriage,” and divorce again and again, or “meh, he couldn’t possibly have meant what he said about his Flesh and Blood” and therefore dismiss the Eucharist, we don’t really believe that he was pitching blarney on something as basic to the life and practice of faith as the power of prayer, do we?

If so, what was the point of his teachings? Why bother with the whole bloody sacrifice and resurrection and all the subsequent martyrdoms and miracles, if Christ’s discourses were nothing but fillers for a bad spiritual salami, comprised of 90% faith by-products, and prayer had no truck with the Father?

That’s the question isn’t it? Do we say these words, to we talk a good game in public but when it comes down to it do we believe or do we not.

It’s easy to be skeptical, to look at the Pope and critique his declaration on the family and scoff at this effort that, as Elizabeth says affirms the common humanity of all the parties involved.

But it’s even easier to scoff at them coming together and calling on the one God for aid.

To the Christians, the Jew and the Muslim who all profess belief in God to deny the significance and the power of such prayer is to deny their own faith, to deny themselves.

To the skeptic, I leave this quote from the third Godfather Movie:

Michael Corleone: What is the point of confessing if I do not repent?

Cardinal Lamberto: I hear you are a practical man. What have you got to lose, eh?

Planting a seed does not produce an orchard the next day, but planting a seed is the first step to create one.

A seed will be planted today, how well it grows will depend on those who planted it, and the faith and the works of their people.

One of the advantages of daily mass in addition to daily Eucharist is daily scripture.

For those not acquainted with the Catholic Mass, a regular Sunday or Saturday vigil mass includes a first reading (usually old testament), a psalm, a 2nd reading (usually an epistle) and then a Gospel reading. These reading rotate on a 3 year cycle (year A-B-C, this is year A)

Unless there is a feast day the daily mass omits the 2nd reading.

During the Easter Season this shifts slightly the first reading tends to come from the Acts of the Apostle while the Gospel Reading tends to be from John.

This morning was the last low mass of the Easter season and the Gospel reading for today was the conclusion of the Gospel according to John Capt 21 Verses 20-24

Peter turned and saw the disciple following whom Jesus loved, the one who had also reclined upon his chest during the supper and had said, “Master, who is the one who will betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?”Jesus said to him, “What if I want him to remain until I come? 12 What concern is it of yours? You follow me.”

So the word spread among the brothers that that disciple would not die. But Jesus had not told him that he would not die, just “What if I want him to remain until I come? (What concern is it of yours?)” It is this disciple who testifies to these things and has written them, 14 and we know that his testimony is true.

There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.

It is a significant passage, particularly that last line which often gets short shift. Here John asserts that Jesus did many other things that he did include in this Gospel.

Sacred scripture does not record what these events are, but records that these unwritten events took place. The fact that the apostle makes it a point to mention them suggests these things were of some significance.

While John did not record them obviously he knew about them, and it is reasonable to assume that twelve did as well. After all they traveled and lived with Jesus through his ministry. It is also a reasonable to infer that those teachings and events, such as Veronica wiping the face of Jesus as seen here in a clip from the Passion of the Christ…

…while not written in scripture would have been passed down to their own disciples, who would have passed them down to their disciples’ disciples as well.

And it is here once again that Sola Scripture fails.

The Catholic Church is built upon both Scripture (which is of paramount importance) but also on the traditions handed down from the disciples to their disciples. A straight line traced from Francis back all the way to Peter in Rome and before.

Yet for those whose houses are built on Sola Scriptuora those events are lost forever and must even be denied to justify the rejection of nearly 20 centuries of doctrine by their founders 500 years ago.

It’s a sad thing to comprehend such a loss.

Ford Prefect: Six pints of bitter and quickly please. The world’s about to end.
Barman: Oh yes sir nice weather for it. Going to watch the match this afternoon?
Ford Prefect: No, no point.
Barman: Foregone conclusion you reckon sir. Arsenal without a chance
Ford Prefect: No it’s just that the world’s going to end.
Barman: Ah yes you said. Lucky escape for Arsenal if it did.
Ford Prefect: No, not really
Barman: There you are sir, six pints.
Ford Prefect: Keep the change.
Barman: What from a fiver? Thank you sir!
Ford Prefect:You’ve got ten minutes left to spend it.

Douglas Adams  The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

It’s just over three years since Harold Camping prediction of the rapture on May 21st 2011 proved as ill advised as January’s expedition to the Antarctic by climate change alarmists, but it seems that this isn’t enough to stop people from thinking Rapture:

Courson, senior pastor at First Church of God in Mitchell, Ind., uses empirical, scientific and biblical analysis of current world events throughout the 222-page paperback. He does a verse-by-verse analysis of Revelation, and compares them to modern events.

The “terminal generation” refers to anyone 65 and under — the Baby Boomers, hippies, yuppies, Generation X, and the Millennials. These people, he said, will be alive when “humanity’s greatest cataclysmic event sounds in our life time.”

Now in fairness to Mr. Courson he’s looking to sell his book and his basic advice “You may tie your shoes this morning, but the undertaker could untie them tonight.” is important to remember as none of us are promised the time it takes to finish reading this piece let alone tomorrow.  but when you hear stuff like

“We’re not going to see the end of the world,” he said. But this generation will see the Rapture, which is the trigger point for end-time events.

you are heading for Camping territory.

There are several problems with this approach. Let’s look at three of them:

1. Oh woe are we

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu Falls, Rock Around the Clock
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Khrushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

Billy Joel  We didn’t Start the Fire 1989

 

Consider this interview with Billy Joel concerning how his song: We didn’t start the fire came about

Here’s the key exchange

21 year old: It’s a terrible time to be 21!

Billy Joel: Yeah, I remember when I was 21 — I thought it was an awful time and we had Vietnam, and y’know, drug problems, and civil rights problems and everything seemed to be awful.

21 yr old: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it’s different for you. You were a kid in the fifties and everybody knows that nothing happened in the fifties.

Billy Joel: Wait a minute, didn’t you hear of the Korean War you know the Suez Canal Crisis?

The 21 year old from that interview is likely around 50 now but it seems that people haven’t learned the lesson that the songwriter is explaining.

Now I’ll readily concede that things are bad right now, particularly for Christians and likely to get worse in fact I’ve made that argument myself lately but as I’ve said to the stray Jehovah’s Witness’ who have come to the door that is all relative.

Try to tell a Jew born in Germany in 1930 that times are worse now than then. Or a black woman born on a plantation in 1830. Or to a resident of Deerfield Ma circa 1704 or to a European in the mid 14th century with the black death around him or a south American Indian after smallpox was introduced with the Spanish Conquistadors.

What would any of those people give to have the problems we have today?

The truth is the time we live in today always seem worse to us than the days of old because it’s not our ancestors who have to deal with them, it’s us. A lot of our cries about how bad things are is thinly disguised narcissism.

2. Do you know more than the Angels?

Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those with evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”
When the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish high priest, tried to do this, the evil spirit said to them in reply, “Jesus I recognize, Paul I know, but who are you?”

Acts 19:13-15

The Second problem is that such a prediction while good for selling books it bad theology because Christ, while describing signs specifically says this:

But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

Matthew 24:36

To be sure he prefaces this with a bunch of signs of the end, but the problem is it seems there is always a preacher who shoehorns his days events into those signs (see Billy Joel above).

But when it comes down to it Christ specifically says the date is not known, not by the angels and not even by him but only to the Father.

Is a man really making the case that he knows something that Christ and the angels do not?

The funny thing is when you make such a prediction particularly with such a long time spread you tend to attract not the people who need to learn the lessons of Christ but folks like this:

Then again as any climate change expert can tell you, a person can make a good living off of predicting doom sometime in the next 20-60 years.

There is a reason why William Miller & his followers stopped giving a date for the end of the world.

3.  Give us this day or daily bread

There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy.  He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them

C. S. Lewis The Screwtape letters $6

The worst thing about the whole end times business is it takes you out of the game.  Consider this passage from Acts:

When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Acts 1:9-11

Like the disciples staring up at the clouds after Jesus’ ascension focusing on a future that we might not even be alive to see distracts us from the only time that we have to do anything, now!  Our task is not to keep looking at the sky for Christ’s return, it’s to carry ourselves in this present day as one of his followers.  The more we worry about a potential future that may not happen the more it distracts us from the now that we are living in and the tasks of today, even the ones that pertain to tomorrow.

Moreover it give an excuse for inaction.  Why bother helping your neighbor who needs a favor if Christ is coming down tomorrow?  Why make the case for Christianity in culture or protest abortion or even bother to give to a worthy cause when the tribulation is upon us?  Take Jesus’ advice

But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.  Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil.

Matthew 6:33,34

If we take care of piously seeking God and doing his will every day, then it doesn’t matter when the end times come.  You’ll be ready for them.  As Pope Francis said:

Piety is not mere outward religiosity; it is that genuine religious spirit which makes us turn to the Father as his children and to grow in our love for others, seeing them as our brothers and sisters, members of God’s family.  Let us ask that, through this gift of the Holy Spirit, we may always be ready to offer a helping hand to others, in the joyful awareness of that solidarity which is born of our communion with God in the unity of Christ’s body, the Church.

And just remember if you really want to grow closer to the Lord daily Mass complete with the Gospel and the Eucharist is available every single day.