Grail Knight: You must choose, but choose wisely

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989

A while back Donald Trump was asked what his favorite bible verse was “an eye for an eye” This is the full verse in question:

But if injury ensues, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Exodus 21:23-25

For a person who proclaims Christianity this is a rather odd choice, given these words from Jesus Christ the son of God:

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.  If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well.  Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles.  Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

Matthew 5:38-45

I bring up these verses because as Donald Trump gets ever closer to the nomination conservatives I see what is happening as a parallel to a biblical event.

Not those I have just quoted the moment in Exodus where the law was given to Moses, nor the sermon on the mount but from chapter 8 of the book of Samuel.  Starting with verses 1-3

In his old age Samuel appointed his sons judges over Israel.  His first-born was named Joel, his second son, Abijah; they judged at Beer-sheba.  His sons did not follow his example but sought illicit gain and accepted bribes, perverting justice.

This is  parallel to the corrupt GOP that has been ignoring the voters for years angering them and looking for a solution said this in verses 4 and 5.

Therefore all the elders of Israel came in a body to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us.”

This is compatible with the voters (particularly evangelicals) saying.  Forget pols we want Donald Trump and turning out for him.

Samuel being Samuel went to God  who after noting their rejection of him told Samuel in verse 9

Now grant their request; but at the same time, warn them solemnly and inform them of the rights of the king who will rule them.”

and then did what the Lord told him and said the following to the people of Israel in verses 10-17

Samuel delivered the message of the LORD in full to those who were asking him for a king.  He told them: “The rights of the king who will rule you will be as follows:

He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot.  He will also appoint from among them his commanders of groups of a thousand and of a hundred soldiers. He will set them to do his plowing and his harvesting, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots.  He will use your daughters as ointment-makers, as cooks, and as bakers.  He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his officials.  He will tithe your crops and your vineyards, and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves.  He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best oxen and your asses, and use them to do his work.  He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves.

And while I don’t anticipate a Trump presidency or even a Trump candidacy will mean we will be conscripted to his kitchens, it is very apt thing.  We know who and what Donald Trump is, we have seen his campaign and even before this we have seen him for years and so has the left.  We have seen him equivocate on life, on culture and on position after position.  We have seen him flip flop on people and issues for our entire lives.   As Ace put it:

Out: “Leave it the way it is”

In: States should be allowed to do what you conservatives think they should do, whatever that is.

The thing about Trump is, it doesn’t matter if he gets answers wrong on everything, because I know, fundamentally, he shares my instincts.

Even though his instincts on so many issues are directly contrary to my own, and in fact are the instincts of the PC Democratic Left.

Moreover he has lived a life in the tabloids.  He is an opposition researchers wet dream.

Yet we as a party are getting ready to nominate him over a man more competent, more honest, 20 years younger and who would be the first Latino to head a major party ticket.

Yes Trump has talked about Radical Islam, Yes Trump may actually build that southern wall, but does anyone doubt that Donald Trump as president would nominate a moderate to the Supreme Court?  Does anyone doubt that he will be making deals with Democrats on both spending and social issues?  Does anyone doubt that a Trump presidency will cause a reaction from our foreign allies almost as disastrous as the last seven year has been?

and that’s the BEST CASE SCENARIO.

The worst case scenario?  The election of Hillary Clinton.

This is likely the very last chance for the gop to make an alternative choice.  The choice is before you dear voters and let me remind you of the last line of Samuel’s warning from verse 18:

When this takes place, you will complain against the king whom you have chosen, but on that day the LORD will not answer you.”

The last seven years have been a horrible time but we got the government we choose and deserve, it remains to be seen if we deserve at least four more years of bad government.

The choice is yours.


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There has been a lot written about the Trump flips and flops concerning Abortion this week and on Jake Tapper’s weekend show State of the Union the discussion turned toward Trump’s days as a young bachelor and the question of if he ever dated a women who had an abortion.

Now this actually is the wrong question in a critical sense.

There is no question that Trump has a liberal past, the entire premise of Ted Cruz’s attack on him are based on his own words and comments the question is, are his protestations to be a conservative NOW actually sincere or not?

It’s a very biblical question.

For example nobody would question if Saul of Tarsus was once a persecutor of Christians. In fact in his famous trial before Herod he admits it.

I myself once thought that I had to do many things against the name of Jesus the Nazorean, and I did so in Jerusalem. I imprisoned many of the holy ones with the authorization I received from the chief priests, and when they were to be put to death I cast my vote against them.

Many times, in synagogue after synagogue, I punished them in an attempt to force them to blaspheme; I was so enraged against them that I pursued them even to foreign cities.

Acts 26:9-11

But them came his famous conversion

On one such occasion I was traveling to Damascus with the authorization and commission of the chief priests.

At midday, along the way, O king, I saw a light from the sky, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my traveling companions.  We all fell to the ground and I heard a voice saying to me in Hebrew, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goad.

And I said, ‘Who are you, sir?’ And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.  Get up now, and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness of what you have seen (of me) and what you will be shown.

I shall deliver you from this people and from the Gentiles to whom I send you, to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been consecrated by faith in me.’

“And so, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.

Acts 26:12-19

and the rest is history.

However earlier in Acts there is a conversion story that didn’t go so well, the story of Simon the Magician

A man named Simon used to practice magic in the city and astounded the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great.  All of them, from the least to the greatest, paid attention to him, saying, “This man is the ‘Power of God’ that is called ‘Great.'”

They paid attention to him because he had astounded them by his magic for a long time, but once they began to believe Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, men and women alike were baptized.

Even Simon himself believed and, after being baptized, became devoted to Philip; and when he saw the signs and mighty deeds that were occurring, he was astounded.

Acts 8:9-13


But it turned out he was more interested in power than service

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit.

When Simon saw that the Spirit was conferred by the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me this power too, so that anyone upon whom I lay my hands may receive the holy Spirit.”

But Peter said to him, “May your money perish with you, because you thought that you could buy the gift of God with money. You have no share or lot in this matter, for your heart is not upright before God.

Repent of this wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, your intention may be forgiven.  For I see that you are filled with bitter gall and are in the bonds of iniquity.”

Simon said in reply, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

Acts 8:14-24

And that’s what it really comes down to with Trump and why his BS on abortion is a problem, because this is the question that GOP voters need answered.

Is he a real convert to conservatism as Paul was to Christ, or is he just out for himself as Simon was?


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You know the Boston Globe has for years had the best coverage of Baseball period, with John Allen they now have the best Catholic reporter in the world and he proved it again:

Pope Francis can be understood as a living, breathing embodiment of the “both/and” instinct that’s so much a part of Catholic DNA, but which is increasingly difficult to understand in a world where false dichotomies and “wedge issues” are the political coin of the realm.

Historically, as Pope Benedict XVI once put it, Catholicism has been the great Christian tradition of “both/and.” When Protestantism raised the question of whether Scripture or tradition is the basis of authority, Catholicism answered “both.” Likewise, when Martin Luther asked whether salvation is from faith or works, the Catholic answer again was “both.”

Francis is very much like that.

and he gives an excellent example of the dual nature of the church

A gay couple wants to enroll their child in a Catholic school. One option would be to say no, on the grounds of causing scandal. Another is to say yes, on the basis that some contact with the faith is better than none. Both are consistent with church teaching, but they give off different vibes.

Or to put it another way Christ over and over warns about the Justice that will come if one doesn’t repent:

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’

He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Matthew 25:41-46

Yet when dealing with an actual sinner with actual sin the mercy pours out as in the gospel for this week:

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders.

So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.

John :1-11

God will give us our entire lives to repent and will give us every chance to do so, but not a moment more.

Somehow I suspect Francis thinks the same and wants to do the same.


Mr. Scratch: A soul? A soul is nothing. Can you see it, smell it, touch it? 

The Devil and Daniel Webster 1941


Yesterday at the end of Mass our Pastor informed us of a special local event for the year of mercy. There will be a 24 day of prayer and mercy taking place at St. Joseph’s Church in Fitchburg stating at 3 PM EST including confessions being heard round the clock.

What jumped out at me about the announcement was the designation of St. Joseph’s as a place of pilgrimage for the holy year.  This means that if a person meets the usual conditions (1. receiving holy communion, 2. Praying for the Pope’s intentions, 3. Confession either within seven days before or after ) they can receive an indulgence which can be applied to themselves or someone who has died , by simply entering the church any time during the Holy Year. (A Full Plenary indulgence if you have no attachment to sin, a partial if you do)

It is quite possible or even probable that your local bishop has designated a place of pilgrimage in your area.  If he has then you will also have this opportunity to earn this indulgence regularly.

This should be cause for excitement & joy for faithful Catholics.  If it’s not then today’s first reading from morning’s mass about Naaman the Syrian is made for you:

Naaman, the army commander of the king of Aram, was highly esteemed and respected by his master, for through him the LORD had brought victory to Aram. But valiant as he was, the man was a leper.

Now the Arameans had captured from the land of Israel in a raid a little girl, who became the servant of Naaman’s wife.  “If only my master would present himself to the prophet in Samaria,” she said to her mistress, “he would cure him of his leprosy.” Naaman went and told his lord just what the slave girl from the land of Israel had said. “Go,” said the king of Aram. “I will send along a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents, six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments. To the king of Israel he brought the letter, which read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy.”

When he read the letter, the king of Israel tore his garments and exclaimed: “Am I a god with power over life and death, that this man should send someone to me to be cured of leprosy? Take note! You can see he is only looking for a quarrel with me!”

When Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments, he sent word to the king: “Why have you torn your garments? Let him come to me and find out that there is a prophet in Israel.” Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. The prophet sent him the message: “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.”

But Naaman went away angry, saying, “I thought that he would surely come out and stand there to invoke the LORD his God, and would move his hand over the spot, and thus cure the leprosy. Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?” With this, he turned about in anger and left.

But his servants came up and reasoned with him. “My father,” they said, “if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it? All the more now, since he said to you, ‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.”

So Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times at the word of the man of God. His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. He returned with his whole retinue to the man of God. On his arrival he stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.

2 Kings 1-15AB

There are few things that better illustrate that most deadly sin of pride than this reading.

Consider Naaman.  Here is a guy who has come to Israel because he’s been told in such a way that he believes it, that he can be cured of his leprosy by this trip.  This is not an easy trip.  He is traveling by caravan from Damascus to the king of Israel with his servants and a bunch of valuable goods in an age when the fastest mode of land conveyance is a horse or camel, and he’s doing it at a time when even Roman roads are far in the future.

His party has to stop to eat, to water and rest their beasts of burden.  The closest thing they have to headlights are torches fueled by oil so they are likely only traveling by day.  Since they’re carrying valuables they have to post guards at night and depending on how many are in the caravan might even be securing their camp with stockade.

Maybe,  if they’re very lucky,  he’s averaging making 3-5 MPH during the travel time from Damascus to the Capital of Israel where he delivers his letter.  That’s 135 miles as the crow flies but God knows how many miles via the trails available at the time, 150 miles?  200 perhaps?

Given all that let’s say he and his people traveling 10 hours a day make the trip in 5 days to a week if nothing goes wrong.

After all that time, all that trouble to get down there in the hopes of being cured of this horrible disease, what does the  prophet do?  He tells him:  Go wash in the local river and you’ll be fine.

And that’s when Naaman gets pissed off!

How DARE he not have me go on a heroic quest.  How is it possible that I don’t have to slay a dragon, climb the highest mountain,  storm a heavily maned fortification through a rain of arrows or recover the lost Ark of the Covenant (rumor has it that’s it’s in a pit somewhere in Egypt)  Naaman the warrior is thinking:  Cripes If all it took is a bath I could have taken one back home and saved the trip.

Some thing never change.

Fast forward to today.  Think of the sacrament of confession.  All you have to do is show up, wait your turn (and it’s not a long wait these days) confess your sins, be sorry, do your penance,  usually just a few prayers and BOOM!  You’re forgiven!

You don’t even have to go to your own church if you’re embarrassed to do so, and in my experience most priests will consent to hear your confession outside the normal hours if you just ask.  How hard is that?  It’s a piece of cake!

So why don’t Catholics go?   The church and Christ offers them the gift of a clean soul practically any time a person wants it and most people don’t bother.  Yet if those same people were given a card unlimited washes at any car wash of their choice they’d be driving through once a day and twice on Sundays.

That’s what confession is, an unlimited car wash coupon for your soul people don’t use it, why?  Usually Pride, I don’t do anything that wrong, and anyways God will forgive me.  Why should I bother confessing to a priest?

Even though Christ tells his disciples directly in the Gospel of John :

“Receive the holy Spirit.  Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.”

It’s the same with the Holy Doors and the indulgence.   Even if you’re a person who only goes to Church on Sundays it means that once a week you can earn an indulgence to shorten or eliminate your time in purgatory either for yourself or a loved one , a parent, a friend, a spouse a child simply by taking the extra time to drive to a particular church and walk in?  Here is a chance to completely or partially remove the temporal punishment for forgiven sins and yet how many people are doing it?  I mean if a policeman said, all you have to do is walk though a door and you’d be excused of a Traffic ticket or fine you’d do it in a second.

We look at the story of Naaman and laugh at the idea that he is so offended by the simple task that Elisha give him to be cured.  Yet all over America Catholics are doing the same thing turning down the forgiveness of Christ out of pride.  And remember, if Naaman’s had refused Elisha generous offer the consequences for Naaman’s would have lasted a lifetime.  When you refuse Christ’s generous offer of forgiveness, the consequences.

Naaman was lucky he had servants with a lot of guts willing to challenge his pride saying to him in effect:  Cripes why are you upset that he’s making it easy for you?  Just do it!  Thanks to them he finally consents to bathing in the Jordan and washed clean of his illness.

When pride keeps us from accepting the mercy that Christ & his Holy Catholic Church offer, will we have the wisdom to hear the voice of those telling us, Just do it and have our souls washed clean of our sins?


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Just a reminder that pretending to be a hero who fights for the west in movies doesn’t make it so in reality.

Details: Is it true that when you stay at hotels you tear out the Bible page that condemns homosexuality?

Ian McKellen: I do, absolutely. I’m not proudly defacing the book, but it’s a choice between removing that page and throwing away the whole Bible. And I’m not really the first: I got delivered a package of 40 of those pages — Leviticus 18:22 — that had been torn out by a married couple I know. They put them on a bit of string so that I could hang it up in the bathroom.

That a member of the race that fought the book burning Nazis is doing this is frankly an insult to the memory of those who fought to destroy them but Sir Ian’s actions bring up three interesting thoughts.

The first is the obvious question to one familiar with scripture:  Why pull the pages from Leviticus but not from St. Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians:

Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. 

That is what some of you used to be; but now you have had yourselves washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

I can’t see why one would leave St. Paul and the New Testament alone when it is much more read than Leviticus.  If the goal is to prevent people from reading that message the logical move would be to pull both or if one is removing only one, the latter.  I’m presuming it’s sheer ignorance on his part but given attempts to spin the New Testament lately by revisionist scholars perhaps doing so would be damaging to those efforts.  It would be a public statement that Christ stands against this sin and this would undermine too many pretending something else.

The Second thought comes from this ironic passage via Instapundit concerning syrian refugees:

Sir Ian McKellen comments on the influx of Syrian refugees into Western nations. McKellen says these people should ‘be looked after’ until they can return to their home country and that we should trust authorities to weed out any individual who poses a threat.

I find this a rather odd contradiction give Islam’s great love for Homosexuality as the very publicly gay Milo Yiannopoulos:

So you can accuse me of being “islamophobic” if you want, because no, I don’t want to be shouted at or spat on in the street. Maybe my gayness is standing in the way of a Muslim utopia… but I’m going to be selfish here and say maybe we don’t import all the people who want to murder me.

I’m serious. Gay people are getting stoned to death all the time in the Middle East, and not in the fun way: in the throw-big-rocks-at-your-head-until-you-die way. I don’t mean to be callous, but what are we gaining by letting these people in? Why can’t we help them with overseas aid? Why do they need to come here? Aren’t we just encouraging more of them to risk the trip by throwing our borders open?

and we’re not just talking ISIS either:

These are the attitudes we’re importing by allowing millions of Muslims to settle in western Europe. Sorry if that sounds intolerant, but remember women and gays aren’t just treated like shit by ISIS, but mainstream Muslim culture, too. I can’t remember how many Muslim countries have the death penalty for homosexuality. What is it, ten? Eleven?

If Sir Ian can’t handle the christian scriptures, thousands of people bearing the Koran or books of Hadiths which are still being used to kill gays all over the world under local law should be unbearable for him.

We don’t have any word on if Sir Ian feels compelled to tear pages out of the Koran or of Islamic Hadiths when he encounters them.  Larry King didn’t bother to ask, if he does perhaps he may choose to keep quiet about it.

I can’t imagine why.


Finally and most revealing is his self congratulatory statement of restraint saying it’s a choice between defacing the book or throwing it away altogether.

What’s so interesting is that there is an obvious 3rd choice:  Leave the book alone. 

While we often hear the culture portray Christians of all stripes as “puritanical” and “intolerant” there seems to be a distinct lack of christians defacing or destroying what would be considered “gay friendly” material when encountering it during travel.

The fact that the wealthy and comfortable Sir Ian doesn’t seem to have the restraint that’s shown by the average Christian speaks volumes about the supposed tolerance and open-mindedness of the left but I suspect it speaks to something else.

As I’ve said many times no amount of belief on my part or disbelief on someone else’s part changes has any bearing on the actual truth of Christianity in general or Catholicism in particular (or any other religion for that matter).

As a Catholic the truth of the faith is a given and while I might object to the long term cultural damage the changes the left have brought to society I don’t let myself be made crazy by them because in the end none of it changes eternal truths.  My primary responsibility is my own soul.  While I might pray for and advise others concerning said truths in the hope helping them gain eternal life & sparing them the sufferings of eternal damnation the final responsibility for their souls is ultimately their concern and while it’s sad I don’t allow it to keep me from functioning.

Yet to McKellen who considers scripture a fantasy to be ignored and is clearly an educated man simply can’t handle a page in a book.

Mind you he doesn’t have to read that page, he doesn’t have to open the book in fact he doesn’t have to open the particular drawer that the book is in.  Simply knowing that a page in a book in a drawer in a room condemns his life choices is too much for him.

Now if he believes the Bible is just a fable and Christianity is just a made up religion such an obsession to destruction is beneath a man as erudite and educated as Sir Ian McKellen.  It’s an act that is completely irrational.

But if I’m right and the whole thing, Jesus, God, Angels, Devils etc are in fact reality than said obsession makes perfect sense.  It would mean that the page in that book is a reminder of a truth that can be denied only for a time, a truth that his guardian angel whispers in his ear, a truth that at age seventy is closing in.

Proverbs says:  The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the LORD, (Proverbs 9:10a).  I submit and suggest that Sir Ian’s apparent fear is completely rational and is a sign of hope for him, because there is always the chance that said fear will move him to different action.

I wish him luck.


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My pastor is gone for the week so Monday I attended my old parish for daily mass .  It was the feast of Sts. Isaac Jogues and Rene Goupil who were martyred in North America by the Iroquois.

During his sermon Fr. Leo talked St. Isaac’s first captivity (he was martyred during his 2nd) and how he was comforted by a book with commentary on the letter to the Hebrews and regretted that unlike the saint so few Catholic take advantage of the treasure of scripture sitting in their homes on a coffee table, even those who attend mass.

Never was I more made aware of this then today.

Ladies & Gentlemen meet Call to Actioncall to action

They describe their mission as:

Call To Action educates, inspires and activates Catholics to act for justice and build inclusive communities through a lens of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles.

As you might guess looking at their site their agenda is gay marriage, woman priests and abortion or as I call it “Catholics for Mortal Sin”

I’d never heard of them before but today while checking out the #catholic hashtag I saw them tweet this out concerning the synod on the family.

While unfamiliar with Catholic Call to Action I’m very familiar with Fr. Thomas Reese SJ and what he and other of the Catholic left have had to say about St. Pope John Paul II & Pope Benedict during their pontificates so I found this statement incredibly ironic and said so.

This led to a long twitter exchange.

but while I find the whole “Catholic Left doesn’t want people dissing a the pope” business ironic, that was nothing compared to this

If both my assertion concerning Christ & Truth and their answer sounds familiar to you then congratulations, unlike Catholic call to action you’re familiar with the passion &  know your scripture

Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants (would) be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (emphasis mine) John 18:36-38a

I couldn’t believe me eyes so I called them on it

Think about that for a second A group that calls itself “catholic” yet disputes the doctrines of the church claiming they were “developed exclusively by older white men from Europe” when challenged by the proposition that Christ offered Truth answered with the very words that Pilate pronounced upon handing him over for crucifixion.

It’s one thing to dispute the truth of Christ’s church, it’s another to use Pilate’s own words to do it.  And these guys are going to persuade actual mass going Catholics to go along with them?

Seriously you can’t make this stuff up, you just can’t.

Update I answered their last tweet with a very simple question

As of this writing 21 hours later this “Catholic” group has no answer.

Update 2: Wow, just wow! That answer deserves its own post


The only pay I get for this work comes from you. My goal for 2015 is $22,000.

Given that fact and the discovery that the repairs needed for my car that failed inspection will run between $500-$1000 I would I ask you to please consider hitting DaTipJar.

Olimometer 2.52

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I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

Mrs Cooper:   [Walking into a Catholic chapel] Oh, this one’s sweet. You know, for your rosary rattlers.

The Big Bang Theory The Rhinitis Revelation 2011

If there is one thing that tends to unite many Protestants it’s their dislike of the Catholic faith.  One may go from being a Lutheran, to a Methodist to a Baptist to a Congregationalist and it will produce nary a reaction from any other protestant.  But if a Protestant goes from any of these denominations to the Catholic Faith the shock and horror this produces never ceases to amaze.

And of the various Catholic Devotions none seem to promote more of a visceral reaction that the Holy Rosary and the primary prayer of it the Hail Mary:

Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with thee

Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of your womb,  Jesus.

Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners.

Now, and at the hour of our death, Amen.

Nothing seems to set Protestants into a fit like this prayer.   As St. Louis De Montfort described it in his classic book The Secret of the Rosary:

They still say the Our Father but never the Hail Mary; they would rather wear a poisonous snake around their necks than wear a scapular or carry a rosary.

I’ve always found this fact to be one of the oddest things about the Protestant version of Christianity as the Hail Mary is built in its entirety of words that most Protestants would consider the building blocks of Christianity itself.

So this being the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Hail Mary being the most common prayer of the rosary (said 10 times in a decade, 53 times if saying one set of mysteries, or 203 times in a full Rosary, 206 using my methods) this is an excellent time to take a close look at the Hail Mary piece by piece and explain why it is a prayer every Christian should use with pleasure.  I will do this in several parts so lets begin with

Part one:  The Angelic Salutation:

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.”

If one studies various books on the Hail Mary you will see that it is often referred to as the “Angelic Salutation”.  This make a whole lot of sense because this prayer begins literally with the salutation of an angel.  Now throughout the Bible there are many occasions when angels appear, usually to deliver a message, or a perform a specific task.  Most angels like the one who frees Peter (Acts 12)  are unnamed.  The named angels (Michael, Raphael, Gabriel) are rarely seen and the use of named angel to deliver this message emphasises its significance but ,   just as important as the actual words being said, is what is goes on in this encounter.  Let’s examine it in four parts:

A:  The substance of the Angel Gabriel’s greeting to Mary.

As I’ve said the Hail Mary or the Angelic Salutation literally begins with the salutation of Gabriel the Angel:

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And coming to her, he said, “Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you.”

Luke 1:26-28

For my protestant friends here is the King James Version

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Now the simple fact that this opening is directly biblical should, in itself make it acceptable to any Christian of any denomination but the words being said makes the point even better.  For reasons that will shortly become apparent let’s examine these words in a way one might normally not, in reverse order.

Gabriel closes with:  “Blessed are thou among women.”.  This singles Mary out from her entire gender as important, but that in itself isn’t a big deal.  While this puts her above half the earth’s population women were pretty much property at the time so that only suggests she is first among the lowly, but let’s continue to go back.

Gabriel precedes this with “The Lord is with you.”  This echoes the words of the unnamed Angel who greeted Gideon the same way  (Judges 6:12) So it establishes her parity with one of the Judges of Israel.  That’s rather significant,  but even beyond this while Gideon’s angel is unnamed this greeting to Mary is made by a named Angel who stands before God.  Thus Mary is not just equal to the great Judge Gideon, but superior to him.

This is preceded by “favored one”  Now one might think that being visited by an angel alone would make such a statement superfluous after all who is more favored than a person visited by God’s angel?   But the explicit statement of this denotes rank, you are favored, you are special, but consider that this is the only time in the entire bible that this description is given by an angel to any person.  Thus makes Mary Unique not just above a Judge or the Judges of Israel but above everyone.

Finally this entire greeting from Gabriel begins with the formal HAIL, this signifies a person of authority and is usually given by an inferior to a superior.  Gabriel having established Mary above humans, establishes her above himself.

All of this is entirely in keeping with a Royal Style, a person of rank with multiple titles is addressed by their highest first, and then by their lower ranks and honors in decreasing order.

Thus Gabriel in that initial salutation immediately establishes Mary’s rank, above women, above judges, above creatures and above himself.

B:  The submission of the Angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary

While it’s one thing to argue that the greeting of Gabriel suggests his inferiority to Mary, it’s the contrast between his actions in her presence vs his previous  conversation with Zechariah, the husband of her cousin Elizabeth that really puts the exclamation mark on Mary’s rank in the eternal hierarchy.

Consider the scene Luke 15-17:  Zechariah has just been told his prayers have been heard.  His elderly wife will conceive by him and his son will have the spirit and power of the prophet Elijah.  That’ pretty good news for and old priest but an incredible thing to believe so Zechariah quite rationally asks:  How?

Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”  And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel,  who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news.  But now you will be speechless and unable to talk  until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”

Luke 1:18-20

Despite being not only a priest (Luke 1:5) and a man:  righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly (Luke 1:6b) when he asks the perfectly rational question:  “How?”  He is punished for the full term of his wife’s pregnancy for daring to question Gabriel words.

That’s a pretty severe punishment.

Contrast this reaction to Zachariah question vs how he replies to the virgin Mary who in verse 34 asks:

 “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?”

Does Gabriel ask how dare this mere woman question the angel of God?  Does he note her youth and inexperience and demand she trust?  No.  Not only does Gabriel answer her question directly in verse 35 but he even offers variable tangible proof of his assertions in verses 36,37:

 “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.”  And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.”

So Gabriel who stands before God, who smote a righteous priest for daring to question him, when standing before a person who in the 1st century had no standing or importance whatsoever deigns to submit himself to her, providing explanations when asked.  Just like a subordinate would.

C:  The Submission of Mary to the will of God:

While all of what has come before is of great importance when considering the relationship of Mary with God, the single most significant part comes not from the Gabriel’s greeting to Mary or even his answering of her questions.  It’s what follows that elevates Mary beyond everything else.

Consider Mary’s position.  She has just been told that it is God’s intention for her to conceive his son, but Mary being a product of her time and place knows very well where she stands in the pecking order in Jewish society and what turning up pregnant before her wedding means in 1st century Nazareth

1. As an unmarried woman found to be pregnant before her wedding and not by her betrothed the BEST CASE scenario would be a quiet divorce (Which was Joseph’s original plan see Matt 1:19) having the baby secretly and giving it up, keeping silent because if she repeated this tale she would  be considered a liar, a fool or a blasphemer subject to being stoned to death.  Again, this is her BEST CASE Scenario!

2.  Alternatively she might be divorced and not be able to keep the reason quiet marking her as an unclean woman the object of scorn and ridicule for the rest of her life forcing her to flee elsewhere with the ambition of living as a beggar or a whore.

3.  Of course she could just be publicly denounced as an adulteress and stoned to death according to the law of Moses.

All these are the reality of her times, yet given these very real possibilities what does she say:

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

She in one fell swoop declares her faith in the Lord, her trust that God will deliver her from any of those very likely scenarios before her.

Furthermore her statement makes an affirmative declaration that the child she will bear,  Jesus Christ,  is the son of God and by doing so gives birth to Christianity 9 months before the birth of Christ himself, even before his very conception.  She becomes by these words the very first Christian.

D:  Gabriel’s departure AFTER her consent

The final piece of this incredible puzzle comes in verse 38b and seems almost not worth mentioning:

 Then the angel departed from her.

I can hear the words now.  “Well of course the Angel left her, he’s an angel not a midwife or a lamaze coach.”  But there are three salient points worth noting here.

 1. At the beginning of the sequence in verse 26 Gabriel is referred to by name, but from the moment he proclaims the initial angelic salutation to this final verse, he is no longer named, he simply becomes “The Angel” while Mary is continually named each times she speaks.

2. If God considered Mary simple the object to be used to fulfill scripture Gabriel could have easily left after his explanation in verse 37 or even after his basic announcement after verse 33.  Instead he waits for her answer.  He waits while Mary, a mere creature decides if God design will take place through her or not.  This act makes Mary’s “Yes” not a formality but the necessary final ingredient for God’s plan to take place and his waiting for that “yes” is a formal acknowledgement by the powers of heaven in her unique role in the salvation of all of mankind

 3. Finally he does not leave till dismissed

This gives the final touch to the argument concerning Mary rank vs the Angels

So in summation in four parts we see  we see Mary:

Marked as holy by God (part 1)

Submitted to by the heavenly Angel (part 2 & 4) 

And giving affirmative consent to God submitting herself to his plan of Salvation (part 3)

and all of this starts with the opening phrases of the Angelic Salutation:  “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.”

It is the phrase that all Christianity begins with.


Next time:  Part 2:   The Human Confirmation


The only pay I get for this work comes from you. My goal for 2015 is $22,000.

Given that fact and the discovery that the repairs needed for my car that failed inspection will run between $500-$1000 I would I ask you to please consider hitting DaTipJar.

Olimometer 2.52

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Additionally our subscribers get our podcast emailed directly to them before it show up anywhere else.

I know you can get the MSM for nothing, but that’s pretty much what most of them are worth.

This story

Cuban dissidents are feeling let down after they were left out of Pope Francis’ itinerary. The pontiff plans to meet with Cuba’s leader Raul Castro, its priests, its young and its sick, its churchgoers and its seminarians as he travels around the island starting Saturday.

has been called “shameful” by Ed Morrissey but I think more devastating that Ed’s critique is the Gospel from yesterday’s daily mass.

A Pharisee invited him to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.

Two people were in debt to a certain creditor; one owed five hundred days’ wages 12 and the other owed fifty. Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both. Which of them will love him more?

Simon said in reply, “The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.” He said to him, “You have judged rightly.

Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet, but she has bathed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she anointed my feet with ointment. So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; hence, she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.

He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” The others at table said to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” But he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.

Luke 7:36-50

Think about it, when Jesus’ host at dinner is embarrassed by appearance of the sinful woman, does Jesus say to the woman:  This is not the time or the place?  Does he ask her to go away and slowly he will change Simon’s heart?

No he challenges his host and unfavorably compares him to this woman who has intruded on the dinner that Simon planned and uses it to demonstrate God forgiveness.

The decision to ignore dissidents in Cuba vividly demonstrates an important doctrine of the Church as explained at the Catholic Answers site:   Papal infallibility IS:

a charism the pope “enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith (Luke 22:32), he proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. 

Papal infallibility is NOT:

a guarantee that any particular pope won’t “neglect” to teach the truth, or that he will be sinless, or that mere disciplinary decisions will be intelligently made.

The Holy Father is making a tactical mistake here, that doesn’t make him any less holy, or less catholic or less correct about the forgiveness of christ or anything else,  but it does mean in this situation I think he’s made a wrong move.

But that’s OK because as he constantly proclaims, Christ never tires of forgiving.

4th Doctor: Amazing. You know, I had a feeling, I had a feeling that Neeva was actually expecting to hear an answer to his prayer. 
Leela: There wouldn’t be much point in praying if he didn’t. 
4th Doctor: I could quote you a few theologians who’d give you an argument on that.

Doctor Who the Face of Evil 1977

A while back I wrote about Saint Peter and the nature of man & sin, I’d like to give you an even more startling Biblical example this time from Exodus namely when Aaron made the Golden Calf (Chapter 32).

Now if you’ve seen Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments staring Charlton Heston as Moses and David Carradine as Aaron.  You have an image of Moses alone talking to God and Aaron sitting at the bottom of the hill waiting, but if you read Exodus Chapter 24 you discover something of interest.

Moses himself was told, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, with Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You shall all worship at some distance,  but Moses alone is to come close to the LORD; the others shall not come too near,

Exodus 24:1-2

and then 8 verses later

Moses then went up with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy elders of Israel, and they beheld the God of Israel. Under his feet there appeared to be sapphire tilework, as clear as the sky itself.   Yet he did not smite these chosen Israelites. After gazing on God, they could still eat and drink.

Exodus 9-11

The implications of these verses are astounding.  Aaron had been the spokesman for Moses, he was present with the rest of Israel when all of the plagues and miracles took place, but more than that.  He actually saw God the Father.

And unlike even Peter sinking, he wasn’t dealing with the human aspect of Christ.  Aaron saw God as he was.  He didn’t have to believe in God, God was a fact.

And yet he STILL made the Golden calf.

It’s almost impossible to wrap your head around it.  Rationally how on earth could Aaron commit such a sin after actually seeing God face to face?

But even more incredible is the fact that even after committing this incredible sacrilege when he had seen God face to face, God STILL made Aaron his high priest.

It is man’s nature to sin, God knowing this and loving us gives us a way out.  first through the Levitical sacrifices and then later through Christ sacrifice and Sacramental confession and the power to loosen and bind sin.

Never doubt for one moment that your sin can be forgiven if you are willing to accept that forgiveness.

If God was willing to forgive Aaron, then blasphemy challenging not withstanding don’t hesitate believe for one moment that he won’t forgive you if you but ask.

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

John Bunyan


This piece at Hotair jumped out at me bigtime:

Poll: 38% of born-again Christians believe prayer can boost wealth, 24% think wealth is a sign of God’s favor

It caused some surprise

Even your friendly neighborhood atheist blogger is surprised by this result: My memory of youthful Christian lessons is rusty but I do vaguely recall something about rich men and heaven and camels and the eye of a needle.

Our atheist friends memory is not faulty.  Let me refresh it from  from Matthew 19:16-26

Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”

He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good.  If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

He asked him, “Which ones?” And Jesus replied, ” ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother’; and ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.'”

The young man said to him, “All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”

Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to (the) poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

In fact Christ gives multiple examples of seeking wealth as folly talking about instead seeking to amass treasure in heaven.

All this is Christianity 101, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church discusses it:

1.  Respect for Persons and Their Goods

2407 In economic matters, respect for human dignity requires the practice of the virtue of temperance, so as to moderate attachment to this world’s goods; the practice of the virtue of justice, to preserve our neighbor’s rights and render him what is his due; and the practice of solidarity, in accordance with the golden rule and in keeping with the generosity of the Lord, who “though he was rich, yet for your sake . . . became poor so that by his poverty, you might become rich.”

and here under the 10th commandment 

  1. The Disorder of Covetous Desires

2535 The sensitive appetite leads us to desire pleasant things we do not have, e.g., the desire to eat when we are hungry or to warm ourselves when we are cold. These desires are good in themselves; but often they exceed the limits of reason and drive us to covet unjustly what is not ours and belongs to another or is owed to him.

2536 The tenth commandment forbids greed and the desire to amass earthly goods without limit. It forbids avarice arising from a passion for riches and their attendant power. It also forbids the desire to commit injustice by harming our neighbor in his temporal goods:

When the Law says, “You shall not covet,” these words mean that we should banish our desires for whatever does not belong to us. Our thirst for another’s goods is immense, infinite, never quenched. Thus it is written: “He who loves money never has money enough.”

2537 It is not a violation of this commandment to desire to obtain things that belong to one’s neighbor, provided this is done by just means. Traditional catechesis realistically mentions “those who have a harder struggle against their criminal desires” and so who “must be urged the more to keep this commandment”:

. . . merchants who desire scarcity and rising prices, who cannot bear not to be the only ones buying and selling so that they themselves can sell more dearly and buy more cheaply; those who hope that their peers will be impoverished, in order to realize a profit either by selling to them or buying from them . . . physicians who wish disease to spread; lawyers who are eager for many important cases and trials.

2538 The tenth commandment requires that envy be banished from the human heart. When the prophet Nathan wanted to spur King David to repentance, he told him the story about the poor man who had only one ewe lamb that he treated like his own daughter and the rich man who, despite the great number of his flocks, envied the poor man and ended by stealing his lamb. Envy can lead to the worst crimes.

If one is not inclined to read the Catechism which explains scripture & doctrine in detail one should at least read the scripture.

I’ll give the last word to Our Lady of Lourdes who spoke this to St. Bernadette

I cannot promise you happiness in this life, only in the next.

Remember the years you spend alive are dwarfed by the centuries you will spend dead.

I speak to Mosongo Oong of Biblezon at the Catholic Marketing Trade Show

their web page is here, their twitter account is here. Their facebook page is here. Their Youtube page is here.

I speak to Maggie Castor about the Gospel Box at the Catholic Marketing Trade Show

the Gospel box web site is here, the twitter page is here

The Gospel Box store is here

Before I spoke to her I spoke to her husband Kelly Mission Water first. That interview is here.

The events that took place in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church rocked the nation this week.

Mr. Dylann Roof a young Caucasian man of only 21 years of age murdered nine parishioners – all Black – shortly after the conclusion of their Wednesday Night Bible Study Service.

Our nation finds itself asking the question: If one cannot be safe in a “House of Worship” then is there any place that we are truly safe?

This is a questions that begs an answer.

Unfortunately, our country has witnessed carnage like this before – (1.) the shootings at Columbine, Colorado in 1999;  (2.) the shootings at the Aurora Theater (Colorado); and (3.) the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.

There is no place that is absolutely safe.

When we look at the violence that is engulfing our nation, we ask ourselves as Christians and Jews who believe in the Judeo-Christian value system or worldview, how do we truly restrain the evil in our midst?

There have been numerous books and commentaries – starting with the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) – and extending through the Christian Bible (what is referred to as the New Testament) that have attempted to address this subject.

Furthermore, a large litany of authors ranging from Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and the Protestant Swiss Reformer John Calvin have all attempted to address the concept known as “gratuitous (gross) evil.

In an incredible act of Biblically based mercy, some of the relatives of the victims who were murdered reached out to Dylann Roof and extended the hand of Christian forgiveness and reconciliation.

Please take a moment to view this wonderful blessing of forgiveness on display:

The existential question of the moment is this: While the families of the victims of this heinous act are reaching out to Mr. Roof, what should our Government do?

The Holy Bible in both the Hebrew Old Testament and the Christian New Testament teach that one of the primary functions of government is to preserve and maintain Law & peaceful Order.

In Genesis 9.4-6, the prophet Moses was led by The Holy Spirit to write that –

4“But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it. 5And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

6Whoever sheds human blood,

by humans shall their blood be shed;

for in the image of God

has God made mankind.”

We clearly see that “Capital Punishment” was instituted by GOD right after the events of The Flood (Genesis 6-8). GOD wiped out mankind because of the gross inhumanity of man killing man.

In Genesis 9.4-6, GOD tells Noah and his sons that they are to exact His vengeance against murderers.

Now in the case of full disclosure, I am not a proponent of “the death penalty”; however, my argument for this position is based on giving every human being a chance to “repent” and ask “JESUS CHRIST” for forgiveness.

My position is not based on the belief that the Holy Bible teaches pacifism.

I respect my Quaker, Amish, and Mennonite brethren – and in many cases my Roman Catholic brethren who are opposed to Capital punishment.

The Bible teaches us that the State or Human Government is an agent of GOD’s Wrath to stop evil doers in their path – and use FORCE WHEN NECESSARY to curtail malicious acts.

Let us look at this portion of Scared Scripture found in Romans 13.1-7:

Submission to Governing Authorities

1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended.

4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing.

7Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.


Saint Paul has given us so much to contemplate and think upon.

We do not have time to visit what was written by Saint Peter, but I would encourage everyone to read what Saint Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2.11-17. The language that Saint Peter employs is remarkably similar to what is found in Romans 13:1-7.

Saint Augustine wrote that Christian believers are supposed to display the principles and values of THE CITY OF GOD in the midst of The City of Man.

How do we do this?

May I offer a few suggestions for our Prayerful contemplation and action…?

First, and foremost, WE MUST Pray that GOD sends His Mercy to the families that are going through this tremendous tragedy at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church.

JESUS told His disciples that “34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.JOHN 13.34-35.

The Love of Christ in our hearts is a powerful witness to a Skeptical and unbelieving world.

Secondly, WE MUST Pray for the Salvation of Mr. Dylann Roof.

The LORD that we Love  Serve is a Great and Compassionate and Merciful SAVIOR… AMEN!

I would ask us to pause to consider the implication of the following two verses of Sacred Scripture:

Ezekiel 33.11 – Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?

2 Peter 3.8-9 – But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

9The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Time and space do not allow me to address the Theological concept known as the “Total Depravity” of Mankind.

For those of you who would like to get a feel of what “Total Depravity” looks like from a Christian point of view, I would strongly urge you to read from the book of Romans chapters 1 through 3 (ROMANS 1-3).

Finally, WE MUST PRAY and ACT in ways that assist the city of Charleston, South Carolina and our nation to see that the solution to the violence in our land in NOT ULTIMATELY POLITICAL, BUT SPIRITUAL!

In 1965, two-thirds (66%) of all Americans believed that The Holy Bible was The WORD of GOD.

Today only 30 to 33% of the U.S. population believes that The Holy Bible is GOD’S Holy Word that is binding on all human actions and conduct.

Those of us who are Christian – Roman Catholic, Orthodox, or of the Protestant varieties – have a lot of work on our hands with regards to “Witnessing the Love & Compassion” of Our Holy Savior to an unbelieving world.

16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

17“For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

18“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.

20“For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

21“But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

One more Quick thing about the Stacy McCain piece I linked earlier, this paragraph jumped out at me:

Today, I woke up and turned on Fox News and was disturbed to see “Fox and Friends” playing along with Bruce Jenner’s ridiculous farce, and why? Because yesterday, when Neal Cavuto snarked at the new Vanity Fair “cover girl,”the Left went into attack mode and, we may presume, Rupert Murdoch’s executives issued a memo commanding everyone on the network to join in the “Caitlyn” charade. The Culture of Lies has become so powerful that we must forfeit respectability if we dare speak truth to perverse power.

Stacy’s  description of Fox’s reaction  reminded me of the start of Psalm 73

How good God is to the upright, the Lord, to those who are clean of heart!  I But, as for me, I lost my balance; my feet all but slipped, Because I was envious of the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they suffer no pain; their bodies are healthy and sleek.
They are free of the burdens of life; they are not afflicted like others.
Thus pride adorns them as a necklace; violence clothes them as a robe.

Out of their stupidity comes sin; evil thoughts flood their hearts.
They scoff and spout their malice; from on high they utter threats.
They set their mouths against the heavens, their tongues roam the earth.
So my people turn to them and drink deeply of their words.
They say, “Does God really know?” “Does the Most High have any knowledge?”
Such, then, are the wicked, always carefree, increasing their wealth.

Psalm 73 1-12

The first virtue remains courage, we’re going to need it.  More on that later this week.

During the Easter season there are a lot of reading during the Acts of the apostles at both Sunday & Daily Mass.  Last week we read about a debate in the early church from Acts Chapter 15 that resonates today.

It begins in verse 1

Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.” 

Given that Circumcision was the sign of the covenant with God and these men were Jews this was not an unreasonable or odd conclusion for them to come to and it started a debate

Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and presbyters about this question.

Now note what happens here.  Paul  Barnabas debated them on the subject but rather than rejecting them or doubting their faith or intentions they decided that this was something the church needed to discuss.  After they arrive in Jerusalem & give their report on their evangelizing the debate begins in verse 5

But some from the party of the Pharisees who had become believers stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.”

It’s worth noting here that these are Pharisees who have decided that Christ was the promised messiah.  They hadn’t rejected the law and the prophets, they concluded that Jesus was the fulfillment of the law & the prophets.

And in verse six  & the start of verse 7 the meeting that is now known by the church as the Council of Jerusalem takes place

 The apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.  After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them,….

This may seem like an odd place to stop but I think it’s vitally important to note what has just been established before Peter makes his speech.

1.  A disagreement has come up in the church over proper practice/doctrine

2.  The people involved in the dispute rather than resolving it themselves take it to the highest authority available, the Apostles in Jerusalem.

3.  And rather than a quick answer there is much debate.

Think about those beginning words from verse 7.  We are dealing with people who heard Jesus preach, who were present when his mission took place, people who knew Jesus personally.  Yet even so on a matter basic in terms of what you need to be a follower of Christ they disagreed and debated.

That they disagreed didn’t make them any less followers of Christ, that they debated didn’t make them enemies of he church.  It meant that they were Christians who had different ideas on how to best to lead others to God in the right and proper way.

In the end three things carry the day.  Peter’s speech (Verses 7-11) concerning the Gentiles equality through the Holy Spirit after which in verse 12…..

The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

The details are not listed but some are mentioned in the two preceding chapters (acts 13-14 concerning their travels) finally you have the speech of James from verses 14-21 and the final decision is made based on his words in verses 19 & 20

It is my judgment, therefore, that we ought to stop troubling the Gentiles who turn to God,  but tell them by letter to avoid pollution from idols, unlawful marriage, the meat of strangled animals, and blood.

And verse 22-29 detail what was done:

Then the apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole church, decided to choose representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers.

This is the letter delivered by them: “The apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings.  Since we have heard that some of our number (who went out) without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind, we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:

‘It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities, namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’

In addition to the ruling itself, there are several things in the letter that are significant.

1.  It hits teaching unauthorized doctrines.  At the very beginning of their letter they note the source of the problem they are addressing comeS from people teaching doctrines that have not been mandated by the church.

2.  Recognized members of the church deliver the right doctrine.  They send recognized members of the church to deliver this message and do so both by word of mouth & by letter.   (This is consistent with the Jewish practice of testimony coming from two witnesses).

3.  The Holy Spirit makes the call:  The letter doesn’t state their ruling is the decision of the Church, of Peter, James, Barnabas or Paul.  The letter says it is the Decision of the Holy Spirit.  The same Holy Spirit that has guided the church from the day of Pentecost to the present day.

This is consistent with the church today.  The doctrine of the church comes form the church, delivered by recognized members of the church and inspired by the Holy Spirit that like Christ is with it till the end of time and the gates of Hell shall not stand against it.

There are also several things that are significant in their absence from the letter.

1.  It doesn’t condemn those who made those statements.  It doesn’t say that the people who made this error are no longer members of the church or to be shunned, nor does it suggest they were acting with evil or malicious intent.

2.  The practice of circumcision mentioned anywhere in the letter.  Circumcision is neither condemned as a practice to be avoided or celebrated as a practice to be emulated.

3.  Nothing in the letter mentions a debate.  Nowhere in the letter you see any hint that there was any kind of debate in the church or who was on what side.  There is no condemnation of those who were on the wrong side of the debate at the start nor lionizing those whose opinion matched the decision of the spirit.  While those who attended are aware there was a debate as far as the church & the letter is concerned said debate is moot.  The matter is settled, the debate if any ever took place, is over and the ruling of the church is what it is.

This is also consistent with the church today.  Occasionally people make mistakes or have opinion that might be discussed and debated within the church.  The church doesn’t condemn people for having an opinion nor does it suggest that within such a council they should not make their case.

But when the Holy Spirit through the church comes out with a decision, it is made and those in the church are expected to follow & teach what is bound (or loosed)  on earth and heaven regardless of what any person opinion on that decision might be.

Just as important nowhere in the remaining 12 verses of Acts chapter 15 nor anywhere else in the book is there any indication this happens  elsewhere in Acts does it talk about members of the Pharisees wing of the church suddenly deciding the Church is to be rejected and returning to orthodox Judaism because gentiles are not required to follow the Mosaic Law, Nor do we see others decide to go off and form their own “house churches” because they didn’t like the forbidding of unlawful marriage.  The members of the church didn’t take their balls and go.  They stayed and obeyed.

The council of Jerusalem teaches an important lesson the Christians in general and Catholics in particular.  Whoever has ears ought to hear.

Take a look at this commentary

and as you do remember two things:

1. Jesus Christ was executed by the Romans by the request of the Jewish authorities for what they considered blasphemy against their faith.

2. Bill O’Reilly wrote a best-selling book titled Killing Jesus

This is about as far off the Irony scale as you get. This is Chris Cuomo territory

BTW In honor of Mr. O’Reilly’s Biblical ignorance I offer $50 tip jar hitters the option of declining the standard Book premium for themselves & having me buy Bill O’Reilly a copy of the New testament which I’ll ship to the Fox News studio he broadcasts out of as a gift in your name.


My goal is Twenty grand a year

Olimometer 2.52

That gets all the bills paid.  If I can get to Forty Thousand I can afford to travel outside of New England and/or hire me a blogger to help me get it done.

Consider Subscribing 100 Subscribers at $20 a month will get the job done.


Our May Premium for a tip jar hitters of $50 or more is Tim Imholt’s book: The Forest of Assassins

Subscribe at $50 or more in and receive each monthly premium shipped the date of your payment.

All Tip Jar hits in May of $10 or more will get a copy of Jeff Trapani’s excellent E-Book Victor the Monster Frankenstein.

As any Christian will tell you call scripture is useful for instruction but todays second reading at Mass last Sunday is not only excellent instruction but very enlightening in terms of understanding our current pope:

If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it! If I do so willingly, I have a recompense, but if unwillingly, then I have been entrusted with a stewardship. What then is my recompense? That, when I preach, I offer the gospel free of charge so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible.

To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.’

1 Cor 9 16-19, 22-23

To those christians in general & Catholics in particular who have not been pleased with the pontificate of Francis I this package really explains what is going on.

The primary job of any pontiff is to help lead the flock but to a Pope his flock is not just the Catholic Church but the entire world, for as Christ commanded:

Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.

Matthew 28:18-20

Like Paul Francis is being all thing to all people, and because of this he, while not changing the doctrine of the church, is attracting many people who have either fallen away or have never given Christ, the actual Christ rather than the pseudo Christ of the media a first look.

I’m sure many conservatives like myself will look at this and remark that the foes of the church will simply use Francis’ ways to attack the church, but such people would be attacking us anyways.  Others will say that while some will jump on board while it’s fashionable at this time they will just as quickly fall away, that’s also true, after all Christ said that very thing in the parable of the sower and the seed.

But there will be a fair share who, having found the world & its culture full of empty promises who will come forward and through prayer and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, find themselves taking advantage of the incredible and unmeasurable mercy of Christ.

I suspect very few of them will be those you read about, the big faces, the beautiful people, those who have been the loudest in railing against all the church is, but the job of Christianity isn’t popularity, in fact we are told we shall not be, the job is to, as Paul put it “save at least some”.

Every single person is worthy of the mercy of God, from the cloistered monk who prays all day to the ISIS murder of burns people alive.  Christ is willing to forgive and welcome those two and everyone in between if only they ask sincerely.

And just like Benedict’s methods were effective with some but not others, if Francis methods succeed in saving some of those lost, that’s exactly what he’s there for.

After all the Holy Spirit doesn’t play at dice

One final thing, sharp eyed biblical scholars might have noticed that today’s reading left out two verses that come right before “To the weak…”.  They are as follows:

To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law – though I myself am not under the law – to win over those under the law. To those outside the law I became like one outside the law – though I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ – to win over those outside the law.

While in a historical context this reinforces the point Paul is making (after all he often preached in synagogues throughout the Roman world, in terms of our modern times their relevance is limited.  You don’t see a lot of Catholic priests preaching Jewish congregations and even fewer of said congregations are orthodox, that is living under the law.

I suspect that why it’s left out, after all mass runs 45 min to an hour to start with.

Gary Harrison:  Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up, but I have a great life, and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don’t care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice and helping people. And even though people in this town might think that’s stupid, I still choose to believe in it. All I ever did was try to be your friend, Stan, but you’re so high and mighty you couldn’t look past my religion and just be my friend back. You’ve got a lot of growing up to do, buddy. S*** my b****.

South Park All about Mormons 2003

Capt. Picard: Q. End this.
Q: Moi? What makes you think I am either inclined or capable to terminate this encounter?
Capt. Picard: If we all die, here, now, you will not be able to gloat. You wanted to frighten us. We’re frightened. You wanted to show us that we were inadequate. For the moment, I grant that. You wanted me to say I need you. I need you!
Cmdr Riker: [after Q snaps his fingers ] Position.
Wesley Crusher: Zero seven zero, mark six three, sir. Back where we started.
Q: [ To Picard] That was a difficult admission. Another man would have been humiliated to say those words. Another man would have rather died than ask for help.

Star Trek, The Next Generation Q who? 1989


One of the least quoted but most interesting stories of the Bible concerning the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines.

After God revealed to Samuel that he would punish the priestly family of Eli for their unfaithfulness (1 Samuel 3:11-18) Israel fought against the Philistines. Eli’s sons were killed and the Ark captured. (1 Sam 4:10-11) and the 98 year old Eli when hearing the ark was captured fell back out of his chair & broke his neck (verse 18).

What is more interesting is what happens next in Chapter 5 starting with verse 1

The Philistines, having captured the ark of God, transferred it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. They then took the ark of God and brought it into the temple of Dagon, placing it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next morning, Dagon was lying prone on the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they picked Dagon up and replaced him.

The Philistines see this as just a coincidence, after all while they worship “Dagon” they seem to understand it’s just a hunk of rock. There are a million reasons why it could have fallen down so they just pick it up again and consider it just a coincidence… until verse 4

But the next morning early, when they arose, Dagon lay prone on the ground before the ark of the LORD, his head and hands broken off and lying on the threshold, his trunk alone intact.

and verse 6

Now the LORD dealt severely with the people of Ashdod. He ravaged and afflicted the city and its vicinity with hemorrhoids; he brought upon the city a great and deadly plague of mice that swarmed in their ships and overran their fields.

Even more interesting is how they react (verse 7)

On seeing how matters stood, the men of Ashdod decided, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for he is handling us and our god Dagon severely.”

And while the people of Ashdod have had enough the Philistines of Gath are made of sterner stuff (verse 8)

So they summoned all the Philistine lords and inquired of them, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” The men of Gath replied, “Let them move the ark of the God of Israel on to us.”

and pretty soon that sterner stuff is coming out of their backsides(verse 9)

So they moved the ark of the God of Israel to Gath! But after it had been brought there, the LORD threw the city into utter turmoil: he afflicted its inhabitants, young and old, and hemorrhoids broke out on them.

This kind of stuff continues to happen until in verse 11 & 12 they’ve had enough:

Then they, too, sent a summons to all the Philistine lords and pleaded: “Send away the ark of the God of Israel. Let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our kindred.” A deadly panic had seized the whole city, since the hand of God had been very heavy upon it.

Those who escaped death were afflicted with hemorrhoids, and the outcry from the city went up to the heavens.

By chapter six they are not only preparing to return the Ark but are including gold offerings symbolizing the disasters they have endured (verses 3-5) but the crowning and key statement comes in verse six:

Why should you become stubborn, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh were stubborn? Was it not after he had dealt ruthlessly with them that the Israelites were released and departed?

Now there are two obvious takeaways from this story:

1. If the Nazi’s from Raiders of the Lost Ark had bothered to read Samuel they would have left the Ark where it was.

2. One does not have to believe or worship God to understand what works and what doesn’t in life.

Consider the teenage suicide situation, the single parent situation, the drug and violence situation in school requiring police on the premises where actual education is takes a back seat to being “correct” , a society full of litigation, culture unable to save, highly medicated and constantly blaming each others for their problems.

The difference between those times and these, a culture that embraced Judeo-Christian values and a culture that is split.

This is the ultimate fruit of the 60’s and a generation that never grew out of the idea that they were smarter and better than their parents as Stacy McCain put it:

The great idol of modernity is Progress. Everything that happened prior to today is “old-fashioned” and obsolete, and nothing is more obsolete than yesterday’s ideas. Whatever your parents or grandparents believed in 1980 or 1950 or 1920 is presumed to be wrong. Your ancestors were all racist sexist homophobes enslaved by patriarchal religious bigotry. Never mind that their beliefs enabled your ancestors to survive hardship that would be unimaginable for most Americans in the 21st century. In a remarkable span of six decades, America survived the Great Depression, triumphed in World War II and destroyed the Evil Empire of Soviet tyranny. Yet the American child today is taught to despise the values of the people who accomplished all that. The child cannot cherish his own inherited tradition or respect his own ancestors, and is instead commanded to bow down at the altar of Progress.

Think of the Philistines, they didn’t embrace Judaism after this encounter, they didn’t bow down and worship the Lord.  All of this took place before the kingship of either Saul or David, but they were smart enough to recognize what they did didn’t work and change course.

Are modern liberals willing to recognize what hasn’t worked and even if they don’t embrace the Lord, change their path to what worked for 200 years in this country?  Are they as smart as a bunch of bronze age folk from the middle east?

I’m betting not.


Donna Noble: What time does Vesuvius erupt? When’s it due?
10th Doctor: It’s 79 AD, twenty third of August, which makes volcano day tomorrow.
Donna Noble: Plenty of time. We could get everyone out easy.
10th Doctor: Yeah, except we’re not going to.
Donna Noble: But that’s what you do. You’re the Doctor. You save people.
10th Doctor: Not this time. Pompeii is a fixed point in history. What happens, happens. There is no stopping it.
Donna Noble: Says who?
10th Doctor: Says me.
Donna Noble: What, and you’re in charge?
10th Doctor: TARDIS, Time Lord, yeah.
Donna Noble: Donna, human, no. I don’t need your permission. I’ll tell them myself.
10th Doctor: You stand in the market place announcing the end of the world, they’ll just think you’re a mad old soothsayer. Now, come on. Tardis. We are getting out of here.

Doctor Who The Fires of Pompeii 2008

Yesterday I wrote about the question of the Bible as not a video of events for the sake of recording history but as the inspired word of God for the purpose of saving souls. I further explained how events that predates recorded history written by Moses from oral traditions under God’s inspiration are explained not in scientific detail but in a way that people from the bronze age could understand, writing specifically about the story of Noah & the flood.

Now while I think I handled the whole origin of the flood business there is one point that can still be fairly made. Even if the flood was a natural phenomenon of some sort which God warned Noah about why did he not warn anyone else or allow him to do so? Is God culpable for not warning or saving any of the others.

Let’s consider this point for a second.

If you read the entire passage from Genesis Chapter 6-7 you will see (again Bill Cosby and various movies not withstanding) Noah is not instructed to keep what he is doing or why he is doing it a secret. Nor does the Bible record anything how anyone reacts to Noah & his sons building an ark on dry land.

Consider this. We are talking four men doing all of these things from building the Ark to loading all the provisions for all the animals involved. This is something that takes time particularly when you have no mechanical devices to aid you. It’s completely inconceivable that other people in the area would have missed it and given human nature one must believe that somebody asked what was going on?

But either way the Bible doesn’t say a thing, no commentary, no people laughing at him or calling him crazy, no neighbors asking him to get the ark out of their driveway, not a sausage.

Now the exclusion of his information does not mean nothing happened any more than the lack of info on Christ from age 13 till 30 means nothing interesting happened to him during that time. It simply isn’t relevant to what is being recorded.

There are however things we can infer by studying scripture both this passage and others in the Old Testament I specify the Old Testament because after the coming of Christ complete forgiveness for any sin, no matter how egregious, becomes available because Christ is the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. At the time of the old Testament that is not yet available.

So lets consider a similar episode of doom concerning the city of Nineveh and the prophet Jonah:

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:

“Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”

So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh, according to the LORD’S bidding. Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”

Jonah 3:1-4

Now This is just one of many old Testament prophecies of doom including Noah, Sodom & Gomorrah, Jericho, Jerusalem and many others. What’s different about Nineveh is how the people react to the news God is going to destroy them:

when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.

When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his nobles: “Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand. Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we shall not perish.”

When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.

Jonah 3:5-10

This is very significant, Nineveh from top to bottom not only acknowledges their evil and turns away from it, but they as a nation beg God for forgiveness. And God (to Jonah’s annoyance) spares them.

Now consider another example, the dialogue between Abraham & God concerning Sodom & Gomorrah. God informs Abraham of his plan to destroy Sodom & Gomorrah Abraham presses God concerning killing the innocent with the guilty. God states if he finds 50 good people he’ll spare the whole city for their sake. Abraham however continues to press God dropping the number to 40, 30, 20 until finally:

But he still persisted: “Please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time. What if there are at least ten there?” “For the sake of those ten,” he replied, “I will not destroy it.”

Genesis 18:32

(I often joke that 10 good people threshold to save a city is excellent news for San Francisco but I digress…)

What do these two passages tell us? Even in the days of the old Testament God is willing to forgive the condemned if they repent and even if a place is crawling with evil a mere 10 righteous people are enough to save them. That passage incidentally is particularly significant because it is from the same book of the Bible as the story of Noah & are recorded by the same writer (Moses).

So what do I infer from this? The following:

1. There were not ten people in the world who were righteous

2. Even if Noah or one of his sons & their wives told anyone of the coming judgement of God Not a single person either believed them or repented.

I find this interesting because it dovetails with a point that I made in August:

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 submit and suggest that given God’s nature if any of the people within range of the Ark repented before it was closed up, they would have been in on board.

Oh and if you are an unbeliever who object to me making that conclusion without physical evidence, may I point out you have absolutely no physical evidence or example of a fin turning into a paw or a hand yet you believe macro evolution without question.

Neighbor: Listen what’s this [ark] thing for anyway?”

Noah: I can’t tell you Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Neighbor: Can you give me a hint?

Noah: You want a hint?

Neighbor: Yes Please

Noah: How long can you tread water, ha ha ha ha ha

Bill Cosby Noah: and the Neighbor Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow…Right! 1963

Yesterday I got into a bit of a discussion with a person on twitter by the name of Staunch Atheist concerning biblical things. To my complete lack of surprise the “judging God” card got played pretty early (or late as I came to the discussion late myself).

This is such a common argument among atheists that it’s almost a requirement that it be made and if it’s not made you have to wonder if something is wrong.

Of course there are several answers that can be given: All people die and damnation not death is the ultimate evil (thus while all die innocents would be spared the damnation of the guilty), It’s the just payment for their deeds (Genesis 6:13). It’s no different that the German & Japanese children who died during the necessary of World War 2 bombing to stop an overwhelming evil. The nonsense of a moral judgement from one who doesn’t believe in an absolute static morality (my personal favorite).

But I’d like to approach this from a completely different angle recycling a point I made in the my first six months of blogging concerning what the bible is and what it isn’t.

In my opinion one of the great mistakes that people make with the Bible it to make something of it that it is not. It does chronicle history but it is not solely meant as a history book, for example 18 years of Christ’s life is missing (actually more like 29, we only have a brief glimpse at age 12). Those years might be of interest to historians but in terms of the purpose of the book (see point 1) they don’t matter.

and the understanding of it by the people it was written for.

Now lets take Moses as such. He is blessed with direct contact with God but he remained a man of his time, with the physical perceptions and the scientific knowledge of a man of his time.

Thus it didn’t matter if God spontaneously created the water for Moses or steered him to a place where there was a stream about to break through rock or if he weakened the rock, as far as Moses was concerned God made it happen.

So lets apply that same logic and argument to the flood.

Per Genesis written by Moses inspired by God, Noah is informed by God that the Doom is coming and is told to build an Ark to save him alone because he alone is just.

In the eyes of God the earth was corrupt and full of lawlessness. When God saw how corrupt the earth had become, since all mortals led depraved lives on earth, he said to Noah: “I have decided to put an end to all mortals on earth; the earth is full of lawlessness because of them. So I will destroy them and all life on earth.

Make yourself an ark of gopherwood, put various compartments in it, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you shall build it: the length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, its width fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.

Make an opening for daylight in the ark, and finish the ark a cubit above it. Put an entrance in the side of the ark, which you shall make with bottom, second and third decks. I, on my part, am about to bring the flood (waters) on the earth, to destroy everywhere all creatures in which there is the breath of life; everything on earth shall perish. But with you I will establish my covenant; you and your sons, your wife and your sons’ wives, shall go into the ark.

Genesis 6:12-18

Now consider, if we remember that this story in Genesis, while inspired by God for Moses to record is not a video recording or a court transcript of events but the truth as explained to Bronze Age Humans with a Bronze age understanding, as are in fact the instructions given to Noah an even earlier Bronze Age man:

That being the case many possibilities arise concerning the flood?

Will it rain for 40 days & forty nights?

Will the water just appear?

Will some geological event divert waters causing a flood

Will a giant meteor strike hit the Indian ocean causing a gigantic flood?

Will earth’s meteorological cycle have a one in a million year rain event?

Will some other astrophysical event from a comet passing close or a disruption of the Moon’s orbit cause an extreme flood event?

Is it the sudden melting of Ice Caps due to the end of an Ice Age?

Was there some combination of all or some of the above?

Any of them are possible but Noah (Bill Cosby notwithstanding) doesn’t know or ask how. Nor does God explain to him physics, meteorology, astrophysics or any of the sciences to him or any of those who would pass the oral tradition to Moses. They don’t really know and neither do any of us.

But in terms of scripture and the purpose of the Bible it doesn’t matter. What matters is Noah obeys, the flood happens, Noah his family & the animals with him live, everyone else dies.

Now one can still choose to judge a God they don’t believe in if they wish (Even if he didn’t directly cause it why didn’t he save anyone else? I’ll touch on that tomorrow) however one must remember the existence or nonexistence of God is independent of one’s belief or disbelief. If for the sake of argument God doesn’t exist in 100 years neither you or I dear reader will know or care.

But if I and the rest of the Christian world is right and God does exist, be aware that while you can choose to judge God , eventually he will be returning the favor.

On the bright side, even the most hardened sinner and/or doubter have an ace in the hole they can play even to the last minute of their life if they so choose:

write that I am more generous towards sinners than toward the just. It was for their sake that I came down from heaven; it was for their sake that My Blood was spilled. Let them not fear to approach Me; they are most in need of My Mercy.”

Jesus to St Faustina Diary #1275

Yes it can be that easy.

Charles Manson, a failure when it came to ginning up racial war

by baldilocks

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

(‭Matthew‬ ‭24‬:‭3-8‬ KJV; emphasis mine)

Many readers of the Bible think of the political definition of the word nation–nation-state–when the word comes up, and forget or never learned that ‘nation’ also refers to ethnic groups and tribes. It also refers to what we think of as racial groups. Strong’s Concordance confirms this.

We all know that there would be no riots and that few black Americans would give a rat’s about the Ferguson shooting if Michael Brown had not been black or if Darren Wilson were black.

So we can conclude that the uproar about the decision of the Grand Jury has no relation to right and wrong, or to actual justice. It’s about tribalism– “my tribe, right or wrong.”

Social “justice” is the issue here–a primary tenet of Leftism. Leftism’s primary root is division.

Back in the Bible day, before the redemptive action of Christ, it went like this: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; the sins of the father are visited upon the son, down to ten generations. In other words, you always had to pay for your actions and so did your children. And this is the law to which those black people who are still angry about American slavery want to subscribe–even some of those who say they are Christians.

So when we–any of us–subscribe to tribalism, here’s what we are doing, basically: we are denying the Redemption of Christ, and we are becoming a part of His prophecy in Matthew 24, a prophecy which is not meant for Christians (my opinion).

Those who do this and who are up front about not being Christians are more honest…and they will have less to answer for when they have a face-to-face with God.

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. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015.

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

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>

Baldilocks mini


The first in an occasional series of how things haven’t changed much since the days of the bible.

Let me set the Scene, Acts Chapter 24.  Paul is brought before trial before the Roman Governor Felix.  He listens to the case for and against Paul and then….

But as he spoke about righteousness and self-restraint and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened and said, “You may go for now; when I find an opportunity I shall summon you again.”  At the same time he hoped that a bribe would be offered him by Paul, and so he sent for him very often and conversed with him.  Two years passed and Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus. Wishing to ingratiate himself with the Jews, Felix left Paul in prison.

Acts 24:25-27

I never knew Chicago was a province of the Roman Empire.

….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?



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!




Today I was reading the last chapter of St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians and was struck at how Paul’s cautions and warnings to them apply to us today:

Consider Verse 1

Brothers, even if a person is caught in some transgression, you who are spiritual should correct that one in a gentle spirit, looking to yourself, so that you also may not be tempted.

Note the warning, call sin what it is, don’t do it in an overbearing way and be careful because you’re vulnerable to that same trap.

The world of today redefines sin and has conditioned people to react to correction, so one must be willing to do it “gently” but with care because the world offers rewards for those willing to give into temptation.

Verses 2 & 3

Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.   For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deluding himself.

You’ve got to give a hand but not be stuck up about it, because it’s not all about you.

Verses 4-6

Each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason to boast with regard to himself alone, and not with regard to someone else; for each will bear his own load.  One who is being instructed in the word should share all good things with his instructor. 

Society today is all about self gaining as much of the credit as possible while dodging your share of the blame.

See things as they are, there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging you’ve done but don’t overdo it and remember how you got there.

Verses 7-8

Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit.

No time exemplified this more than this one. How much is society steered to the celebration and the satisfaction and the glorification of the pleasures and rewards of the flesh, whether sexual, sensory or though the acquisition of stuff, while those who cling to their religion are looked at with scorn, rejected and scolded for even daring to say “God Bless You” if someone sneezes

Yet how often are these people happy? Do we not constantly hear about their misery? Look at the example of Stacy vs the Feminists he clashes with, who is happy and who is angry?

Verses 9 & 10

Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith. 

The modern world will wear us down if it can, but our response has to be not only doing good to both those who like us but to those who don’t but we have to persist.

A great example of this is seen in what churches and parishes continue to do. I see the church attacked as obsolete, as unimportant and belief as foolish on a daily basis but while that goes on still the ministry goes on, to the poor, to the homeless, to those considering abortion in fact consider two fields education:

In the field of education, the Catholic Church runs 71,482 kindergartens with 6,720,545 pupils; 94,411 primary schools with 31,939,415 pupils; 43,777 secondary schools with 18,952,976 pupils. The Church also cares for 2,494,111 high school pupils, and 3,039,684 university students.

and healthcare

Catholic charity and healthcare centres

Charity and healthcare centres run in the world by the Church are 117,119 and include: 5,435 hospitals most of them in America and Africa ; 17,524 dispensaries mainly in Africa ; America and Asia ; 567 Care Homes for people with Leprosy mainly in Asia and Africa ; 15,784 Homes for the elderly, or the chronically ill or people with a disability mainly in Europe and America ; 10,534 orphanages , about one third in Asia ; 11,592 creches; 15,008 marriage counselling centres mainly in America and Europe ; 40,671 social rehabilitation centres and 4 other kinds of institutions.

I’d love to see the numbers for Hollywood on these things.

Verses 11-13

See with what large letters I am writing to you in my own hand!   It is those who want to make a good appearance in the flesh who are trying to compel you to have yourselves circumcised, only that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.   Not even those having themselves circumcised  observe the law themselves; they only want you to be circumcised so that they may boast of your flesh.

How much of our age is now all about appearance, people are considered good or moral not for what they have done but for what they have said, for having the right opinions. One doesn’t have to live good or do good, they just have to put on enough of an appearance or say the right thing and appear to be on the side that the world wants you to be.

Verses 14-17

But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For neither does circumcision mean anything, nor does uncircumcision, but only a new creation. Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule  and to the Israel of God. From now on, let no one make troubles for me; for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.

And here s the counter, the same one that Paul gave to the Galatians. What the world wants. It’s bearing the Cross of Christ, following through with the actions being that new creation that does good and openly bears the marks and signs of Christ at times not caring one jot about what the world says.

It’s really amazing when you see how well this chapter applies to today’s world, but while that’s the theme of this post there is another message that should not be lost and that’s the reason WHY this scripture applies so well to today’s world.

It’s because of a basic reality: It doesn’t matter how technologically advanced we’ve become, or how many gadgets we now have or that if someone farts in France, does a silly dance in Uganda or take a funny spill in India we can see it almost instantly, the same passions that drove mankind in the 1st Century AD does the same in the 21st Century AD.

The sins of man haven’t changed just how we access them, nor has their cost.

Fortunately for us the remedy expressed by Paul in the 16th and final verse of this chapter is just as effective today as it was 2000 years ago when he offered it to the Galatians:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.

That’s all it takes.


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.

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One of the hardest parts of Christianity is one of the simplest parts. Faith. And nothing illustrates this better than this week’s Sunday Gospel of Peter and the walking on water.

Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.

During the fourth watch of the night,he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once (Jesus) spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”  Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.  But when he saw how (strong) the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  After they got into the boat, the wind died down.  Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”

Think of St. Peter, here is a man who had a front row seat to the miracles of Christ, who has being seeing wonder after wonder. Who literally just saw Christ multiply the loafs and the fishes to feed thousands and now sees Christ walking on the water, is invited to do the same and then after managing a few steps…doubts and begins to sink.

Nor of course is this the only case  of Peter failing , even after the transfiguration, after Christ has given him the keys to heaven and declared that he is the rock upon who his church is going to be built, he still denies Christ and remember it wasn’t until he saw Christ going to Rome to be crucified again that he turned back to accept his will (Quo Vadis Domine)

It’s much like Exodus which I’m in the process of reading during my daily scripture. Here you have the children of Israel who saw all the mighty deeds of God in Egypt, who saw the Red Sea parted and when the water ran low still doubted God as if he would do all of these things only to kill them off completely.

These examples are vital, because they show us that the weakness of both Peter and the Children of Israel are not unnatural, and if they are not unnatural with those who have seen, how much more common is this a problem for those who have not?

In our Christian, lives how many times have we, knowing God’s commandments, knowing right from wrong chosen the wrong anyway? How many times have we failed to trust God, to worship God, to pray as he tells us to (“Ask and you shall receive“) and to persist in prayer.

Nor is this confined simply to Christian actions: How many times do we do things when we know better? How often have we acted impulsively, or foolishly when we knew that these actions had bad consequences? This is a problem that goes beyond religion, it’s a completely human weakness.

God understands this weakness. Knowing we are sinful, he provides Christ to die for our sins and redeem us. Knowing that we are flawed he provides the example of Mary conceived without sin as our mother to pray and intercede for us with her son as only a mother can. Knowing we are weak he provides the examples of both scripture and tradition to see how he has over and over used those who are weak and provided them strength and finally, knowing we are different is so many ways he provides us with the saints, people like us from all different walks of life we managed, even if they stumbled initially to find their way to God and are willing to help their brothers along that same path pointing the way to Christ.

That is the significance of the story of Peter and Christ walking on water that and one more thing.

Never forget that before he took the time to admonish Peter for the lack of faith he first reached out his hand. May we be willing to see and grasp that outstretched hand of God when it is offered.

One of the most common pieces of idiocy I hear over and over on the net is the idea that there was some kind of grand conspiracy of the Catholic Church to keep the Bible out of the hands of the masses that was only foiled with the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg. This idiotic tweet is standard:

The amount of historical ignorance it takes to make such a claim is so astounding that one is shocked that a person would be willing to make it in public, but since people know so little of history let me suggest a simple experiment to illustrate the absurdity of it all.

The next time someone tells you this tripe, ask them to do the following.

1. Sit yourself down in front of their  laptop and open up your bible.

2. Starting from Genesis start typing the entire thing out including verse numbers

The new Testament contains 138,020 words in 7956 verses. As you are including the verse numbers that’s an extra word for every say 3 verses so add 2652 words for a total of 140,682.

Now because a person making such a claim is likely a protestant we’ll make the old testament easy by doing what Martin Luther did and lop off the books he didn’t like leaving you 602,585. To make things easier we’ll even excuse you from the verse numbers.

That’s a total of 743,267 words.

A professional typist using a standard keyboard averages between 50-80 words a minute. Taking the low end of 50 words a minute  that means it would take you 14,867.34 minutes to type out the whole thing.

As there are 1440 minutes in the day that means it would take you 10.324 days of 24/7 typing to copy an entire bible assuming you were able to maintain that 50 words per minute the entire time without food, drink or rest

Let’s be kind and assume you need to sleep and be generous and give you say 6 hours a night to sleep. Let’s furthermore allow you a full two hours to eat two to three meals, take a bathroom break and dress So instead of working 24/7 you are working a 16 hour day getting up at 5 to type and hitting the sack at 11 PM with two hours during the day for other things. That would make give you about 960 minutes a day to devote to typing the bible finishing in 15.48 days at that steady 50 Word per minute rate throughout without  error (96% correct simply won’t do)

Ok now lets take away your laptop and replace it with a manual typewriter without an auto correct. How much time would the loading of paper add? The correction of errors. The centering etc? Let’s be EXTREMELY generous and say it would only add 10% to your total time so now we’re up to 17 days to copy a Protestant bible working 16 hours a day seven days a week.

Now lose the typewriter and write it by hand. According to Keller in 1988 An average person can copy text by hand at a rate of 22 words per minutes and now you are dealing with getting pens, starting pages over if you make a mistake etc.  Just how long would it take to hand write a bible?  Well a retired fellow by the name of Phillip Patterson managed to do it in 4 years.

Four years after he began his project to write out every word of the Bible, Phillip Patterson penned the very last lines Saturday at an upstate New York church.“Every single curly-q, every single loop, it was all worth it,” said Patterson, 63, moments after inking the final two verses of the King James Bible. “I’m really going to miss this writing.”

It took Patterson just a few minutes to copy the final lines of the Book of Revelation before a crowd of about 125 people at St. Peter’s Presbyterian Church in Spencertown. He ended the ceremony by saying “Amen.”

But lets assume you are not a retired AIDS patient and much healthier than Mr. Patterson, Moreover we are working uninterrupted for our 16 hours a day every day unlike Keller who devoted a mere 14 hours a day on occasion to work on it.

I’ll wager we can cut that four years down to a single year easy.

Now let’s replace our Pen with a fountain pen.  You have to constantly refill your pen and get your bottled ink, but at least it gives your fingers a rest. Plus you’re going to have to worry about ink stains & accidents. How many days would that add to the project?  Less than 10% say a month or more?

Now replace that fountain pen with a quill, now you have to sharpen that quill and be much more careful since it’s easier to make a mistake as there is no normal ink flow. Plus there is a danger of puncturing the paper with the point. Where do you think we are now? 14 months? 15?

Now cut off your electricity. You can now only write during time of full sunlight or by candlelight.

Suddenly you’re limited to an average of 12 hours a day to work, but that’s OK because now you have 4 hours to use to actually live and rest, but that takes a full 25% off your writing time. We are now up to 18 months to copy that bible. And you’re pretty much doing it the way a medieval monk used to do so, except your glasses are likely much better so you aren’t straining as much as you write.

But if we want to do what the monk did there are two things we can’t ignore..

#1. Being a monk you are observing the sabbath. So you are now losing one day in seven that gets you up to 21 months to finish that book.

#2 What about calligraphy? Most bibles were not written in just plain you are now adding flourishes and fancy lettering.  This is the word of God not some dimestore novel we’re talking about.

Bottom line you are talking nearly 2 years of manual labor working 12 hour days six days a week to produce a single bible.

So are you really going to stand there and tell me that there was a vast Catholic conspiracy to keep Bibles away from the general public when it took two full man years of manual labor to produce a single copy?

Given the amount of man hours it’s a wonder that any Bibles were produced at all and it speaks to the dedication and the faith of both the Catholic Church and the monks at the time that there were bibles even for the clergy let alone for anyone else.

And we haven’t even taken into account the lack of literacy among people living at subsistence level or the cost of such a book. (At $2 an hour 12 hours a day 6 days a week no overtime that $7488 in today’s money not counting materials. Tell me how many $7500 items do you have in YOUR house)?

So the next time some fool tries to tell you of the grand Catholic conspiracy of millennia to keep scripture out of the hands of the people give them this post or tell them to put their fingers where their mouths are.

Olimometer 2.52

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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.

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Benjamin Martin: What did I tell you fellas about shooting?

Nathan & Samuel Martin:Aim small, miss small.

Benjamin Martin: Aim small, miss small. Boys.

The Patriot 2000

Over the last two months I’ve taken up several devotions that I had hitherto not prayed in the past.  One of them is the Chaplet of St. Michael which I found in the Pieta Prayer Book which is an excellent collection of assorted Catholic Prayers & Devotions that I found in the house (you know I can’t quite remember when or where I got it from).

The book calls for an act on contrition to be said before starting the chaplet and provides the following one on page 15.

O my god.  I am heartily sorry for all my sins.  Because of them I deserve the eternal pains of hell, but mos of all because I have offended Thee my God who art all good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance, to avoid the proximate occasion of sin, and never to sin anymore.  Amen.

Although I said and continue to say this prayer before beginning my chaplet for the first few weeks I would tend to think or even add aloud, something like “doing the best I can” rather than “resolving never to sin anymore”.  It hit me that this was an unrealistic goal and my wife noted the same as she read the prayer aloud for me one day when we were driving.

But as I’ve read the scriptures more and more, studied the Catechism (yes I know I’m behind on my series the next part is in progress) read Catholic scholars  and listened to EWTN it occurred to me that questing the resolution “never to sin anymore”  was a trap so obvious one that I’m rather ashamed I missed it.

Consider this passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans

Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.

Romans 1:5-7a

Paul here is calling upon Christians to be holy, to be Saints and in doing so is simply echoing the direct call of Christ in the sermon on the mount

So be perfect,  just as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Matthew 5:48

Note what Jesus is saying here.  He is not saying:  “Try your best”  He is not saying, “You’re only human so you certainly can’t reach the perfection of God.”  he says directly:  Be Perfect, just like God is.  and in the preceding verses he gives directly examples of what this perfection is.

You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’  But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.

MT 5:21-22

  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  

Mt 5:27-28

 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.’  But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Mt 5:31-32

 “Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.  But I say to you, do not swear at all; … Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.

Mt 5:33-34a, 37

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’  But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. 

Mt 5:38-39a

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.  

Matthew 5:43-45

The natural reaction to these demands is something like this:  Seriously?  I’m not supposed to get mad at that idiot brother of mine? I’m supposed to look at Lynda Carter or Kate Upton and just think, “what nice girls”?  I’m supposed to stick with that pain in the neck spouse,  always tell the truth when I speak?  And not only am I supposed to let people just step on me.I’m supposed to love them when they do?  That does Christ  expect me to be?  A saint?

Yes, as a matter of fact he does.

And to be a saint means resolving not to sin, in fact it means even avoiding situations that might lead to sin.

Now this isn’t an easy task, but when Ron Washington managing the Texas Rangers hands the ball to Joe Saunders (0-5 6.13 ERA) does he say:  “You aren’t good enough to get those guys out, just throw the ball & do your best?”  Do the coaches of the last place Sixers, Houston Texans or Buffalo Sabers tell their players to get out on that court, field and ice and show them you can lose or to play for a tie?

Christ sends us out there to win, and he gives us the church as our coach, a church that has not only studied his perfect game plans but has studied the examples of those who have followed those game plans the best (the saints) to help us along.

And if we fail, he even provides us with the sacrament of Confession to allow us to put those failures behind us along with daily & weekly mass to be coached back on the winning track.

That resolve to not sin anymore, that means something it sets a high standard and that’s what we want.   If we set our goal for the perfection of heaven we have purgatory to cleanse us small failures to get us the rest of the way and will rejoice forever.

But if we fall for the Devil’s trap and resolve just to sin a little or not to do BIG sins, if we set our aim for purgatory or just good enough to avoid damnation we’ll fail, because the same cross winds that the devil will throws as we aim for the bullseye will be there if we just aim for the target and he will be very happy to welcome us to his kingdom if we fail.

Aim Small, Miss small.


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?


The latest in our series explaining & decoding the Catechism of the Catholic Church or what does the faith really proclaim.

Last time we went into some detail on the truths of Apostolic succession and tradition are inspired by the Holy Spirit and commissioned by Christ and that they are not independent of but complementary to scripture

Now let’s talk some scripture

One of the most amazing anti-Catholic canards is the Catholics don’t read the bible or discourage the same, every single mass every single day 2-3 passages of scripture are read and homilies given from them. In the same way that Christ came to earth and spoke in the form of man the Holy Spirit of God through inspired scripture speaks in the written language (101) and the idea that the Catholic Church has little use for scripture is frankly an absurdity as the Catechism says:

102…You recall that one and the same Word of God extends throughout Scripture, that it is one and the same Utterance that resounds in the mouths of all the sacred writers, since he who was in the beginning God with God has no need of separate syllables; for he is not subject to time.

103 For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God’s Word and Christ’s Body.

104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God”.  “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.

And that scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit says what God wanted said and does so accurately.

In one sense there is some irony here.  Muslims call Christians “The People of the Book” but while this might be true of some Sola Scriptura Protestants who were 1000 years in the future when Muhammad wrote the Koran this is not an accurate description of the Catholic Church

108…Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, “not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living”.73 If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, “open (our) minds to understand the Scriptures.

Understanding scripture requires the ability to interpret it, so how does the church know what scripture really means?

Well if you want to know what a person is talking about you have to take into account the language they are writing in, the customs of the people their culture, style and how they lived.  An excellent example comes from of all places the movie Back to the Future:

Marty McFly:   Whoa. This is heavy.

Dr. Emmett Brown:   There’s that word again. “Heavy.” Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull?

Doc Brown is a scientist Marty McFly is a teen but Doc can’t understand Marty because he doesn’t know the culture, just like  For  if a person in 1840 saw the sentence.  “Katy Perry is cool” they would assume she needed to come in and sit next to the fire and warm up.

111…The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it.

112 Be especially attentive “to the content and unity of the whole Scripture”. Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God’s plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover…

That’s an important point, there was a person a few days ago who kept hitting me with a single verse but would consider nothing else, always beware when a person who uses a single verse standing alone like a club.

…The phrase “heart of Christ” can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.

Another key point remember after his resurrection he opened the apostles hearts to scripture (Luke 24:25) and on the road to Emmaus he explained scripture to the disciples who didn’t recognize him till the breaking of the bread (Luke 24:27-35)

113 2. Read the Scripture within “the living Tradition of the whole Church”. According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church’s heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God’s Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture (“. . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church”).

This is important, because the same people who wrote scripture were the followers & disciples of Christ who handed down the traditions that have been with the Church for nearly 2000 years, it’s in what the church has done from the very beginning and has continued to do.

114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith. By “analogy of faith” we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.

Basically the truths of the Church make sense in God’s plan and Scripture confirms and explains these truths within the same.

Additionally it’s noted that Scripture is seen both has plan word. X happened to Y but events prefiguring others For example as mentioned in Eucharistic Prayer #1

Be pleased to look upon these offerings
with a serene and kindly countenance,
and to accept them,
as once you were pleased to accept
the gifts of your servant abel the just,
the sacrifice of abraham, our father in faith,
and the offering of your high priest melchizedek,
a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim

and of course Scripture instructs and allows us to observe the whole of God’s plan both through its words and events to guide us in our lives.

In the end as handed down through Christ and the Apostles it’s the job of the Church to figure out what scripture means but even more than that it was the Church that selected what Scripture is.

120 It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books.

This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament (45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one) and 27 for the New.

The full list was settled by Pope St. Damasus at the Counsel of Rome in 382 AD (over 1100 years before Martin Luther) and affirmed at councils in Hippo (393 AD) & Carthage (397 & 419 AD ), Nicea 787  (700 yrs + before Luther) and  Florence (1438)

All of these predate Protestantism and then after Luther’s revision removing books & passages from the old testament the Church re-affirmed the canon of scripture at The Council of Trent (1545-1564) and Vatican I (1870)

There are many who try to minimize the old testament, in fact a Heresy called Marcionism claims it’s void but the Church strenuously object to this 

121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value, for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.

And of course as we said earlier God revealed his plan in stages as man could become accustomed to it.  Thus the old gets us to the New Testament and their most important part the Gospels.

125 The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures “because they are our principal source for the life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, our Saviour”.

And the Catholic Mass affirms this in how both the daily & Sunday Mass treats the Gospel.

If you are unfamiliar with the Sunday Catholic Mass the standard for is a reading from the Old Testament, followed by a Psalm, then a non Gospel reading from the New Testament (usually omitted in the daily mass except on feast days) During the Easter Season the old testament reading is usually replaced by a reading from Acts. Before the Gospel is read the entire congregation stands and the Priest (or an Ordained Deacon after being blessed by the Priest) declares the Gospel reading and the congregation all standing respond: “Glory to oh Lord”, at which point the Gospel is read, at the end of the reading the Priest or Deacon says: “The Gospel of the Lord” and the congregation responds “Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ”. Only then does the congregation sit.

Such is the primary of the Gospel that unlike the 1st or 2nd reading only a Deacon (after the Priest prays over him) or higher can read it at Mass. The only exception comes on Palm Sunday and Good Friday when the reading of the Passion of Christ from Matthew 26:14-27:66 Mark 14:1-15:47 or Luke 22:14—23:56 (Palm Sunday) or John 18:1-19:42 (Good Friday) is proclaimed with the Priest reading the words of Christ, various Deacons or lay people reading other lines and the whole congregation proclaiming the parts of the crowd calling for Christ’s Crucifixion.

After the Gospel comes the sermon usually based on one or all of the readings, often they are the sermon, as the Catechism says:

129 Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen. Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself. Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament. As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.

Bottom line no matter what your position, lay person, Priest, Bishop, Student, sacred scripture is like food for Christian life (141) and the Church declares most emphatically:

133 The Church “forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful… to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.

That line from the Catechism should be memorized by every Catholic who gets told by a Protestant that we don’t believe in scripture, but more importantly it should be acted upon.

Thus has God through manifestation,  tradition oral & written and Scripture made himself known to man.  Now the Ball is in man’s court.



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.

Kunta Kinte:  No, This has never been my home.  But this is my child and we’re family

Roots 1977

Today is the Feast of the Holy Family.  Two of today’s Scripture readings from today’s Mass tend to get all the press and commentary.

The 2nd reading from Paul’s letter of the Colossians 3:12-21 because of the famous verse 18:

Wives, be subject to your husbands, as you should in the Lord.

like Ephesins 5:21-33. these verses has likely had more commentary than almost any lines that Paul wrote to anyone over the course of the last several decades.

The Gospel reading from Matthew Chapter 2 of Joseph’s flight to Egypt and his decision to go to Nazareth in Galilee afterwards is an intrinsic part of the Christmas narrative.  These are scenes that everyone are familiar with.

But in terms of the family it is the first reading from the Old Testament that is in my opinion one of the most relevant in this day and age:

For the LORD sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority he confirms over her sons.

He who honors his father atones for sins; he stores up riches who reveres his mother. He who honors his father is gladdened by children, and when he prays he is heard. He who reveres his father will live a long life; he obeys the LORD who brings comfort to his mother.

My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength. For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering – it will take lasting root.

Sirach  3:2-6, 12-14

Sirach also called Ecclesiasticus is one of he books removed from the Bible by most Protestants as they broke into more and more denominations so many readers might not be familiar with it but this passage shouts to the world of today.

As My Pastor Fr. Robert Bruso noted in his sermon today 48 years ago only 5% of children were born into single parent families, in 1965 while a full 40% are today and it’s become a matter of faith to suggest and insist that a family without a father (or mother) is not a big deal.

It’s not a coincidence that problems from teenage suicide to drugs and sexual issues have become problematic as the importance of fathers has decreased in society.

When you have weak, absent or part-time fathers boys age but remain boys.   Strong fathers create men out of boys and society needs men.

While there are plenty of examples of single mothers or fathers who persevered in successfully raising good well-adjusted children when accident or hardship leaves no other choice,  the overwhelming body of evidence suggests that the best chance for well-adjusted children is a father and a mother and that without the nuclear family children’s future are at risk.

The greatest negative example of this has been in the black community where the lack of fathers as positive role models more than anything else has devastated the inner city and the culture and the decision by other well off folk to purposely deprive a child or a father or mother is an act of narcissism turning children into just another bauble of status, a present one gives to oneself.

But while that is the largest cultural significance to this scripture doesn’t end there.  reflect on this verses (emphasis mine) :

My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. Even if his mind fail, be considerate with him; revile him not in the fullness of your strength.

We live in a nursing home age when the aged are forgotten ignored, occasionally trotted out on a holiday or perhaps visited for an hour as an obligation.  You hear plenty of talk of allowing the old to “die with dignity” which I suggest is more about “dying” than dignity, it becomes an excuse to do little or nothing, why should the life of an old person be worth our time and expense?  What do the old have to teach us?

I think we should talk more about “living with dignity”.  Listening to their stories and their wisdom, because all the things you are going though in life (expect perhaps syncing your iPhone) they have done and gone through.  Ask their opinion (even if you don’t use it) given them their say and the respect that their years and experience has earned.  If they are physically able give them a small task.  At large family events for example I would,  while she lived,  have my mother & her older sister dry dishes, not because we needed the help, but because that act transformed them from a quaint decoration put in place as an obligation to an active and useful part of  the family unit that we all belong to.

That older sister is 92.  She sill lives in the home she has for 60+ years.  Her husband died a month before my father (1987) and my mother who died a year ago this month was the last of her sister & brothers.  She has no children but my oldest sister is there on a regular basis helping with meals and taking her shopping.  While this does not involve a father it’s the model of exactly what this passage is talking about.

Family remains important at both the start and the end of life.  Thanks to our defeats in the culture war we as a society have forgotten this fact and it has cost us dearly.

and THAT is why the culture wars need to be fought.

Update: via Glenn something similar at The Washington Examiner sans scripture

Simply put: Boys need fathers to learn how to become men. And too many of them don’t have one.

The social cost of this is not just the obvious burden from spiraling welfare and prison populations — a 2008 study estimated that family fragmentation cost taxpayers more than $112 billion a year — but in the lost potential as well.

What to do? The first step to solving a problem is recognizing that one exists.

Henry:  Get somebody else.
Undertaker:  Nobody else will drive it! So here.
Chris:   Oh, hell! If that´s all that´s holding things up, l´ll drive the rig.

The Magnificent Seven 1960

One of the most often asked questions has been why does God allow bad things to happen? Why does he allow evil things and evil people to exist?

There are many theories the most common one & reasonable one being that bad thing also bring out virtue as people rise to the occasion but there a much better answer comes from today’s Mass readings the first of which many of our protestant friends might have missed as it comes from the Book of Wisdom, which they removed when breaking away:

Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!

Wisdom 11:22-12:2

One of the basic tenets of Christianity is God’s love of his creation, or as it is often described: Loving the sinner but not the sin.  In this passage it talks of God moving slowly not by force but “warning”, and “reminding” the of sin, never excusing it, but always trying to help the sinner change direction.

The second reading of the week from 2 Thessalonians is a perfect complement to it

Brothers and sisters:
We always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith,
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ. 

We ask you, brothers and sisters,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
and our assembling with him,
not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed
either by a "spirit," or by an oral statement,
or by a letter allegedly from us
to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

2 Thes 1:11-2:2

Consider the first half of the passage, it’s all about praying for people with the goal of bringing people to be brought to the ways of the lord.  Emphasizing again the grace of God.

Then see the 2nd half warning against people trying to create a drastic fear to try and force a conversion, an excellent answer to every single doomsday cult that has come up over the centuries who have either conned people out of their possessions or even worse tricked them into thinking they have a faith they do not and then when reality strikes destroying it.

And finally we have this week’s Gospel from Luke that completes the package:

At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”

Luke 19:1-10

We have Christ not only defying convention and expectation by dining with a well known sinner but reminding the self-righteous what his entire mission is.

Think about it.  What would have happened if God had, as he was sinning and extorting simply decided, forget it, he’s not worth my salvation, or the time and effort to bring him around?

But also  consider Zacchaeus.  He wasn’t seeking redemption, he wasn’t seeking conversion, he went to see Christ out of sheer curiosity and I suspect nobody was more surprised at his conversion than he was.

And as Kristen Powers informs us, that surprise is still going on to this day:

I tried to write off the experience as misfiring synapses, but I couldn’t shake it. When I returned to New York a few days later, I was lost. I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion. I started to fear I was going crazy.

I didn’t know what to do, so I spoke with writer Eric Metaxas, whom I had met through my boyfriend and who had talked with me quite a bit about God. “You need to be in a Bible study,” he said. “And Kathy Keller’s Bible study is the one you need to be in.” I didn’t like the sound of that, but I was desperate. My whole world was imploding. How was I going to tell my family or friends about what had happened? Nobody would understand. I didn’t understand. (It says a lot about the family in which I grew up that one of my most pressing concerns was that Christians would try to turn me into a Republican.)

I remember walking into the Bible study. I had a knot in my stomach. In my mind, only weirdoes and zealots went to Bible studies. I don’t remember what was said that day. All I know is that when I left, everything had changed. I’ll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, “It’s true. It’s completely true.” The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.

God doesn’t throw people away he finds the of value and will spend till their very last minute of their lives to call them.

And he doesn’t ask their voter registration when he does it.

We’re on a mission from God

The Blues Brothers 1980

Brian: Who cured you?

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

Monty Python, The Life of Brian 1979

The Bible is the greatest selling book in the history of history, it has almost everything, drama, sex, history, excitement, chases, huge fight scenes, Love stories and the supernatural, all in abundant quantities.

The one thing it really doesn’t have much of is comedy.

I’ve heard sermons say the one funny moment comes in Numbers specifically Numbers 22:38-30 when God makes Balaam’s Ass (and I mean Donkey) speak.

Now unless you are the writers of Mr. Ed the only thing I find funny about that passage is that Balaam starts having a conversation with his ass as if he spent his formative years at the Doolittle school of Animal Husbandry instead of reacting:  “Holy s*** the ass is talking!”

And of course the entire passage Numbers: 22-34 isn’t funny except it makes PETA mad. Want to get a member of PETA to cheer the bible, read them Joshua 13:22 when Balaam gets killed (That’ll learn him not to beat his ass!).

But there is, in fact,  one real comic moment in the bible that I literally have to keep myself from laughing every time I read it. It’s this passage from the Acts of the Apostles:

As we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl with an oracular spirit, who used to bring a large profit to her owners through her fortune-telling. She began to follow Paul and us, shouting, “These people are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” She did this for many days. Paul became annoyed, turned, and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” Then it came out at that moment.

When her owners saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them to the public square before the local authorities.

They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These people are Jews and are disturbing our city and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us Romans to adopt or practice.” Acts 16:16-21

Now put yourself in Paul’s place: you’re on a mission from God to convert the world. It’s hard work. You come to Philippi and this woman starts telling everyone. Hey, this guy Paul, messenger from God right here. Your first thought is: “OK this is good, Christ is giving me an easy one.”  After all this women is well-known so people are going to listen, but then as Luke says,  she’s following you everywhere. She’s not just a woman with a spirit, she’s the patron saint of Groupies!

Think about it:

You’re eating , she’s there….Right here, slave of God, follow this guy

You’re trying to get some sleep she’s at the window: Hey, inside here, God’s messenger this one will save you.

Your telling the crowd about your own conversion story…she interrupts…..See right there, God speaks to this guy, do what he says

You’re trying to preach the Gospel and explain details, she’s at the temple doors: Details, smeetails just follow this guy, he’ll get you to heaven HANDS DOWN.”

The call of nature comes and she’s standing in front of the outhouse….Hey right inside God own messenger ready to set you free from sin

You’re trying to write a letter to one of the other churches she’s behind you…Hey this guy with the pen, pay attention the world will be reading his mail for thousands of years because it’s inspired by God.


Is it any wonder that he finally after several days of this he turns around says: “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” (verse 18b).  It wouldn’t have taken days for me to crack.

And then what happens? He’s sued for restraint of trade, the owners of the slave girl go after him because he’s losing them money. These guys are the patron saints of Ambulance Chasers. You go to a personal injury attorney’s office and you see busts of the owners of this slave women, why because they sue and got results:

The crowd joined in the attack on them, and the magistrates had them stripped and ordered them to be beaten with rods. After inflicting many blows on them, they threw them into prison and instructed the jailer to guard them securely. When he received these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and secured their feet to a stake. Acts 16:22-24

An inspiration for every lawyer running late night ads on cable!

So you’re Paul and Silas, you’re been stripped, beaten, chained to the deepest darkest dungeon in town with your feet chained to the ground and how do they react? They’re singing hymns to God.(verse 25).


Because it beats that pain in the neck woman following you around every waking moment shouting.

You want to know why Paul never complains about beatings, dangers, and all the trials and struggles he has to go through to preach the word? He just remembers two things:

1. Jesus appearing on the road to Damascus

2. Just how annoying that woman in Philippi was when God made it easy

As far as I’m concerned that’s comedy gold!

There is a bit on the net this week on Fr Corapi, but while I like Fr. Longnecker and Mark Shea if I had to pick someone to comment on his situation, I’d pick this guy.

I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and in the same purpose. For it has been reported to me about you, my brothers, by Chloe’s people, that there are rivalries among you. I mean that each of you is saying, “I belong to Paul,” or “I belong to Apollos,” or “I belong to Kephas,” or “I belong to Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

Good advice to anyone too enamored

There is a reason why Pride is first on the deadly sin list, every priest no matter how skilled or right should keep this in mind.

You might remember the story of Dan Savage savaging the bible at a High School speech, students walks out and Savage mocked the. Brian Brown at the time issued a challenge:

Let me lay down a public challenge to Dan Savage right here and now: You want to savage the Bible? Christian morality? Traditional marriage? Pope Benedict? I’m here, you name the time and the place and let’s see what a big man you are in a debate with someone who can talk back. It’s easy to make high-school girls cry by picking on them. Let’s pick on someone our own size!

The date was Aug 15th the place was Dan Savage’s house and the time was after dinner with a NYT reporter (who by his own description was constantly drinking) as moderator. I guess when Brian Brown says any place any time he MEANS it.

How did it go? Well here is what the reporter Mark Oppenheimer, got from the two sides:

Several days later, I asked Mr. Savage, Mr. Miller and Mr. Brown how they thought the debate had gone. (DJ, Mr. Savage and Mr. Miller’s 14-year-old son, ate with us but left before the debate, so I didn’t bother him with questions.)

Mr. Miller pronounced the entire night a waste of time. “Brian’s heartless readings of the Bible, then his turns to ‘natural law’ when the Bible fails, don’t hide his bigotry and cruelty,” Mr. Miller wrote in an e-mail. “In the end, that’s what he is. Cruel.”

I spoke with Mr. Brown by phone, and he seemed to agree that the setting had made little difference. “There’s this myth that folks like me, we don’t know any gay people, and if we just met them, we would change our views,” he said. “But the notion that if you have us into your house, that all that faith and reason that we have on our side, we will chuck it out and change our views — that’s not the real world.”

As for Mr. Savage, he felt that being on his home turf had actually worked against him. “Playing host put me in this position of treating Brian Brown like a guest,” he said. “It was better in theory than in practice — it put me at a disadvantage during the debate, as the undertow of playing host resulted in my being more solicitous and considerate than I should’ve been. If I had it to do over again, I think I’d go with a hall.”

Mr. Millers answer seems to show an ignorance of historical Catholic thought, Considering Mr. Savage’s choice of location his complaint is a tad empty but I suggest you listen to the debate in full and make up your own mind.

I suspect it will be quite a revelation to many young people who are assured by the MSM that there is no possible rational argument against Gay Marriage.

As for me I’d be happy to see these debates on every college campus around the nation. For centuries scripture has been attacked and for centuries the finest minds in Christendom have defended it successfully.

Debate and reason are the friends of truth and thus the friends of scripture. Bring it on!

Update: I just watched the debate which after the moderator had a few became 2 on 1. I am shocked that so many on the pro-gay marriage side linked it as Mr. Savage was pretty much owned by Brown.

You’re wrong, Sergeant Benton. That is the oldest trick in the book!

The Master: Dr. Who The Time Monster 1972

In this weeks Under the Fedora column I referenced a post up at Beliefnet concerning the Episcopal church and its disintegrating membership.

It wasn’t a big surprise and I just filed it away until Thursday when I read it to a friend of mine and something jumped out at me.

it’s the type of thing that a person even slightly versed in Scripture might have caught as Paul put it:

for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools Romans 1:21-22

How foolish. let me show you. Here is a quote from the piece on the sermon from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori at the annual US convention

“Jefferts Schori then proclaims that she has the answer for this. We all need the ‘act of crossing boundaries’ to become God after which our hands become a ‘sacrament of mission.’ (emphasis mine)

So the presiding of Bishop of the Episcopalians advises people to “become God” where have I heard this before?

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the LORD God had made. The serpent asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” The woman answered the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.” The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:1-6

The very first temptation causing the very first sin ever as listed in the first book of the Bible.

How foolish is the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal annual conference, she is so foolish she literally fell for the oldest trick in THE book.

You don’t get much worse than that.


The DaTechGuy fundraiser continues and I got a look at an acceptable car that I might get for a bit less that I expected. This could shave quite a few dollars off the needed: “get a car” goal.

Any help is appreciated. For details click here for the progress check the thermometer to the right and to kick in hit DaTipJar”.

…it’s called “prayer

In the past few years, Mr. Ewart has spent time hanging out with evangelicals – people who actually talk about loving Jesus. He admires their personal, emotional connection to God. Lately, he has even started praying.

That might seem odd, didn’t he learn anything back in his seminary days?

“When I went to seminary, we never talked about prayer,” says Mr. Ewart. “I had an intellectual relationship with Jesus. But love Jesus? Not so much.”

I guess that would explain the 60% decline when the top issue being discussed is boycotting Israel and affirming Transgendered Priests is it any wonder that you are pretty much ignored and the average age of your congregation is 65.

But apparently there is a solution if you want to find faith, simply hang out with people who actually have it, evangelicals, Orthodox Catholics etc, remember the words of the prophet:

if the wicked man turns away from all the sins he committed, if he keeps all my statutes and does what is right and just, he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of the crimes he committed shall be remembered against him; he shall live because of the virtue he has practiced. Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked? says the Lord GOD. Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live? Ezekiel 18:21-23

or the words of Christ himself:

Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more.” John 8:10-11

If you decide to change your ways you’ll be surprised at how much God will give you a hand.

What you want is to keep a sly self-congratulation mixing with all his thoughts and never allow him to raise the question “What, precisely, am I congratulating myself about?” The idea of belonging to an inner ring, of being in a secret, is very sweet to him. Play on that nerve. Teach him, using the influence of this girl when she is silliest, to adopt an air of amusement at the things the unbelievers say. Some theories which he may meet in modern Christian circles may here prove helpful; theories, I mean, that place the hope of society in some inner ring of “clerks”, some trained minority of theocrats. It is no affair of yours whether those theories are true or false; the great thing is to make Christianity a mystery religion in which he feels himself one of the initiates.

C. S. Lewis Screwtape #24

For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Luke 6:32-35

In my last post I suggested that those who might feel Schadenfreude should be wary. Not just because as stated in the passage from Luke above we are required to pray for them but more importantly for our own sakes.

As a Christian individual our primary goal must be our own salvation.

If you congratulate yourself on your belief in Christ and scripture as opposed to those liberal Christian denominations while defrauding others in business. That’s a problem.

If you expound heavily on sin of Gay Marriage, while cheating on your wife, that’s a problem.

And if you when looking at the follies of liberal Christianity with smugness, then you are forgetting that Pride is the FIRST on the list of deadly sins and any Mortal Sin unconfessed and unrepented will damn you just as well as any other.

That’s the trap laid out for us, to help avoid it remember this simple thought:

You are better off being surprised at sharing heaven with your greatest enemy than trying to find satisfaction in sharing the fires of hell with him.

Never forget that and always remember whether debating an Atheist online or praying in front of an abortion clinic the goal should always be the salvation, not the damnation of the person you are engaging.

Update: The DaTechGuy Fundraiser is in progress, our goal is $3000 and any help is appreciated. For details click here for the progress check the thermometer to the right and to kick in hit DaTipJar”.

Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours

C. S. Lewis Screwtape #7

Only today I have found a passage in a Christian writer where he recommends his own version of Christianity on the ground that “only such a faith can outlast the death of old cultures and the birth of new civilisations”. You see the little rift? “Believe this, not because it is true, but for some other reason.” That’s the game,

Screwtape #9

When reading about the trials of Liberal Christianity elaborated on at HotAir and the New York Times one harkens back to one of my very first posts back in January 2009 titled Why Believe or No? the Nitty Gritty of Christianity was laid out plainly:

Many people give many different reasons why they are Christian in general and or Catholic in particular. I maintain there is only one valid reason, and that reason should trump any and all others:

Because it’s true.

This should and must be the primary reason for being a Christian. No other trumps it. Christianity and the Church is either true or false, there is no middle ground here. If it is true then non belief doesn’t matter. The penalties and benefits are real and will have to be dealt with at some time in the future. Its like not believing in the wind. It doesn’t matter if you believe it it or not it is a reality to deal with.

Conversely if Christ is not the son of God then Christianity is just another Elks club that meets on Sunday. This is why liberal “modernized” Christianity has no meaning and can’t attract members. There are plenty of groups out there for various liberal causes that do not require a liturgy even one bastardized and watered down to avoid offense. If your cause is some other agenda than Christ and the Gospel then the need to attend a “Church” becomes superfluous.

So one might wonder why keep the denomination going? The answer comes from the British TV Series Yes Minister:

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”.

And not only is the stipend gone but you are much more likely to get coverage for your statement if you are the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church then the head of yet another liberal NGO decrying any attempt to declare any practice (other than the promulgation of Orthodox Christianity) a sin.

So this will go on until all that is left is a small office with a person calling themselves a Bishop with little or no flock sustained in the public eye only the leftist media’s desire that such a voice exist.

If you are a believing and faithful Christian in General or Catholic in particular and this post is a source of Schadenfreude, be wary…

Update: Via Glenn Walter Russell Mead talks about the decline in the moral authority of the Episcopal Church but doesn’t come out and say the reason. To have moral authority, one must believe in morality.

Update 2: meant to say “trials” vs “trails” corrected

Update: The DaTechGuy Fundraiser is in progress, our goal is $3000 and any help is appreciated. For details click here for the progress check the thermometer to the right and to kick in hit DaTipJar”.