Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Reflections on the Church at the End of the Year

While 2013 had many instances of breaking news, I think the biggest change for the year was the election of Pope Francis and the reactions to his different style.

During the pontificates of Paul VI, Bl. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, we grew accustomed to a Pope behaving in a certain way. There were some new things done (for example, the World Youth Days) or old things done in new ways, but for the most part we had a fixed view on how a Pope was supposed to behave. There was some dissent as individuals on the left or right took offense with their actions, but they had strong support from Catholics who looked to the Church as Mother and Teacher.

It was inevitable that Pope Francis would shake things up. He was not a European with a European perspective and a European history. He was not a pre-Vatican II priest (ordained in 1969).  He would do things differently simply because he had a different background.

Unfortunately, many Catholics who were accustomed to the perspective of his predecessors mistook those elements as being part of the essence of what the papacy was supposed to be. Both conservative and liberal Catholics believed he was overturning Catholic belief... to the horror of conservatives and delight of liberals.

Both were wrong. A reading of his pre-papal works would show that he took the teaching of the Church as a given. His difference was how he approached the mission of the Church.

The approaches of Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI were not wrong. Their approach was to deal with a world that wrongly contrasted freedom and religious beliefs. Their teachings made it clear that true freedom comes from doing what is right.  That was right. That was necessary.

But it was easy for some Catholics to reduce the Catholic faith to compliance with certain moral norms. That wasn't the fault of  Paul VI, John Paul II or Benedict XVI, but it had to be addressed.

Pope Francis did address it. He told us that it was not enough to teach compliance with moral norms. We had to put those teachings in the context of Christ's Great Commission.

Unfortunately, many (both conservative and liberal) heard "not enough" and equated it with "not necessary." The media has a large portion of the blame here of course.  By taking quotes out of context, they portrayed the Pope as a "everyone love each other" hippie. It was bad enough that people ignorant of what he said believed the media. But the real problem was ordinarily faithful Catholics -- especially in the blogosphere -- also believed the media instead of seeing what the Pope really said.

The result is a portion of Catholics among those who defended his predecessors, look at Pope Francis as a Pope who has to be endured... with opinions ranging from "he doesn't understand how things work outside of Argentina" to treating him as an incompetent who knows less of Church teaching then they do.

The problem is these criticisms focus on the Pope not saying what they want him to say instead of actually considering what he says.

The Pope has spoken about the need to evangelize those outside or at odds with the Church. That means the need to show love of God and neighbor.

I believe he is right. Sin exists and we must speak out to warn people about the dangers of sin. (see Ezekiel 33). But we must also do so from an attitude of love... we have to give a damn about what happens to Obama or Pelosi.

But it also means we need to give thought to how we present Christ's salvation. Do we come across as disciples of Christ? Or do we come across as Republicans? (The two are not the same thing).

The Pope's admonishment of us is not a denial of sin or a denial of Church teaching. It is a reminder of Matthew 7:3-5...

Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.

Personally, I think Pope Francis is the Pope Catholics need... even if he isn't the Pope some Catholics wanted.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

True For You But Not Me?

A relative shared a link on Facebook. The article itself wasn't too important, but it had a quote in it that got me thinking. The quote was:

All of us have a terrible tendency toward unwarranted certainty -- certain we are right, certain others are wrong, certain that if our ideas were only adopted all would be sweetness and light to the end of time.

When we find the truth, we often decide that what really matters is that everybody else honor the truth that we have discovered. And when we discover that others don't honor our truths -- that they have truths of their own -- we turn against them in confusion and even horror.

Now, in fairness to the author, he was trying to emphasize the Pope's speaking on the need for love in truth -- very true.  But the problem with this quote is it shows a fundamental misunderstanding on what truth is.

Aristotle once defined truth as "To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true.”

This is too often forgotten. To say "that's true for you," is oxymoronic (and as philosopher Peter Kreeft once mischievously put it, "it's also moronic"). Speaking the truth is to speak in a way that accurately corresponds with reality.

Now truth can be objective (always true regardless of whoever perceives it) or subjective (true for someone who experiences certain conditions but not for someone who not for those who don't experience those conditions).

An example of objective truth is the definition of a triangle. A plane figure with three straight sides and three angles totalling 180°. If you don't have that, you don't have a triangle. If it has 4 sides or if the angles total 190° it is not true to call it a triangle. This is the case regardless of perception or experience.

An example of subjective truth is for a person to say, "my foot hurts."  It's true because that person dropped a cinder block on it. It wouldn't be true for a person who did not drop a heavy object on it or a person with neuropathy.

Once you recognize this, the quote from the article becomes problematic. People may believe different things about how reality works, but if a person believes something contrary to reality,  his or her belief is not true.

For example, either some form of divinity exists or does not.  If there is no form of divinity, then atheists are right and others are wrong. However, if some form of divinity exists, atheists are wrong and the question becomes, in what way does divinity exist.

There are many legitimate either-or questions that must exclude other concepts. Pantheism vs. Monotheism for example. But the point is, the reality is objective truth regardless of what people think. If the reality is that God exists, is triune and the second part of the Trinity established His Church on Peter and his successors (Catholicism) then those who believe otherwise believe falsely -- whether sincerely or insincerely.

Thus the article only partially undetstands Pope Francis. In context, the Pope said:

Here we begin to see how love requires truth. Only to the extent that love is grounded in truth can it endure over time, can it transcend the passing moment and be sufficiently solid to sustain a shared journey. If love is not tied to truth, it falls prey to fickle emotions and cannot stand the test of time. True love, on the other hand, unifies all the elements of our person and becomes a new light pointing the way to a great and fulfilled life. Without truth, love is incapable of establishing a firm bond; it cannot liberate our isolated ego or redeem it from the fleeting moment in order to create life and bear fruit.

If love needs truth, truth also needs love. Love and truth are inseparable. Without love, truth becomes cold, impersonal and oppressive for people’s day-to-day lives. The truth we seek, the truth that gives meaning to our journey through life, enlightens us whenever we are touched by love. One who loves realizes that love is an experience of truth, that it opens our eyes to see reality in a new way, in union with the beloved. In this sense, Saint Gregory the Great could write that "amor ipse notitia est", love is itself a kind of knowledge possessed of its own logic.[20] It is a relational way of viewing the world, which then becomes a form of shared knowledge, vision through the eyes of another and a shared vision of all that exists. William of Saint-Thierry, in the Middle Ages, follows this tradition when he comments on the verse of the Song of Songs where the lover says to the beloved, "Your eyes are doves" (Song 1:15).[21] The two eyes, says William, are faith-filled reason and love, which then become one in rising to the contemplation of God, when our understanding becomes "an understanding of enlightened love". (Lumen Fidei #27)

It's because people fail to grasp that both are needed that we run into error... either a merciless truth or a love that lacks the strength to say "this is wrong. "

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Musings on the Feast of the Holy Innocents

213. Among the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care with particular love and concern are unborn children, the most defenceless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative. Yet this defence of unborn life is closely linked to the defence of each and every other human right. It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems. Once this conviction disappears, so do solid and lasting foundations for the defence of human rights, which would always be subject to the passing whims of the powers that be. Reason alone is sufficient to recognize the inviolable value of each single human life, but if we also look at the issue from the standpoint of faith, “every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the creator of the individual”.[176]

214. Precisely because this involves the internal consistency of our message about the value of the human person, the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question. I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or “modernizations”. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life. On the other hand, it is also true that we have done little to adequately accompany women in very difficult situations, where abortion appears as a quick solution to their profound anguish, especially when the life developing within them is the result of rape or a situation of extreme poverty. Who can remain unmoved before such painful situations?

(Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium)

One thing I notice is the contemptuous way some people view the Bible and the times it describes. It views these times as barbaric and treats modern times as infinitely superior.

The massacre of the Holy Innocents by King Herod show us how false that view is. For fear of losing his throne, King Herod ordered the murder of those children in Bethlehem two years and younger.  We don't know how many children that involved, but whatever the number, it was obviously wrong to massacre the innocent... especially for so selfish a reason.

However, in our society,  Herod lives on. The massacre of innocents is more hidden under the term "abortion," or "reproductive freedom," but the children are slaughtered for selfish reasons. Herod killed them to protect his kingdom. Today people kill them to protect their convenience, comfort or other wants.

Herod's actions showed the sin and barbarism of his time.

Abortion shows the sin and barbarism of ours.

Friday, December 27, 2013

TFTD: Boomerang

One form of the attack on Christian moral values is an attack of negation. The general attack is along the lines of:

● The Christian belief has [alleged flaw]
● Therefore the Christian belief should not be held.

The irony is that, if followed to the end, it actually negates the attacking position.

For example, the argument claiming that opposition to abortion or homosexuality is imposing their views on others will, if taken to the end requires us to recognize that the promotion of abortion or homosexuality is also an imposition of views on others. If the imposition of one's views is grounds for rejection, then we must also reject the promotion of these behaviors.

Another example comes from the atheist claiming that the belief in God has no scientific basis. Because (they argue) that it is irrational to believe in something with no scientific basis, it is irrational to believe in God.   However, the statement that God does not exist has no scientific basis either.  Therefore, it is irrational to believe there is no God.

In both cases we see an attempt to silence the Christian belief on the basis of a perceived flaw... a flaw which the attacker's argument has. A boomerang which strikes the attacker.

There is another thing to be aware of. The alleged flaw in the Christian belief is not the reason for the Christian belief.  These attacks actually attempt to avoid looking into the reasons for the Christian moral teaching.

Because the onus of proof is on the person making the claim, we certainly have the right to question the claim. We can meet the accusation of "Christianity is flawed and therefore can be rejected," with "Show me where and how it is flawed."

If the accuser is a person of good will and willing to learn (as opposed to one shouting slogans), we have an opportunity to bear witness to the truth.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Musing

The shepherds in the fields went to Bethlehem to see Jesus.

Because of the Eucharist, we too can go to see Jesus.

A Blessed Christmas to you all.

Monday, December 23, 2013

You Can Only Push So Far


I'm sure A&E was caught by surprise by the huge backlash involving Phil Robertson and his comments on homosexuality.  They assumed people would agree with them in condemning his comments as "homophobic." Instead, they found that not only were a large portion of the viewing public not offended by his statements, they were in fact offended by the A&E suspension.

Those who were caught by surprise shouldn't be. While the case was an unexpected rallying point, the treatment of Christian moral teaching by political, cultural and media elites has been so hostile that it was only a matter of time before American Christians got so fed up that they would revolt.

What This Article Is Not

I don't intend this article to be a defense of Mr. Robertson. Nor do I intend it to be an apologia for the Christian position on homosexuality.  I don't intend to defend all forms of Christianity. Because I recognize Catholicism as the Church established by Christ, the positions I choose to defend come from Catholicism. When other denominations diverge from Catholicism, I feel no need to justify that position.

What this is article is about is the distorted way Christian moral teaching is portrayed.

The Hypocrisy Problem

One problem is that in America, the political, cultural and media elites have contempt for the Christian moral teaching that they run afoul of. They're perfectly happy to point out when conservative thought runs afoul Christianity... or when they think it runs afoul of Christianity. However, when the teaching of Christianity turns to things the elites practice or support, suddenly they are hostile and Christianity is "forcing" itself on others.

This is a case of hypocrisy of course. One can be consistent either by accepting the teaching of Christianity in all areas of life or one can say it has no say in any area. But if a person only permits Christianity in areas one agrees with and denied it the right to speak on position one disagrees with, it makes that person hypocritical. This is because the person only recognizes authority when it benefits them and ignores it when it does not.

The case of Pope Francis demonstrates this.  He has spoken about upholding Catholic moral and social teaching. But the elites only cite passages when it seems to agree with them... regardless of how out of context they have to take his statements.

The Honestly Problem

Another problem is the portrayal of Christian teaching.  Basically the Christian is represented as being ignorant, dishonest or holding malice because they hold to their moral beliefs which say some acts are never good. If a Christian thinks homosexual acts are sinful, it must mean the Christian hates homosexuals.

The problem is, the charge is false. The concern for another on the grounds that he or she is living in a way that leads to damnation is not an act of hatred or contempt. If we hated the sinner (and remember Christians know they themselves are sinners as well), we'd just ignore them satisfied with the thought they'd go to hell.

The Reaction

Christians get annoyed like other people of course. In this case we are annoyed because the Christians are being slandered. Our teachings are selectively cited, misrepresented and we are falsely accused of malice for our motives.

So when this attack on Robertson happened, when Christian teaching is portrayed as something it is not, Christians justly get angry.  It's not that Phil Robertson is a person of great significance.  It's that he said what was true and he was reviled for saying it.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Imposition of Ideology, Not Neutrality


One of the tactics used in seeking to displace Christianity is by making the alternative view seem to be neutral in the face of a "partisan" religion. Basically, the argument is that because the First Amendment forbids "establishment of religion," and Christianity is a religion, the First Amendment forbids the establishment of Christianity.

The problem is, the establishment of religion refers to the making a religion the official religion of the nation. In historical precedent, a state religion involved official sanction of one religion over another. It had the rights while any other religions were restricted in some way.

This understanding has been perverted into the sense that the practice of religion cannot be accepted on property belonging to government whether national, state or local... even to the extent that a memorial to the war dead which bears a religious symbol can be ordered torn down decades later.

The Contradictory Positions

Paradoxically, one cannot place a cross on public property as part of the freedom of religion, but one can burn a cross on public property as part of the freedom of speech (if not done to intimidate)... even though both freedom of religion and freedom of speech are part of the First Amendment.

This leaves us with a contradiction: One cannot have a display of religion on public property because it might offend those who do not share those religious beliefs. So why can people air political beliefs on public property without concern over whether it offends those who do not share that belief?

If allowing religious symbols or activity on public property means the establishment or endorsement of religion, then it follows that allowing political activity on public property is the government's endorsement of a political faction. Any political demonstration on the Washington Mall therefore imposes political views.

One can either argue that both religious and political symbols/activity can be allowed on public property or neither can, but one can't argue for one without the other without being hypocritical.

Oh wait... the First Amendment also informs us that we have the "the right of the people peaceably to assemble," so one can't argue neither is allowable.

The Real Issue

The real issue here is the modern movement to restrict religion is not based on neutrality, but on restricting something that stands in opposition to an ideological position. It is an imposition of a position favored by political and social elites and the suppression of those that disagree.

In other words, what we have is the "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion in order to benefit a group that dislikes the calling of sin a sin.

When we see judges determine that so-called "gay marriage" is a human right against the widely recognized knowledge that marriage is between one man and one woman, we see a member of the elite imposing their views on others. When we see government officials refusing to defend just laws they disagree with, they are imposing their views on others.

The Reverse is Not True

Now some try to argue that Christianity is the one that imposes its view on others. This is false. Christianity is no ideology trying to force its way by courts and executive orders into a system of beliefs held across time and geography. Christian morality has long been recognized as being true by people of different lands and eras, and the laws which derive from Christian morality come from the conviction that laws must be in accordance with the truth.

This is important to remember: Christianity did not force itself on an unwilling public by unscrupulous judges and partisan laws. It is now under attack because malcontents dislike being opposed in their desire for their favorite vices.


Despite the media and political propaganda to label Christian morality as intolerant and calling for a "neutral" view, we need to recognize that the views expressed as an alternative are not neutral. They are adversarial to Christianity, thinking of it as a bad thing that needs to be contained or destroyed.

The secular rejection of Christianity is not a movement based on justice, but on partisanship. Once we recognize this we can see their actions for the injustices they are.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Implications of the Phil Robertson Incident

What strikes me about the Phil Robertson case is what it says about religious freedom in America. A man was just blackballed from TV for stating his beliefs about the sinfulness of homosexual acts. Christianity is attacked for being a religion of hatred and intolerance.

Now Robertson, in voicing his views that homosexuality is sinful, is not all that far from the Catholic view at all:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.  (Catechism of the Catholic Church).

Apparently actually saying that is forbidden however.

The comedian Yakov Smirnoff once cracked that both America and Russia had freedom of speech, but in America you had freedom after you spoke. Apparently, that's no longer true.

The implications of the incident is that people holding the Christian belief on morality which run counter to what the media and political elites approve of can be blacklisted and suffer other sanctions.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Thoughts on Those Who Think the Pope Errs


Nine months into the pontificate of Pope Francis, there is a certain subset of orthodox Catholics in the blogosphere who think he is going in the wrong direction. Because Pope Francis gives a certain emphasis that doesn't mirror their preferences, the response is to view him as one or more of the following: naive, out of touch, not knowledgeable on the topic or even heretical.

Some of them are polite in their misgivings. Some seem to treat him like an "idiot uncle" who needs to be endured. But what they're not doing is treating him like the Pope.

Many bloggers in this subset have expressed concern with the Pope's teachings, making comments asserting that what he says goes against Church teaching by either poorly expressing himself or by lack of understanding. When the Pope speaks on moral theology in relation to political or economic issues, the assumption is he said something wrong. Nobody seems to ask whether their own understanding of what he said or of Church teaching is faulty.

In other words, this subset of bloggers tends to consider themselves to be more knowledgeable than the Pope on these issues.

I really can't follow these bloggers. They are going in a direction conscience forbids me to go.

There are two reasons for this.

The First Reason

The first is I have a belief that God is active in His Church and will not permit it to teach error in matters of faith and morals binding on the faithful.

Now many might say, "Oh! I would never deny an ex cathedra statement by the Pope, but he didn't speak infallibly." The problem is, the faithful are not only bound by ex cathedra statements. The Encyclical of Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis #20 tells us:

20. Nor must it be thought that what is expounded in Encyclical Letters does not of itself demand consent, since in writing such Letters the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Teaching Authority. For these matters are taught with the ordinary teaching authority, of which it is true to say: "He who heareth you, heareth me";[3] and generally what is expounded and inculcated in Encyclical Letters already for other reasons appertains to Catholic doctrine. But if the Supreme Pontiffs in their official documents purposely pass judgment on a matter up to that time under dispute, it is obvious that that matter, according to the mind and will of the Pontiffs, cannot be any longer considered a question open to discussion among theologians.

The ordinary teachings of the Pope still require the assent of the faithful. Now, is it reasonable to think that when we have the obligation to assent, the Holy Spirit will permit the Pope to teach that which is harmful to the soul of the faithful?

I can't buy into that thinking. It means that unless the Pope declares everything he does ex cathedra, there must always be doubt about what he teaches... we can never know whether a teaching we must assent to is true unless it bears this mark.

That's spiritual chaos and something that contradicts Christ when He says, in Matt 28:20b, "And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."

Even if Pope Francis turned out to be like Pope John XXII, with a faulty understanding, God protects His vicar from teaching error in a binding way.

The Second Reason

And that brings me to the second reason: I don't believe Pope Francis is a Pope like John XXII. I believe he is a holy man, teaching in full accord with what the Church has always taught.  Reading his insights from before he became Pope, in books like Only Love Can Save Us, Open Mind Faithful Heart and On Heaven and Earth show what he believes and speaks on is not at all going against what the Church had said previously. His recent encyclical and exhortation are solid Catholic teaching as well.

While sloppy journalism has misrepresented him at times, that misrepresentation is not his fault and it is our obligation to seek the true meaning and not rely on the misinterpretation.


I believe that whatever troubles may come to our Church, we cannot accept as valid any group which holds that they are right and the Pope is wrong in matters which require assent. When the Pope speaks on moral obligations towards economic and political actions, we do not do right by saying the Pope doesn't really understand economics or politics. We do right by heeding the moral obligations he warns us about.

Deciding we can ignore the Pope is wrong, whether the disobedience is liberal or conservative in nature.

A good rule of thumb is, if the Pope is reported as saying something that sounds like it goes against Church teaching,  the safe bet is that the error is with the reporter or reader -- not the Pope.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Propaganda vs. The Church

Cardinal Dolan remarked that the Church was outmarketed on the so-called "gay marriage" issue and caricatured as being "anti-gay."  While I agree, I think it is more accurate to say the opponents of the Church used massive propaganda and slander/libel in their marketing of homosexuality and abortion.

This propaganda and slander involves portraying their own position as true without proving it so, and then vilifying anyone who disagrees making them appear to be motivated by bigotry.

It has been quite successful. Looking at comments in news stories about the ACLU suing the Catholic bishops on their abortion directive, I see hateful comments about how the Church is a horrific institution that needs to be destroyed.

Now one needs to take Internet comments with a grain of salt. How representative they are of the population is hard to judge. Are they the common view? Or are they snarky teens mad that mom and dad made them go to Church?

However, such comments show that among part of the population people have been effectively propagandized to support, or at least not care, if the Government should try to attack or control the Church.

Basically the propagandists state (without proof) that the Catholic position is based on hatred and seek to use the appeal to emotion in order to get pity for the favored view and opposition to the Church teaching... before the Church can even speak.

Now some have blamed the bishops, saying that if they were doing their jobs we wouldn't be in this position. I don't believe that. The reason is,  a false statement (whether deliberate or not) can easily fit on a slogan or soundbite. The refutation takes much longer.  Given how short a news story is, the refutation is usually ignored or distorted.

However, all Catholics (not just the bishops and priests) are called to defend the faith. Not all who have been propagandized are extreme. Some of them may be open to the truth, merely believing what they have been told about us because it never occurred to question the reliability of the reports.

Some, especially on the Internet, may be abusive.  All we can do is to be polite and speak to the reader, not get sucked into a flame war with an abusive person.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thoughts on the American Situation

Truth be told America is becoming precisely what our Founding Fathers wanted to prevent -- a government suppressing the inalienable rights this nation was founded on recognizing.

At this time, the right of religious freedom is under attack. The government and certain elites are seeking to restrict the rights by which we live according to how we ought.

At first, the attacks were based on trying to silence people with religious convictions seeking to enact just laws. Christians were told they were wrong to "force" their views on others while those who were trying to overturn laws based on Christian morality were hypocritically forcing their own views.

Then came attacks which sought to bully Christians into silence by slandering them as being motivated by hatred. Homophobe! War on Women! Being concerned for the well being of their immortal souls was misrepresented as irrational fear and hate. It's gotten to the point that a Christian who openly agrees with Christian morality risks repercussions if their place of education or employment should hear.

Now comes the legal attacks. It started in 2009 when Obama threw out the executive orders on conscience protection. Then people could be fired if they refused to do things they found morally objectionable. Then we had the contraception mandate which forced businesses and institutions to provide coverage for abortion and contraception even if it went against what they believed they were obliged to do before God.

Currently we have seen businesses face lawsuits and legal action for making a stand on what they felt obligated to do. Bakeries have been slapped with discrimination charges for refusing to participate in a so-called "gay marriage."  Catholic hospitals are threatened for their refusal to perform abortions.

Consider all of that.  Now consider the first amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This amendment is about the limitations of government in regards to what sort of laws they may impose. The government may neither impose a state religion nor restrict how religion can be practiced.

The government today behaves in a way that violates our Constitution with impunity.

This puts the religious believer in a bad position. Instead of having "certain unalienable Rights" according to the Declaration of Independence, we have a government which treats all rights as if they were favors granted and can be removed at their whim.

In other words, a government that contradicts what America was supposed to be.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Attacks on the Church Escalate

In an extremely perverse move, the ACLU is suing the Catholic bishops on the grounds that their directives on following the Church teaching on abortion endangers the life/health of women.

Think about it. They're not suing a hospital for discharging a woman who still needed medical care. They're suing the Catholic bishops for teaching that a Catholic institution has to operate according to Catholic moral principles, and if they will not, they cannot call themselves a Catholic institution.

The case still needs to be watched. More details are needed to determine precisely what resolution the plaintiff wants.

However, the Catholic Church knowing direct abortion is never permissible cannot comply with any demand that she permit her hospitals to perform them.  Since we must choose to suffer evil rather than commit it, the Church may face unjust consequences for refusing to obey an unjust judicial decree.

More and more Lincoln's words, which I have cited over the years seem prophetic:

As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it, "All men are created equal, except Negroes." When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read, "All men are created equal except Negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some other country where they make no pretense of loving liberty - to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, without the base alloy of hypocrisy.

Hypocritical because Americs claims to be a nation which respects freedom and liberty but is perfectly willing to interfere with Constitutional rights which belong to groups unpopular with the political and media elites.

This is a time to pray for our nation, that it may repent of its injustice, and pray for our bishops, that they will not falter.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


I came across an article while checking out the news this morning. Basically it involves people who have gotten a so-called "gay marriage" in one state and wants a divorce in a state that does not recognize such relationships as marriage.

What struck me as I read this was the rhetoric used by the proponents of this "gay marriage."  The statements like:

"[T]o be in a state that doesn't recognize you as a human being, or recognize you for who you are, for who you love, it's hard... I'm not treated like the neighbors next door. I'm treated like a second-class citizen."

...show the propaganda against the reality of marriage being between one man and one woman... portraying it as looking down on people with same sex attractions.

In logic, we call this the Straw man fallacy.  The caricature of an argument which is attacked to make it seem as though the whole position is without merit.  Supporting traditional marriage is not to refuse to recognize a person with same sex attraction as a human being.  Nor is it treating them as a second class citizen.

Rather it is based on the fact that the family which raises children is the building block which society is based on. It is where the child is instilled with the teachings enabling them to build up society.

Reduce marriage to sex and emotional bond and you're destroying that building block. But you don't hear that or other reasons as to why same-sex couples can't be married.

Instead, we get appeals to pity... "the mean state (or Christians) treat us as less than human second class citizens just because we love each other."

That is biased, misleading language used to promote a political cause or point of view... the definition of Propaganda.