This is the strongest statement I can remember from President Obama.
Maybe the Supremes meant it when they said that marriage was a state issue.
If they did, a lot of federal judges around the country didn’t get the memo. It’s old hat by now, the steady click, click, click of dominoes falling as one federal judge after another overturns state laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman. This action has long seemed to turn statements made by the Supreme Court that marriage should be defined by the states and that the feds should stay out of it on their head.
The Supreme Court took the position that marriage is a state rather than a federal issue as part of their reasoning for overturning DOMA.
Whenever a lower court rules on something, the Supremes have a number of options. By far the simplest course of action in the case of the Virginia ruling would have been to let it stand. However, they have granted a stay. This is the third time they’ve done this.
What does it mean?
I wish I could tell you, but I don’t know. Maybe the Court meant it when it said that marriage was a state matter. If they did, these federal judges are overstepping. On the other hand, maybe they will use the occasion to rule in favor of gay marriage. Or, perhaps, they are taking small exceptions to parts of particular rulings. The Virginia case in particular may have been given a stay because of the high-handed way that the judicial panel tried to do an end run around the right to appeal.
Whatever comes of this, my feeling about the fight to defend traditional marriage is much the same as my attitude about defending the sanctity of human life: Don’t quit.
In case you didn’t know, that’s how all tough fights are eventually won.
From the Christian Science Monitor:
WASHINGTON — The US Supreme Court issued a stay Wednesday that keeps in place a ban on same-sex marriages in Virginia until after the high court has had an opportunity to consider the issue.
The high court action maintains the status quo in Virginia until the case is ultimately resolved by the justices. In addition, it sends a clear signal to other appeals courts and federal judges across the country that the Supreme Court expects them to issue similar stays in future cases.
… In the Virginia case, the action means the state’s requirement that marriage be limited to a union between one man and one woman will remain in place while the court considers whether to take up legal challenges to same-sex marriage bans in Virginia and other states.
The Supreme Court has twice before issued orders that federal appeals court decisions concerning same-sex marriages must be put on hold pending high court review. Wednesday’s action is consistent with those earlier moves.
The latest stay order came in response to a July 28 decision by the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. The appeals court panel voted 2 to 1 to strike down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage. The court then refused to postpone its ruling to allow time for an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Archbishop Paul Coakley filed suit today against the group which has said it will conduct a “black mass” at the Oklahoma City Civic Center.
The basis for the lawsuit is that the group has illegally obtained property belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, i.e., a Consecrated Host.
There are a number of statutes which might apply to this situation. According to an article in National Catholic Reporter, a “black mass” involves a naked woman lying on the “altar,” which has a certain symmetry since their “priest” is a convicted sex offender. Since Oklahoma has laws against public nudity, the Satanists claim they are going to forego that, along with using excrement and urine.
Here is a sampling of other statutes which might apply to the situation. These are all from Title 21, criminal law. I’m sure there are many others under tort law.
Oklahoma Criminal Statutes:
1. Receiving property obtained under false pretenses:”§21-1713. Receiving stolen property – Presumption.
A. Every person who buys or receives, in any manner, upon any consideration, any personal property of any value whatsoever that has been stolen, embezzled, obtained by false pretense or robbery, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the same to have been stolen, embezzled, obtained by false pretense, or robbery, or who conceals, withholds, or aids in concealing or withholding such property from the owner, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the State Penitentiary not to exceed five (5) years, or in the county jail not to exceed one (1) year, or by a fine not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by both such fine and imprisonment.2. Larceny:“§211701. Larceny defined.Larceny is the taking of personal property accomplished by fraud or stealth, and with intent to deprive another thereof.”3. Crime against a house of worship (as an Accessory to the crime).“§21-1765. House of worship or contents, injuring.Any person who willfully breaks, defaces, or otherwise injures any house of worship, or any part thereof, or any appurtenance thereto, or any book, furniture, ornament, musical instrument, article of silver or plated ware, or other chattel kept therein for use in connection with religious worship, shall be guilty of a felony.”§21173. Accessories defined.All persons who, after the commission of any felony, conceal or aid the offender, with knowledge that he has committed a felony, and with intent that he may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction, or punishment, are accessories.§21901. Blasphemy defined.Blasphemy consists in wantonly uttering or publishing words, casting contumelious reproach or profane ridicule upon God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Holy Scriptures or the Christian or any other religion.§21902. Serious discussion not blasphemy.If it appears beyond reasonable doubt that the words complained of were used in the course of serious discussion, and with intent to make known or recommend opinions entertained by the accused, such words are not blasphemy.
This is the press release Archbishop Coakley put out about the lawsuit:
James Foley, an American journalist who was kidnapped by ISIS in Syria, has been beheaded.
Mr Foley, who was wearing a mike, made what appeared to be a statement prepared by ISIS before he was murdered. This is followed by a statement from his ISIS murderer. This murderer speaks fluent, well-educated English with what sounds like a mix of a Middle Eastern and British accent. If you can help the FBI identify James Foley’s murderer, call the FBI.
If you can help identify James Foley’s murderer, call the FBI. Photo Source: LiveLeak
James Foley was doing what the massively over-paid talking heads don’t do: He was practicing journalism, and that at great risk to himself. His kind of reporting is the only information we the people get about what is really happening in dangerous parts of the world. We base our conclusions on what they tell us.
I regard his death as the savage murder of a captive American soldier in an army that has become almost extinct: Journalists who go out into the world and get the story. James Foley, along with his brother and sister journalists who risk their lives to give us the news about important world events, are the life-blood of true democracy. May their tribe increase.
Mr Foley, who had been captured once before in Libya, reported from the Middle East for five years. He was the oldest of five children.
He was also a Catholic, a man of faith. He wrote feelingly about the power of prayer and praying the Rosary during his first captivity in Libya. “I began to pray the Rosary,” he wrote, “I said 10 Hail Marys between each Our Father. It took a long time to count off 100 Hail Marys on my knuckles.”
His colleague, Paul Conroy, discusses James Foley’s work in the last video below, calling it a “vocation.” “If people like James didn’t go out there, people would be in the dark … and he’s paid the ultimate price, as has a number of my colleagues … all I can say is that they deserve all the respect that we can offer … the world should mourn the loss of people like James. He was a good, good person.”
I hope that James Foley’s family never forgets that he died for his country just as surely as any soldier.
James Foley is an American hero.
Message from James Foley’s mother, Diane:
A message from Jim’s mom, Diane Foley:
We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.
We implore the ktidnappers to spare the lives of the remaining hostages. Like Jim, they are innocents. They have no control over American government policy in Iraq, Syria or anywhere in the world.
We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person. Please respect our privacy in the days ahead as we mourn and cherish Jim.
This video describes what sounds like a bartering of abductees among various Islamic groups. It implies that Mr Foley, who was taken prisoner outside of an internet cafe, was not originally kidnapped by ISIS, but was “given” to them at a later date. I do not know if this accurate, but it may be.
James Foley discusses his work and the dangers to free lance journalists.
I wish I knew more about what he’s discussing here.
James Foley discusses being captured in Libya.
James Foley’s colleague discusses his death and work.
Pope Francis is “profoundly saddened” by the loss of his family members in a recent traffic accident.
According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father lost his niece by marriage, and two great nieces or nephews, aged two years and eight months. A nephew, Emanuel Boracio Bergoglio, was seriously injured.
Christians know that they will see their loved ones again, which gives us a unique comfort in times like this. At the same time, we also know that they are gone from us for the length of our days in this life. As King David said, “I will go to him. He cannot come to me.”
Let’s pray for the souls of these departed, and for our Holy Father.
Price Waterhouse Coopers has been fined $25 million for participating in a terrorist-funding money-laundering scheme with Japanese Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
Remember when I said that I didn’t think the Japanese were helping to fund ISIS/Boko Haram/Islamic Brotherhood/Hamas? Well, I was wrong. Ditto for the Europeans. And us.
It appears that Price Waterhouse Coopers and the Japanese Bank of Tokyo were working together to launder money for the people who are beheading babies and raping little old ladies in the Middle East. Meanwhile the French bank BNP Paribus got clipped for doing the same thing.
Investigations into Price Waterhouse Cooper money laundering involving terrorist states go back at least to 2003, when America was engaged in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the settlement and fine of August 18, 2014 is a new story.
Evidently, this money laundering these banks and accounting firms engaged in was with states that have been sanctioned for terrorist activities. It is not unreasonable to think that these monies were then circulated through terrorist networks. The prohibitions that Price Waterhouse Cooper, Japanese Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi and PNB Paribas violated by laundering money were with places like Iraq (remember we were at war with Iraq when the investigation against Price Waterhouse Cooper began) Sudan and Iran.
I don’t think it’s a big leap to think that this money may have ended up in the hands of active, murdering terrorists.
I wonder how much of this money found its way into the coffers of the people our troops have had to face in that part of the world? Where did the laundered money come from? Have these banks been helping to buy the bullets and the bombs that are used against American soldiers?
I do not think a fine is anywhere near enough punishment for this. These people belong in prison.
Greed may not be, as Gorden Gekko said, “good.” But he was certainly right when he said that it clarifies.
From the New York Post:
Auditing giant PriceWaterhouseCoopers is getting slapped with a $25 million fine for helping a Japanese bank launder money for terrorist states like Iran, Sudan and Myanmar.
New York’s top financial services regulator is putting the screws to PwC after it aided the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi hide the true nature of the illegal transactions on a 2008 financial statement, according to a settlement between the auditor and state officials announced Monday.
A PwC board member, who is now a partner at the firm, was at the center of the scandal, The Post has learned.
PwC helped the leading Japanese bank hide its ties to the terrorist states by whitewashing the language in its audit report to make it less likely it would draw the attention of Ben Lawsky, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, and other regulators, according to the settlement.
I read a book this weekend, Even Silence has an End, by Ingrid Betancourt.
Doctor Betancourt is a former senator and candidate for the presidency of Columbia. She was kidnapped by FARC Communist rebels while she was en route to a campaign appearance in her race for the presidency and held prisoner for six years.
Even Silence has an End describes her long years in captivity. A number of her fellow captives have also written a book, Out of Captivity.
If I read the other book, it will be after I give the subject a rest. There’s only so much of the brutality and injustice that FARC visited on these people that I can take.
What interests me today is the extremely toxic personality conflicts that developed among this small group of abductees and the hatred that it engendered in them toward one another. Small group toxicity and the resulting nastiness affects all of us as we go about our jobs and workaday lives. It poisons our relationships and wounds people deeply. It also makes us less effective in what we are trying to accomplish. Instead of getting good things done, we end up wasting our energies scratching and clawing at one another.
It sounds very much like this is what happened among these captives during their long years of helpless insecurity at the hands of brutal guards who might beat, starve, put them on forced marches or even kill them at any time.
One of the comments the American authors made about Doctor Betancourt is absurd and abusive on its face. “It was her own arrogance that got her kidnapped,” one of her fellow captives said.
Let’s be clear. The abduction of Ingrid Betancourt, as well as the other captives, was caused by the criminals who abducted them. FARC did this.
According to Even Silence Has an End, what happened is that presidential candidate Betancourt was scheduled to make an appearance in an area that officials had recently declared guerrilla free. She was supposed to have armored vehicles and military escort. When she arrived at the jump-off point, her armored vehicles and military escort were withdrawn. The orders probably came from her political opponent, the president.
Doctor Betancourt does not say that the president wanted her to be abducted. She says that he was trying to keep her from making the campaign appearance.
Whatever the motives behind all this, she had gone into dangerous areas before and decided to go ahead with the campaign trip. She was abducted while she was en route to the engagement.
Does that make her abduction her “fault?” No. She was abducted by FARC. It is their fault.
What is astonishing is that this intelligent person is so messed up by his captivity that he doesn’t “get” that.
It is a mark of the damage that prolonged and intense association within toxic little groups does to people’s thinking. Leadership plays a huge part in this. if the leader — and by that, I mean the one who has the power — wants people to settle down and get along, they usually do. But FARC had everything to gain by pitting these prisoners against one another. If they had worked together, it would have made escape much more likely.
By dividing them emotionally and keeping them focused on hating one another, FARC had a much more manageable group to deal with.
One of the oddball claims that the other prisoners have made is that Doctor Betancourt retained authority, even as an abductee. She certainly was the most high profile prisoner, which would have made her more valuable to FARC. She also had dual citizenship with France, and the French went to bats for her and kept on fighting for her throughout her captivity. This, too, would have made her more important to FARC.
At the same time, the other prisoners, including the Americans who wrote Out of Captivity, were pretty much forgotten and ignored by everyone but their own families and sometimes not even them. They had less value to FARC because of this. They also had to live with the emotional damage this abandonment did to them throughout their captivity and for the rest of their lives.
It is important to note that Doctor Betancourt was chained with a chain around her neck. She was also starved and put in solitary confinement. When she attempted escape, the FARC soldiers gang-raped her as punishment.
If that’s what it means to be the queen bee of a FARC prison camp, I think I’ll pass.
The interesting point in all this is that these captives might very well have managed an escape, and they certainly would have been much less damaged emotionally by their captivity, if they had not yielded to the manipulations of their captors and fallen into obsessive small-group hatred and internecine rivalry.
They needed leadership and discipline within their ranks. They also needed to work out goals for themselves that would have allowed them to function as a unit without attacking one another. I can think of no better goal for a group of abductees who are being unjustly held prisoner than escape.
They got confused — and apparently are still confused to this day — as to who their enemy was. And that made a hell of their hell, which continues to run their emotions, even after they are physically free.
This sad tale forms teachable parallels with Christians today all over the world. I’ve heard from more than one person that part of the trouble in forming a Christian resistance to the genocide taking place in the Middle East is internecine rivalries between different Christian faith traditions. I see it all the time in the internet rivalries and name-calling that goes on among Catholics on internet websites.
We are feuding with one another over whether or not to say the mass in English or Latin, whether or not to hold hands during the Our Father, and whether or not or even how much to bend our faith to politically correct cultural dictates such as gay marriage, abortion and euthanasia. Even our own priests are all over the map about these things.
At the same time, we are carrying on these absolutely moronic feuds among ourselves, we are seeing a genocide of Christians in Muslim countries that just keeps intensifying and growing. We stand silent while Christians are imprisoned in North Korea, while their churches are razed in China and while they are mocked and unjustly reviled here in the United States and in Europe.
Much of the reason why is that we are wasting our energies and our time fighting with one another. We need to remember that we are not, ever, truly in the power of those in power in this world. We answer only to Jesus Christ and we are citizens of His Kingdom before any other.
We need to stop fighting with one another. That is the devil’s handiwork in our lives.
Here is Archbishop Coakley’s letter calling for prayer and penance about the black mass in Oklahoma City.
The video from Bishop Slattery, of Tulsa, Oklahoma is below that.
August 4, 2014
The Memorial of St. John Vianney
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
By now you are probably aware that a Satanic group has scheduled a so-called Black Mass for Sunday, September 21 at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City.
Even though tickets are being sold for this event as if it were merely some sort of dark entertainment, this Satanic ritual is deadly serious. It is a blasphemous and obscene inversion of the Catholic Mass. Using a consecrated Host obtained illicitly from a Catholic church and desecrating it in the vilest ways imaginable, the practitioners offer it in sacrifice to Satan. This terrible sacrilege is a deliberate attack on the Catholic Mass as well as the foundational beliefs of all Christians. It mocks Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we Catholics believe is truly present under the form of bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist when it has been consecrated by a validly ordained priest.
In spite of repeated requests, there has been no indication that the City intends to prevent this event from taking place. I have raised my concerns with city officials and pointed out how deeply offensive this proposed sacrilegious act is to Christians and especially to the more than 250,000 Catholics who live in Oklahoma. I am certainly concerned about the misuse of a publicly supported facility for an event which has no other purpose than mocking the Catholic faith. I am especially concerned about the dark powers that this Satanic worship invites into our community and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly. Since it seems this event will not be cancelled, I am calling on all Catholics of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City to counteract this challenge to faith and decency through prayer and penance.
Specifically, I am asking that the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel be included at the conclusion of every Mass, beginning on the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6) and continuing through the Feast of the Archangels (September 29). I invite all Catholics to pray daily for divine protection through the intercession of this heavenly patron who once defeated Lucifer in his rebellion against the Almighty and who stands ready to assist us in this hour of need.
Secondly, I am asking that each parish conduct a Eucharistic Holy Hour with Benediction to honor Christ’s Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist, between the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15) and September 21, to avert this proposed sacrilege.
Finally, I invite all Catholics, Christians and people of good will to join me in prayer for a Holy Hour, outdoor Eucharistic Procession and Benediction at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Oklahoma City at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 21, the day of the proposed sacrilege. We will pray to avert this sacrilege and publicly manifest our faith in the Lord and our loving gratitude for the gift of the Holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives.
A printable version of the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese on the archdiocesan website (www.archokc.org). If you have not yet done so, I urge you to contact the Office of the Mayor, the Honorable Mick Cornett, to express your outrage over this offensive and blasphemous sacrilege and this misuse of a tax-supported public space.
Commending our efforts to the Lord through the loving intercession of Mary, the Mother of God, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
Archbishop of Oklahoma City
The story originally said 20 churches burned. Then, it was updated to 45 churches burned.
It’s an old story. Out of date. After all, it happened a year ago.
Which means, I suppose, that we should dust our hands of it and forget.
But it’s more than a year-old story. It’s part of an on-going, continuous pattern of blood violence that rises to a genocidal scale directed at Christians by various Muslim groups throughout a whole region of the world.
The question arises and keeps arising: Who is funding this? The Islamic Brotherhood, who participated in church burnings, kidnappings, forced conversions and murder of Christians in Egypt, is, so far as the people they murder, kidnap, rape, force from the homes, sell into slavery are concerned, the same as ISIS, is the same as Al Qaeda, is the same as Boko Haram, is the same as Hamas.
They may have all sorts of carefully defined definitions and distinctions among themselves, but they are all the same in their results. They slaughter innocents, and they destroy the societies in which they live.
Make no mistake about it: People who do this kind of thing enjoy doing it. If they kill all the Christians in that part of that world — and they very well might — then, they will kill someone else. In fact, they already kill other Muslims who do not fall within their narrow definitions of who has a right to life.
Let’s go back for a moment to the question I keep asking: Where are they getting their money? Armies run on money. Terrorism runs on money. They are probably making money from the spoils of war, including the buying and selling of abducted women and girls in the slave/human trafficking market. But someone is still supplying a lot of doh-re-me to be used to slaughter men, women and children and bring whole nations to the brink of a dark age. Who?
For now, I’m going to leave you with a few photos from that long time ago outrage of last year. Because these people deserve better from us than to be swept under the rug of political correctness and forgotten as if they had never lived.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has been indicted by a grand jury for “abuse of power.”
His crime? He vetoed funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s office after District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to resign after she was convicted of a DWI.
Governor Perry was indicted on two felonies: Abuse of Official Capacity, and Coercion of Public Servant.
District Attorney Lehmberg was arrested for drunk driving in April of 2013. She was fined and sentenced to 45 days in jail. She actually served 21 of those 45 days. She has not resigned.
What has followed appears to be partisan politics from both sides of the argument. There were the usual outraged calls from Texas Republican legislators that District Attorney Lehmberg resign. This always happens when a political figure is in disgrace. Members of the opposite political party call for their resignation.
But, she didn’t resign.
She was subsequently investigated by a grand jury that decided she should be allowed to say in office. An Austin attorney brought a civil suit for the purposes of removing her from office under Texas statute. She won this case in court, which again left her in office legally.
This year, Governor Perry vetoed funding for the Travis County District Attorney’s office. A group called Texans for Public Justice filed an ethics complaint accusing the governor of coercion for attempting to use his veto to force District Attorney Lehmberg to quit.
It appears to me that what we have here is a case of partisan politics running out of control on both sides of this debate. If District Attorney Lehmberg holds her office legally, Governor Perry has no business vetoing funding because he, personally, finds her behavior inappropriate. It does, on the surface, have the appearance of an attempt to coerce her to leave an office that she legally holds.
Indicting Governor Perry for two felonies in a game of partisan gotcha is destructive to the max, as well.
This whole business of trying to remove people from office or end their careers by using felony indictments to destroy them because they are of the opposite party is outrageous. I don’t have any doubt that this is exactly what is going on here.
I can guarantee that if Attorney General Lehmberg had been a Republican instead of a Democrat, the “outraged” politicians at the state capitol would have all switched sides. The Ds would have been outraged and Rs, not so much.
If Attorney General Lehmberg was a Republican, would Governor Perry have vetoed funding for the Travis County DA’s office? I doubt it. I think that if she had been an R, he would have said “the law is the law, and she’s in office legally, my hands are tied” and signed the funding without debate.
If Governor Perry was a Democrat, would Texans for Public Justice have filed the lawsuit that resulted in this indictment? Would a Republican version of the same thing would have filed one instead?
My point is that if the people involved switched their party affiliations, everybody else would switch sides right along with them. That’s because this is not a legitimate deal on anybody’s part. It’s all politics. Dirty. Nasty. Destructive politics.
The fact that we are talking about trying to force someone out of office for partisan reasons is outrageous.
It is also a terrible thing to drag anyone into our courts of law under felony charges. It doesn’t matter if they are a governor or a paper boy. No one should ever be put through that hell for any reason except legitimate ones.
This DWI conviction of a local politician is small political potatoes. She did the crime. She did the time. Let the people of Travis County Texas sort it out. That is, after all, their right.
It should have stopped there.
It would have stopped there except for the vicious insanity of take-no-prisoners partisan politics.
I would go on, except that this is Texas we’re talking about. They do everything big down there; including their partisan shoot-outs. Let’s just watch and see what happens next.
From ABC13 Eyewitness News:
AUSTIN, TX (KTRK) –A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for allegedly abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption – making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his state’s first indicted governor in nearly a century.
A special prosecutor spent months calling witnesses and presenting evidence that Perry broke the law when he promised publicly to nix $7.5 million over two years for the public integrity unit, which is run by Travis County Democratic District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s office. It’s the same office that indicted U.S. Rep. Tom Delay as part of a finance probe.
Several top aides to the Republican governor appeared before grand jurors in Austin, including his deputy chief of staff, legislative director and general counsel. Perry himself did not testify, though.
READ IT: RICK PERRY INDICTMENT
Grand jurors indicted Perry on abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony with potential punishments of five to 99 years in prison, and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony that carries a punishment of two to 10 years.
No one disputes that Perry is allowed to veto measures approved by the Legislature, including part or all of the state budget. But the left-leaning Texans for Public Justice government watchdog group filed an ethics complaint accusing the governor of coercion because he threatened to use his veto before actually doing so in an attempt to pressure Lehmberg to quit.
“I took into account the fact that we’re talking about a governor of a state – and a governor of the state of Texas, which we all love,” said Michael McCrum, the San Antonio-based special prosecutor. “Obviously that carries a lot of importance. But when it gets down to it, the law is the law.”