American Atheists have filed suit to block inclusion of the ground zero cross in displays at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
An earlier lawsuit against use of the cross in the memorial was tossed out of court. The basis of that suit was the extreme trauma atheists experience when they view a cross. This suit is filed on the grounds that there is no projected monument for atheists at the memorial.
Perhaps we could have an empty box for atheists. Since modern atheism is a militant unbelief system in nothing, expressed as nihilism, what else would represent it?
As for atheists who died in this tragedy, and atheists who helped in the rescue and clean-up, we should list their names and give them the respect they deserve. But there is no reason to erect a memorial to nothing.
More to the point, the ground zero cross is a historic artifact. It is part of the actual history of 9/11. Are we to re-write history and edit out those portions which might accidentally pertain to Christianity? Is that the new interpretation of the First Amendment?
Most people were horrified when Muslim extremists blew up ancient statues of buddha a few years ago. The ground zero cross is just as much an artifact of history —albeit, more recent history — as those buddha statues were.
Atheism has become a dogmatic unfaith of sorts. It insults those who disagree and seeks by all means available to silence opposition. There is a tyrannical underpinning to the overbearing insistence that no one anywhere can include artifacts which might have linkage to established Christianity in public displays. There is also a tyrannical underpinning (and a good bit of what is either extreme ignorance or deliberate misinformation) in proclaiming loudly, rudely and incessantly that any elected official who uses the name God in their converse is violating “separation of church and state.”
I personally have lost count of the number of times that zealous Christian bashers have tried to censure my speech and writings, or to direct my votes as an elected official, by this ruse.
Suppression of other people’s free right to speak of their beliefs in public, or vote according to their conscience, is tyranny. Using verbal hazing and bullying tactics to silence people of faith is also tyrannical.
Atheists advance the idea that any artifact, statement or idea that has its aegis in Christianity is, by their overbearing and tyrannical definition, a violation of what they call “the separation of church and state.” By the logic of their arguments, the militants who blew up the buddhas were right to do so. I suppose we should also remove the Thunderbird from the historic insignia of the 45th Division.
From 4New York:
A group of atheists is seeking to stop the 9/11 museum from displaying a cross-shaped steel beam found among the World Trade Center’s rubble because they say it is an endorsement of Christianity, and an appeals court heard arguments in the case Thursday.
A judge last year tossed out a lawsuit on the cross, rejecting the arguments of American Atheists, which sued the National September 11 Memorial & Museum’s operators in 2011 on constitutional grounds, contending that the prominent display of the cross constitutes an endorsement of Christianity, diminishing the contributions of non-Christian rescuers.
The 17-foot-tall steel beam was found by rescue workers two days after the terror attacks. It is scheduled to be displayed among 1,000 artifacts, photos, oral histories and videos in an underground museum that will also house the staircase workers used to escape the towers as well as portraits of the nearly 3,000 victims and oral histories of Sept. 11. The museum is still under construction and scheduled to open this year.
Edwin F. Kagin, a lawyer for the atheists group, said the cross “violates the First Amendment because atheists are not represented equally.”
My friend Kathy Schiffer, who blogs at Seasons of Grace, has an inspiring story about how Christians in the community of Stratton, OH are staging a private resistance to this type of bullying. I think we should all take a page from their book.
Pope Francis has given another interview and the internet is ga ga.
According to things I’ve read, the Holy Father has come out in favor of civil unions for homosexuals.
Cardinal Dolan gave another interview, and, again according to reports I’ve read, he agreed that the Holy Father is favoring civil unions.
This is a real show-stopper for Catholics who depend on the Church to not compromise on the basic teachings of the faith. Is the Holy Father planning to overturn Blessed John Paul II’s teaching when he said,
IV. POSITIONS OF CATHOLIC POLITICIANS
WITH REGARD TO LEGISLATION IN FAVOUR
OF HOMOSEXUAL UNIONS
10. If it is true that all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are obliged to do so in a particular way, in keeping with their responsibility as politicians. Faced with legislative proposals in favour of homosexual unions, Catholic politicians are to take account of the following ethical indications.
When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is proposed for the first time in a legislative assembly, the Catholic law-maker has a moral duty to express his opposition clearly and publicly and to vote against it. To vote in favour of a law so harmful to the common good is gravely immoral.
When legislation in favour of the recognition of homosexual unions is already in force, the Catholic politician must oppose it in the ways that are possible for him and make his opposition known; it is his duty to witness to the truth. If it is not possible to repeal such a law completely, the Catholic politician, recalling the indications contained in the Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, “could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality”, on condition that his “absolute personal opposition” to such laws was clear and well known and that the danger of scandal was avoided.(18) This does not mean that a more restrictive law in this area could be considered just or even acceptable; rather, it is a question of the legitimate and dutiful attempt to obtain at least the partial repeal of an unjust law when its total abrogation is not possible at the moment.
If this letter by Pope John Paul II is now to be discarded, why should Catholic politicians pay attention to other letters by succeeding popes, or, for that matter, bishops? I’m here to tell you that I took it very seriously, and taking it seriously has exacted a great cost on me and my life. If the new story is basically April Fool, it was all a joke, I’m not laughing.
I honestly think that one reason so many other Catholic politicians have failed to heed what Blessed John Paul II and later, Pope Benedict XVI, taught us is that no one bothered to teach them about it. For reasons that I do not understand, Catholics are left to find these documents, read and interpret them themselves and then act according to them all on their own. The Church does not teach what it teaches to the people in the pews.
I think that if their pastors and bishops had taken the trouble to teach Catholic teaching — including what Pope John Paul II said in this letter — to our elected officials, a good many of them would have behaved differently in the past couple of years. I also think a lot of good Catholic people would not be so flim-flammed by what the world teaches.
Despite everything I just said, I don’t expect that we will see Pope Francis overturn what Blessed John Paul II taught in this matter. I think this is just another flap caused by a reply to a question in an interview. If you read what Pope Francis actually said, it becomes clear that the only definitive statement he made is that marriage is between one woman and one man. He then goes on to enumerate a few of the many manifestations of civil unions around the globe and ends with a political sounding “we’ll take it under advisement” type comment.
Now that I’ve said my say, I want to let you decide for yourself. Here is a video of the salient portion of Cardinal Dolan’s interview. Notice that the Cardinal says he hasn’t read the Holy Father’s actual words. He’s basing his comments entirely on press reports about the interview and not the interview itself. (Mistake.)
If you want to read the full text of Pope Francis’ interview, you can find it at Catholic News Agency.
If you want a quick take, here is the question on civil unions, and the Holy Father’s answer:
Many nations have regulated civil unions. Is it a path that the Church can understand? But up to what point?
Marriage is between a man and a woman. Secular states want to justify civil unions to regulate different situations of cohabitation, pushed by the demand to regulate economic aspects between persons, such as ensuring health care. It is about pacts of cohabitating of various natures, of which I wouldn’t know how to list the different ways. One needs to see the different cases and evaluate them in their variety.
Jen Fitz, who blogs at Sticking the Corners, offers her take on the Pope Fancis/Civil Unions debate here.
My babies seemed to know me after they were born.
Right from the beginning, they preferred to be snuggled against me over any other place. I felt the same way.
This video records this beautiful phenomena.
Of course he is.
Mark Zamuda, former vice principal at Eastside Catholic School in Seattle, is now suing the school. The school dismissed the openly gay vice principal when he “married” his same sex partner.
Students at the Catholic school staged a walk out and at least one Catholic priest stood tall against the collar he’s wearing by coming out in support of the students.
Now, said principal is adding the cherry on top by filing a lawsuit against the school and the archdiocese. According to a Christian News article, Mr Zamuda’s attorneys are arguing that his position as a coach, teacher and vice principal was “administrative” and not “affiliated with the Church’s teaching.”
“I didn’t ask to be gay,” Mr Zamuda advises. However, he did, presumably, apply for employment at a Catholic School. Since he says he’s a “lifelong Catholic,” he also probably knew that the Catholic Church teaches that sex outside marriage between one man and one woman is a mortal sin. He may even have read the employment contract that he signed agreeing that his public behaviors would at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. He may also have read the same requirement in the employee handbook.
How will this nasty little dirt fight end?
Let’s just sit back and see if the renegade Catholics in Seattle can top themselves in thumbing their noses at the Church this Lent, or if they’ve reached their true bottom.
My mother always was one to sweat the little things.
Maybe that’s why I’m so blithe and indifferent to details. Mama always took care of them for me.
The difference — and it is rather stark — between her crossing of every t and dotting of every i before dementia and her going over and over and over and over the same thing 20 times in 20 minutes after dementia is my sanity.
It’s especially tiring when I’m tired to begin with. And it’s especially overwhelming when I’m tired to begin with and she piles on by going in a circle from one little thing to the next and back again.
So it was yesterday. I had a pause and could take her to lunch. I picked her up at her day care, and we were off. We have a thing we do with lunches and such. I give her money. She puts it in her purse, and then, when we get to the restaurant, she proudly (and with no memory that I gave her the money in the first place) buys my lunch for me. Mama loves to treat me by taking me out to lunch. She gets a big kick out the whole thing, and frankly, so do I.
The trouble was that yesterday she kept going into worry wart mode because she couldn’t find the $40 I’d given her. Every few minutes, she would open her purse and begin searching for it. She had folded the bills into a lump the size of a postage stamp and tucked it behind the photos in her billfold (she’s big on hiding things) and that meant they weren’t in the folding money slot when she looked for them.
She would become upset, and I would pull the car over, take her billfold and show her where she’d hidden her money. She would nod sagely and say “Ohhhh, that’s where it is.” Five minutes later, she’d start looking again. I don’t remember how many times I pulled the car over and showed her that money.
We had a fun lunch, talking about how good broccoli and cheese soup is and visiting with the waitress who goes to our church. When we got back to the car, she wanted me to take her to buy a Coke at a drive in. We headed for the drive-in and she started the “I’ve lost my money” thing again.
I pulled over a couple of times and showed her where her money was. Then, after we paid for the Cokes and were driving away, she did it one. more. time.
Before I could zip my lip, I said, “Mama, will you puleez stop it?”
I didn’t yell. I didn’t raise my voice or grit my teeth. It was plaintive rather than angry. I think that was what got her attention. The sound of distress in my voice triggered her Mama gene. She put the purse away and started talking about something else.
Which almost immediately moved into a lament over the fact that she doesn’t have a car anymore; which went rather quickly to her standard tale about how I have “stolen” her car and she wishes she hadn’t let me do that to her.
After she finally wore that out, we had a nice talk about my piano lessons. She’s fascinated with my piano lessons, and seems to believe that I’m headed for a career as a concert pianist. That’s standard Mama, by the way. Everything I do has always been the best thing anyone ever did in the whole history of the world.
We drove past part of the tornado damage from last spring, and she talked for a while about that.
Then, we parked the car so I could return a book to the library. She picked up the book I’d been reading (American Prometheus) and looked at the photo of Robert Oppenheimer on its cover. My mother, who can’t remember where she put money in her own billfold five minutes ago, looked at that photo and said,
“He developed the bomb for this country. He saved the lives of a lot of boys who would have died invading Japan.”
She paused, flipped open the book and looked at the photos. “Our government was really dirty to him, accused him of being a traitor, and after what he had done for us.”
She closed the book and looked at me with eyes that belonged to the mother I used to know. “I wrote a letter protesting that,” she said. “They were only after him because he told the truth about how dangerous those bombs were.”
All I know about Robert Oppenheimer is what I read in this one book and sketchy facts about the Manhattan Project. I know of his famous comment, “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds,” when the first atomic bomb was exploded at Trinity site. He’s a feature of history to me.
I never knew my mother had an opinion about Robert Oppenheimer. I certainly never knew she wrote a letter to her Congressman protesting his treatment by our government.
I took the book and returned it to the library. When I got back to the car, the mental door had closed and Mama returned to chiding me for stealing her car.
But for that brief moment, the photo of a long-dead scientist cracked open the doorway into who she had been as an adult and let me see a brief glimpse of a bit of the hidden things of her life that I never knew.
This is Robert Oppenheimer, discussing his memory of the first atomic explosion.
Pro life Okies are well acquainted with Dr Nareshkuma Gandalal Patel.
He runs an abortion clinic in an office complex on the north side of Oklahoma City.
Operation Rescue has recently filed complaints against Dr Patel with the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office. The complaints concern violations of clinic regulations. One of the allegations — “Improper disposal of medical waste” — resurrects memories of previous problems the doctor has had.
In 1993, Dr Patel was in the news for dumping the bodies of babies he had aborted in the countryside. He admitted that he had disposed of nearly 60 infant corpses by putting them in plastic bags and dumping the bags in a field near Shawnee, Oklahoma.
He has been disciplined twice by the Oklahoma Medical Board for Unprofessional Conduct relating to his abortion business. He has also been charged with forcible oral sodomy and sexual battery of his patients. An employee of his has sought and received a protective order against Dr Patel.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a surprise when I read that Dr Patel is in trouble again. What did surprise me is the wealth he has accrued from his abortion business. According to Operation Rescue, Patel owns $39.4 million in real estate and has a net worth of $28 million. His personal income exceeds $1.4 million.
From Operation Rescue:
Oklahoma City, OK – Millionaire Oklahoma abortionist Nareshkumar Gandalal “Naresh” Patel, who once faced charges of raping and sodomizing his abortion patients, is once again under investigation after Operation Rescue filed a five-count complaint against him with the State Attorney General’s office, the Oklahoma Health Department, and the Oklahoma Medical Board.
The complaints were based on documents and medical waste that had been discarded in a publicly-accessible trash receptacle near Patel’s Outpatient Services for Women abortion clinic in Oklahoma City. The material was received by Operation Rescue from an anonymous source on March 18, 2013.
Many of our priests are homosexual.
This is a much-known but little talked about fact of Catholic life.
Some of these homosexual priests are not faithful priests.
That is also a much-known but little talked about fact of Catholic life.
But most homosexual priests are truly devout, faithful priests who are loving pastors.
That is a very well known, but again, little talked about, fact of Catholic life.
As we move forward into this post Christian world, all of us, laity and clergy alike, are going to be challenged by the larger culture. We will find ourselves having to “choose this day” whom we will serve over and again.
We will have to choose between our political parties and the teachings of Christ.
We will have to choose between old friends we love like family and the teachings of Christ.
We will sometimes find ourselves standing alone, harried by professed unbelievers and fallen believers working in tandem to force us to compromise our followership in Christ to go along with the crowd. It may get quite ugly.
As all this winds through, our need for one another will become important to our emotional strength and peace of mind. We are settling in for a long fight. We need the sustenance that only true Christian community can offer to carry us through.
Our priests are going to have to lead us through this. The need for priests who are on fire for Christ and His Church has never been greater. We need their leadership.
And they need our support.
Scripture says that without vision the people perish. The vision that will sustain us and enable us to re-convert our lost culture must come from the clergy.
These priests, most of whom are totally unprepared for it, are going to have to dig down inside themselves and find the courage and the faith to lead us through the storms ahead. It’s won’t be easy for them. Many of them will and are failing the test.
There is no doubt — none — that at least some of the ones who stand for Christ will be attacked for doing it. Which leads me to the crux of this post.
Homosexual priests are especially vulnerable to being “outed” and blackmailed by threats of being “outed.” I personally know a priest (who is not from Oklahoma) who was “outed” to his parish as punishment for his support of traditional marriage.
When this happens, we are going to have to stand with these men. It does not matter whether a priest is homosexual or straight. They are, or should be, celibate men who have given their lives to Christ and His Church. The only concern we should have is whether or not they lead us in the authentic teachings of the faith.
We need them to shepherd us through these times, and as the times get uglier, we are going to have to support them when they are maliciously and unjustly attacked.
I am not in any way talking about hiding child abuse or turning a blind eye to reprehensible behavior. I believe that we in the laity have a right to expect authenticity from our priests.
I am talking about something quite specific, and that is the threat of blackmail of faithful priests who happen to be homosexual by “outing” them as gay to their parishes. When someone decides to “out” father so-and-so, we need to look at father so-and-so with the same tenderness that he offers us in the confessional. We need to judge him by his works, his walk with Christ, and not by the attacks which are leveled against him for his fidelity.
A priest who preaches Christ and who does it fearlessly, who consoles us in our grief and forgives us in our shame, is literally a gift from God. When such a priest is attacked, we owe him our support in return.
First it was Big Love and its top tier talent. Then it was Sister Wives.
Now, we’ve got My Five Wives from TLC.
The commentary that I’ve seen on this show so far has been unalloyed promotion of polygamy. There are no complicating questions or even allusions to hint at a darker side of the misogynist practice of polygamy. It’s sell job, flat out.
I also haven’t heard a nay-saying word from the sisters in the feminist tier. All is silent on the feminist front as the mainlining of uncritical acceptance of polygamy to the American public moves forward.
The polygamous My Five Wives is being hyped as “about love” and “freedom” and, well, as normal and attractive as apple pie and Fourth of July fireworks.
We are treated to beautiful white bread kids with million dollar smiles, lisping “we just love one another,” while the American-Girl-grown-up wives assure us that this is just another alternative lifestyle. There is, if they are to believed, no misogyny roiling beneath this unctuous elevation of polygamy to a new norm, and certainly no sick or destructive agenda.
Remember a few eye blinks of time ago when anyone who said that redefining marriage to allow two men or two women to “marry” would lead to polygamy was called an idiot/bigot/homophobe/hater?
Now, it seems that anyone who dares to say a critical word about polygamy is an idiot/bigot/hater. I’ve got the insults in my delete file to prove it.
Meanwhile, those earlier idiot/bigot/homophobe/haters who said that redefining marriage would open the gates to who knows what — including polygamy — are looking more and more like prophets.
The legalization of gay marriage is still moving and the sell job on polygamy is already well along.
You do remember how this works, don’t you?
These entertainment series are a softening-up process that the media pus the American people through. This process makes the case that polygamists lead Ozzie and Harriet lives, and objections to polygamy are all in the minds and mouths of narrow-minded and backward-looking Christian zealots. There is, of course, no corresponding “case” from the other side of the question allowed. It all goes one way, and it the drum beat in favor of gay marriage and now polygamy never stops or slows.
The arguments that the “stars” of My Five Wives make in interviews fit the template we’ve had used on us before.
We’re “normal times five” they tell us. The man and his harem are not looking backwards to some old-school polygamy. Not at all. They consider themselves “progressive” and “independent.” Rather than being part of an evil right-wing religious sect, they are “spiritually driven.”
“We want to dispel all those, you know, myths about rumors about polygamist families,” they tell us. “We’re healthy, our kids are amazing, you know, and good citizens, good students, and you know, we’ve got a good family.”
Or, as it says on the TLC website, “love keeps us grounded.”
They are, in short, Ozzie and Harriet on steroids; the next new normal in cultural implosion of post Christian America.
From the Mail Online:
Just because he has five wives and 24 children doesn’t mean Brady Williams isn’t normal.
Or at least that’s the message he wanted America to receive during an interview with the Huffington Post in which the polygamist stars of TLC’s ‘My Five Wives’ spoke candidly about hopes to dispel the myths surrounding their unconventional lifestyle.
‘All of America’s having sex,’ Brady said. ‘And it’s no big deal to just answer it and to just say ‘Duh no we’re not perverted, we’re not twisted, we’re just normal.’
‘Normal times five.’
The family, which belongs to no church, considers itself progressive and independent.
Williams and his wives slowly withdrew from the fundamentalist Mormon church in their rural community outside of Salt Lake City during the mid-2000s after re-evaluating their core beliefs.
The family no longer teaches the tenets of fundamental Mormonism to their children at home, opting instead to take from other teachings such as Buddhism to instill good, morale values in their two dozen children, who range in age from 2-20.
Brady now calls the family ‘spiritually driven.’
‘We want to dispel all those, you know, myths and rumors about polygamist families,’ Robyn said.
‘The ones that have been in the spotlight, there’s things like abuse and stuff that go on but not every polygamist family is like that. We wanted to show that we’re normal, we’re healthy, our kids are amazing, you know, and good citizens, good students, and you know we’ve got a good family.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2572599/Were-normal-times-five-Polygamist-stars-My-Five-Wives-ask-people-not-judge-unconventional-family.html#ixzz2vDmjBraz
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