These videos tell the story of one young family’s fight with cancer. Mom of the family had cancer, and she was pregnant when she was diagnosed, but the entire family fought the disease, which is how it has to be. Nobody fights cancer alone. God bless husbands and wives who go through this journey with their spouses. They are doing eternity work.
This post for Catholic Vote was the first post I wrote after being away so long. I felt like someone trying to ride a bicycle for the first time in years; all wobbles and uncertainty. So, I went with something I believe to my core and have written about many times before: Many Christians on both sides of the political spectrum have made a false god of their political parties. They trim their faith to fit their politics.
I knew when I wrote it that people who are deep into this form of idolatry would become enraged and call me names. Satan is in control of them, and they don’t know it. When someone confronts them with their sin, they attack and vilify that person for telling them what they don’t want to hear.
It’s interesting that not one of these folks had the brains or ability to support their views with actual facts and arguments. They simply went to the lowest sez-you, you’re-this-or-that denominator. In short, they reached for abuse and a ham-handed attempt to use the combox to commit calumny to support their position.
I knew this would happen. But I’ve been away from the internet, and I was, even after my years of dealing with this particular form of spiritual death, surprised by the vehemence of some of those who have fallen into it. I’m not mincing words here. I am calling the political heresy what it is: idolatry, satanic, sin, spiritual death. The combox viciousness is merely a symptom of how sin sick and lost these people are.
Someone said, You cannot serve two masters, and He was right. He also said, You cannot serve God and Mammon, and He was right again. I believe that Mammon refers to more than money; it is the entire worldly edifice. You cannot walk the Narrow Way that leads to life, and the Broad Way that leads to perdition, both at once.
These people who follow their politics instead of Jesus are, well, not following Jesus. They have become followers of another god, and it is the most pernicious and deadly little g god of them all: Their own vaunting self-righteousness.
I made a list of the worst actors in this regard and I am praying for them. I also pray the St Michael prayer every day for our sin sick nation. This country needs an exorcism, beginning with those who call themselves Christians but put the little g gods of this world on the altar of their hearts, instead.
Here’s part of what I wrote for Catholic Vote:
I have said this many times, and I expect I will say it many more: You cannot follow Jesus Christ and follow either of the two political parties.
This election season has demonstrated in an obvious way that both our political parties are morally bankrupt. It has shown us, if we would allow ourselves to see what is directly in front of us, that this great nation, founded as it was on the idea that all human beings are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, is in danger of being brought down, not by enemies from without, but from the craven manipulations and lies of our political parties.
We will destroy our country if we do not cease and desist from the self-destructive nihilism and corporatism that our political parties are pushing on us.
Far too many people, Republicans and Democrats alike, have made false gods of their political affiliations. They feed this idolatry by hating the sins of the other party without acknowledging the sins of their own party.
In fact and in truth, there is enough fodder for that gun in either party’s behavior. Read the rest here.
Not all Muslims are terrorists.
In fact, very few Muslims are terrorists.
ISIS, despite its successes, is a tiny percentage of the world’s Muslims. Also, much of the Islamic world is itself at war with ISIS, trying to end this evil.
At the same time, all of the recent terror attacks, such as 9/11, last weekend’s attacks in Paris, the bombing of trains in Spain, the massacre at the elementary school in Chechnya, and the repeated horrors within the Muslim world itself are Islamic in origin. Add to that the 70-year terror warfare against Israel, and the horror show that occurred in Lebanon. It is clear, for those who are not willfully blinding themselves to the unhappy facts of reality, that there is a consistent problem with Islamic terrorists in much of the world.
I am not saying this because I love being called a bigot and an Islamophobe. I certainly am not saying it because I think that everyone who follows Islam is a terrorist or a bad person. Far from it. I know beyond doubt that most Muslim people are good and moral individuals.
However, we are confronted with a hard reality, and if we want to survive, we need to begin, as the Alcoholics Anonymous people say, to accept reality on reality’s terms. The root reason why the Western world is being held hostage to repeated terrorist attacks is the disastrous and flat-out suicidal immigration policies that it has practiced.
Our media and political leaders push immoral “moral” arguments on us stating that, as we all know, all Muslims are not terrorists. In fact, almost none of them are.
So, in this la-la-land of betrayal of their responsibility to the truth, and in the case of political leaders, to the welfare of those they govern, they use this fact to deny the reality that their immigration policies are importing terrorism, unrest and the destruction of the civil order into our societies.
I am not a European, so I will not speak to what I regard as the obscene neglect of their responsibility to the welfare of the nations that they govern that their leaders have practiced. I am American. So I will address our own government’s refusal to govern on behalf of the welfare of America.
To put it bluntly, we need to change our immigration policies. Our immigration policies should reflect the first responsibility of governance, which is to maintain the domestic tranquility. The American people have an absolute right to expect that those they elect will act in ways that do not undermine their safety in the name of some nefarious political correctness.
The edifice of political correctness has become a thought prison that denies reality and punishes those who refuse to accede to its delusions with social approbation, and oftentimes, legal discrimination. It is being used in a crude and heavy-handed manner to bully and badger people into bowing before the lie du jour.
I won’t get into the obvious lies of moral and social machination which are constantly being pushed on the people of this nation. I will not address the way that our public education system is being used to propagandize our children into twisted thinking that flies in the face of reality.
I will simply address the craziness of immigration policies which continue to bring people into this country from parts of the world which are known to produce organized terrorists. This is being done in the face of nightly news reports that this army of terrorists we call ISIS actively recruits Muslims from America and Europe, trains them and sends them back to us with the intent of wreaking havoc on our lives, property and domestic tranquility.
Our political correctness has become suicidal. Unfortunately, the people who make these policies are well-guarded. They will be the last to pay for their neglect of duty.
It is the ordinary American citizen, going about their ordinary life who will find themselves staring down the barrel of the gun, or standing next to the bomb-packing murderer. It is the ordinary American citizen, going about their ordinary life who will be sent to fight the War on Terror.
At the same time that we are importing terrorists under the guise of “tolerance,” we use “illegal” immigrants for political demagoguery. The Republican political party is very fond of railing at Mexicans during certain election cycles.
Up until Donald Trump’s candidacy, they concentrated this in the off-election years and did not do it during presidential election years. The reason is simple. Attacking Mexicans can be used in off-year elections to win races in a selective way without harming the party. But in a national campaign, the large numbers of American citizens of hispanic origin who are concentrated in states that pack a powerful electoral punch come into play.
In short, the Rs can win a lot of local and statewide elections by attacking “illegal” immigrants, i.e. Mexicans, in by-elections. But they stand to lose the presidency if they go at them in presidential years. So, every off election, the right wing media machine cranks up a “crisis on the border” which they blast out at the public for about six months and then drop when the election is over.
Donald Trump has upset this a bit by raising this issue in a presidential campaign. We’ll have to watch and see what effect that has in November 2016.
I mention this now for one reason. Mexicans did not fly planes into the Twin Towers. Mexicans did not kill anyone in Paris last week. Mexicans did not burn that school in Chechnya. They did not bomb mosques in the Middle East. Mexicans are not committing genocide against the Christian population of a whole region of the world.
Politicians openly try to incite us to hate Mexicans during every off-year election. At the same time, they use appeals to “tolerance” and telling us not to “hate” to cajole us into a suicidal immigration policy in which they continue to import immigrants from a part of the world which is exporting terror on a mass scale around the globe.
We don’t have to hate Muslims or anyone else to know that this is insanity. Worse, it is a clear dereliction of duty on the part of elected officials of both parties. Let me say that again: The fault lies with both parties.
Both parties are putting this nation and its citizens at risk with their intransigent support of insane immigration policies. They excuse this to We the People with babble about tolerance and how all Muslims are not terrorists. But their true reason is that they are, as they always are, acting on behalf of corporate interests.
In the meantime, we appear to be in a forever war with the people of the Middle East. This war is being sold to us as necessary to “keep us safe.” It would keep us a lot safer, and save the lives of American soldiers, if we just changed our immigration policies.
But — and this is the reason, never doubt it — there’s a lot of money to be made in war. Not, mind you, by the American people who must fight these wars. The same Congress that could not agree on defunding Planned Parenthood got it all together to shuck the retirement of our men and women in the military. The same Congress that can’t change immigration laws that are allowing terrorists to enter this country somehow managed to agree to raid social security monies.
Our sons and daughters who fight the wars created by our bad politicians’ neglect of their duty do not get rich for their suffering. And the people who get rich from the wars do not fight them. Their children go to elite schools where they are slotted to run the country.
I’m sure that I’m going to be called everything but a nice person for writing this post. I’ll say for the record that I do not advocate hate of anyone. Far from it. Hate separates us from God. It can send us to hell. Hate clouds the mind and makes the hater incapable of thinking straight. Hate is an emotional cancer that destroys its host.
I think we should pray for the people of the Middle East and treat Muslim Americans as our brothers and sisters in this fight against terrorism. But I do not think we should allow further immigration from that region so long as this evil of terrorism reigns there.
I also think that instead of demonizing Hispanics to win elections, we should begin seriously to deal with the problems that create and fuel the illegal immigration in the first place. The first step is to use fines and loss of government contracts and tax benefits to stop businesses from employing them. The second step is to close down the drug cartels.
I would like to have an American government that cared about the American people. I would be gratified to hear a debate in Congress about how our elected officials can help the American people, rather than rip them off. I don’t expect that so long as we keep electing corporatist puppet people.
But that is another discussion. I think I’ve called enough lightning down on my head with this post.
I hope that commenters can engage in civil and fruitful discussion of what I’ve said. I hope I make you think and decide to ask more of our elected officials. If I do that, being called a few names is well worth it.
Kimberly Hahn, wife of prolific Catholic apologist Scott Hahn, got herself elected to an at large position on the Steubenville city council this week.
We need strong Christians in public office, as well as every other endeavor. I wrote a post about Mrs Hahn’s victory and what it means to get elected office for the National Catholic Register.
Here’s part of what I said:
America reinvents itself every election. What’s so great about this, is that ordinary people like you and me are part of this process of reinventing.
We can vote, make phone calls, donate money, canvass neighborhoods, talk to our friends and otherwise participate in the electoral process by which Americans chose who will wield the powers of government. If we decide later that we made a mistake, there’s always another election to rectify that.
Perhaps the most important way that Americans can participate in the electoral process is to step forward and place their names on the ballot. Filing for office is the first step. What comes afterwards is usually a marathon.
The winner suddenly finds themselves with a lot of new best friends and a boatload of responsibilities, the complexity of which will daunt and overwhelm them at first. The loser ends with nothing but memories.
As we say here in Okieland, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. When it comes to elections, the winner takes all and no apologies.
Two people just learned that hard fact in Steubenville, Ohio. Kimberley Hahn, who is a prominent Catholic author, as well as the wife of the even more prominent Catholic writer Scott Hahn, won an election yesterday. She is the newly-minted member at large of the local city council.
I haven’t written about the obsessive early polling of presidential candidates for one simple reason: I think it’s ridiculous.
Asking voters a year or more out from an election who they will vote for is like asking a 12-year-old girl to describe her future husband. What you will get in either case is a dream scenario that does not resemble what will actually happen when things get real.
I also think that debates this far out are, in a word, stupid. It’s showmanship, aimed at getting ratings. By the time the first vote is cast next spring, the voting public is already going to be sick of the spectacle.
Donald Trump is now neck and neck with Dr Ben Carson in polling data. Despite this, Mr Trump’s numbers have not fallen all that much.
How has this happened?
It’s simple, really. It’s also what usually happens in political races with lots of candidates. First, candidates drop out. That has been occurring in the Republican presidential marathon. As candidates drop out, voters who were backing them shift to other candidates. Over time, support begins to consolidate behind one candidate.
Donald Trump came out of the gate ahead of the pack. He led the field by a wide margin. But I noticed something interesting about his lead. The numbers held steady. What that meant is that he had a certain group of Republican voters behind him and they were solid in their support. But it looked as if that group was all he might get.
In short, he had a great starter set, but his ability to get over 50% seemed weak. I kind of expected that as candidates dropped out and the field began to consolidate, someone besides Mr Trump would pick up the gains. That is what has happened.
At the same time, Dr Carson’s success has fueled a drop in Mr Trump’s support. Dr Carson is not only managing to consolidate support that was previously going to candidate who have dropped out of the race, he is beginning to leach support away from Mr Trump.
Does that mean that Dr Carson is the likely nominee?
– See more at: http://www.catholicvote.org/so-how-exactly-does-the-polling-work/#sthash.3uJyB9KW.dpuf
This is unfathomable on the basis of discrimination or any of the other claims that have been made concerning this parade. It is, to use a word I frequently apply to today’s cultural deconstruction, nihilism.
From Crisis Magazine:
Twenty-five years ago, a small group of activists charged the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade with being a public gesture of pure homophobia. They built their case around the allegedly bigoted “Catholic character.” The trial was held before the judges of the left-leaning secular media.
A jury composed of the general public yawned, wondering why a 250-year-old civic and religious institution needed to become a battlefield in the culture wars. The activists found this lack of popular support impossible to fathom. Enraged, they determined to do more than just march up Fifth Avenue. They sought to humiliate their enemies, including the parade’s organizers, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Catholic Church herself.
Then the unexpected: the committee responsible for sponsoring and staging the parade stopped defending itself against the worst of the charges. The case has now moved to the penalty phase.
This week, the victors revealed their demands: a Saint Patrick’s Day parade that is both non-Catholic and—incredibly—non-Irish. As outlandish as that sounds, all indications are that the activists will get what they want, because they’ve somehow managed to capture the imagination of the parade’s new boss—Quinnipiac University president John L. Lahey.
I wish that the Synod on the Family had been able to spend more time considering ways in which the modern world destroys families, often from the inside out. If they had, drug addiction would surely have found a way onto the list.
Nothing is more insidious or difficult to address than drug addict family members. The rest of the family ends up paying a horrendous price for the love they feel for the addict, and the addict is destroyed utterly by both the addiction and the things they do as a result of the addiction.
I wonder that there is so little genuine attention given to this plague by religious thinkers. I honestly do not know why this is so.
I wrote a post for the National Catholic Register about my own struggles with a family member of mine that I love with all my heart who suffers from a life-long addiction to drugs.
Here is part of what I said:
If you doubt that drug addiction is evil, consider what it does to love.
I’ve been dealing for years with the heartbreak and disaster of a beloved niece who suffers from cocaine and meth addiction. I’ve watched and suffered as the drugs destroyed her personality, health and sanity.
It’s as if the drugs were devils who consumed her. They disassembled her personality and shredded her rationality until there was nothing but rage and violence left behind.
Drugs eat the person alive, hollow them out and leave them as clanking and unworkable faux versions of themselves. Drugs degrade addicts in horrible ways. They do things to themselves and others that scar and mutilate them spiritually and morally, as well as physically. The worst of it is that drugs turn them sociopathic. They become manipulative, dishonest, and without conscience in their dealings with the people who love them.
No one can have a practicing drug addict in their life and stay sane and happy. You can’t help them. If you try, they will pull you into their insanity and destroy you, along with themselves. The choice inevitably becomes a choice to either cut all ties with the drug addict, or be destroyed by their addiction, along with them.
That’s why I said that drug addiction is evil. It destroys life, personality, morality and sanity. But its worst crime against the people it infects is that it turns love into a weakness and a weapon.
Read the rest here.
Planned Parenthood president, Cecile Richards, published a letter yesterday stating that Big Pink won’t take direct monies for selling the body parts of babies it has killed during abortions. Do you believe them?
I talk about this, from the viewpoint of someone who once allied with Planned Parenthood as a pro choice advocate in a post I wrote for the National Catholic Register.
Here’s part of what I said:
Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, posted a letter yesterday. She announced that Planned Parenthood would no longer accept money for supplying the body parts of aborted babies to researchers, research facilities and their middlemen.
Personally, I’m not convinced. The reason I’m not convinced is my personal experience with Planned Parenthood and the impressions I formed of them during the time I was their political ally run counter to this action.
The truth is, Planned Parenthood cares about money. Planned Parenthood really cares about money.
I was a naive, true-believing 22-year-old from the wrong side of the river when I first encountered Planned Parenthood’s leadership. My piece of the situation was an ardent belief that (and I’m explaining this beyond what I would have said at that time) the sexual double standard and misogyny were such that abortion was absolutely necessary to save women’s lives and allow them to function as full human beings. I had a friend who almost died from an illegal abortion. I well remember the terror of this situation and how hard it was to get medical care to save her life.
That was a watershed event for me. The horror of it trumped every other consideration in my thinking about abortion for a long, long time. That’s how I came to advocate for legal abortion, how I came to be the Oklahoma Director for NARAL, and how I came to sit across the table with Planned Parenthood muckety-mucks from around the country at various banquets, seminars and such. Without exception, the first thing a member of Planned Parenthood’s governing boards would ask me was “How are you funded?” Meaning, how was Oklahoma NARAL funded.
This wasn’t something that came up casually, later in the conversation, and it didn’t happen once in a while. Every single conversation I ever remember having with them began with an introduction, followed by the question “How are you funded?”
The post I wrote for the National Catholic Register about California’s new euthanasia law attracted a few “death with dignity” trolls. As these people always do, they quickly descended to the non-argument of attacking me personally.
Frankly, I have no big problem with that. It’s an honor to be drubbed for standing against the murder of innocents. They can bring it on.
However, it seemed that other readers were having trouble finding a response to these bullies. That happens a lot. Christians are overawed by the sheer emotional violence of those who want to legalize killing. There’s no surprise in that. People who support these things are often crazy mean, and dealing with them, even on the internet, can be a bit of a shock.
So, I wrote a second post. I wrote it for the specific purpose of sharpening the abilities of my Catholic Register readers to respond to these trolls. It’s important that we do not allow them to stun us into silence in our own houses, and the National Catholic Register is definitely an internet home for those who believe in the sanctity of human life.
The specific combox snipe I chose to respond to was one that sniped at me over my misspent and sinful past. I chose it because it struck at the heart of what it means to be a Christian, which is to say that it struck at the heart of the meaning of the cross.
Here’s part of what I said:
Here is the reason why euthanasia is wrong:
You do not kill innocent people.
Notice what I put at the end of that statement? I put a period, as in complete thought, finished, over and through.
You. Do. Not. Kill. Innocent. People.
If you are a lawmaker, you do not pass or sign laws that kill innocent people. Because if you do, that makes you a murderer. I know all about this, up close and personal. As one commenter on my post concerning Governor Jerry Brown and his mighty death-dealing gubernatorial pen somewhat inaccurately noted, I am the former director of the Oklahoma chapter of NARAL.
Not only that, but I helped open the first abortion clinic in Oklahoma, and I referred women for abortions. Then, during my first years in elected office, I used my abilities and the powers granted to me by the people of my district to kill pro life legislation. I also set up the system whereby pro life bills continued to be killed long after I left office.
So. Does that disqualify me to take the gubernator to task? If you think it does, then you should stop reading this post right now, because that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Again.
I know more about the Oklahoma Ten Commandments Monument story than my sense of responsibility to the people I worked with will allow me to say.
I’ve put off writing about it because, to be honest, I get angry every time I think about it.
But I finally chased myself around my house a few times and wrestled myself into my chair and wrote a post for Catholic Vote. I didn’t tell all. Not even close. But I think I told more than you’ll find elsewhere.
I. Am. So. Glad. I’m. Not. In. Office.
Ten Commandments monuments stand outside courthouses and statehouses all across the USA. They go back to the beginning of our country. This is fitting, since the legal structure of the Western world is built on those ten commandments.
For the first two hundred years of our republic, the only controversy was an occasional argument about whether the monument would be made of marble or granite. But for the past 30 years pressure groups have been working to drive religious expression from the public sphere.
The United States Supreme Court stopped them from acting as an American Taliban, blowing up historic monuments and statues because they had religious meaning attached to them. Otherwise, I suppose they would have kept going until they demanded that we burn the Declaration of Independence for its allusion to “Our Creator.”
Federal courts have upheld the placement of Ten Commandments monuments in states such as Texas. Oklahoma State Representative Mike Ritze assumed that a Ten Commandments monument that was identical to one that passed court muster in Texas would be allowed in Oklahoma.
Rep Ritz is the primary author of the legislation authorizing the monument. Rep Ritz was passionate about this bill. He was so committed to it that he even paid for the monument with his own money and donated it to the state as a gift.
I was a member of the Oklahoma House when we voted on it. Rep Ryan Kiesel, who is now the executive director of the Oklahoma ACLU, led the debate against the bill.
Without Rep Kiesel, I don’t think there would have been any debate at all. But he successfully convinced a number of my colleagues in the Democratic caucus that this bill was unconstitutional under the Constitution of the United States of America. They followed him in opposing the monument, and several of them were defeated because of it in the next election. Rep Kiesel did not run for re-election.
It turned out that Rep Kiesel was wrong. The monument was not unconstitutional under the Constitution of the United States of America.
That’s why the same Rep Kiesel chose another line of attack in his new position as Executive Director of the Oklahoma ACLU.
Read the rest here.