President Obama has created a Constitutional crisis over religious freedom by aggressively using the power of his office to re-define it as a narrow “freedom to worship.” He seems proud of the moniker “most pro abortion president in history.” He has done more to destroy traditional marriage than any other living American.
Why would he want to have his photo taken with the pope?
Maybe he views himself as a sort of alter-statesman, a gee to the Holy Father’s haw, an omega to the pope’s alpha.
All I know is that the President of the United States is on his way for a photo op with the black-shoe pope who rides around in a battered up old jalopy that looks like it came from an inner city slum.
The president is arriving on his very own jet, accompanied by his entourage of 700 staff. He’ll be dressed to the nines and swoop in with his Secret Service agents, complete with mirror glasses and grim expressions.
The pope will presumably ramble over from the digs he shares with other Vatican staff and clergy after a hearty communal breakfast.
One man is the synthesis of ambition and earthly power. The other is the anti-thesis of it.
One man is considered the most powerful man on earth. The other is so gentle that small children steal his chair while he’s making a speech.
One man leads my country. The other leads me.
What will they talk about as the cameras flash?
World Vision, which is an evangelical Christian organization, has evidently decided to hire “married” gay couples. Rev Franklin Graham has issued a statement condemning this action.
I hadn’t intended to comment about this. Public Catholic is a Catholic blog, and the World Vision-Franklin Graham argument is taking place among Evangelical Protestants. My first thought was that it would be best to let them tend to their own chickens.
I’ve changed my mind because there is only one Jesus, and only one universal body of Christ. That makes this a matter of concern for all Christians and not just the Evangelical Protestant part of us.
I’m going to begin by saying that I have seen this before. After Roe v Wade came down, most of the many Christian denominations dithered. Several denominations that are now stalwart pro life warriors leaned toward accepting Roe. The Catholic Church stood almost alone in its resistance to the ruling.
I believe the same thing is happening once again with gay marriage. A lot of religious organizations are dithering. They don’t have 2,000 years of consistent teaching to instruct them. All they’ve got are their own personal interpretations of Scripture. It’s tempting — given the human desire that we all feel to make things easy on ourselves — for these organizations to come up with a scenario that allows them to go along to get along.
I’m no stranger to this. Politicians are justifiably famous for it. That is not due to any special weakness in those who hold public office. It is due to the fact that when a politician does it, everybody knows about it. Most of us get to trim the corners of our beliefs to make things easy for ourselves without anyone else being the wiser.
However, large Christian organizations are even more high profile than politicians, especially at a time like now, when the cultural gods are changing. Our society has taken the cross off the altar and replaced it with 300 million little tin gods of self. Instead of following Christ, we bow down to our own desires.
The little g gods of self say that whatever people want to do is morally right. We refuse the real God and chase, like a dog following its tail, after this most picayune of gods — our ever-changing, never-satisfied desires. We fix our course on self-love, selfishness, self-righteousness, self-promotion; everything but self-awareness.
We lie to everyone to excuse our behavior, but most especially we lie to ourselves.
When a well-known Christian organization publicly departs from 2,000 years of Christian teaching on a matter as serious as the definition of marriage, it can not legitimately claim, as World Vision has done, that it is doing it to “unite Christians.” That’s a specious argument if I have ever heard one.
I do not know, do not pretend to know, what the real motivations for this change are. But I don’t believe that the public statements I’ve read are anything more than a lie. They may, at least at some level, be lies that the people who put them forward told themselves, but they are not the truth.
No one could be intelligent enough to run an organization of this size and be stupid enough to believe that this action will unite Christians.
People who have donated money and otherwise supported this organization on the assumption that it was and would continue to be genuinely faithful to the Gospels have every reason to feel betrayed. This was a back room deal. Whatever the true motivations of its proponents were, fealty to their historic organizational beliefs and respect for their supporters could not have been among them.
I think Franklin Graham is justified in expressing dismay and disavowal of World Vision’s decision.
I am also a little bit philosophical about it. We’re going to see more of this. We’re also going to see some of these early deserters turn around and get their heads right as the Holy Spirit works on them. Others will become, as many Christians are today about abortion, set in their defense of principles that fly in the face of Christian morality.
These are difficult times for Christians. The gods of our world are changing. Many will fall away.
Our task is to stay close to Our Lord and to be faithful in all we do. We need to pray, go to mass, trust God and not be afraid.
For a brief look at long-standing Christian teaching, including Catholic teaching, concerning marriage, go here.
I recently posted a statement that if you want to disrespect the Pope, you need to go to another blog.
That post garnered quite a few complaints from would-be Pope dis-respecters, including attempts to get around it by use of innuendo and leading questions. It’s interesting how committed these people are to disrespecting the Holy Father.
Michael Voris of The Church Militant recently put up a YouTube video in which he addresses the same issue. It turns out that he doesn’t disrespect the Pope, either. I don’t agree with everything Mr Voris says, but he’s right-on about this.
Have a look.
Today’s the day in which the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sibelius vs Hobby Lobby.
The question at hand is not whether the HHS Mandate is Constitutional. The question which is being brought before the Court is whether or not the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 protects Hobby Lobby against the fines and penalties of the HHS Mandate.
The Obama Administration has argued in previous court appearances that the First Amendment only applies to formal worship activities and other direct actions of federally recognized churches, within the confines of their church proper. This narrow interpretation of the First Amendment would end freedom of religion in this country. In fact, it is very similar to the kind and type of religious freedom that totalitarian states operating under communism grant.
So much is at stake with this case.
Please pray that the Supreme Court will preserve the religious liberties and religious exemptions that Americans have long enjoyed.
From SCOTUS Review:
Pope Francis has set aside this coming Friday as “24 hours for the Lord.”
He is hoping that local parishes will offer special opportunities for prayer and the sacrament of confession. I’m going to try to take advantage of this call for prayer and reconciliation as best I can. Hopefully, many Public Catholic readers will do the same.
We are living in times where our faith is challenged and attacked by the larger culture. If we are going to stand for Christ and not fail, we need to pray and keep ourselves spiritually clean.
From Catholic News Agency:
.- During his Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis announced that March 29-30 would be “24 hours for the Lord,” during which people can find special opportunities for prayer and the sacrament of confession.
“Next Friday and Saturday we will live a special moment of penance, called ‘24 hours for the Lord.’ It will begin with a (liturgical) Celebration in the Basilica of St. Peter’s (on) Friday afternoon, then in the evening and night some churches in the center of Rome will be open for prayer and confessions,” he explained to the crowds in St. Peter’s square on March 23.
“It will be – we could call it - a celebration of forgiveness, which will happen also in many dioceses and parishes of of the world.”
The Holy Father then noted that “the forgiveness that the Lord gives us” should make us “celebrate like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, who when the son returned home, had a party, forgetting all his sins.”
The first godfather movie was something of a watershed in American culture.
It wasn’t the first gangster movie. That genre went back to before James Cagney. But The Godfather was different.
The bad guys were the heroes in The Godfather. That movie and those in the genre which followed it, presented us with an attractive view of an upside-down morality of killing-is-good, selling drugs/women/corruption is just business, and bribery, extortion, arson and theft are “honorable” practices if they are done according to a fictional underworld “code” of conduct.
Organized crime, which is a chilling concept to begin with, was presented as a good, and the culture that housed it was depicted as a papa-loves-bambinos world of endearing tribal loyalties and oddball but real family values. In fact, almost the only family values movies have consistently shown us in these past 50 years have been in stories about the home lives of the professional serial killers of organized crime.
The Godfather turned morality on its head by making the baddest of bad guys into good guys. It presented a world where evil was good and good was non-existent.
Mafia movies have been a staple of American entertainment ever since. The most talented actors, best directors and finest writers have put their incredible abilities to work in the service of creating movies and television that is based on a sympathetic view of the sad, sick world of professional killers, drug pushers and purveyors of prostitution and porn.
The acting and drama of these shows is so excellent that they are almost hypnotic to watch. There is a compelling draw to these presentations of evil that can entrap people, especially when it is packaged by some of the greatest artistic talents money can buy. Meanwhile, the spiral keeps twisting its way downward, as we find our enjoyment in on-screen depictions of sick and sicker murderers.
But evil itself, when it steps off the screen and into our lives, is not so lovely or compelling. Murder isn’t entertainment. Buying, selling and otherwise dehumanizing people for money losses its gloss when you look into the eyes of its victims. There is nothing attractive about watching actual corruption, extortion and killing in progress.
Serial killers are destroyers, not creators. Organized serial killers who kill for money are destruction on a societal scale.
Pope Francis speaks against the Mafia with the prophetic voice of the Vicar of Christ. Yesterday, at a mass for the families of people who have been murdered by the mafia, he stood at the pulpit and spoke directly to those who are in the mafia.
He warned mafia members that they can not take their “blood-stained power” and “blood-stained money” with them when they die. He implored them to turn away from the evil they do and convert. Then, he warned them that “hell awaits you if you continue on this road.”
If Pope Francis told me that I had to change my ways or go to hell, I would change my ways.
It remains to be seen if any of the people who are involved with the mafia allow themselves to hear what the pope has told them and change their ways. The pope set before them life and death. I wonder if any of them will have the courage to chose life.
At least one government official has voiced concern for the pope’s safety. He fears mafia violence against Pope Francis. But if our Holy Father worries about this, it doesn’t show. I think that’s because he’s already chosen life. He knows that no matter what happens to him, his destination is heaven.
Pope Francis is doing what a shepherd of souls does. He is calling the lost sheep home.