Our Papa brings it with this extraordinary reflection on sex abuse.
Have I mentioned that I love this man?
Our Papa brings it with this extraordinary reflection on sex abuse.
Have I mentioned that I love this man?
Senator Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, is leading the charge to overturn the Hobby Lobby decision.
From The Washington Post:
“One thing we’re going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on Tuesday. “This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous, and we’re going to do something about it. People are going to have to walk down here and vote, and if they vote with the five men on the Supreme Court, I think it’s — they’re going to have — be treated unfavorably come November with the elections.”
Senator Reid can make this audacious claim because Hobby Lobby v Burwell was adjudicated on a statute, The Religious Freedom Act. What Senator Reid, and, according to him the rest of the Senate Democrats, wants to do is basically repeal the Religious Freedom Act. I only have a few points to make at this juncture.
We are trapped between our own wishy-washy advocates who make speeches, gather votes based their “stands” and then do nothing, and these passionate, committed opponents who are willing to stake their careers on attacking religious freedom and the sanctity of human life. It is simply not an effective tactic for us to continue demonizing our opposition while we settle for nothing but empty promises and political grandstanding from our supporters.
We are being used.
Meanwhile, the other side of this fight has real political warriors with fire in their bellies who are willing to stake everything on defending their viewpoint
I am going to suggest you do two things today and one thing tomorrow.
For today, write both your United State’s Senators and demand that they fight publicly and behind closed doors to stop this re-write of the The Religious Freedom Act. It does not matter if they are Democrats, Republicans or Independents, they need to hear from you. Second, write your member of Congress and demand that they stop sitting on their hands and take action against the HHS Mandate.
That’s for today.
For tomorrow, check with your state political party about when precinct meetings will be held next spring. Put the date on your calendar and plan to go.
For Republicans, Google “(name of your state) Republican Party” or (name of your state) Republican Committee. For Democrats, Google, “(name of your state) Democratic Party”. Examples: Oklahoma Republican Party, or, Oklahoma Republican Committee. Oklahoma Democratic Party.
Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death when she was eight months pregnant for refusing to recant her Christian faith.
She is still unable to leave Sudan, due to what I consider to be trumped up charges by local officials.
She gave birth to her baby girl, who she named Maya, while she was in prison. Her captors forced her to give birth in chains.
Hopefully, Mrs Ibrahim and her family will be allowed to come to the United States soon and we can provide Maya — and Mrs Ibrahim as well — with the medical care needed to repair the injuries that were inflicted on them by this barbaric government.
From The Telegraph:
“I gave birth chained,” she said, in her first description of the May 27 birth.
“Not cuffs – but chains on my legs. I couldn’t open my legs so the women had to lift me off the table. I wasn’t lying on the table.”
When asked whether she was frightened that giving birth in such conditions could harm her baby, she said: “Something has happened to the baby.”
She explained that her daughter had been left physically disabled – but the extent of the disability would not be clear until she was older.
“I don’t know in the future whether she’ll need support to walk or not,” she said.
I know. I tell everyone not to call people names.
But there comes a time when “idiot” isn’t a pejorative; it’s an excuse.
Mr Limbaugh is doing his the-pope-is-a-marxist-communist-not-a-corporatist-like-me thing again. After reading this latest rather bizarre attack against the Holy Father, I am faced with three possibilities.
1. Mr Limbaugh has relapsed into his drug problem.
2. He’s an idiot.
3. He is deliberately baiting the Vicar of Christ for ratings, despite the fact that a grade-school child could read the interview he’s referencing and know that he’s misquoting and miscasting what the Holy Father said.
Given the choices, I’ve decided that, in charity, I will give Mr Limbaugh the benefit of the doubt and assume that he’s an idiot. I don’t, for instance, think that the fact that he makes at least $70 million per year in salary, or that his net worth is approximately $400 million, has in any way messed with his mind.
What set Mr Limbaugh off on another of his attack-the-Holy-Father spiels is an interview Pope Francis gave to Il Messaggero on Sunday. Rather than try to untangle the web of misquotes and confabulation that Mr Limbaugh has spun, I’m going to quote a couple of highlights, then put Pope Francis’ entire interview below and let you read it for yourself.
Here are what I think of as the lowlights from Mr Limbaugh’s latest attack piece on my spiritual leader, Pope Francis.
“The 77-year-old pontiff gave an interview to Il Messaggero, Rome’s local newspaper, to mark the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, a Roman holiday. He was asked about a blog post in the Economist magazine that said he sounded like a Leninist when he criticized capitalism and called for radical economic reform.”
Oh, yeah, some obscure blog post in the Economist said he sounded like a Leninist, that got everybody riled up. We remember that. Don’t you? I don’t remember. Anyway, he said, “I can only say that the communists have stolen our flag. The flag of the poor is Christian. Poverty is at the center of the Gospel. Communists say that all this is communism. Sure, twenty centuries later. So when they speak, one can say to them: ‘but then you are Christian’,” he said, laughing.
I don’t know if the pope is saying that Jesus was a communist. I mean some people could read it that way. He says the communists stole our flag, and if our flag is rooted in solving poverty, and the communists want to claim that’s what they did, I mean, you connect the dots if you wish.
What Mr Limbaugh is doing here is quoting a misquote from an article headlined “Pope Says Communists are Closet Christians,” and then responding to it with the assessment, I don’t now if the pope is saying that Jesus was a Communist. I mean some people could read it that way.”
Ok, so he doesn’t know if Pope Francis is saying that Christ the Lord is a Communist? Are we supposed to believe that he’s serious?
Maybe he’s an idiot.
Or maybe this was an attempt to be sly and clever by attacking with innuendo.
Me, I’m going with idiot, because, as I said, it’s the kindest interpretation I can come up with.
Here, for those of you who would like to see it, is what the Holy Father actually said. It’s the whole interview, without cuts or edits.
I highlighted the part about Communism so you can want go straight to it if you want. If you can find the place where the Pope Francis said or implied that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a Communist, let me know. Frankly, I think that all you have to do to understand what Pope Francis is talking about is to remember that he’s from a country where children live in garbage dumps and scavenge for survival; a country where Communists have tried to take over by appealing to these poorest of the poor and offering them help.
That, and read the interview yourself instead of miscasting misquotes in order to make a coarse point.
From Vatican Radio:
(Vatican Radio) The Rome daily “Il Messaggero” on Sunday published an interview with Pope Francis made by journalist Franca Giansoldati. In his responses to questions on a wide range of issues, the Holy Father focused, among other things, on the challenges of change in the current “era” and “culture,” which has consequences for political, financial, and social life. The Church, along with various civil and social institutions, must respond to these challenges by protecting the common good and defending human life and dignity.
“Always protecting the common good, which includes “defending human life and dignity” is “the vocation of every politician,” the Holy Father said. Today, the problem of politics – which Pope Francis called a “worldwide problem” – is that it “has been devalued, ruined by corruption, by the phenomenon of bribery.” This “moral decay, not only in politics but also in the financial or social” sector, is driven by “change of epoch” that we are experiencing today, which is also “a change of culture.” In this context, our anxieties about poverty are not concerned solely with material poverty.
“I can help someone who is hungry, so that they are no longer hungry,” the Pope said. “But if someone has lost his job,” he is involved in another kind poverty. He no longer has his dignity.” Helping families in need, then, requires a “joint effort.” Pope Francis recognized that this is an “uphill” journey, but insisted it must be undertaken, working above all for the good of children. “Starting a family is an effort,” he said, because of economic difficulties that “social policy does not help.” Commenting on the very low birth rates in Europe – which makes it seem “as if she were tired of being a mother, preferring to be grandmother,” the Holy Father noted that the causes of this phenomenon lie not only in a “cultural drift marked by selfishness and hedonism,” but also in the current economic crisis.
Pope Francis was asked how he would respond to being called “a communist.” “I would only say that the Communists have stolen the banner… The banner of the poor is Christian; poverty is at the heart of the Gospel.” The cause of the poor is pre-eminently a Christian cause. The Gospel cannot be understood “without understanding real poverty.” At the same time, the Pope said there is also a “very beautiful ‘poverty of the spirit’,” being poor in the sight of God because God fills you up. The Gospel, in fact, is addressed indiscriminately to the poor and to the rich and “does not at all condemn those who are rich,” but rather condemns their riches when they become the objects of idolatry.
To the question “Where is the Church of Bergoglio headed?” Pope Francis replied, “Thanks be to God, I don’t have any church – I follow Christ. I didn’t found anything.” He went on to say “my decisions are the fruit of the meetings before the conclave. I have done nothing on my own.”
The Church in Asia “is a promise,” he said, turning to his upcoming trips to Korea, in August, and to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, in January. He also spoke about China, saying it represents “a great, a very great pastoral challenge.”
During the interview, Pope Francis also took up a number of other themes already addressed during his pontificate, such as the place of women in the Church. Without an understanding of femininity, the Pope said, one “cannot understand the Church herself.” Women “are the most beautiful thing God has made. The Church is a woman.” He said that in doing theology, one must take account of this “femininity,” and that the Church must continue to work on and develop a “theology of the woman.”
Pope Francis spoke also about the corruption and the economic and sexual exploitation of children. The Pope speaks of incidents of child prostitution that were reported to him when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, involving even elderly men. “For me,” the Pope said, “people who do this to young girls are paedophiles.”
Finally, on the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the patron saints of Rome, Pope Francis spoke about the everyday life and traditions of the City of which the Pope is the bishop. This role, the Holy Father said, is “the first service of Francis.” Pope Francis said Rome shares many of the problems of other cities “such as Buenos Aires.” He said a conference dedicated to the theme of “the pastoral care of the great cities” will take place in Barcelona in November. Pope Francis expressed his hope that the citizens of Rome, the inhabitants of a city “that should be a beacon in the world,” would not lose “joy, hope, confidence, despite difficulties.”
There is no getting around the fact that Jesus offends some people. Nevertheless, He is too important in my life for me to cower in fear of mentioning His name. David Green, owner, founder Hobby Lobby
The Green Family (who are Okies, by the way) risked everything they had worked for all their lives.
They put everything but their lives on the line by refusing to accede to the HHS Mandate’s requirement that they pay for insurance coverage for abortifacient drugs. The Greens, who are Southern Baptists, already provided insurance coverage for contraceptives for their employees.
But they would not be participants in the evil of abortion. It conflicted with their faith in Jesus Christ.
So, they took a stand that was, in terms of business, totally stupid. They refused to abide by the HHS Mandate. What’s more, they put the name of their company, which they had built themselves from a $600 dollar investment, on a lawsuit.
This wasn’t a roll of the dice. It was an act of faith. The lawsuit was turned back, then resurrected in other rulings. When it was first turned down, the Greens said they would not abide by the Mandate, even if it meant paying millions of dollars a day in fines to the government.
This was not grandstanding. It was a reality of their lives at that time. They were facing ruinous fines for following Christ. It would most likely have put them out of business.
Another court overturned the earlier ruling and they were granted a stay.
Their lawsuit made it’s way to the Supreme Court, and today, the Court ruled that the Green family, as well as other owners of privately-held corporations, are exempt from the contraceptive portion of the HHS Mandate.
I’ve been watching and reading a bit of the reaction to the news. It’s totally predictable claptrap about how this ruling allows corporations not to follow “the law” and how it “endangers women’s health.”
My reaction to this is give me a break. First, the Supreme Court’s ruling is the law, which is something the HHS Mandate has never been.
The HHS Mandate is an agency rule which has the force of law. It was never passed by elected officials. It was created by an appointed committee. To call this thing a law violates the underlying principles of government by representation on which this nation was founded.
Second, women’s health is not endangered by not being able to get insurance coverage for abortifacients. What endangers women’s health is allowing things like the morning after pill to be put on counters where everyone can buy and use them as many times a month as they want. The health consequences of using the morning after pill for birth control could be terrible for women’s health.
Also, as I just said, the stuff is available over the counter. If a woman uses it the way it’s intended, it would be a once in a lifetime deal. If they are using it repeatedly, they are endangering their health. Period.
I’ve read all sorts of comments attacking this ruling, but I think the ruling is wonderful.
It puts a couple of teeth back into what has rapidly been becoming a toothless concept of religious liberty in this country. The government — the government — does not have any business requiring people to violate their faith under threat of government penalties. The government also does not have any business passing draconian agency regulations that infringe on American liberties by the fiat of a hand-selected back-room committee and calling it “law.”
The Green family saved our First Amendment freedoms today.
They did it as an act of faith in which they put their entire life’s work on the line based entirely on their faith in Jesus Christ.
May their tribe increase.
Our family is overjoyed by the Supreme Court’s decision. Today the nation’s highest court has re-affirmed the vital importance of religious liberty as one of our country’s founding principles. The Court’s decision is a victory, not just for our family business, but for all who seek to live out their faith. We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey. Barbara Green, co-founder/owner of Hobby Lobby
The United States Department of State issued a report on human trafficking. The report singled out Pope Francis’ strong condemnation of human trafficking for praise.
The Guardian reports that Meriam Ibrahim is safe at the United States Embassy in Sudan.
Her husband, Daniel Wani, spoke with Agence France-Presse by phone.
The Guardian story does not make it clear whether the charges against Mrs Ibrahim have been dismissed. It says that she was released from police custody on the condition that she remain in Sudan. That sounds to me like she is still not in the clear.
She was charged with forgery because she attempted to leave Sudan using a passport that was issued by South Sudan. I am guessing that this passport was obtained based on the fact that her husband has dual South Sudan/American citizenship. Sudan does not recognize her marriage because her husband is a Christian and she was, at least legally, a Muslim.
Mrs Ibrahim was originally charged with apostasy and sentenced to be flogged and then executed by hanging because she refused to recant her Christian faith. She was 8 months pregnant at the time. She gave birth to her baby while she was in prison.
The Sudanese court overturned her apostasy conviction and she and her family were trying to leave Sudan when she was re-arrested.
According to the Guardian article, the envoy for the United States state department met with Sudanese foreign ministry officials to obtain Mrs Ibrahim’s release from jail. Hopefully, this means that the family will be able to leave Sudan soon.
Mrs Ibrahim’s husband said that the motive behind the initial attack on his wife was a desire to steal her business interests. He said that Mrs Ibrahim owns a hair salon, a mini mart and agricultural land.
All in all, it sounds as if this family would make a wonderful contribution to the United States. I hope they can begin their new lives of freedom here soon.
Meriam Ibrahim has not been freed. The story I posted earlier was incorrect.
She was arrested once again while she and her family were at the airport, awaiting a flight to leave the country.
According to The Independent, the new charge is that she was using a passport obtained from South Sudan. Sudan does not recognize her as a South Sudanese citizen because it does not recognize her marriage to her Christian husband. Her husband has South-Sudan/American citizenship.
Mrs Ibrahim is being charged with forging her passport, a crime that is punishable by up to seven years in prison. She is being held in a Khartoum police station. Her family has refused to leave without her.
From The Independent:
The US and South Sudanese ambassadors have been summoned to Khartoum by Sudan over the rearrest of a Christian convert accused of apostasy trying to flee the country after being released from death row.Mariam Yahya Ibrahim was freed on Monday after an appeals court cancelled the death sentence imposed for having converted from Islam to marry her Christian husband, after the government came under what it called unprecedented international pressure.But she was detained again on Tuesday for trying to use documents issued by the embassy of South Sudan to fly out of Khartoum with her American-South Sudanese husband and their two children – deepening the diplomatic wrangle over her case.Sudan does not recognise her as a South Sudanese citizen because, despite lifting her sentence, it does not recognise her marriage to a Christian, something not allowed under the Islamic laws applied in Sudan, where most people are Sunni Muslims.South Sudan, with a majority Christian population, became independent from Sudan after a public vote in 2011 that ended years of civil war between the two states.“The airport passport police arrested Abrar after she presented emergency travel documents issued by the South Sudanese embassy and carrying an American visa,” Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services’ media department said on Facebook, referring to Ibrahim by her Muslim name.
Following Jesus without deviating will get you smeared every time.
I think it’s a rule of some sort, written by Satan a couple of thousand years ago.
It even happened to Jesus Himself when He walked this earth.
So … if somebody calls you names for following Him, say thank you. It’s always nice when someone notices your fidelity to Christ and pays it the ultimate compliment.
Pope Francis, who has been following right down the line on this Jesus thing, has drawn the usual verbal lightning down his own head by doing it. Just this morning, I read an article calling him, once again, a Communist for speaking out on behalf of the poor.
I believe this particular article accused him of “following Lenin” in response to the Holy Father’s linkage of economics and war. Because, you know, war has nothing to do with economics. By this logic President Dwight Eisenhower followed Lenin, too.
I wonder if the author of that post is following Lenin’s advice. I’m referring here to the Lenin who wrote “A lie, told often enough, becomes the truth.” I also wonder if the author is acquainted with the bloodthirsty things that Mr Lenin did.
Pope Francis, “following Lenin????”
That one goes beyond pigs flying in tight formation and heads on out past hens apeckin’ on a hot griddle to jump the hate-blog shark. It doesn’t even rise to the level of defamation and slander. It’s just … hateful wing nutism that turns out to be accidental comedy.
At the other end of the wing nut comedian scale, we have a writer over at Salon who wastes a lot of band-width on her angst at learning that Pope Francis is Catholic. You know: pro life, pro traditional marriage and family; that kind of Catholic.
This author goes, alongside her right-wing-nut buddies, right past common sense and lands splat in a big barrel of mud. Instead of saying that the Vicar of Christ is in cahoots with Lenin, she informs us — with rageful venom that almost leaps through the screen and scorches the reader — that the pope is … ummmm … you know … a bigot, sexist, oppressor who supports pedophilia.
Nice shot, that last. And one that’s beginning to weary. I’ve been and will continue to be as outspoken as anybody about the failure of bishops to protect children from predatory priests. But there are pedophile protectors in just about every nook and cranny of this world of ours. We actually help victimize kids more by using this issue as a club to beat the Church with and ignoring everyone else.
In fact, I’m beginning to come to the conclusion that at least some of this outrage is just Catholic hating. The reason? I’ll give you two: Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. You need another reason? Go read Coreyography. Try the defense in trendy circles of egg harvesters who prey on young girls barely out of their teens. Or, consider the easy way the media pushed the baby-bodies-in-the-septic tank hoax. I could go on, but the examples rapidly get so ugly that I don’t want to talk about them.
Following Jesus will get you smeared. That’s a fact and it always has been a fact.
Pope Francis is getting his share of politically-motivated, wing-nut smear jobs. In fact, he’s been on the receiving end of a regular dose of it ever since we first heard “Habemus Papam.”
What these folks want, of course, is for the pope to re-write the Gospels to fit their politics. They want the Holy Father to affirm them in their sins and stop making trouble with this Gospel of Christ stuff. They’ve managed to buy and bully a lot of other religious leaders into doing exactly that.
One side gives us a Caspar Milquetoast Jesus who high-fives porn, prostitution, abortion, euthanasia and the destruction of the family. The other side gives us a sociopath Django Jesus who just loves torture, corporatism and endless war. They’re both liars, you know. Just like the one who sent them. Their way is the wide way that leads to death.
When the Holy Father goes off their political reservation and flat-out says that sin is sin, even when it contradicts the “moral” teachings of right-and-left-wing-nut politicos, he’s in for it. His punishment is to be labeled a Communist-Lenin-following-bigot-sexist-oppressor-who-supports-pedophilia.
My advice to Public Catholic readers is don’t give it a thought. If you know someone stupid enough to buy this load of guano, you might mention to them that believing this stuff is kind of like a reverse intelligence test. If you believe it, you flunk the test. Other than that, just stay the course, stand for Christ and trust Him to get you and all the rest of us through these days in which we live.
We have eternal life and the joy of walking with Jesus. We can partake of the Real Presence any time we go to mass. We are free of the yokes of anguish, despair and bitterness. All we have to do is take them off, lay them down and live life abundantly.
Trust God, do your part, say a prayer for the nuts who are being nutty in such ugly and, yes, laughable ways. Then, go live your life for Jesus.
And, oh yes, when someone calls you a name for following Christ, do what Jesus told you to do: Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
The jury’s out on our religious freedoms.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
We’re all waiting to see what the Supreme Court does to us or for us in their decision on Sebelius v Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
The Supremes are going to hand down a decision on this case soon, and the stakes are enormous.
What will the First Amendment mean next month, after they’ve spoken? How much freedom will we have to practice our faith? Will we be forced to make choices between shucking our faith when we step out the door of our churches? Is the Supreme Court going to take a giant step toward pushing faith out of the public square? Or will it uphold the First Amendment rights of Americans to practice their faith in public?
At issue is the question of whether or not the infamous HHS Mandate will be allowed to force Christian employers to provide funds, either directly or indirectly, for abortifacients and abortion. In other words, can the government force people to participate in murder?
On this day, Wednesday, June 25, 2014, I am going to suggest that you participate in the Fortnight for Freedom by following the links here to read about the case and then say a prayer.
From the Christian Post:
(PHOTO: REUTERS/LARRY DOWNING)
An attorney involved in a Supreme Court case that will determine to what extent privately owned businesses can opt-out of providing certain types of birth control for religious reasons believes there are “‘high stakes” involved in the outcome.
Matt Bowman, senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom, has served as an attorney for Conestoga Woods Specialties, who alongside Hobby Lobby, have sued the federal government to be exempt from the Health and Human Services’ “preventive services mandate” that requires businesses to cover birth control that can lead to the early termination of a pregnancy.
“The stakes are very high in the Conestoga and Hobby Lobby case,” explained Bowman regarding the First Amendment implications in the lawsuit. “It involves fundamental issues of whether or not religious freedom belongs to every American, and whether the government can redefine freedom to force citizens to buy abortion pills for other people.”