Pope Francis Highlights the Role of Mary in 2017

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by thierry ehrmann https://www.flickr.com/photos/home_of_chaos/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by thierry ehrmann https://www.flickr.com/photos/home_of_chaos/

YouTube Preview Image
Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

5 Quick Takes on the Trump Travel Ban

 

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons, by Fibonacci Blue https://www.flickr.com/photos/fibonacciblue/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons, by Fibonacci Blue https://www.flickr.com/photos/fibonacciblue/

For what it’s worth, I support the idea of immigration reform, including limiting immigration from countries with which we are engaged in hostilities.

I do think the roll-out on the Executive order which touched off all these demonstrations was amateurish, as was the wording of the order itself. It had way too much sloppy, off-the-cuff verbiage, where unintended consequences could and did occur.

Pushback on something like this is to be expected. That’s why presidents are usually not so careless in how they draft these things. Governance takes a lot more thought and hard work than sloganeering. That’s because governance is the real deal, with real consequences on real people’s lives.

Here are a few bits of reportage on the topic of the recent immigration executive order. I chose them based on the fact that they were not trying to scandalize, but were simply reporting the situation. I am putting them before my readers in an effort to encourage you to think and let think.

Every side has another side, and good laws are made by respecting that other side and listening to what they have to say, then revising if there is merit to the criticisms.

That’s called thinking, and working toward the common good.

From the Telegraph, Trump’s travel ban explained in 90 seconds.

YouTube Preview Image

Another objective bit of reporting from CBS.

Trump supporter, defends travel ban on British TV.

YouTube Preview Image

Former Iraqi interpreter for US speaks in support of the ban.

YouTube Preview Image

A calm and open discussion without name-calling and craziness from PBS.

 

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Taking Off Until Monday.

I’m taking a long weekend. I’ll try to be back Monday.

Here’s hoping you have a great March for Life, a wonderful weekend, and a Holy Sabbath day.

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Come On News Folk, Cover the March for Life

I love this one. The Hunters for Life sign is so Okie. I love Oklahoma. Copyright: Diocese of Tulsa. Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved.

This is a photo of the Tulsa March for Life a couple of years ago. I love this one. The Hunters for Life sign is so Okie. I love Oklahoma. Copyright: Diocese of Tulsa. Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved. 

Every year we march. Tens of thousands of us march for life in the cold and the mush, year after year. We march in Tulsa and San Francisco and Washington, DC.

And every year the news folk ignore us. This unprofessional black out is a big part of why so many pro life people do not believe them when they try to tell truth about other things. They have destroyed their own credibility with these people by decades of denial of what the marchers themselves have experienced, which is a huge outpouring of protest of Roe and love for the unborn.

This has alienated and bred mistrust in generations of pro life people concerning the mainstream media.

mrcNewsBusters is trying to do something about this. They have issued a call for the news networks to cover this year’s annual March for Life. Hopefully, it will bear fruit.

From mrcNewsBusters:

RESTON, VA – The Alliance for Fair Coverage of Life Issues announces its second annual #CoverTheMarchcampaign today, calling on the media to cover the 2017 March for Life and cover it fairly. The annual event held in Washington, D.C. draws hundreds of thousands of peaceful participants from all over the country. This year’s March for Life, Friday, January 27, marks the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion on demand.

The Alliance for Fair Coverage of Life Issues, a coalition of 25 pro-life organizations and two members of Congress was formed in 2016 in response to the consistently poor coverage media outlets have given to important, newsworthy life issues. Last year’s censorship of the March for Life (which received a total of only 35 seconds of coverage from the broadcast networks) confirmed the media’s contempt for those who don’t share their liberal social agenda. Since the media covered the pro-abortion “Women’s March on Washington” this year for 4,518 seconds, they should give comparable coverage to the hundreds of thousands of peaceful pro-life marchers.

Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center:
“This Friday is a true test for the media. They provided massive, and fawning coverage of the pro-abortion ‘Women’s March’ just four days ago. The media’s coverage of the ‘March for Life’ in two days, both in time and tone, will tell you everything you need to know about their support for abortion. With media’s trust in the basement, they will be exposed for the partisan hacks they are if they don’t give pro-lifers the same amount of coverage. I’m not holding my breath.”

 

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Trump Signs Order to Build Border Wall

One way to bypass Customs; crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Brian Ralphs https://www.flickr.com/photos/birdbrian/

One way to bypass Customs; crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Brian Ralphs https://www.flickr.com/photos/birdbrian/

President Trump signed an executive order today to build a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico. I haven’t read this order, but I question whether or not he can do this without legislation from Congress, since it involves what sounds like direct apportionment of monies and lawmaking.

Presidential executive orders are supposed to be directives concerning the enforcement and interpretation of existing law. The Supreme Court has ruled that they may not step over into actual one-man lawmaking.

This is often a fine point, and it may not matter here. There may very well be a statute on which President Trump has hung this order. However, even if there is, I am wondering how the wall will be built without Congressional appropriations.

As I said, I can’t find the order to read it directly, so what I’m saying is just a guess on my part. The president may very well have all these bases covered.

Even if that is true, I would remind Public Catholic readers that this is a massive amount of power for any president to exercise in this way. It is essentially a legislative action taken by the president alone, without Congress. It is, even if it stands legally, lawmaking by the president.

Conservatives have decried this advancing power of the presidency for a long time now. I wonder if they will reverse their opinions and support this sort of thing now that they like what the President is doing. Whether you support the president’s actions or not, it is still a move toward an elected dictator, rather than the division of powers which has served to keep us free for over 200 years.

In another executive order, the president did something to require that Federal laws concerning immigration will be obeyed, on penalty of losing Federal grant monies. Again, I haven’t seen a copy of the order, so I’m taking the White House press statements at face value.

However, I believe that anything that curbs business interests’ desire to hire the cheap labor of illegal immigrants would be far more effective at reducing the influx over the border than any wall. I think people cross the Rio Grande into this country in search of security from oppressive regimes and jobs.

From The Hill:

President Trump on Wednesday signed two executive orders on immigration, including one that directs federal agencies to begin construction of a wall on the border with Mexico, his signature campaign promise.

Trump signed the actions during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security as his aides met in the White House with two top Mexican cabinet officials, according to the Associated Press.

One of the orders signed by Trump calls for the construction of “a large physical barrier on the southern border,” according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

The other order deals with immigration enforcement and ends the “catch and release” policy that quickly returned border crossers back to Mexico instead of arresting and processing them for deportation. The policy was a fixture of the Bush administration and was later reinstated on an informal basis by former President Barack Obama.

“Federal agents are going to unapologetically enforce the law, no ifs, ands or buts,” Spicer said.

The immigration actions also seek to withhold visas from countries to make sure they take back people in the U.S. illegally who are found to have broken U.S. laws. It would also strip federal grants from “sanctuary” cities and states that do not enforce federal immigration laws.

“We’re going to strip federal grant money from the sanctuary states and cities that harbor illegal immigrants,” Spicer said.

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Trump Announces Massive Investigation Into “Voter Fraud.”

Photo Source: White House web site file photo.

Photo Source: White House web site file photo.

This is a small example of the kind of thing I feared when I made comments about what President Trump was going to do when he got control of the Justice Department.

President Elect Trump responded to calls for a recount (which worked out just fine for him, btw) of a couple of states’ votes in the November election by unleashing a whole trope of fantasy charges that there were “millions” of people who voted illegally in said election.

There was not one shred of evidence for these claims. He just made it up.

He didn’t seem to see that this buttressed the calls for a recount, but then, that kind of linear thinking doesn’t often come into his actions when he feels threatened. He has a well-worn track record of immediately going to the bully and the lie when something challenges his grandiosity.

As events unfolded, the recount upheld his win in the states in question and the popular vote tilted further and further against him. At that point the “millions of illegal” voters lie became a way to protect his threatened ego vs a vs losing the popular vote.

It appears that our president will do just about anything to protect his ego. He is so easy to bait that movie stars at awards ceremonies can do it, claims about the number of attendees at his inauguration can do it, comedians can do it. In fact, just about anybody or anything that challenges his ego can bait him out.

Lying is his first tactic when he’s challenged. Personal attacks on whomever has challenged him follow shortly. That would be disgusting in any person, much less a president of the United States, but if it ended there, it would be bearable in a there-he-goes-again kind of way.

But it doesn’t end there. He has a history of threatening and launching lawsuits; using his money to try to drive those who offend his ego down. He showed just how convoluted and determined his desire for the big get even was with the game he and Kellyanne Conway played with Governor Mitt Romney over the position of Secretary of State. This sadistic little set piece also signaled that he was going to use his power as president to play these nasty little games.

Now, President Trump has control of the Justice Department. Before his first week in office is over, he’s announced that he wants to use this power to launch a massive “investigation” into his fantasy claims of millions of illegal voters. 

This kind of misuse of government investigative powers to push forward a lie has been done before by crazy heads of state in other countries. We are not the first people to elect a mad King George kind of leader. Every one of those countries suffered as a result of this bad leadership, some of them catastrophically so.

Use of the Justice Department is a brute exercise of the brute power of government. Using it this way, to investigate a self-serving, ego-salving lie, is a clear mis-use of power. It has a chilling effect on the whole country. It will almost certainly redound onto Hispanics and other people that we’ve decided it’s ok to hate.

I don’t think this is the last or anywhere near the worst mis-use of the Justice Department for the purposes of feeding and supporting President Trump’s easily threatened ego. I think we’ve just seen the beginning of the big get evens backed by the brute force of government.

Some people just aren’t smart enough to take yes for answer. And our braggart president with his fragile ego appears to be one of them.

 

 

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

God’s Help Comes in Surprising Ways

Photo Source: Copyright Rebecca Hamilton, All Rights Reserved.

Photo Source: Copyright Rebecca Hamilton, All Rights Reserved.

Mama is now famous. Her photo is right there, big and shiny, in the National Catholic Register.

Bless her bones, she keeps on keeping on. I spent most of yesterday afternoon with her. We went out for hotdogs and drinks at our favorite drive-in. Then, we went to the bank drive-through and then we went to the library.

Throughout the entire excursion, she prattled along, talking to me about everything we passed on the way. As usual, she told me, “We used to live here,” as we passed several neighborhoods and houses where we never, ever lived. Then, she tossed in, “We used to go swimming here,” as we drove past a spring-fed pond where, indeed, we used to go swimming.

She’s a treasure and a treat and a blessing. I love her so much it makes my bones ache. Every day with Mama is a gift.

I had to make one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever made in my life after the cancer treatment got too much for me last year. But God, in His infinite kindness, has turned that tough decision into a blessing.

I wrote about all this for the National Catholic Register, which is how Mama became famous. I gave them a photo I took of Mama on one of our excursions to use with the article.

Here’s part of what I said:

Cancer is about more than the person who has cancer.

It’s also about the family and friends who gather around to support you through this illness, who walk with you and take care of you and, sometimes, hold your hand as you say that final good-bye. Cancer takes a toll on everyone. The unsung heroes of cancer are those the caretakers.

There is nothing easy about having a wife, husband, mother, father, son, daughter or friend with cancer. Not only are you stuck with taking care of them and adding the chores they did before they got sick to your already full list, you’ve got to face your own grief, fears of mortality and lostness; and you have to do it without the attention and support that is given to them.

Cancer is a tough bogie for everyone, not just the person who has the disease.

In my family, cancer was massively complicated by the fact that we were also caring for a 90-year-old two-year-old. My Mama, my sweet, wonderful Mama, had and has no idea that I was ever sick. She cruised through the early months of the diagnosis and treatment without picking up a thing, even though it was happening right in front of her.

In fact, she was sitting beside me in the car when the doc told me the pathology reports showed cancer. I had just picked her up from adult day care and was heading home when he called. I don’t know if it was a gray day, but I remember it that way. The doc and I talked back and forth on the speaker while she sat beside me and nattered on about the birds on top of the signal lights and the bright colors on the cars driving down the road beside us.

Not one word of it went into her addled brain, and for that I am profoundly grateful. One of the very real blessings of her dementia is that she did not have to suffer through what would have been the horrible knowledge that her baby had cancer. If she had known and understood her grief and worry would have been terrible. As it was, she never knew a thing.

That was the good part. The not-so-good part of caring for a 90-year-old baby with dementia was that she also gave no quarter to the burdens the rest of the family faced. (Read the rest here.)

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Trump Reinstates Mexico City Policy

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons, commercial use attribution license, by Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons, commercial use attribution license, by Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

Yesterday, President Trump reinstated the so-calld Mexico City Policy. He issued an executive order banning the use of federal foreign aid monies by groups that perform or promote abortions as a method of family planning in other nations.

I believe that the original aid monies the ban addressed were put in place by President Richard Nixon. The first executive order banning these monies from going to groups that perform or promote abortions as a method of family planning in other nations was promulgated by President Ronald Reagan.

Reagan’s executive order stayed in place until it was rescinded by President Bill Clinton. It was reinstated by President George W Bush and then rescinded by President Barack Obama.

Now, President Donald Trump has reinstated it.

You can see the press announcement and read more about it here.

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Hyde Amendment Vote on House Floor Tuesday

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Ron Cogswell Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Ron Cogswell Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by

I am forwarding this alert from national Democrats for Life. Just click on the link at the bottom of the notice to ask your representative to vote “Yes!”

NO TAXPAYER FUNDING OF ABORTION ON HOUSE FLOOR TUESDAY, JAN 23.
Contact your Representative to urge a “Yes” vote
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” this week. Pro-life Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski co-sponsored the legislation, along with Republican Congressman Chris Smith.
The legislation will make the Hyde Amendment language permanent and ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to pay for abortion.
We urge you to contact your representative and urge him or her to support the legislation. If you do not know who your representative is, please click here and enter your zip code to find your representative.
Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK

Pro Life Women Join the Women’s Marches

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Kimika Ying https://www.flickr.com/photos/kimikaying/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Kimika Ying https://www.flickr.com/photos/kimikaying/

Pro Life women marched alongside others in the Women’s March Saturday. I personally know pro life women who drove in from around the state to participate in the March for Women here in Oklahoma. I was surprised by how many of them told me they were going, and, frankly, by who they were.

These weren’t women who normally get involved in politics. They also aren’t the sort to go around carrying signs for anything, including pro life. They live their pro life convictions by not having abortions, even when it would be far easier for them to do so.

Several of these women have children that were born out of wedlock. They are raising their children without help of any sort from the baby’s father. Most of them have suffered domestic violence. Several are rape survivors.

All of them work at low-paying jobs and struggle to survive in today’s world. Participating in something like a march requires all sorts of adjustments in their lives, including taking off work and spending money for gasoline to drive across the state.

I was totally astonished when I heard that they were going to the Oklahoma March for Women, and that they were calling their friends and family members — including me — asking them to join up. I told them that I thought the March would be dominated by pro choice people. They told me that they were sure that they’d be welcome there.

I haven’t talked to them since the march, but I guess it all went well.

According to the National Catholic Register, pro life women went to the March for Women in Washington, as well. I can’t tell from the article how many of them there were. I doubt if anyone really knows.

What this means on the national level, I can’t say. But from a more local perspective, I think it’s clear that these Oklahoma women were listening when our president bragged about committing sexual assault and called women pigs and dogs.

I had no idea they paid any attention to it. I don’t talk about things like that with these women. But they heard it.

What that means, I don’t know, except to say (paraphrasing Jaws) that there’s an awfully big fish out there in the water that nobody’s paying attention to.

If pro life women and pro choice women can come together on issues like rape, violence against women, equal pay, and child care, the impact will be something no politician dares ignore.

From the National Catholic Register:

Pro-abortion messages were common Saturday, Jan. 21, as activists inundated the city for the “Women’s March on Washington 2017.”

But pro-life marchers were not hard to find in the mix, including those who took offense to the removal of New Wave Feminists from the official list of event sponsors and the abundance of signs and shirts emphasizing abortion rights.

Pro-lifers interviewed by the Register were there to make clear that feminism should not be about killing the unborn. They were there to emphasize how abortion disproportionately threatens the lives of girls in many cultures around the world.

Corrine Muldoon McKinney, a 70-year-old social worker from Finger Lakes, New York, slowly worked her way to the march with the help of a walker. She last marched in Washington 45 years ago, in opposition to the Vietnam War. She loves fighting for women and social justice. Doing so, she told the Register, includes opposing abortion.

“I just passed a sign back there [on Capitol Hill] that said, ‘We’re killing unborn women.’ You know, that’s exactly true,” she said. “We need to stop killing babies. We need to stop killing girl babies and boy babies.”

McKinney, a parishioner of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Canandaigua, Rhode Island, said she would unapologetically defend babies against abortion, regardless of what other marchers thought about it.

“This is America,” McKinney said. “Why would you disavow any woman or feminist organization for opposing abortion? That is a form of bigotry, and bigotry is what we are supposedly here to oppose. I’m afraid Planned Parenthood has a little too much influence over what is supposed to be a march in favor of women.”

Like Patheos Catholic on Facebook!

Patheos Catholic LogoCLICK HERE TO "LIKE" PATHEOS CATHOLIC ON FACEBOOK