Thanks to Public Catholic reader Fredx for telling me about these videos.
Pope Francis is first of all a priest. The world is his parish and every single one of us is in the crosshairs of his admonitions to follow Jesus without reservations.
Following Jesus all the way, without holding anything back, is a revolutionary act. People who do it, even the most placid and low-key of them, become revolutionaries themselves. They are God’s change agents in a fallen world.
Those who try to follow Jesus part way, who stop when it gets difficult or conflicts with other things they hold dear, are pretty much useless to God. He cannot change the world with partially converted Christians. We are called to follow Him. There are no qualifiers to that command. It is absolute and all-encompassing.
When Pope Francis exhorts us to do just exactly that, he invariably becomes the target of half-converted Christians who have been using a selective view of the Gospels to condemn others and deify themselves. Everybody gets a kick out of it when the Holy Father calls out somebody else about sins we find appalling. But when he does it to us, well, that’s, as we say in these parts, meddling.
There has grown up here in America a false theology based on the idea that only a couple of sins — abortion and homosexuality — are truly sinful and anything and everything that has to do with money is outside the concerns of morality. In other words, if you oppose abortion, then you can rob all the banks you want.
This has grown to the point that there is a whole movement of fallen Christians out there who will lecture and hector anyone who has concern about the poor and helpless. They justify themselves and attack others with what are blatantly selective and anti-Christ interpretations of Scripture.
They use this obviously false and self-serving bogus theology to justify helping the rich get richer by transferring the wealth of our nation to them. They take prosperity that belongs to everyone and give it to a few and then proclaim that what they are doing is righteousness before God.
I’ve lived with this blasphemy for years on my job as a legislator. I’ve listened as the distorted, self-serving, anti-Christ interpretations of Scripture are flung in people’s faces. It is evil right down to the ground.
The idea that opposing abortion and gay marriage politically is the sum total of the Gospels is a sick, sad, anti-Christ interpretation of Scripture invented by political activists for their own purposes. It is, in itself, deeply sinful.
When Pope Francis tells us that we are bound to follow the whole Gospel of Christ, he is telling us the same thing that Dietrich Bonhoeffer said with his famous comments about cheap grace.
Of course Pope Francis is being attacked for speaking out for the poor. Of course he is being reviled for teaching the whole Gospel.
That’s what happens to people who stand for Christ and Him crucified. It. Happens. Every. Time.
I’ve chosen this particular video because it contains excerpts from three of Pope Francis’ recent audiences in which he addressed what is the moral plague that is destroying the witness of a good many Christians today. He talks about child labor, the love of money, arms dealing and fear of God.
In my opinion, these things are just a few of the manifestations of one thing: A false Gospel that says that economics cannot be judged by moral beliefs. If that isn’t a lack of fear of God in action, I don’t know what is.
Whenever Oklahoma gets on the national news, it’s always something bad. We pretty much get ignored unless we are hit with a massive tragedy or some Okie manages to make a real mess of one sort of the other.
Our latest foray into national attention is no exception.
Oklahoma has developed real problems executing people. Between lawsuits and botched executions, we’ve shown ourselves to be downright incompetent in the area of administering the death penalty. All this led to the second kind of national attention we usually get, which is to say a derisive critique.
This situation came about because of the zealous fight put up by attorneys for the two men slated for execution by the State of Oklahoma this year. After exhausting years of appeals, the attorneys switched from defense to offense. The object of their attack was the method of execution itself. They managed to intimidate the drug companies that supply drugs that are used in executions to the point that the state had problems getting enough drugs to kill someone.
When it came time to execute one of the two men, the prisoner — who had a history of assaulting and trying to kill people while in prison, particularly guards — resisted being moved from his cell. The guards had to taser him. Maybe the aftereffects of that hit with electricity was why things went so awry later.
All I know for sure is that the doctor couldn’t find a vein to use to administer the drugs and finally had to put the needle in the prisoner’s groin. According to news reports, the needle “blew” the vein, which led to a thoroughly botched execution. The prisoner ultimately died, but it was 45 minutes later, after the doctor stopped the execution.
The governor has issued a stay until next November for the other prisoner.
I wrote at the time that the attorneys for these two men needed to consider carefully what they were doing. I knew that Oklahoma has the laws on the books to use a firing squad as a means of execution. I also knew that the legislative will was to do exactly that.
Now, my colleague, Representative Mike Christian, wants to conduct hearings on what process would be necessary to switch to death by firing squad as the preferred method of execution in Oklahoma. Representative Christian, who is a retired Highway Patrolman and fellow Southsider, has said that he would be fine with beheading or feeding prisoners to the lions as methods of execution. In my opinion, that pretty much sums up the prevailing attitude among the people I worked with.
I guess I get to say I told you so.
I don’t want to behave like a seeress, but with me gone, the number of legislators who will be voting against the death penalty next year just dropped by one. Not that we had enough votes between us to matter. Legislators who oppose the death penalty in Oklahoma are a tiny group. If it comes to a vote, the chances of legislation passing that would enable the use of firing squads in Oklahoma is just about 100%. And that’s assuming that legislation is even necessary. Oklahoma already has this means of execution on the books.
I understand that the attorney for a death row inmate operates from the idea that any delay is a good delay. If they can buy their client one day, they’ll do it. But this particular delay may not play out to be all that pleasant for those who will be executed.
I’ve never seen an execution, and hope sincerely that I never have to. But people who have seen executions by lethal injection tell me that it looks painless for the prisoner. No one can say that for other means of execution. They may be quick, but they don’t look painless.
Killing people is grisly business. Lethal injection is certainly the most painless way we’ve found to do it. As I’ve said repeatedly, I do not favor the death penalty except in rare situations that almost never, and shouldn’t ever, arise in America. However, I am aware that I am an outlier on this.
Most people in this country, and certainly most people in Oklahoma, favor the death penalty. The feeling runs so strong that even the Supreme Court had to overturn itself back in the 1970s when it ruled the death penalty unconstitutional. Of course, the Supreme Court didn’t say it was overturning itself. But that’s what it did.
Americans want the death penalty. Not many elected officials are going to argue with them about it. As it turns out, not many judges will, either.
If death row inmates had the wherewithal to donate millions to political campaigns, that would change in a heartbeat. You’d suddenly see elected officials all over this country developing a tender conscience about the death penalty. But people on death row are almost always poor, which eliminates that possibility.
So that’s where we stand. All I can do is repeat one more time: I told ya this was gonna happen.
He was a much better president than we knew at the time.
He was a genuine war hero, the president who fought in World War II, an oil man and a former member of Congress/head of the CIA/Vice President.
He was President George H W Bush, and today’s he’s 90 years young.
Former President Bush (or Bush I, as we call him around our house) celebrated his birthday by jumping out of an airplane. Literally.
That ground can get awful hard when it’s coming up at you from a few thousand feet. I don’t know many 90-year-olds who could take the lick involved in a jump like this. But I also know from my elderly relatives that those who live long are tough in way that us wimps can’t fathom. They all have a get-on-with-it, it is what is toughness that allows them to cycle through the infirmities and limitations of advancing age without being vanquished by them.
That toughness gets put on display every time one of former President Bush’s birthdays rolls around. He’s been celebrating the passing years by jumping out of planes for quite some time now. Former First Lady Barbara Bush is pretty tough herself, to let him do it.
Former President George H W Bush is rescued after his plane was shot down in combat.
I would expect no less from the man who survived the getting shot down in combat, losing a child to leukemia and decades of America’s political wars. You’ve got to be made out of cast iron to do all that.
Happy Birthday former President Bush. I hope you have many more.
This charming video of a sea lion and a little girl playing tag, and then the sea lion reacting when the little girl falls down is a good way to start the day.
Photo Source: Photobucket
Ok. So what do you want for your daughter?
A loving husband, kids and a home of her own?
How about sitting on the podium as she is sworn in as governor of a state?
Does anything you hope when you look at your little girl include whips, chains, and sado-masochism, including anal sex?
Do you want your 15-year-old daughter being counseled (at tax-payer expense, I might add) on the ins and outs of “kink.” Do you want her young mind warped to the point that she views sex as something where the question is how much pain can you take?
If you have a son, do any of your hopes for him revolve around sick relationships based on hurting his wife or girlfriend? Do you like the idea of your son in chains while a dominatrix whips him?
If the answer to these questions is “no,” then I have a couple of follow-up questions for you. Why are you sending your son or daughter to public schools where they will be taught these things in sex education classes? If you haven’t demanded to see how your Congressperson voted on funding for Planned Parenthood, why not?
The Live Action videos below show a Planned Parenthood counselor, complete with the comforting medical symbolism of scrubs and stethoscope, counseling what she thought was a 15-year-old girl. This counselor goes into detail with this young girl about how to go about engaging in sado-masochistic sexual behavior, including anal sex with her 17-year-old boyfriend. The counselor even coyly mentions the possibility of sending a friend in to a store to buy “sex toys” for these underage kids.
I’ve put three fairly graphic videos below. None of them are for kids, even though this kind of talk is routinely given to kids as “sex education” and the song is promoted and sold in the venues they watch.
The first video, which is taken from The Young Turks, begins with one member of a panel that is discussing the exposure of young girls to beating through music decrying the situation. He is promptly answered by another panel member who says that the song being quoted is by Rihanna, a singer who was beaten up by her boyfriend and is now back with him.
Frankly, I don’t see how that makes this ok. It seems to me that the fact that Rihanna was beaten up by her boyfriend pretty much puts a face to this sickness.
My indignation is struggling with my desire to make a point here. In truth, I would like to just ask people how stupid they really are to allow their children to be exposed to this trash.
I guess, despite how repulsed I feel, that is the question. We can’t keep this off the airwaves. We can’t keep it off cable television. And it appears that, no matter which political party we vote for, we can’t stop our taxes going to pay for it. Our schools aren’t doing such a hot job on basic education, but they are very successful at teaching kids to accept and “explore” sexual perversion of every type.
So, what are parents who care — as opposed to those who clearly don’t — supposed to do? I’ve already said several times that I homeschooled my kids. That is one answer, for at least some people. But it’s only part of it. As the Planned Parenthood counselor noted, porn sites are easy to find on the internet. If we want to protect our kids, we have to limit their access to the internet and cut off some of the cable channels that go to our house.
Even more important, we have to spend time with our kids. I don’t mean time spent driving them from one lesson and one activity to another. I mean time spent together as a family, just kicking back.
Look at the videos below and decide what you think.
Live Action video of Planned Parenthood counselor “teaching” a 15-year-old girl about bondage, domination, sadism, masochism and anal sex.
Planned Parenthood video, once again teaching about “kink” sex.
Rihanna, S&M. Rihanna is the woman in the photo at the top of this post.
In another take on the issue, Joanne McPortland raises the question — which occurred to me as well — as to what kind of burned-out teens are we dealing with that need sex toys and “kink” to supplement their adolescent hormones in providing excitement about sex? It’s a valid question indeed.
Eric Cantor, the Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, lost his primary battle to retain his seat to a political newcomer yesterday.
Congressman Cantor, who came into the race with massive campaign funding and the weight of incumbency behind him, lost to Dave Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College. Brat raised the comparatively scanty sum of $200,000 for the race. In contrast, special interest groups poured money into Cantor’s campaign, which spent over $5.4 million. The American Chemistry Council, which represents a group of blue-chip corporations, spent over $300,000 on ads for Cantor by themselves.
It is not often that an incumbent loses. It is also not often when the candidate with the least amount of money — in this case, a great deal less money — wins.
Early news reports seem to be giving the Tea Party movement the credit for Brat’s win. It is reported that Brat campaigned as an outsider running against an insider who, according to Brat, was not conservative enough. The fact that the election was a Republican primary instead of a general election makes that plausible.
Brat used high profile endorsements, such as one by radio personality Laura Ingraham, to counter the money factor in the race. He also campaigned against Cantor’s support for a more moderate position on immigration.
Apparently, the political deep-thinkers in Washington failed to see this coming. According to the New York Times, the only question along the beltway was how high Cantor’s victory margin would be. Congressman Cantor himself seems not to have realized how serious the challenge was until just a short time before the election.
The cherry on top of what must have been a miserable night for Congressman Cantor and his supporters came when a group of pro immigration reform demonstrators burst into the campaign gathering just a few minutes after he had made his concession speech. The irony in that needs no explaining.
What does all this mean in the larger arena?
The deciding factor in the impact this stunning turnover will have on the Republican Party as a whole and, through it, the American political landscape, depends on whether or not it was a fluke or a harbinger. What, if anything, does it say about other races later this year?
Congressman Cantor was so sure that he was going to win that he made the mistake of not taking his opponent seriously. He didn’t get the news that he was in trouble until just a few weeks before the votes were cast. He walked into the punch with his arms at his side. Hubris beat Representative Eric Cantor every bit as much as Dave Brat did.
His colleagues are now forewarned. One certain effect this election is going to have is that no incumbent will make the mistake of ignoring an underfunded, seemingly insignificant opponent. I doubt very much if we see other races like this one where the incumbent just la-la-las his way through the campaign until the last few weeks.
Will that save them? I would guess that it depends on the district and how blatantly the Congressperson has sold out their constituents to special interests, in particular special interests whose program is anathema to the people they represent.
The Republican voters of Virginia just chose a man as their nominee who doesn’t owe the corporatist interests that control their party his soul. In doing so, they tossed out a man who was owned by those interests to the tune of $5.4 million.
Mr Brat’s acceptance speech was a rousing statement of voter empowerment. If he makes it past the Democrat in the fall, a question that will likely be resolved by the configuration of the district, we’ll get a look at who he is in power.
Will he be able to stay the same guy once he meets all his new best friends and gets a taste of the perks, flattery and pressures of actual political office?
I’m sure that the calls from what was surely a rather flummoxed Republican Party began last night as they moved to pick up the pieces and head toward the general election. The other calls, which are forerunners of the full-bore flattery and stroking that will begin if he wins in November, began right along with them.
Will this election result in at least one independent member of Congress who thinks for himself and does not check with special interests before he wipes his political nose? I hope so.
No matter his politics, that would be a refreshing change.
The Timothy McVeigh trial was difficult for me.
I won’t go into all the things I thought and felt. They are too private. But I will say that it engaged me and put me through a considerable emotional torque. Ditto for his execution.
One thought allowed me to maintain an even strain through that experience: I didn’t sit on that that jury, could in no way ever be asked to sit on that jury, and that meant I didn’t have to decide.
Maybe it’s because I spent so many years in a job where I had no choice about deciding — and taking the consequences of those decisions. I know first hand that having to decide is not all that great. In fact, it can be one of the most miserable things that ever happens to you.
Perhaps that’s why I find such peace in looking at each new faux outrage that is being hyped on our news-free news stations with the simple knowledge that I don’t have to decide. Should his wife leave him because of his infidelities? That’s her call. I don’t have to decide. What did he know and when did he know it? I’m not on that jury. I don’t have to decide. Is this person more evil than that person? Was the jury right?
I don’t have to decide.
People who are so eager to decide often don’t realize that deciding is not all that easy when you actually have to do it. It’s ez-pz to declaim while sitting on your sofa that I woulda/they shoulda/how come they didn’t? But in real life, the whole thing is more nuanced and difficult by powers of ten.
In the first place, what passes for news these days is not news. It’s just sensation-creating entertainment and public-opinion-shaping propaganda. What that means, in layman’s terms, is that you can’t believe it. The one thing you know when you are watching agenda-driven/side-taking/propaganda-ridden “news” is that you are not getting anything like a fair presentation of the facts.
These news people have taken a side, and they are presenting the facts (such as they are) which will support that side. They are not informing you at all. They are convincing you. They want you to decide, and they want your decision to be the one that will benefit the “side” that they have taken on the story.
To make things worse, they are operating from a long-term agenda. This shaping of the way they cover events isn’t based on a one-off I-like-this-person, or I-feel-sympathetic-to-that-viewpoint kind of approach. It is part of a long-term arc of bias that consistently shapes every story and decides which stories are to be covered based on how they support the agenda that the news network is putting forth.
Hence, you have “liberal” news outlets, and “conservative” news outlets. Everyone knows it and even the news outlets themselves acknowledge it.
Think about that. They tell you right up front that the “news” they are serving up is biased toward one viewpoint or the other. You know going in that you are not going to hear the truth or all the facts or even all the stories that comprise legitimate news. You know when you flip to a certain channel that you will get a predigested dose of propaganda that is designed to serve one set of political puppeteers or the other.
So why, my friends, do you allow them to get you upset? Why are you all in a lather about the “facts” they’ve given you, when you know — and I mean absolutely know — that these facts have been edited, massaged and carefully chosen to shape your thinking rather than inform it?
The only saving grace in this is that you don’t have to decide. You can, and for your sanity you should, sit back and let them rant without allowing yourself to be hooked into ranting yourself. Because it’s not your call. You can’t decide.
And that, if you will accept it, is a sanity-saving blessing.
There are plenty of things that each one of us has to decide in this life. If you are really feeling the desire to make decisions for many other people and you think you have a calling to it, I suggest you run for office. I am saying that sincerely. We need, desperately, to have honest people who can’t be bought or controlled in public office. I do not care if you are an R, a D, or an Independent. If you’ve got the spine it takes — and you would be shocked what a strong spine is required — to go into that arena and stand firm, then by all means, do it.
But be forewarned. It’s not all pretty inside those halls of power. If you truly go in there and do what you think is right, you’re going to take a beating.
As for those of us who sit on the sidelines and watch, our job is to help the honest ones survive that beating.
And to not allow ourselves to be blown around like chaff in the wind by the propagandists who are callously trying to use what they call news to persuade us to support them in their own ends. Just sit back and watch. And remember two things: They are trying to persuade you, not inform you. And you don’t have to decide.
The article, written by Eamonn Fingleton, who writes under the claim that he has “a sharp eye on media bias, official propaganda and globaloney,” says that the so-called septic tank is in reality a shaft burial vault.
I’m not saying that this article is the final word on the mystery. But it does underscore the points I made earlier today. (1) We can’t trust a media with an agenda, in this case hatred of the Catholic Church, and (2) When you’re dealing with one of these media hate orgies, it’s usually better to not let yourself get worked up about it. Wait and see.
Professor Finbar McCormick, of Queens University, says “The structure as described is much more like to be a shaft burial vault, a common method of burial used in the recent past and still used today in many parts of Europe.
“In the 19th century, deep brick-lined shafts were constructed and covered with a large slab which often doubled as a flatly laid headstone … Such tombs are still used extensively in many Mediterranean countries.
“Many maternity hospitals in Ireland had a communal burial place for stillborn children or those who died soon after birth. These were … often in a special area within the grounds of the hospital.
“For anyone familiar with Ireland, the story of nuns throwing babies into a septic tank was never a runner … they were nothing if not God-fearing, and therefore unlike to treat human remains with the sort of outright blasphemy impied in the septic tank story.”
Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, John Corapi, Baby Bodies in Ireland and Letting the Facts Sift Themselves to the Top
Father John Corapi was just a smidgeon (and a very small smidgeon, at that) this side of Jesus to a lot of people.
I liked himself myself for quite a while. Then, one day, I was watching him on EWTN. He was talking about his escapades from his past and it occurred to me, “He’s not confessing. He’s bragging.” I noticed the way he almost leered when he talked about himself from what he was pretending he thought were his bad old days, and I realized, they weren’t bad old days to him. Not at all.
In short, I realized that this was a man in love with his sins and in love with himself. He was not the great priest he was pretending to be. He was something else, altogether.
I stopped watching him after that. A few months later, when the story broke that he had been credibly accused of all sorts of things, I wasn’t surprised. I’d seen it in his face that night.
I went to a meeting later in the week with a group of devout pro life Catholics. We were planning a pro life event. The talk was all about Father Corapi and the “lies” that were being told about him. The focus was on his accusers and what morally bankrupt people they were.
I listened for a while, then said, “I’m going to wait and see how it turns out.”
I didn’t say anything one way or the other about Father Corapi, just, “… wait and see how it turns out.”
There was a stunned silence and then one lady in particular fell to glaring at me. She glared throughout the meeting, and, so far as I can remember, has never spoken to me since. In fact, she still gets a case of the glares when she sees me.
Despite the silence and the glares, what I said was good advice, born of many years in the public eye and having been lied about over and over again by lying pros.
That was going to be my message about the wild story concerning the bodies of children that were found in Ireland a while back. Don’t believe the things the press is throwing around, and don’t disbelieve them, either. Just … wait and see.
My colleague, Frank Weathers, wrote a sterling post Saturday in which he gave us a few calming facts about that story to juxtapose with the hysteria in the larger press. You can read it here.
I am also going to suggest the same attitude toward the release of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. Sgt Bergdahl was the last American prisoner of war from the war in Afghanistan. He was ransomed from captivity in a prisoner trade a few days ago.
He’s being trashed by all sorts of people. I don’t know him or them. I do believe that at least some of the trashing is a tactic in the partisan political wars. I take everything that is said in that context with about 20 pounds of salt. When it involves attacking someone who can’t fight back to score points against one political party by the other political party, I add another 50 pounds of salt to go with it.
These people — and I’m not talking about Sgt Bergdahl — are absolutely ruthless. They’ll destroy anybody to get what they want. Destroying the life and reputation of one soldier to gain a few points would be like snapping a toothpick to them.
It does not matter whether you are talking about the Rs or the Ds. Their only concern is getting and keeping power. Everything else they say is a lie.
A good deal of the press has become aligned — primarily through the interests that own them — with one side of the partisan wars or the other. They’re not trying to inform you. They’re trying to persuade you. And the persuasion is aimed at concentrating power in the hands of one side or the other of this political divide for purposes of making money for those same interests that own the media outlets.
So, my advice about Sergeant Bergdahl is the same advice I would give about the bodies in Ireland, which is based on the same thought I had when John Corapi was accused. Wait and see how it turns out.
I’m not trying to persuade anyone as to whether they should be an R or a D. I’m convinced we need Christians in both parties. What I am saying is don’t be too quick to join the lynch mob for this soldier. He’s a person, not a political opportunity.
I’ve seen cattle get run all over a field by a German Shepherd dog who was just having fun. The dog would send them one way, then the other. The cattle ran and the dog had the time of its life.
Don’t be like those cattle. Stop letting yourself get tossed around by a media that’s mis-using its power. Wait and see how it turns out. Give the facts on this story and all the others like it time to sift themselves to the top.
Don’t let yourself be herded from one outrage to the other by gossip that’s posing as facts, propaganda and sensationalist lies. If you know a news outlet is literally owned by a set of interests, remember that when considering the news they cover.
Trust God, and Him only.
And wait and see what happens when the facts sift themselves to the top.