Cardinal Francis George, archbishop emeritus of Chicago died at 10:45 this morning of cancer. He was 78.
CHICAGO — Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop emeritus of Chicago and among the most influential Church leaders of his generation, died today at age 78, after a long battle with cancer.
“A man of peace, tenacity and courage has been called home to the Lord. Our beloved Cardinal George passed away today at 10:45am at the [cardinal’s] residence,” announced Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, in a statement marking his predecessor’s death, at a press conference.
“He was a man of great courage who overcame many obstacles to become a priest,” said Archbishop Cupich, who noted his critical role as the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) during the 2002 clergy sexual-abuse crisis and the counsel he provided to the Vatican during three pontificates.
Archbishop Cupich touched on Cardinal George’s devotion to the faithful in his native city.
“Here in Chicago, the cardinal visited every corner of the archdiocese, talking with the faithful” and pursuing “an overfull schedule — always choosing the Church over his own comfort and the people over his own needs.”
“Most recently, we saw his bravery firsthand as he faced the increasing challenges brought about by cancer,” said the archbishop.
“Let us heed his example and be a little more brave, a little more steadfast and a lot more loving.
“This is the surest way to honor his life and celebrate his return to the presence of God.”
The archdiocese has stated that there will be public visitations at Holy Name Cathedral on Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of the funeral Mass on Thursday.
Poor Brittany Maynard.
Brittany Maynard was a young woman who had terminal brain cancer. She opted to kill herself. She used assisted suicide as her method. She did this in a highly-publicized way that made her the poster girl for assisted suicide advocates, everywhere.
Poor Brittany Maynard.
She not only had to face God with her own murder on her soul, but she may very well end up being indirectly responsible for the medical murders of countless other people.
Make no mistake about it. Assisted suicide is murder. In fact, it is murder done twice. The person murders themselves. And doctors who assist in this murder them, also.
I am aware that suicide is a difficult subject to discuss in these terms for the simple reason that much of the time, the person who commits suicide is basically out of their minds. Depression and despair can create a mental fog that makes clear thinking temporarily impossible. Does God give these people a pass? I don’t know.
I only know what I learned from a person close to me who almost committed suicide. This person was in the emotional depths of hopelessness and despair. What stopped them was that they heard a voice telling them to stop, that they could not face God having done this. Was it their guardian angel who spoke to them, or was it the Holy Spirit? I lean toward guardian angel, but, of course, I don’t know.
The important point for the purpose of this blog post is that it was made clear to my friend that suicide does not get a free pass on the other side. In fact, it was clear enough to stop them from killing themselves and take suicide as an option away from them forever.
Assisted suicide is much more deliberate than the action I’m describing. So far as the doctor who participates in it and the politicians who vote for it are concerned, it is planned and considered cold blooded murder.
How does God judge all this? I don’t know. But after my friend’s experience, I am sufficiently certain that suicide is a grave matter to say without reservation, “Poor Brittany Maynard.”
I would add poor idiot politicians who vote for this, and poor indifferent judges who find for it. When you are in political office, sophisticated arguments in favor of every evil humans can devise come at you from all directions. You are flattered, cajoled, threatened and “reasoned” with on a continual basis.
People who get elected without having thought these things through on a deep, deep level are easy prey for these manipulations. For instance, one formerly pro life legislator I know can not even sit down and have dinner with me without going off in a rant over abortion.
He got “reasoned with” and had things “explained” to him until he got completely turned around on what he knows down in his heart is the right thing to do. He betrayed himself because he allowed these master confusers to confuse him. And I, even though I am now out of office, stand as a contradiction to all this. I bother him, big time, so he tries to start fights with me about abortion every time we’re together.
That happened a lot when I was in office. I had people yelling at me because they had to vote on pro life bills that made them miserable every single time one of those bills came up. They would cast their vote, then come back to my desk and say something ugly to me. It did not matter if I was the author of the bill or not.
I serve much the same purpose for a few bloggers and commenters here at Patheos. They try to take it out on me that they are doing all the wrong things, and down in their hearts they know it, but they are slaves to their public personas and public affiliations. They do what they know is wrong, and then they look for someone else to direct their moral indigestion onto.
That’s what a conflicted conscience does to people.
There is no more conflicted conscience than someone who is so enthralled with the zeitgeist that they commit dastardly deeds on its behalf.
And assisted suicide is a dastardly deed. It is murder.
It is medical murder.
It is perversion of the medical license to heal into a license to kill.
Assisted suicide, as well as abortion, is a Mengele factory in our medical community. The fact is, that some doctors enjoy doing this. They are true killers. Assisted suicide laws tear down the legal protections concerning human life and set these killers free to ply their trade at will.
Four states have legalized medical murder.
Montana’s assisted suicide law was legislated by a runaway court. In Montana, it is legal for doctors to kill people at all ages, right down to the tiniest baby. There is no requirement that victims be terminally ill.
Oregon and Washington passed voter referendums allowing medical murder in their state. They set the lower age for victims at 18 years. Vermont is the only state so far to pass an assisted suicide law through its legislature. It, too, sets the lower age limit at 18 years. All three states require that victims be certified as having less than six months to live.
These things sound as if some states at least tried to set limits on medical murder. But once you legalize murder, controlling it is a bit difficult. In practice , these protections have turned out to be political salve. People are killed in violation of the protections in these states.
Thanks to Obamacare, my mother is constantly harassed about end of life directives every time she enters a hospital. Not only that, but I’ve caught nurses trying to get her to sign an advanced directive stating that she wanted food and water withheld. They do this when I’m out of the room.
My mother actually had the pen in her hand, and was going to sign until I waylaid the whole thing.
If this trend toward legalizing medical murder continues, I have no doubt that the day will come when you and I will be harassed and confronted about signing to have ourselves and our loved ones murdered in exactly the same way.
It won’t be long before we’re hearing that every doctor must be trained in administering assisted suicide and that Catholic hospitals are being sued because they won’t perform assisted suicides. We’ll read stories about non-profit organizations faced with losing funding if they won’t refer for assisted suicides.
Then, there will be the big debates about how we can’t pass legislation for domestic violence and human trafficking because they don’t pay for assisted suicide and if we gave a care about these poor women we’d give them access to assisted suicide. I’m pretty sure that at some point, we’ll start hearing Martin Luther King, Jr quotes used to justify assisted suicide.
This will happen. Just hide and watch.
As I said, an increasing number of states are considering the option of dealing with Medicaid costs by legalizing medical murder. They do this under the guise of “compassion” for the dying.
That’s nonsense. If they had “compassion” for the dying, there are all sorts of things they could do that would help both them and their caregivers.
But killing grandma is easier and cheaper than taking care of grandma.
And that, not compassion, is the bottom line with medical murder.
The United States Supreme Court issued an order yesterday that will block the federal government from enforcing the HHS Mandate against a whole range of religious organizations. This follows similar injunctions granted to the Little Sister of the Poor, Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College and Notre Dame.
It is important to remember that this is not a Supreme Court ruling. It is a court order. It requires the government to file a brief with the court defending its position that these organization should be forced to obey the Mandate.
The Obama administration has taken the idiotic position that Catholic Charities and the Little Sisters of the Poor are not “religious employers.” This is a clear attempt to restrict First Amendment Protections to clergy and behind church sanctuary doors. It is in line with the thinking of atheists and militant secularists who have stated that their purpose is to destroy religious influence and religious voices in the larger culture.
I believe that the HHS Mandate could very well become the legacy of the Obama Administration. Whatever else he does, he will always be remembered as the president who waged war on religious freedom.
The Supreme Court issued an order today preventing the Obama administration from forcing religious groups in Pennsylvania to obey the HHS mandate that requires them to pay for abortion-causing drugs for their employees. This is the fifth time the Supreme Court has rebuked the Obama administration and prevented it from making such a mandate.
In an order issued last night, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito prevented the federal government from enforcing its contraceptive mandate against a range of Pennsylvania-based religious organizations including Catholic Charities and other Catholic schools and social service organizations connected with the Diocese of Erie and the Diocese of Pittsburgh. The Supreme Court has previously protected the Little Sisters of the Poor, Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, and the University of Notre Dame.
According to the Becket Fund, Justice Alito’s order is similar to the preliminary order Justice Sotomayor provided to the Little Sisters of the Poor on New Year’s Eve in 2013. The group said order requires the government to brief the Supreme Court next week on why it should be allowed to fine these organizations for refusing to distribute abortion-inducing drugs and devices and other contraceptives.
Lori Windham, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told LifeNews: “How many times must the government lose in court before it gets the message? For years now the government has been claiming that places like Catholic Charities and the Little Sisters of the Poor are not “religious employers” worthy of an exemption.”
The subject was a bill stuck in the United States Senate that would help trafficking victims. The Ds are killing the bill because it contains a codicil that would stop monies in the legislation from being used for abortions.
I won’t go in to the conversation that post generated. You can see it here.
What I will do is raise a question. How can anyone who opposes sex trafficking support Planned Parenthood? I remarked to a pro choice person just recently that victims of sex trafficking are often subjected to forced abortions. What I got in response was a stubborn silence.
This didn’t surprise me. I learned long ago that those who want to use rape victims and victims of sex trafficking for propaganda purposes are not truly concerned about these victims. They are patronizing them, to score political points. They don’t know the truth of rape and sex trafficking, and they don’t want to know it.
I know that sex trafficking victims are subjected to forced abortions against their will because I sit on the board of directors of an agency that provides shelter, treatment and long-term rehabilitation to victims of sex trafficking. I am not guessing about this. These women are often victims of forced abortions in this country. This is often the worst and most deeply scarring thing that happens to them.
Where does the trafficker go for this service? It seems that they are free to go to your local Planned Parenthood.
The defense of Planned Parenthood in the next to last video raises a bogus complaint. Whatever positive services Planned Parenthood provides can be provided by many other organizations, including local health departments. We need to stop federal funding of Planned Parenthood. If we want to continue certain services they provide, all we have to do is send the money elsewhere.
Look at the videos below.
Warfare can be as fluid and as targeted as human ingenuity.
While we’re worrying — with justification — about the possibility of all-out nuclear war in an atomic Middle East, we also need to consider the possibilities inherent in a simple device that you are looking at right now.
That device is your computer, and the means of delivery of untold mayhem is the internet. Revenge hacking is an old deal. I had a number of attempts to hack me personally while I was in office. At least one of my colleagues was a victim of malicious hacking of her personal computer by irate gay rights activists. The Democrats for Life web site was maliciously hacked for by pro abortionists. Big web sites experience frequent malicious attacks.
Yesterday, the Vatican was hacked. A group of hackers took credit for it, with a pompous statement claiming that they were attacking the Catholic Church, not individual Christians. Last month, The World Weekly, a magazine in Britain was shut down by hackers after they criticized the Turkish president.
I view these isolated hacks of businesses, organizations and individuals, as a run-up for what could be a major catastrophe in the future. I’ve heard stories that at least some of the hacks of large commercial web sites was committed by the Chinese government.
That makes sense for a number of reasons, ranging from unfair business dealings to practice in developing big-time hacking skills for other purposes. This last leads directly to what I want to discuss in this post, which is cyber warfare on a mass scale as a weapon of war.
Cyber warfare has the potential to cripple entire nations in one swoop, and it can do it without spending a dime or firing a shot.
The primary purpose of bombing in warfare is to destroy the war-making capacity of a nation. The targets are the means of building armaments, transportation links and the infrastructure of the nation. If bombing is able to destroy these things, it will destroy the ability of the nation to carry war forward on a mass scale.
Cyber warfare can accomplish most of these same purposes. It can shut down economic systems, cripple or even halt modern manufacturing, bring the flow of traffic to a halt, and destroy communication at all levels of government, including among first responders. It can completely scramble the internal communications of nations or whole regions of the world.
Cyber warfare also has the potential to be the ultimate code-breaker. It can obtain data of all manner from government, business and individuals, revealing their plans, finances and secrets.
Cyber warfare can be real warfare. If it is backed up with more traditional forms of war making such as bombing and troop deployment, its tactical impact is almost beyond reckoning.
We’ve grown accustomed to learning that a business has been hacked and credit card information and social security numbers have been stolen. We’ve learned that our “identity” can be stolen and our lives ruined by cyber criminals.
What we haven’t discussed is that these things, while they are a disaster for their victims, are a like a loaded 22. They can do terrible damage on a small scale, but even that must be targeted properly to kill. Cyber war on an organized and mass scale against a nation, or even a whole region of the world, is more like a pile of nuclear warheads. The damage and the potential for lasting destruction are beyond measure.
I wish I didn’t have to raise this question, for the simple reason that we are all frazzled by the continuous wham! wham! wham! of the 24 hour news outlets.
However, we need to remember that most of the things these cable news networks keep us miserable about didn’t happen to us and they aren’t going to happen to us. A good bit of it, such as the “immigration crisis” stories that are trotted out in every off-year election, are deliberate manipulations to drive our votes. The news networks shut these down and put them away like clockwork, after the election.
The difference with the potential for cyber warfare is that the threat is real, and we aren’t paying attention to it. I believe, based on a lot of experience, that it’s not the threat you recognize and fear that gets you. It’s the danger you ignore that will take you down.
I’ve got a storm shelter because I recognize the deadly power of tornadoes and I know where I live. That’s a threat I recognize and fear. We need to take the same serious approach to the potential of cyber warfare.
Oklahoma’s elderly lost a key supporter in the Oklahoma legislature last Friday. Representative David Dank died in his home of an apparent heart attack. His funeral is today.
David and I were friends for 35 years. In all that time, he never told me a lie. He was always someone I could turn to for help.
David was a principled legislator who saw corruption and tried to end it and who stood unfailingly for the needs of elderly people. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me if I was worried about what would happen to the Adult Day Care program here in Oklahoma without me in the legislature to defend it.
“David’s there,” I said. “He’ll take care of it.”
Now, with David gone, I fear for the program, and for all programs that help elderly people in this state.
David’s wife Odelia was a former legislator herself. A few years back, Odelia was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. David took care of Odelia through the hard times of that illness.
I remember once I was walking into the capital as David was rushing out. I called hello to him across the oval.
“I can’t talk now,” he said. “Delia fell.”
I’ll never forget how upset he was on that day, or how sad he was as her disease progressed toward its inevitable end. He took care of Odelia while he fought the good fight against corrupt practices in the legislature. That was heroic for anyone, but David was not exactly a spring chicken himself at the time.
We had lunch with a group of friends last December. He talked about Odelia a lot during that lunch. At one point he said that all he wanted was to follow Jesus and be as good a person as he could so that when he died he could go be with Odelia.
The last time I saw David was a few weeks ago. I stopped in at St Joe’s for noon mass. David went to mass there every day, so it wasn’t a surprise to see him, sitting in his usual place in a pew on the back row.
I scooted into a seat beside him, and we attended mass together. After mass was over, when we were heading out on our separate ways, he reached out and hugged me and kissed me on the cheek.
“Bye Darlin’,” he said, “I’ll see you later.”
The boys and girls in the United States Senate are doing nothing again.
However, it must be admitted that they are doing their nothing with real flair.
It seems that most of the Ds are all in a snit over a proposed bill that would help agencies that oppose human trafficking. The bill contains a prohibition on any of the funds in the bill going to pay for abortions.
Legislation has often contained this kind of rider since the 1970s. It doesn’t prohibit anyone from getting an abortion. The debate is not about “choice.” It’s about doh-reh-me. In this case, it’s a question of whether or not to put the abortionist on the government dole by sidelining money that could be used in other ways to pay for abortions.
The Ds were all for the bill until one them read it. That’s when they discovered that it contained the language that would not allow monies to be used to pay for abortions. It’s been rock n roll, ever since. Now, all but four of the Ds (Senators Bob Casey, Joe Donnelly, Heidi Keitkamp, and Joe Manchin) are doing their level best to kill the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell retaliated against the Ds’ filibuster of the bill by saying that the Senate would not vote on President Obama’s nominee for Attorney General until the bill passed. In the meantime, proponents for the prostitution/porn industries, or as they like to call themselves, advocates for “reproductive rights,” have tossed their unselfish and humanitarian thoughts into the ring and come out against the bill.
Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has weighed in again. “This needs to stop,” he says.
Good point, Mr Leader.
The top Republican in the Senate is challenging Democrats to stop filibustering a bill to help victims of sex trafficking over their desire to force Americans to pay for abortions.
Senate Democrats have voted a total of five times against ending debate on the bill and allowing a vote to help women because they are insistent on making Americans fund abortions. Now, pro-life Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is challenging them this week to end their filibuster and allow the bill to pass.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that voting will take place this week on the Senate Bill 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, before President Barack Obama’s nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, will be considered.
“This needs to stop,” McConnell said of Democrats blocking the bill. “This ridiculous fight over language that they’ve already voted for frequently in the past really needs to stop so we can move forward with this very important human trafficking bill.
“This is no minor issue, and once we do that, then we’ll move on to consider the president’s nominee for Attorney General,” McConnell said.
In the last two of the five votes, Democrats voted 56-42 and 57-42 against motions to allow a vote on the bill to help human trafficking victims because they are not happy that funds meant to help women won’t be used to pay for abortions. The only Democrats to join Senate Republicans in supporting sex trafficking victims over abortion funding were Sens. Bob Casey, Pa.; Joe Donnelly, Ind.; Heidi Heitkamp, N.D.; and Joe Manchin, WV.
“They all voted for the very same language in a bill in December,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told CNN on Sunday. “This is boilerplate language that has been in the law for almost 40 years that they all voted for three months ago in another bill.”
Murderers and rapists demand silence.
They will use any means to coerce agreement that they did not do what they, in fact, did. This is part of getting away with it. It is an extension of the original crime.
Every Turk who participated in the Armenian genocide is dead and gone. But by refusing to tell the truth of the thing, and by using the power of government to try to hide it and cover it up with lies, today’s Turkish citizens are allowing their shame to make them cooperators with the murderers of their nation’s past.
The only way to heal this terrible crime against humanity is to admit that it happened and publicly disown it. Lies will not cleanse. Only the truth can do that.
The blood of the dead cries out to us, demanding the justice of truth.
Pope Francis has courageously stood up for the suffering and murdered Christians who were victims of the first genocide of the 20th Century. Turkey has responded with denials, official bullying and lies which would be laughable, if the crime in question was not so grave.
No one wants to conflate modern Turkey with their past. The Turks themselves are doing this by aligning themselves with the murderers and against the truth.
I pray that they will face facts and resolve that never again will such crimes against humanity occur in their nation. That is the way out of this. Nothing else and nothing less will resolve it.
Boko Haram kidnapped 200 Nigerian school girls a year ago.
They’ve also kidnapped 100s of other Nigerians in the year since.
Kidnapping, slavery, murder and theft seem to be the hallmarks of both Hoko Haram and ISIS.
If you want to know who’s running for President, just get a phone book.
Or, you can limit your list to candidates who are running under the banner of one of the two main political parties and who have a PAC. That’s still a long list. The ones below are the icing on the presidential candidate cake.
Former UN Ambassador, John Bolton
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush
NJ Governor Chris Christie
Senator Ted Cruz
Former Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich
Former IRS Commissioner Mark Everson
Businesswoman Carly Fiorina
Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore
Senator Lindsey Graham
Political Site: LindseyGraham.com
PAC Site: Security Through Strength PAC
Government Site: Office of US Senator Lindsey Graham
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee
Governor Bobby Jindal
Governor John Kasich
Congressman Pete King
Former VP Candidate and Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin
Former New York Governor George Pataki
Senator Rand Paul
Governor Mike Pence
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry
Senator Marco Rubio
Former Senator Rick Santorum
Governor Rick Snyder
Vice President Joe Biden
Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley
Former Senator Jim Webb
Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent running on the Democratic ticket.
Campaign Site: BernieSanders.com
Government Site: Office of US Senator Bernie Sanders
Facebook (Campaign): www.facebook.com/FriendsOfBernie
Facebook (Official): www.facebook.com/SenatorSanders
In his morning homily today, Pope Francis described the courage to proclaim the Gospel as grace born of the Holy Spirit.
He exercised a bit of that grace in the mass described in the video below in which he called the massacre of Armenians early in the 20th century what it was: Genocide.
Turkey responded by recalling its ambassador to the Holy See.
There’s no surprise in this. No one likes to face the realization that there is a monster in themselves or in their national history. But this realization is the first step toward true conversion. Without the truth, we are forever stuck in our sins and inside the pitiable excuses we give ourselves for having committed them.
Pope Francis did the only right thing by saying that truth about the Armenian Genocide. Hopefully, the day will come when Turkey can acknowledge the truth of its past and begin the process of healing itself and its heritage of this crime against humanity.
I didn’t know that the money I spent on my computer would fund an attack on my religious freedom.
If I had known, I would have bought elsewhere.
I’m a mac. Big time.
I own a Macbook Pro, a Macbook Air 11″, iPad, iPhone, and a Mac Pro.
I’ve also got a couple of old iPods lying around that I don’t use much anymore. I’ve passed along my old hardware to family members. The Apple logo dots my family landscape like a bad case of measles.
I’ve put down a bit of personal coin, buying Apple. But if I had known that my gadget dollars would end up funding an attack on the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, that it would go to fuel Christian-bashing bigots who talk about burning down small businesses, I would have put my coin in another slot.
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, says that Apple is “boycotting” Indiana. I don’t know exactly what this “boycott” means. Are they closing the Apple stores in Indiana? Or will they refuse to ship their goodies to Indiana? Are they turning off iCloud for Hoosiers? Or, is this just a public flexing of the corporate political muscle, a coded way of saying “we’re going to buy more obedient politicians?” I’m guessing that it’s the latter.
I suppose if Mr Cook does the unthinkable and lowers corporate profits by closing up shop in Indiana, the good people of that state will have to muddle through with pcs and Androids and such. I can tell you for a fact that Dropbox has iCloud beat like a drum. Intolerable as losing the next new Apple thingy might be for fanboys and girls, they will soon learn that life goes on, even without a local Apple store.
Mr Cook says that “Apple will never tolerate discrimination.”
This, from a guy who does not flinch about building his products in China, does business with the liberal and gay-loving governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates. I guess the death penalties for homosexuality in those countries, not to mention the horrible misogyny, don’t constitute “discrimination” for Mr Cook and his Apple, because it appears that they they can certainly tolerate it.
Of course, it might just be that there’s money to be made in those places, and, well, Apple’s intolerance of discrimination can be expected to only go so far.
All I know is that I repent of ever having bought a Mac. I am sorry, oh so sorry, that I accidentally put money that I worked for into the coffers of a corporation that thinks it is my moral teacher instead of my gadget manufacturer.
Because, you see, I don’t think that any of our big multinational corporations have skirts clean enough to give a lecture on morality to anybody, not even a room full of serial killers. These corporations have bought our government and are running this country into the ground while they stuff their own pockets by draining every last bit of cash out of the economy.
They do their deals with slavers, murderers and tyrants from pole to pole. They go to places where they can do whatever they want to the environment and the people and do deals that enrich themselves and their counterparts on the other side. They love Communist nations with their slave labor. They are not offended by countries that execute homosexuals for being gay. Beheadings, kidnapping, human trafficking, needless but highly profitable wars, slavery and misogyny so deep and ugly that it scars the human soul to witness it, are all in a day’s profit to our corporate masters.
These corporations who are lecturing us about morality are not immoral. They are amoral. They are like huge vacuums, sucking up all the wealth and power until they have drained everything else utterly dry and dead.
And now they’ve decided that the money lies in beating down Christianity. The reasons behind this have nothing to do with “homophobia” or that little law from Indiana.
Christianity is the last wall standing between corporatists and total domination of this once great country. Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI, St John Paul II labeled this particular form of facism “corporatism.” Bishops such as Oscar Romero, priests like Father Stanley Rother, nuns such as the four murdered nuns of Nicaragua and Sister Dianna Ortiz, have all shed their blood for being loyal to Christ in corporatist countries.
The Catholic Church, with its insistence that human life is sacred and human beings matter, is the one voice capable of standing against corporatism. That is why their minions in the media were so quick to attack Pope Francis and try to label him — of all ridiculous things — a Communist.
That was particularly rich, coming as it did from people who are the mouthpieces for corporations that built Communist China into the industrial power that it has become.
“Homophobia” as it is being used in attacks about the Indiana religious freedom law, is just a ruse for attacking Christianity. It is another ploy in the on-going and utterly ruthless game of driving Christian thinking and Christian voices from the public square.
Those who are so eager to support this drive need to think carefully what they do. If they succeed, who will be left to defend them when they and their cause becomes unprofitable, as well?
I repent of the Macbook Pro on which I am typing this blog post. I wish I had never bought the thing.
I don’t have the money to throw everything out and start over. But when replacement time comes, I will remember.
I’m going to start in a couple of weeks with the Apple Watch. That’s several hundred dollars I can save.
I’m not sure how I’ll spend the money I save by not buying an Apple Watch. Maybe I’ll use it to organize a bigots-be-gone demonstration at the local Apple store. Or maybe I could go to Indiana and buy some pizza.
Whatever I decide, I will do my best to put it somewhere so that it won’t come back at me later as a political bullet, aimed at my Constitutional Rights.
You say you are rich and need nothing. You don’t realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. You are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold. I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Jesus Christ
I doubt if there are any lukewarm Christians in Iraq. Ditto for Iran, Yemen, Saudia Arabia, North Korea, China and much of India.
Lukewarmness is the luxury of the privileged. In fact, it seems that the more privileged the person, the more tepid their faith. For instance, high school students staging walkouts and throwing tantrums at Catholic schools always seem to be among the over-privileged, too-entitled class. I doubt very much that we would see this kind of behavior if these schools were populated by students from the other side of those proverbial tracks.
When Christianity becomes the faith of the powerful, it becomes a powerless faith. Christianity thrives when it speaks with the radical and radicalizing voice of Jesus Christ. It grows when pastors preach Christ. It overcomes all before it when we follow Christ and Him crucified, Him resurrected.
We are the Easter people. But we are also the people of the cross.
There is no place in true followership of Christ for me-first lukewarmness. Following Jesus means doing what Jesus taught us to do, even when it hurts, even when people make fun of us, shun us and attack us for doing it.
Lukewarmness is another word for nothing much. Lukewarm Christians are nothing much. They can’t save anyone. They can’t transform the world. They aren’t the Light that shines in the darkness. They are, for all their money and glitzy worldliness, nothing much.
They use the privileges and the many gifts of their lives for self-pleasuring and self-deifying. They do not follow Christ, except when sorta following Christ feels good and fits in with the comfortable mud bath of warm worldliness where they dwell. They don’t bring people to Christ. In the overall, their lukewarmness leaves people indifferent and turns them from Him.
Today, Jesus asks us to bring to Him the Souls who have become Lukewarm … these souls wound me most painfully … My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls.
Loathing. Consider that, for a moment. Lukewarm souls caused loathing in the heart of Christ when He considered them at Gethsemane.
I would think that anyone with any intelligence at all would do most anything to avoid Jesus Christ looking at them with loathing. I can think of nothing more heartbreaking for these people.
Pray and pray again for those who are lukewarm. They have the faith and they reject it. They see the Way and they won’t walk it. They are perhaps the most lost of all.
“Today bring to Me the Souls who have become Lukewarm,
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them, the last hope of salvation is to run to My mercy.”
Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love, let these tepid souls who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.
I wrote a post a couple of days ago in which I asked the question Are Gay Marriage Activists Too Needy to Take Yes for an Answer?
The combox response was immediate and vociferous. Before I could say “wedding cake,” the discussion had abandoned the matter of political exigencies, as well as the weighty Constitutional questions involved, to become a discussion about whether or not gay people are people (yes) and what causes homosexuality (as of today, unknown, but I’m personally betting on a combination of causes both genetic and social, along with unique personal vulnerabilities.)
It seems that nobody is willing to deal with the real issues involved in the media drubbing of Indiana in favor of the use of government force against a long-held and time-honored religious belief that spans the millennia, circles the globe and directly challenges the freedom of religion of fully 70% of the American electorate. Likewise, nobody wants to discuss at all — and I mean at all — the vicious corporatism involved in corporate heads directly and effectively dictating the actions of governors, as Wal Mart did in Arkansas, or as many other corporations are trying to do with Indiana.
Nobody asks what, pray tell, does a corporate boycott of a state mean? Is Apple planning to close its Apple stores in Indiana? Is it planning to refuse downloads from the app store to Indianians? If it tries this, will it be legal? Corporations are certainly allowed to sell their products where they will, but are they allowed to use the sale of their products as direct political blackmail of elected officials? Are cell phone companies allowed to refuse service, are corporate hospitals allowed to refuse treatment, to citizens whose elected officials vote in ways that offend the plastic sensibilities of corporate heads?
How far have we gone down the road toward corporate fascism, otherwise known as corporatism, when these businesses feel no temerity whatsoever in using their clout to dictate public policy in this manner?
None of this is a surprise to me. I’ve seen the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce shove people around like garden variety thugs for a long time now. I’ve seen the corruptions of legislation written by corporate thinkers and passed by a toady legislature to the detriment of the people. I’ve seen a legislature and a governor that flat-out refused to provide storm shelters for school children in this most tornado-bound of states because the Chamber of Commerce wanted to repeal the tax that would have funded it.
So I’m not surprised at all to see the corporate leaders decide to flex their muscle on a national scale to bring errant elected officials to heel. And I’m also not surprised to see those elected official tug their forelocks, bow from the waist and perform as ordered.
Both political parties have their corruptions. I’m going to write Monday about a corruption coming from the Democratic White House. But the Republicans are corporatist puppets first, and everything else, including pro life, pro family, pro second amendment, and pro religious freedom, second. These things we care about are campaign slogans to them in exactly the same way that “getting America working again” is a campaign slogan for the Democrats.
Elect a majority Republican governing body and what do you get? Corporatism.
Elect a majority Democratic governing body and what do you get? It appears that what you get, at least from the White House, is abortion and gay rights thinking points, mainlined into the body politic.
In the meantime, nobody’s going back to work. Nobody’s children are any safer from the next big tornado. Nobody is living fat except the people who bought and own the government to the point that they are now going public with it and publicly instructing governors, as happened with the Governor of Arkansas, as to how to perform their office, and (get ready for this, now) the governor is doing what he’s told.
That’s one aspect of this sorry mess.
The other aspect is the outrageous shark-jumping on the part of gay marriage advocates. They’ve strained credulity repeatedly by equating their wedding cakes and flowers with the massive and singular violation of human rights that we call segregation. This is a bogus argument. (A statement that I’m sure will engender endless rounds of circular debate.)
The political exigency is that gay marriage advocates are endangering their still unsolidified victories in the sphere of gay marriage by seeking to conflate themselves with people who were slaves in this country for several hundred years, and who then were subjected to massive violations of their basic human rights by legal structures that clearly violated both the Constitution and the Gospels.
Gay people have their just claims about mistreatment as well, but the public mistreatment of homosexuals has pretty much fallen by the wayside. As it should have.
If they’re smart, they’ll take yes for an answer and let time resolve this debate about wedding cakes. If they’re stupid, they’ll keep on harassing and attacking hapless individuals and ruining their lives. They’ll pit themselves against basic freedoms that belong to everyone, including themselves.
This is stupid politically, because it raises up an opposition they have not dealt with before. That is those people who actually treasure freedom of religion in this country, irregardless of gay marriage.
It is also stupid because almost all gay people are down here the pits with the rest of us. Empowering corporations to attack the one voice capable of challenging their hegemony over our government and our way of life, which is the Church, is a little bit like arming the mob that wants to burn down your neighbor’s house because you don’t like your neighbor. How long before that same mob, armed with the weapons you gave them, will turn on you? When they do, your neighbor, who would have come to your aid, will be too weak to fight.
To get back to the post I put up earlier. I think that this combox avoidance of dealing with the reality of this present situation is telling. Ignoring the issues at hand to go skittering down the worn-through debates of just how human gay people are, and what causes them to be gay in first place kinda makes my point. If that doesn’t make my point, then I offer the splendid display of emotional fireworks the post created.
It wasn’t a post attacking homosexual people. It was a post warning of the utter cold-bloodedness of politics. But the ire it wrought was entirely along the “how can you saaaayyyyy that about me?” line. The reason, I think, is that I accidentally hit a nerve. Neediness is at the bottom of a lot of this political sturm und drang. My advice to gay marriage advocates is to get your head out.
Politics is an uncaring bosom on which to lay your emotional head. Gay people are the same as straight people. Nothing will fill the holes inside their hearts except the love of God in Christ Jesus. Take those sorrows, rejections and self-questions to the cross.
Politics is a tool. Use it freely as any other American citizen should. But do not confuse it with your worth or your value as a child of God. There is only one affirmation any of us needs. Without it, no other affirmation will suffice. Go to the cross. And trust Him. Just, trust Him.
Jesus loves gay people as much as He loves any one else. He wants to enfold you in His mercy. He wants to lift your pain off you and set you free from the chains that bind you. Go to Him and trust Him.
As for politics, We the People need to get together against these overbearing corporatists while we still can. By that I mean all the people, both gay and straight.
Apple no longer ships hard copies of its OS.
If you want the OS, you’ve gotta download it from the App store.
If it flops over for some reason, you can, theoretically, reinstall and even reformat from this same App store. Most of the time, that works. I just reformatted two laptops entirely with the App store.
But sometimes, such as those times when you are feeling really lousy and taking high-powered cough meds, you may, as I did, wipe your main hard drive on your big honking desktop, thus rendering that perviously smart machine as dumb and useless as a rock. On that day, you will need a bootable copy of Yosemite. Because, you see, if said hard drive is well and truly wiped, as in wiped so thoroughly that the installer files are gone, then you, my friend, have yourself a digital blank sheet and you can’t mount it to get the App store to recognize it to format it and install the OS.
You are, in a phrase, up the creek without a paddle.
I did that to myself last week. I was too sick at the time to even figure out how to fix it. I just shut it down and closed my office door. The laptops kept me running until my little head cleared.
Then, I spent a few anxious hours googling for a solution. I ended up putting several ideas together to get this particular fix, which worked for me.
Here is how to make a bootable copy of the current Mac OS (Yosemite) on a bootable usb drive. You need a working Mac to do this. So, if you’ve wiped your only hard drive in your only Mac, you may need to borrow a friend’s. Either that, or see if the folks at the Apple store will help you.
1. Get yourself one of those little usb drives. You know, the kind that go on a keychain. The one I used is 32 gb. You might be able to do it on 20 gb or even a little less. But these things have gotten so cheap, I wouldn’t quibble.
2. Format the usb drive. Here’s how: 1. Insert the little drive into a working usb port. 2. Click on Finder. 3. Go to the top of your screen and click on “Go” in the Finder menus. 4. Scroll down to “utilities” and click. 5. A new screen will open. Find Disk Utility and click on that. 6. You will see a new screen. There will be a list of drives on the right side. Click on your usb drive. 7. Click on “erase.” 8. Click on “mac os extended journaled.” 9. Make sure the drive is named “Untitled.” 10. Click on “apply.” 11. After the drive erases, click on Partitions and set it to 1 partition. 12. Click on “options” and then select GUID partition table. 11. Click on apply. You have now formatted your usb drive so that it can accept a bootable copy of Yosemite.
3. Exit Disk Utilities.
4. Go to the App store and click on “install Yosemite.” Wait for it to download.
5. When the download finishes, Yosemite will start a screen to install. Do not click “continue.” Exit out of the installer.
6. Click on your Finder again. Under the “Go” menu, click on terminal.
7. When terminal launches, type this in exactly:
sudo /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/Untitled --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ OS\ X\ Yosemite.app --nointeraction
8. Hit “Return.”
9. Type in your password when terminal asks for it. You won’t see the password when you type it. Hit Return.
10. Your computer will digest this for a while, then it will tell you that it is erasing the disk and give you a percentage of how much it’s done. After that, it will tell you that it’s copying the installer. Then it will say that the copy is complete and that it is making the disk bootable. Then, it will say it’s copying the boot files, followed by “copy complete,” followed, finally, by “done.”
You now have a bootable copy of Yosemite on your usb drive.
All this took hours on my computer. The usb drive is s-l-o-w. So make sure your computer is attached to a power source and let it be. I set mine up and loaded the dishwasher, watched a movie, read for a while and got ready for bed. It took about 4 hours for it to finish.
Now. For the disclaimers. I’m not an IT person. I don’t know come here from sic ’em about computer stuff. I am only posting this to try to help you. I think everybody needs a bootable copy of their operating system for times when their drive goes belly up.
I created a boot disk using this recipe. It worked for me. If it doesn’t work for you, you will have to seek help from someone who knows more than I do. I do not warranty this advice. It’s just one computer neophyte, sharing something that worked for her with other computer neophytes.
People who have smarter and better ways to do this, feel free to share them in the comboxes. But do it courteously. I don’t want to delete useful information just because the poster is behaving like a jerk, but please, try not to behave like a jerk. Also, do not post links to things you’re selling.
I hope this helps someone. That is my only reason for posting it.
Rand Paul gave a great answer to the inevitable question on abortion. He also addressed the religious freedom laws, such as the one in Indiana.
The video below contains a lot more than just his opinion on these two issues. You can find his answers to the questions on religious freedom and abortion at the times I give you. If you want to listen to the entire video, it is interesting.
I’m putting this here because I think it reflects the bias in the way the overall issue is handled in the press. He knocked the ball out of the park on the abortion question.
Questions on abortion at 7:58.
Questions about religious freedom laws at 5:53.
I pray a Rosary every Sunday for people in Purgatory. It takes quite a while, since I name every single person I know who has died, and I mean died, ever. I include great-great-grandparents I never met and friends of friends.
It’s the least I can do for them. I only hope that when I die, someone will take the time to pray for me.
I don’t know a great deal about Purgatory. But I do have a few surmises. These surmises are based on an experience of my own. I believe that God gave me part of my Purgatory now, in this life. What I will describe here are the ideas about Purgatory I gained from that experience.
What that means to you, dear reader, is that nothing I am about to write is official Church teaching. It comes from a personal experience and my private interpretation of that experience. If reading it edifies you, good. If it doesn’t, no matter. These are just my thoughts.
It is a terrible thing to experience the other side of the evil you’ve done to the people around you. I believe that is what happens to us in Purgatory. Everything we do, every small act of kindness, every cutting word, every hurt we’ve inflicted on others, every joy we’ve brought to them, matters.
We are forgiven for our sins, but we aren’t always healed of what committing them has done to us. Heaven wouldn’t be very heavenly if we took our petty malice, gossip and grudge-holding with us when we went there. Even the best of us is unfit for heaven when we die. I believe that Purgatory is the transformation process that fits us for heaven. Part of that cleansing has to be facing up to who we really are.
Purgatory is bearable because it’s temporary and because it heals us ultimately and completely. Our salvation is assured when we turn to Christ for forgiveness. He washes the stain of sin from our souls in that instant. But we are still fallen people, living in a fallen world. Conversion on this side of heaven consists largely of failing down and getting back up again. The outward sign of conversion is a changed life. The interior mark of conversion is not perfection, it is trust.
As St Paul said, “I know whom I have believed, and I am confident that He is able to keep that which I have entrusted to Him against that day.”
Purgatory does not limit or grant eternal salvation. We already have eternal salvation when we enter Purgatory. What Purgatory accomplishes is the final clearing away of the detritus of our fallenness. It strips off the old torn and spotted garments of our finite existence and clothes us in our eternal garment. It transforms us into heavenly beings, fit for a King.
There are many theories about Purgatory, all of them far more authoritative than mine. But my belief is that in Purgatory we face what we have done from the viewpoint of those we did it to. If, say, you hit someone, in Purgatory you would experience the blow you gave in this life. If you gossiped about someone, in Purgatory you will feel the humiliation and hurt your words inflicted.
It would be terrible enough to experience this in this life. But in Purgatory, I think our souls will be so tender and so pure that the pain will be even more exquisite.
The souls in Purgatory are not being tortured. They are being educated about their real selves. They are seeing themselves as they are, and this insight hurts. It is the deepest grief imaginable to confront the full reality of your own sins. But from this grief comes conversion of a thorough and unalterable kind.
That is true, even here in this fallen world while we struggle with the many weaknesses of our flesh. In Purgatory, when we are naked spirits, it will be absolute. The best way to describe my understanding of Purgatory is that Purgatory is where our conversion to Christ that we began in this world is completed and made perfect.
Today Jesus tells us to bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy … All these souls are greatly loved by Me … It is in your power to bring them relief.
It is yet another miracle of grace that we can, while we are still here in this Earthly existence, reach across the divide to aid those in Purgatory.
Please pray the Divine Mercy Novena with us today. Bring your loved ones who have died and are now in Purgatory to Jesus and immerse them in His Mercy.
“Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory,
and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.”
Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.