Synod on the Family: What Do They Mean by Gradualism?

 

We’re getting snippets of this, and snippets of that out of the Synod on the Family.

One word that has appeared and is floating around like one of those word bubbles above characters heads in a cartoon is gradualism. Even John Allen over at Crux, has made note of the sudden uptick in gradualism talk. “Gradualism … seemed on the verge of being stricken fem the official lexicon, is back with a vengeance,” he tell us. 

Unfortunately, ordinary pew-sitting Catholics like me have been pummeled and pounded with moral relativism these past few years. We’ve had the cant of what’s-happening-now talking-head theology thrown in our faces as we’ve been called everything from bigots to birdbrains for attempting to stay true to the Church’s teachings. In times like this, the sudden employment of the word “gradualism” by our bishops as they talk about those teachings fills us with anxiety.

Are our religious leaders going to pull the rug out from under us and announce that the teachings we’ve given real emotional blood to support are now as relative as the larger society has told us they are? The anxiety, which runs deep in a lot of hearts, is that our bishops are going to end up playing us for chumps for having believed them in the first place.

I’m no theologian, but I think — emphasis think — that gradualism, as it applies to Catholic teaching is that you don’t have to be all the way home to perfection or order to be on your way there. It sounds like shorthand way of saying that we are all on a journey in this life, and, in terms of our walk with Christ, we fall down a lot and have to get back up.

The easiest way I can explain what I’m trying to say is to describe my own self at the time of my conversion experience. I had committed the whole library of serious sins. I could go down the Ten Commandments and tick them off. Took the Lord’s name in vain? Check. Bore false witness? Check. Killed innocent people? Done and done.

I was rotten with sin, but the only sin I believed was a sin happened to be something that neither the press nor most of my friends know about. I confessed it to my priest and I’ve certainly taken it to God. I think I’ll let that ride and not confess it here.

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Suffice it to say, that I believed I had done something cruel to another person and I was grieved to my core over it. So grieved that, after 17 years of telling God to buzz off, I reached out to Him. “Forgive me,” was all I said, but it was enough.

I experienced a homecoming that puts the welcome given the prodigal son to shame. I was, as Protestants say, washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb.

Buutttttt … I stil didn’t know my other sins were sins.

I know that sounds daffy.

But I had lived by my own lights, been my own little g god for so long, drunk so many gallons of my own Kool-Aid that I honestly believed that, say, abortion, was a positive good that saved women’s lives. I believed that right down to the ground. No questions. No doubts.

I could go on for a long time, cataloguing what I didn’t know about my own sinful state. But the point I’m making needs no further explication, and here it is:

God accepted me just exactly as I was.

Let me say that again: God accepted me just exactly as I was. 

I didn’t have to go to the spiritual dry cleaners and get all spiffed up to be acceptable to Him and loved by Him.

I didn’t need to have my nose rubbed in my sins and be humiliated for them.

I didn’t even need to know what my sins were.

All I had to do was say “yes” and God loved me from death to life in an instant of overwhelming grace.

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The interesting part is that He didn’t start educating me right away. At first, it was like a honeymoon of sorts. I fell blindly and absolutely in love with Jesus and He loved me back. I felt so free, clean and loved.

And I was.

Gradually, this Being (Who I did not understand at the time was the Holy Spirit) Who had been walking with me since I said “Forgive me,” began to show me my sins. It was gently done. He would show me something I had done, and I would realize that it was wrong.

It was — get ready for this now — almost a year and a half before He raise the question of abortion, and then it was as gently done as all the rest. Just, this is wrong.

A lot came later, but once again, this suffices for the point I’m trying to make.

Gradualism is not just a theological construct. It is a lived reality. What I experienced when the Holy Spirit began the process of re-shaping me into what He wanted me to become, what He had always intended me to be, was God’s own gradualism.

He can knock you flat just as He did me. But when He picks you up, it’s like a mother holding her own precious child. He does not expect you to “get” it all at once, even more than I expected my newborn babies to hop down off the delivery table and start tap dancing.

I knew, and God knows, that we learn slowly or not at all.

And, perhaps more to the point, we learn when the time is right for us to do it.

This gradualism I describe does not say that God’s Word, His Gospels and His Righteousness are relative. They are not. In fact, they are so absolute that none of us can live up to them. That is the reason for the Cross. It is why God had to become human and suffer what we suffer and die as we die to open a way out of our lostness for us.

We can never live up to God’s absolute righteousness. Thanks be to God, we don’t have to.

We are, all of us pilgrim people on the road through this life and into the next one.

Gradualism is simply the acknowledgement of two things:

1. None of us is righteous is His sight, and,

2. He accepts us just as we are.

What we must do — what we must do — is trust Him and give Him our lives and our wills. We must let Him shape us into what we were meant to be, one gradual step at a time. If we presume on His mercy to declare that we do not need to change, that our sins are not sins, then we refuse Him and we will die the ultimate death.

God accepted me just as I was, and then He began to slowly change what I wanted to be. He showed me my sins and I reacted by believing Him and letting Him change me, from the inside out.

That is the key to salvation.

It is also why gradualism is not relativism. Gradualism does not say that sins are not sins. It simply says that we are, all of us, at whatever stage in our Walk with Christ, in need of improvement.

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Do not take the concept of gradualism and mis-use it as a get out of jail free card that allows you to willfully continue in your sins and thumb your nose at the Gospels. That is a fearful and, if it’s not given up, fatal sin. “God is not mocked,” St Paul told us, and those who claim God’s forgiveness as a fiat to sin are mocking God.

Gradualism is not relativism, although I suspect it will be bandied about as if it was. Gradualism is simply a word expressing what the old hymn, Just As I Am, expresses. It does not teach that sin is not sin. What it teaches is that the hopelessness of our sins need not be our story.

We can be washed clean of our sins by the Blood and water that flowed from Jesus’ side. We can become true pilgrims who are walking faithfully with Him on the Narrow Way that will lead us to Glory.

Gradualism tells us that we don’t have to get perfect to go to God. That, no matter what we’ve done, we can change and become new creatures in Him.

Because the same Jesus Who told us He was the Way, also promised that He would make all things new.

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Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith takes his own view of gradualism here

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The Supremes KO Marriage as a State’s Right Issue

 

They didn’t do it directly.

It was an indirect, “if you say so” kind of move.

The United States Supreme Court allowed rulings from lower courts in favor of legalizing gay marriage stand. This decision, which affected rulings in five states, simply said that the Court would not address these lower court rulings. The rulings had overturned state laws in five states that limited marriage to one man and one woman.

This decision not to decide on the part of the Supreme Court was a backdoor way of overturning their own ruling of a few months ago that marriage was a matter for the states to regulate. It is also the natural outcome of their concomitant ruling overturning DOMA.

The Supreme Court’s tut-tut verbiage of the time aside, overturning DOMA had the effect of federalizing marriage. Lower courts have followed by legislating from the bench and overturning state laws limiting marriage to one man and one woman in a willy-nilly fashion.

Personally, I’m not surprised. I basically said this would happen when the DOMA decision came down. I ran into a bit of criticism for saying this at the time. But far too often, people try to parse their way out of the obvious by hinging arguments on the particulars and ignoring the major effects of a piece of legislation or public statement by government authorities.

This kind of “it depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is“ commentary cripples people’s understanding and leaves them wide open to what anyone with half a brain can see is coming.

The Supreme Court overturned DOMA, and that federalized marriage. They also, at the same time, made statements about marriage being a state’s rights issue. As the Court so often does, it set up a collision that it would have to rule on in the future.

In the instance of gay marriage, I think they did this for political reasons. It was their attempt to avoid the kind of cataclysmic ruling and the resulting public battle that happened with Roe v Wade. They know the harm Roe did to this country, and they didn’t want their fingerprints on another ruing that would damage it even further. At the same time, they intended to allow gay marriage.

What they did to avoid this was try the frog-in-the-pan-of-water method of making a cataclysmic ruling. You know how it goes. If you put a frog in a pan of boiling water, it will jump out. But if you put it in a pan of tepid water and slowly heat it up, the frog will sit there until it’s cooked. In this case, the frog is us.

The Supreme Court overturned DOMA, and thereby federalized marriage, which set up a series of court battles that collided directly with their statements concerning marriage in another ruling they made on the same day. It was inevitable and necessary that they were going to have to rule again as to which of their conflicting rulings they actually meant.

They did just that on Monday. But they didn’t do it by making a ruling. They did it by letting other courts’ rulings stand.

This is an interesting ploy.

In politics, we call it heat transference.

The Court used this three-step don’t-really-rule-but-get-the-effect-of-a-ruling method to transfer the heat away from themselves and diffuse it out onto the wider American public. The practical effect in terms of American jurisprudence is both similar to a cataclysmic ruling, and somewhat different.

The major difference is that future Supreme Courts won’t have to overturn this one if they decide to rewind things a bit. The Court hasn’t ruled. It just let lower court rulings stand.

That may sound like a minor difference, but in practical terms of what we’re going to have to do to put the toothpaste back into the tube, it’s major.

The important thing, which I intend to repeat as often as necessary, is that we’ve got a battle ahead of us.

We have to convert this culture, and we have to do it in the face of increasingly ugly anti-Christian bias.

This is not, to paraphrase Thomas Paine, the time for sunshine soldiers of the Cross.

The first place to begin is by clearing away the debris in our own lives and marriages. The second and equally important thing is to protect our children from the propaganda and brainwashing that is directed at them.

We need to live our values and raise our children to do the same.

Only then, when we have removed the beams from our own eyes, will we be fit to remove the splinter from the eyes of those around us.

This is a wonderful time to be a Christian. We have the opportunity to stand for Christ in meaningful ways that can change the world.

Don’t miss your chance to stand with Him in this day.

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President Obama Sends Message to Killer’s Mosque. Did He Ignore Victim’s Family?

 

My mother was an amazing woman, loving wife to my father and adoring grandmother.
She made me feel loved everyday.

 

President Obama has set off a bit of a firestorm by sending a congratulatory message to the mosque where Alton Nolen, the man who committed the Oklahoma beheading, worshipped.

The message itself is a routine congratulatory message to Muslims during the celebration of Eid al-Adha. I don’t know if the White House extends similar congratulatory messages to Oklahoma Jewish worshippers during the High Holy Days, or if the head of the Oklahoma Southern Baptist Convention or the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City receive White House congratulations during Easter and Christmas. We’ve got a lot of faiths here in Oklahoma. Do they all get this white-glove treatment?

If they do, I haven’t heard of it.

I feel reasonably certain that no other house of worship in Oklahoma City has had such a message hand-carried and then read aloud to them by David Myers, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-based Neighborhood Partnerships; especially not after one of their members went out and murdered a grandmother shouting the religious slogans of their faith.

While the message itself is a pro forma political attaboy, (or in this case, attaimam) I don’t think it’s customary to issue such messages to all faiths. I’d bet the ranch that this extreme case of a White House aide hand-carrying it over 1500 miles to read it aloud to worshippers is more than a little bit unusual.  If this was common practice with all faiths, we’d need a lot more directors.

What really galls me is the one-sidedness of the behavior. So far as I know, President Obama chose not to send a message of condolence to, or in any other way acknowledge, the family of Colleen Hufford. Colleen Hufford is the 54-year-old grandmother who lost her life to a knife-wielding man shouting Islamic slogans.

Based on her daughter’s statements to the press, Mrs Hufford’s family has been supported by their Oklahoma community and, lately, by the larger American community. But there was no mention of any word from the Mourner in Chief.

Colleen Hufford was not a political inconvenience. She was not and is not a challenge to the politically correct script our government and most of our media is reading to us.

Colleen Hufford was, according to her daughter Kelli Hufford, “a caring and compassionate woman.” She was Meemaw to her granddaughter. She loved to garden, and was a devoted hockey fan. One thing you realize watching her daughter’s statement is that this was a good woman, with a loving family. To see her daughter’s full statement, go here.

Here is the formal statement from Colleen Hufford’s family:

For her life to have been taken in such a tragic act of violence adds a depth of grief we are trying to comprehend. We want to thank the wonderful family and friends who have come to our aid during this very difficult time with messages of hope and prayer. 

Here’s the message the president sent:

Michelle and I would like to extend our best wishes to Muslims in the United States and around the world who are celebrating Eid al-Adha, and to congratulate those performing the Hajj this year.

“As our Muslim neighbors and friends gather for Eid celebrations, Muslim Americans are among the millions of pilgrims joining one of the world’s largest and most diverse gatherings. Hajj brings together Muslims from around the world — Sunni and Shiite — to share in reverent prayer, side by side. It serves as a reminder that no matter one’s tribe or sect, race or religion, gender or age, we are equals in humanity.

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Our Lady of the Rosary is also Our Lady of Victory is also a Lady for Our Times

It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary.

Pope Leo XIII

Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. It’s alternate name is the Feast of Our Lady of Victory.

This feast commemorates the battle of Lepanto, which took place in 1571, and which CatholicCulture.org says is the battle that saved Europe.

In our politically-correct, revisionist history that we use in place of real history these days, the Battle of Lepanto is one of those events about which we may not speak. It, along with the Crusades, has been re-written or, in the case of this battle, ignored, in order to create a version of history that demonizes Christianity and gives Islam a complete pass for its invasions and wars.

In truth, the Crusades, which were horribly executed, were a series of defensive wars against invaders who took over large areas of the world by the sword. There was corruption and terrible mis-use of victories in the Crusades. As such, there is much to criticize about the way they were executed. These points of legitimate criticism are the key to the Crusades ultimate failure to achieve their stated objective, which was to free people who had been conquered by invasion.

This objective is what current history has lied about. I say lie, because there is no other word for it.

The Battle of Lepanto was a sea battle fought to repel invading Muslim armies. The Ottoman Empire, which came about as a direct consequence of wars of conquest against peaceful countries, had spread throughout the Mediterranean. The Sultan’s fleet controlled the Mediterranean. The military goal was to bring all of Europe within the dar al-Islam, the “House of Submission,” i.e., submission to sharia law. They called Europe the dar al-harb, the “House of War.”

The reason for this name was simple: Europe was the land of the infidels, i.e., Christians.

The invading armies gained purchase for the same reasons they were able to conquer Constantinople in 1453: Divisions within Christianity. In that instance, the argument was over who should be pope. This  had led to a bitter division of Christianity. In the Europe of the 1500s, the argument was between Protestants and Catholics, with some Protestants becoming so insane with their hate that they actually welcomed the invading Muslims as fellow enemies of the Pope.

On the day of battle, October 7, 1571, the pope called on the faithful to pray the Rosary, asking for Our Lady’s intercession. Crew members on the Christian ships prayed the Rosary prior to battle, as did Christians everywhere. Churches were opened for people to gather together to pray the Rosary. It is said that Pope Pius V was given a miraculous vision of the victory.

The Battle of Lepanto was not only a pivotal victory for Europe and Christendom, but the loss was so costly to the invaders that it turned them back permanently. All but 13 of the nearly 300 Turkish ships were sunk, and 33,000 Turkish sailors were killed, wounded or captured. Twelve thousand Christian slaves were freed.

The deeper symbolism and symmetry of this historic battle connects like a row of dots with the miracles and warnings that Our Lady gave us at Fatima. Fatima, which acquired its name during the time the area was a territory under Muslim conquerers, was the place. Our Lady appeared at Fatima to warn us of the reality of hell, the fall of Russia to Communism and the cataclysmic wars of the 20th Century. She introduced herself to the shepherd children by using a name that harkens back to Lepanto.

I am the lady of the Rosary, she said.

 

 

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Pope Francis: Inequality Between Rich and Poor Threatens Democracy

 

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Who We Are

 

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Confession


This is a First Friday. Let’s take time to go to confession.

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I have Decided

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Pope Francis: The Future is in the Meeting Between Youth and the Elderly

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Pope Francis: The Devil Hates Human Beings and Wants to Destroy Us

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See Ya!!

 

I’ll be traveling until next Monday.

I’m going to post videos each day.

Have a wonderful and blessed week. You guys are the best.

In Christ,

Rebecca

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8 Things I Think I Know about the Oklahoma Beheading

Imam Enchassi

Imam Imad Enchassi

I think our local newspeople here in Oklahoma have done a fine job of presenting the news about the recent atrocity in our state. They have reported in a straightforward and factual manner. I actually put trust in what they are telling me to be the facts as they know them.

But the national cable news is so rotten with wing-nuttery from both sides of the spectrum that they couldn’t tell the straight facts if the straight facts would serve them best. The gossipy conflab from MSNBC that is shown in the video below reminds me of a bunch of college sophomores, swilling down cheap wine, smoking a toke and trying to outdo one another with their brilliant bits of sarcasm.

When you watch this, bear in mind that these people, who have enough news media gravitas to get on national news, are talking about the grisly murder of an innocent woman.

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Did you watch?

In the words of my gay friends, Isn’t that just special?

Unlike the folks in this video, I’m not an absolute total and complete expert on Oklahoma. I’ve lived here all my life, and I have been a community leader in a statewide forum for much of that time, but I am a long way from being able to go on a national forum and give the rest of the world The Word about Oklahoma.

Here’s what I do think I know. I’ll just line it up one, two, three and let you decide how much weight you want to give it.

1. Islam has a problem, and its a big, bad violent problem. Violence against innocent people in the name of Islam is happening all over the world. It is so widespread and so intractable that it denies credence to the notion that it is caused by the societies in which it is happening. It appears, at least at first glance, to be something in Islam itself that is causing this.

2. This is not ubiquitous within Islam. I think the people who commit these dastardly acts (many of which are committed against other Muslims) are a minority of Muslims.

3. However, the peaceable majority does not appear to be able to control the violent ones in their midst. If anything, I get the sense that they are more afraid of them than anyone else.

4. I think this problem stems from the bad leadership of some Islamic religious leaders. I think it gains traction because of the factionalism within Islam.

5. Whatever the reason, this situation is real, and taking some pie-in-the-sky wing-nut position that anyone who talks about what is happening is a Muslim hater not only doesn’t help, it becomes a form of enabling to those who murder. From Jeffrey Dahmer, to ISIS, to Alton Nolen, murderers of innocent people do not need and should not have apologists flapping their yaps on the nightly news.

6. Oklahoma City was subjected to a black mass on September 21. Those who know about these things warned about the effect this might have on the community. Does this have anything to do with this beheading and the subsequent threat of beheading by Muslims in our community? I don’t know.

7. Whether the black mass contributed to this situation or not doesn’t matter in terms of what we do about it. What we do about it is put these two men before the law and let the law work.

8. What we do about the larger question of Islamic violence against innocent people is another question. I think the first thing we need to do is ask the Muslim community if they are willing and ready to stand against the preaching of violence in their places of worship, if they are willing to turn their backs on religious leaders who preach death and destruction.

I was touched by Imam Enchassi’s statement to the press. I hope with all my heart that it came from his heart and was totally genuine. I personally know a Muslim man who went door to door in his neighborhood after 9/11, introducing himself to his neighbors and assuring them that he stood with them, not the terrorists.

I think it must be hard to be trapped in a situation where violence is the public face of your faith.

I believe we should stand with those who are willing to take the chance to step out and speak against murder and violence. I think they are probably placing themselves in harm’s way by doing so.

At the same time, I am not given to denying the plain facts when I see them. The plain facts are that this is happening all over the world.

The situation is real. All the insulting on-air wing-nuttery conflab in the world can not change that.

We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be bullied by ideologues like those on that MSNBC panel. Neither should we give in to the primitive urge to cast all Muslims as murderers.

Above all, we should never, no matter what mask he assumes, fight satan with satan’s weapons. Jesus told us that Satan cannot cast out satan. We need to believe Him and act accordingly. We must use the gifts of the Holy Spirit:  grace, love and peace, to drive this evil down. Every person who walks this planet is His child. That includes Muslims.

We need to get real about this, and that begins by talking honestly about what is happening, without the politically correct censorship.

FruitsofSpiritBasket

 

 

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Alton Nolen’s Imam: He’s as Far from Islam as He Could Be

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Jah-Keem Yisrael is the name he wanted to be known by. Everyone else calls him Alton Nolen.

“Like any American, any Oklahoman, my heart was broken.” This comment came from Imad Enchassi, Senior Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City. This is the same place of worship Mr Nolen is standing in front of in the photo above.

I don’t know Imam Enchassi, but I have talked to him. He was one of the signatories of the pledge to work for an end to violence against women. This pledge was signed by religious leaders who attended the two Days of Prayer for an End to Violence Against Women that I helped organize. Imam Enchassi was not able to attend the Day of Prayer, but he came to my office afterwards and signed the pledge.

I understand that Islamic groups around the country have condemned this barbarous murder. However, I’m only really interested in what Imam Enchassi had to say. He’s our Oklahoma Islamic religious leader. His comments are in the interview in this story. I’m glad he gave this interview and spoke so feelingly about his reaction as a religious leader to this crime.

I couldn’t find a copy of this interview so I could link to it directly. If it’s on YouTube, I didn’t see it. I hope you follow this link and watch it for yourselves.

In other Oklahoma news, a second Muslim, this time an immigrant from Kenya, threatened to behead a coworker in the nursing home where he was employed. He’s now in jail. It chills me to think that this man was working in a nursing home, of all places.

We are one week out from the black mass and counting.

 

Here are a few videos related to the crime. It’s a random roundup, including one link to a story with a video from MSNBC, pulling their pants down to reveal their politically correct inanity in the face of tragedy.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper talks about Alton Nolen’s previous attack on her.

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Alton Nolen’s mother makes a comment.

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I couldn’t find a direct link to this, but you need to see it. It’s MSNBC commenters being total, absolute ninnies; pushing their politically correct agenda onto events with no regard for anything, including basic decency. 

To put things in perspective, here is another comment (at an entirely different time and in another context) from the panel’s moderator, Melissa Harris.

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Jah-Keem Yisrael aka Alton Nolen aka the Man Who Committed the Oklahoma Beheading

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Alton Nolen, aka Jah-Keem Yisrael.

Take a gander at Alton Nolen’s Facebook page before somebody takes it down.

He had been on parole for convictions for drugs, assault and battery on a police officer and attempted escape. He was given an early release from probation less than a month ago. His probation was originally scheduled to end in 2017.

At some point, he converted to Islam. It appears, from his Facebook page, that his interest had turned — in an approving way — to the violence and degradation being enacted on other people by ISIS and the various other terrorist groups making the news lately.

I’m guessing, based on his photos, that he was welcomed in the local Islamic community. Alongside photos of beheadings and gun-toting terrorists, he also posted notices of trips with his fellow Muslims to a local amusement park.

He was employed by Vaughn Foods. Knowing what I know of Oklahoma law, I would guess that this gainful employment played a part in his being given early release from probation. Shortly before he began his murderous rampage, Mr Nolen was fired from this job. Employees told the press that he and been trying to convert them to Islam in what sounds like an aggressive and harassing manner. I do not know if this is why he was fired.

He drove to the building where he began his killling, slamming into another car in the parking lot. He attacked, murdered and beheaded 54-year-old Colleen Hufford. He did not know Ms Hufford. He then attacked another co-worker, Traci Johnson.

Mark Vaughn, the company’s chief operating officer, used a rifle that he kept in his office to shoot Mr Nolen. Mr Nolen is in the hospital, recovering from his wounds.

I only have a few comments to make about this attack.

One: This is Oklahoma. We’re heavily armed here. Most Okies have guns and a lot of them pack. What that means is that, instead of screeching and yelling or wandering around helplessly, as bystanders have done in other parts of the world, this particular attack was stopped before more people died.

Two: This is Oklahoma. Mr Nolen is going to have to explain himself to an Oklahoma jury.

Three: This business of cherry-picking verses from holy books to justify horrible behavior can happen to any philosophy or faith. But it is happening 24/7 and all around the world to Islam. It is happening within this one faith far too consistently and in too many cultures and situations for it to simply be a random thing, or for the explanation to come from external forces.

I look to the religious leaders of Islam for both the cause and the resolution of this problem. Holy men teach holiness, not murder of innocents.

According to Breitbart, Mr Nolen is linked, at least indirectly, to Suhaib Webb, the former leader of the mosque that the Boston bombers attended. Mr Webb is said to have ties to al-Qaeda. This underscores my point that Islamic religious leaders are responsible for a great deal of this behavior.

Four: I hope that the Oklahoma Muslim community will offer condolences to the families of these two women. I think it would help the situation. Evidently one Muslim civic leader, went the other way. This kind of thing makes it even more important for responsible Muslim leaders to demonstrate that they do not share this thinking, but grieve for the loss of innocent life with the rest of Oklahoma.

Five: The FBI is investigating Mr Nolen’s link to any possible terrorist connections. I have respect for the work they do when they are focused and on point. I think they’ll sift through this and get to the truth.

Six: Thank you Mark Vaughn for stopping this tragedy before it got worse.

Seven: Our prayers and thoughts should be for Colleen Hufford and Traci Johnson, both of them unarmed, innocent women who were simply at work, doing their jobs.

Eight: I wrote a post earlier, entitled Britain, You’ve Got a Problem. Does this mean America also has the same problem?

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Pope Deep-Sixes Two Bishops over Child Sex Abuse

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The Vatican laicized Jozef Wesolowski, the former nuncio to the Dominican Republic, for having sex with minors earlier this year. Now, they’ve put him on house arrest.

From Catholic News Agency:

.- The Holy See press officer announced Tuesday that Jozef Wesolowski, the former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic who was laicized earlier this year, has been put under house arrest amid an official investigation into charges of pedophilia.

He is accused of having paid for sex with minors while nuncio to the Dominican Republic.

“The seriousness of the allegations has prompted the official investigation to impose a restrictive measure that … consists of house arrest, with its related limitations, in a location within the Vatican City State,” Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., said Sept. 23.

“The initiative taken by the judicial departments of Vatican City State is a result of the express desire of the Pope, so that a case so serious and delicate would be addressed without delay, with just and necessary rigor, and with full assumption of responsibility on the part of the institutions that are governed by the Holy See.”

Wesolowski, 66, has been placed under house arrest, rather than being jailed in Vatican City’s prison, due to his health condition.

The Pope has also dismissed a Paraquayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people.

From Reuters:

(Reuters) – Pope Francis has dismissed a Paraguayan bishop accused of protecting a priest suspected of sexually abusing young people, the Vatican said on Thursday.

A statement said the pope had removed Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano from his post as head of the diocese of Ciudad del Este and named another bishop to run it as an administrator for the time being.

The sacking followed a Vatican investigation of the bishop, the diocese and its seminaries, said the statement, which gave no details.

Vatican sources said the bishop had refused to resign after the investigation and reports of irregularities in his diocese and clashes between the conservative Livieres Plano and other bishops in the country.

The Argentinian-born pontiff has vowed zero tolerance of clerics who abuse minors, after church scandals in several countries over many years. Last May, Francis called such abuse an “ugly crime” and likened it to “a Satanic mass”.

This is how these things should have been handled all along. What a difference it would have made if they had been.

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US Bombing Oil Sites Owned by ISIS

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The US is bombing oil refineries ISIS is using to fund their murderous onslaught on the people of the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates also participated in the air strikes.

We also need to prosecute the “businessmen” who are buying and selling this oil. There should be ways to do this through international law. They are participants in genocide and other crimes against humanity.

From Business Insider:

In an oil field in northeastern Syria, trucks line up daily to load crude sold cheaply by Islamic State militants who have hijacked parts of the country’s energy industry in their bid to build a caliphate.

Sales at Shadada field, described by an oil trader, are just one example of how the group, which has seized land in war-torn Syria and neighboring Iraq, is creating its own economy through a series of pragmatic trades.

It is cutting deals with local traders and buyers, even businessmen who support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and some of its oil has made its way back to government buyers through a series of middlemen.

“Islamic State makes not less than $2 million daily that allows them to pay salaries and maintain their operations,” said a former Western oil executive who worked in a foreign oil firm operating in Syria before the crisis and who is familiar with the nascent oil market

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Beheading in Oklahoma.

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Alton Nolan, a fired employee, beheaded a woman at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma, yesterday.

He was attacking a second woman when an off duty deputy shot Nolan.

It seems that Nolan was a bad guy from jump street. He had multiple previous felony convictions, including assault and battery on a police officer and escape from detention. He was a recent convert to Islam who had been trying to convert people to that faith before the attack.

I first heard about this from a news feed that I have on my phone. At that time, it just said that there was a shooter situation at a food store in Moore.

I was on my way to a meeting — in Moore — when I saw this, so I put it aside and forgot it. This morning, my friend Kathy Shiffer sent me a message about what had actually happened.

I don’t know enough to give an opinion.

Here is the story from Fox News:

FBI officials are reportedly investigating a beheading at an Oklahoma food distribution center after co-workers said the suspect tried to convert them to Islam after his recent conversion.

The alleged suspect, Alton Nolen, 30, was recently fired from Vaughan Foods in Moore prior to Thursday’s attack. Moore Police Sgt. Jeremy Lewis told KFOR that Nolen drove to the front of the business and struck a vehicle before walking inside. He then attacked Colleen Hufford, 54, stabbing her several times before severing her head. He also stabbed another woman at the plant, 43-year-old Traci Johnson.

Lewis said Mark Vaughan, the company’s chief operating officer and a reserve county deputy, shot Nolen as he was stabbing Johnson, who remains hospitalized in stable condition Friday.

“He’s a hero in this situation,” Lewis told the station. “It could have gotten a lot worse.”

Nolen was apparently attacking employees at random, authorities said. The motive for the attack is unclear, but FBI officials are now reportedly probing whether Nolen’s recent conversion to Islam is somehow linked to the crime.

Lewis said he does not yet know what charges will be filed against Nolen, adding that police are waiting until he’s conscious to arrest him. Authorities said he had no prior connection to either woman.

Nolen, according to state corrections records, was convicted in January 2011 of multiple felony drug offenses, assault and battery on a police officer and escape from detention. He was released from prison in March 2013.

 

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Eric Holder to Resign

Eric Holder official portrait

Eric Holder will announce later today that he is going to resign as Attorney General of the United States. He is said to be planning to stay in his office until his successor is in place.

From Fox News:

Attorney General Eric Holder plans to announce Thursday that he is resigning from the Obama administration, officials confirmed to Fox News. The decision would cap a tumultuous six-year term for the nation’s top law enforcement official.

Holder is one of the few Cabinet officials to have stayed on since the beginning of the Obama presidency. A Justice Department official said Holder has agreed to remain on the job until his successor is confirmed.

According to the official, Holder has discussed his plans with Obama on “multiple occasions” in recent months.

“[He] finalized those plans in an hour-long conversation with the president at the White House residence over Labor Day weekend,” the official said. The official added that Holder has “no immediate plans” after leaving the post.

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