This speech was written and presented to her 7th grade class by the little girl in this video. Maybe she needs to run for president.
This speech was written and presented to her 7th grade class by the little girl in this video. Maybe she needs to run for president.
Early media reports made it sound as if the Holy Father and President Obama concentrated all their conversation on what the press termed “areas of agreement.”
It turns out that they were talking through their press badges.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis and the Holy Father discussed “questions of particular relevance for the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life, and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform.”
I believe that’s a polite way of saying that the Pope talked to the Prez about the HHS Mandate, and other administration attacks on religious freedom, as well as the president’s support for abortion, and embryonic stem cell research.
Pope Francis has a history of being gentle in his dealings with ordinary folks and downright tough about the things he says to those with power and authority. I never thought for minute that he would make an exception for the President of the United States.
Will the Pope’s words affect President Obama’s actions? The knee jerk reaction is to say probably not. But I am someone who God turned upside down. I not only believe that the Holy Spirit can change people. I know He does.
Let’s pray that something got through to our President.
And in the meantime, let’s also thank God for giving us this good and holy man to be our Pope.
Since we live in a world where the holy is us, and the moral is everybody doing whatever he or she wants, this makes a kind of sense.
Georgetown University, an ostensibly Catholic school, is playing host to its seventh annual “Choice Week.”
They planned to send a delegation to rally at the US Supreme Court in favor of the HHS Mandate. This year’s “Choice Week” theme has the catchy title “My Choice, My Choice. Events include “Queer Voices, Queer Voices.
The festivities will include a panel consisting of representatives from NARAL, the Religious Coalition for Choice and the Great American Condom Campaign.
H*yas for Choice, which is the group organizing this event, is not an officially recognized campus organization. It is partnering with other organizations that are officially recognized, such as GUPride. According to the H*yas for Choice Facebook page, the group hosted Catholics for Choice on the university campus proper.
I don’t know how others feel about it, but as a Catholic, I am ashamed of this school.
From Vox Populi:
I know several people who went into the hospital for a routine surgery, came through the surgery just fine, and then died from an infection they had gotten while in the hospital.
I don’t know about you, but this makes me angry.
Hospitals and doctor’s offices (not to mention dentists) need to beef up their sterile procedures, beginning with washing their hands between every single patient. When you see a doctor look down someone’s throat and then not wash their hands afterwards, you are looking at an infection-carrier.
It turns out that the people I’ve known who died from hospital-acquired infections are not alone. According to a recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine, 1 in 25 patients who went into a hospital in 2011 come out with a hospital-acquired infection. That means 721,800 people were infected by germs they encountered while they were in the hospital. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, about 75,000 people died from hospital-acquired infections.
This rate of infection is evidently down from past years. In 2002, there were 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections and 155,668 deaths. Getting down to 75,000 deaths is quite a reduction, and hospitals are to be applauded for the changes they’ve made. But 75,000 deaths in one year from hospital-acquired infections is still totally unacceptable.
It may be necessary for patients to start reminding medical personnel to wash their hands, since they are not doing it on their own. As for other sterile procedures, particularly surgical sterile procedures; if they aren’t washing their hands (and they aren’t) then what else are they not doing?
The families and friends of 75,000 people who die each year would like to know.
(CNN) — About 1 in every 25 patients seeking treatment at hospitals acquired an infection there in 2011, according to a new study published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Patients acquired some 721,800 infections at hospitals that year, according to the research. Of those infected, about 75,000 died, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — although the study did not investigate how often an infection actually caused or contributed to the patient’s death.
Pneumonia and surgical-site infections were the most common types of infection — each accounting for about 22% of all infections — followed by gastrointestinal infections such as Clostridium difficile, urinary tract infections and infections of the bloodstream.
While highlighting the grim reality that too many people become infected when seeking medical treatment in hospitals and other health care facilities, the study also shows progress from past estimates.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court ruling and upheld Texas’ pro life law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have hospital privileges. A provision of the law that requires that abortion clinics to provide the same level of safety to patients as other free-standing surgery centers will take affect later this year.
The law became a national cause when Texas state Senator Wendy Davis derailed the first attempt at passage with a filibuster. Since its passage, the Texas statute has resulted in the closure of a number of abortion clinics in the state of Texas.
From Fox News:
A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Texas’ tough new abortion restrictions that shuttered many of the abortions clinics in the state.
A panel of judges at the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court judge who said the rules violate the U.S. Constitution and served no medical purpose. In its opinion, the appeals court said the law “on its face does not impose an undue burden on the life and health of a woman.”
Texas lawmakers last year passed some of the toughest restrictions in the U.S. on when, where and how women may obtain an abortion. The Republican-controlled Legislature required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and placed strict limits on doctors prescribing abortion-inducing pills.
Hooray for the Knights!
Ethisphere Institute has named the Knights of Columbus life insurance company to its 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies. The Knights were one of only two life insurance companies to earn this honor.
From Catholic News Agency:
New Haven, Conn., Mar 24, 2014 / 05:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The fraternal organization the Knights of Columbus has been recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies by a research center on best practices in corporate ethics and governance.
“This really speaks to the fact that a company can be committed to Church teaching, committed to Catholic values, and still provide a top quality service and be very successful at what they do,” Andrew Walther, vice president for communications and media with the Knights, told CNA March 21.
Timothy Erblich, CEO of the Ethisphere Institute, announced the award March 20, saying, “the Knights of Columbus join an exclusive community committed to driving performance through leading business practices. We congratulate everyone at Knights of Columbus for this extraordinary achievement.”
The institute named the New Haven, Conn.-based Catholic fraternal organization and life insurance company to its 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company list. The Knights is only one of two companies in the life insurance category to be recognized.
When the roll is called down yonder, we’ll all line up according to our politics.
At least that appears to be the situation regarding the answers to the question of whether or not religious freedom is threatened.
There’s a lot of gas expended on this question, and most of it falls so predictably into political camps that the answers look more like responses to a roll call than genuine thinking.
Liberal Democrats, say no, of course not; only ignorant fools think so. Liberal Protestants, who are also almost entirely liberal Democrats, say no; only bigots who want to cling to their bigotry say yes. Conservative Republicans say yes; only liberal flat-liners who’ve sold this country out doubt it. Conservative Protestants, who are becoming more and more a solidified conservative Republican front, say yes; only weak Christians think otherwise.
Catholics? As the religious group that is Liberal Democrats, Conservative Republicans and every single thing in between, all sitting around the same table, we answer, yes/no/what did you say? and whatever.
So what do I, a decidedly liberal Democrat who is also a decidedly devout Catholic, say?
Before I answer that, I’m going to narrow that question to whether or not religious freedom is threatened in United States of America. I think the answer for much of the rest of the world is so obviously yes that those who doubt it fall into the same intellectual space as holocaust deniers.
Even when I narrow the question to the United States, I am tempted to reply … Duhhhh … Is this a trick question?
Rather than go for the golden one-word/one-off, you’ve-got-to-be-kidding answer, let’s review the obvious, public and undeniable facts.
What did the Supreme Court do this week?
It heard three cases brought before it by people who feel so strongly that their religious freedom is being violated that they are willing to risk their businesses and life’s work to stand against it. These are not rabble rousers. They are stable, quiet, pillars-of-the-community types, who normally eschew both litigation and the spotlight. They are the people who are the foundations of this country.
These people didn’t want to be part of a Supreme Court case. They were backed into this position by an overweening government that is so bent on enforcing an agency regulation that infringes on religious liberty that it is willing to precipitate a Constitutional crisis to do it.
What is happening in court rooms all over this country? We have mom and pop businesspeople — again quiet, apolitical, non-litigious, pillars of the community types — who are being forced to risk their livelihoods rather than violate their religious beliefs. This is happening because of overweening government force.
Not one of these people wanted to do this. Not one of them is the type who loves standing in front of microphones and sounding off. Every single one of them is putting their livelihoods on the line to stand for what they believe against a government that has taken hubris as its operating standard.
According to court testimony by administration attorneys, the fiction that is driving these government attacks on religious liberty is a deliberate narrowing of the First Amendment. Instead of religious freedom that applies to every man, woman and child in this great nation, the Obama Administration is seeking to shoe-horn it into the box of a narrow “freedom of worship.” In other words, keep your faith behind the closed doors of church sanctuaries, or suffer government-mandated penalties.
The standard argument against all this is either a stubborn sophistry which simply denies the obvious, or an insulting version of the hayseed argument. The hayseed argument goes like this: We sophisticates in the know understand that these hayseeds out in the hustings are deluded fools for thinking that their rights are being violated. We morally superior denizens of right-thinking also know that the hayseeds in the hustings are so blighted morally that their outdated ideas of religious fealty need to be shut down for a greater good that is defined by — you guessed it — us.
The hayseed argument, stupid and arrogant as it is, is actually the driving argument behind all these initiatives against individual freedom. It is the insider’s view of what they think is outsider foolishness for opposing the obviously higher morality and wisdom of their betters.
A slightly different version of the hayseed argument is the moral ingrate argument. It goes something like this: Moral imperatives which have been discovered in the last five years require that the moral ingrates of this country abandon their claims to religious freedom in order to serve the higher morality that we sophisticates have fashioned for ourselves and which we are going to use government force to enforce on everyone else.
The hayseed and moral ingrate arguments often overlap in actual practice. Sometimes they merge. The subtle difference between them is that one appeals to the pretension of moral superiority on the part of those who purvey it, and the other feeds their pretensions of intellectual superiority. Both arguments are at base a pose and a sham that have far more to do with bell-jar/echo-chamber thinking than anything approaching reality.
There is one other argument that surfaces in these discussions. That is the every-kid-in-China argument. This one is familiar to mothers of previous generations who were faced with recalcitrant children who wouldn’t eat their veggies. You know: The every kid in China would love to have that spinach on your plate, so you’d better eat it argument.
Applied to the question of attacks on religious freedom in America today, it goes something like this. Christians in other parts of the world are suffering real persecution. They are being burnt, beheaded, raped, imprisoned and tortured. So how dare you complain about government oppression of your little rights?
The irony is that this particular argument is usually advanced by someone who, in other contexts, does everything they can to deny and minimize the horror of Christian persecution.
I’m going to circle back here and take another look at the original question: Is religious freedom threatened in America today?
The answer is, of course. That’s obvious. The parsing — and that’s all it is — runs along lines of party affiliation and prejudice.
Note: This post is my reply to the discussion about Patheos’ Public Square Question: Is Religious Freedom Threatened?
It’s been an interesting 24 hours for the folks at World Vision.
Franklin Graham took them to task for their decision to hire people who are in same-sex marriages. Their supporters responded with a sense of betrayal and outrage. World Vision President, Richard Stearns, gave an interview to Christianity Today in which he tried to parse the decision into something it wasn’t, saying in part:
“It’s easy to read a lot more into this decision than is really there, he said, “This is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. We have decided we are not going to get into that debate. Nor is this a rejection of traditional marriage, which we affirm and support.”
My reaction after reading this earlier today was that Mr Stearns needs to run for Congress. He’d fight right in. While the decision to hire people who are involved in gay marriages may not be a formal, written-out endorsement of gay marriage that was specifically voted on and approved by the board of directors of World Vision, it was, in fact and in practice, a public endorsement of the practice.
The Latin phrase is de facto. It was a de facto endorsement of gay marriage.
The reasoning Mr Stearns gave for this decision doesn’t hold any more water than his claims that the decision itself was just a teeny-tiny policy change with no serious ramifications.
After this particular dog didn’t hunt, something happened behind the scenes at World Vision. I don’t know what, but I have a feeling it wasn’t good times had by all for the people who went through it. What came out of it was a reversal of the organization’s earlier decision to hire people who are in gay marriages. From Christianity Today:
Today, the World Vision U.S. board publicly reversed its recent decision to change our employment conduct policy. The board acknowledged they made a mistake and chose to revert to our longstanding conduct policy requiring sexual abstinence for all single employees and faithfulness within the Biblical covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.
I am relieved that World Vision has taken this step back into Christian fealty. I pray that they stick with it in the days to come. Christians everywhere are being challenged by the changes in our society as we move deeper into a post Christian world.
World Vision flirted almost disastrously with allowing themselves and their ministry to slip over into public apostasy. Their reasoning, which seemed to be based on the notion that a lot of their supporter churches were slipping into this apostasy, is the oldest and weakest reason going.
“Everybody else is doing it” is an excuse that my kids gave up after they tried it on me and got a fail. Where this large organization got the notion that this line of thinking was a reasonable response to the challenges of being a faithful Christian in a post Christian world, I do not know.
I am glad that they are back where they should be.
I donate to other organizations rather than World Vision, so the next consideration is not one I have to think about. That consideration is, Can we trust them to stay with it?
That’s a legitimate concern, considering the bizarre leap of illogic they used to try to justify this move. If that is an example of how easily they get off the Christian track and how mush-minded they are about these things, there’s a real question, at least in my mind, as to when they’re going to jump off the track again.
I say that because I am certain without doubt that the challenges to Christians are just beginning. We are not even really out of the gate when it comes to the dissolution and dissing that is heading our way.
Can they take it?
I’m pretty sure that we’re all going to get the chance to find out.
President Obama has created a Constitutional crisis over religious freedom by aggressively using the power of his office to re-define it as a narrow “freedom to worship.” He seems proud of the moniker “most pro abortion president in history.” He has done more to destroy traditional marriage than any other living American.
Why would he want to have his photo taken with the pope?
Maybe he views himself as a sort of alter-statesman, a gee to the Holy Father’s haw, an omega to the pope’s alpha.
All I know is that the President of the United States is on his way for a photo op with the black-shoe pope who rides around in a battered up old jalopy that looks like it came from an inner city slum.
The president is arriving on his very own jet, accompanied by his entourage of 700 staff. He’ll be dressed to the nines and swoop in with his Secret Service agents, complete with mirror glasses and grim expressions.
The pope will presumably ramble over from the digs he shares with other Vatican staff and clergy after a hearty communal breakfast.
One man is the synthesis of ambition and earthly power. The other is the anti-thesis of it.
One man is considered the most powerful man on earth. The other is so gentle that small children steal his chair while he’s making a speech.
One man leads my country. The other leads me.
What will they talk about as the cameras flash?
I know one new bill I’m probably going to be voting on this year.
Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish has ruled the state’s death penalty law unconstitutional. Judge Parrish found that Oklahoma’s law violated due process because it blocked inmates from learning the names of the companies that manufacture the drugs used in executions.
Drugs used in executions are becoming more scarce because overseas companies refuse to make them due to their objections to the death penalty, and domestic manufacturers want to avoid the controversy surrounding the issue. Attorneys for death row inmates had requested information about the drug manufacturers as part of discovery for what sounds like a potential appeal.
I would guess that there will be legislation to deal with this before the House this year. I am opposed to the death penalty, which makes me part of a tiny minority in the Oklahoma legislature. In fact, I am the only Oklahoma legislator who opposes abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia and the death penalty. I guess that makes me the only 100% pro life member of the Oklahoma legislature.
My advice to Oklahoma’s death row inmates is to be careful what you wish for. If the drugs for “painless” executions become unavailable, our Oklahoma legislators are perfectly capable of restoring older methods of execution such as the electric chair, firing squads or hanging.
From the Associated Press:
I put together a quick collage of teachings on marriage from Scripture, the Catechism and a couple of Apostolic letters written by Blessed John Paul II.
I want to emphasize that Blessed John Paul II was reiterating what the Church has taught for two millennia. Synods reaching back to antiquity have consistently taught these same things.
This is what the Church teaches about gay marriage. The sentence that I put in bold states the position those of us in the laity must take: All Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions.
In another part of the same document, Blessed Pope John Paul II says that politicians who vote for gay marriage are committing a mortal sin. I think that applies also to anyone in a position of influence who supports the destruction of marriage. Jesus said, To those whom much is given, much is required. I think He meant any of us who are in positions of power and influence.
I have had the experience of leading people astray with my wrong-headed good intentions. It’s like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube to undo it later.
We are going through a season of upheaval in a society that recognizes no God except the one it sees in the mirror. Do not allow yourself to be swept up in this and contribute to leading other people astray.
I say that, not as an admonition, but as a plea from the heart of someone who has made this mistake. I can tell you from experience, you don’t want to go there.
Stop trying to pretend that you are smarter and your holiness and understanding of God’s requirements of you are somehow greater than those of His Church.
He told us that the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. But He didn’t say anything like that about you and me, deciding to be our own little magisteriums. He didn’t tell us that we could stand alone against the evils of this world by colluding with those evils.
You cannot broker a deal between Christ and the devil. That is precisely what a good many Christians are trying to do with gay marriage. Stop looking for an easy way out and be faithful. Yield your will to God’s will and follow, not lead.
I can tell you from personal experience that this is the only way, to walk the Way.
Marriage has three blessings. The first is children, to be received and raised in God’s service. The second is the loyal faithfulness by which each serves the other. The third is the Sacrament of Matrimony which signifies the inseparable union of Christ with His Church. St Thomas Aquinas.
This now is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh … and for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Adam
For I hate divorce. To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty. So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife. God the Father
God himself is the author of marriage. The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. … Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: “It is not good that the man should be alone.” The woman, “flesh of his flesh,” his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a “helpmate”; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.”The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been “in the beginning”: “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. The Catechism of the Catholic Church
Precisely because the love of husband and wife is a unique participation in the mystery of life and of the love of God Himself, the Church knows that she has received the special mission of guarding and protecting the lofty dignity of marriage and the most serious responsibility of the transmission of human life. John Paul II
No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman … Furthermore the marital union of man and woman has been elected by Christ to the dignity of a sacrament. The Church teaches that Christian marriage is an efficacious sign of the covenant between Christ and the Church … There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family … all Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions. John Paul II
Have you read, that in the beginning, God made them male and female, and for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and will be united with his wife, and they two shall be one flesh? They are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man put asunder. Jesus Christ
I’m not going to do a post mortem on the arguments the Supreme Court heard on the Hobby Lobby/HHS Mandate case.
I won’t give you a run-down of which justice twitched, which one pulled his or her earlobe and who coughed. Trying to divine how the Court will rule by studying the questions justices asked and the expressions on their faces has become a kind of sport, like handicapping a horserace. Only it’s not nearly so accurate.
I think we would know just as much about what they’re going to do if we slaughtered a goat and studied its entrails.
Besides, I’m too nervous about this one to do that. The Court hasn’t exactly been a friend to people with traditional Christian values for a long time now. In fact, the Court has made itself the architect of this brave new baby-killing, marriage-is-meaningless world we inhabit. To a great extent the whole social mess is of the Supreme Court’s devising.
But this decision is one of the really big ones. Will we be free after this ruling?
On how they rule.
The Court can destroy religious freedom with this ruling. It can also do as it did with the gay marriage ruling last summer and just put out a row of dominoes for others to knock over and destroy it in succeeding months.
What are the chances that the Supreme Court will actually rule in favor of religious freedom?
Will we be free after this ruling?
The owners of Hobby Lobby spoke about yesterday’s arguments before the Supreme Court. Here is what they said.
World Vision, which is an evangelical Christian organization, has evidently decided to hire “married” gay couples. Rev Franklin Graham has issued a statement condemning this action.
I hadn’t intended to comment about this. Public Catholic is a Catholic blog, and the World Vision-Franklin Graham argument is taking place among Evangelical Protestants. My first thought was that it would be best to let them tend to their own chickens.
I’ve changed my mind because there is only one Jesus, and only one universal body of Christ. That makes this a matter of concern for all Christians and not just the Evangelical Protestant part of us.
I’m going to begin by saying that I have seen this before. After Roe v Wade came down, most of the many Christian denominations dithered. Several denominations that are now stalwart pro life warriors leaned toward accepting Roe. The Catholic Church stood almost alone in its resistance to the ruling.
I believe the same thing is happening once again with gay marriage. A lot of religious organizations are dithering. They don’t have 2,000 years of consistent teaching to instruct them. All they’ve got are their own personal interpretations of Scripture. It’s tempting — given the human desire that we all feel to make things easy on ourselves — for these organizations to come up with a scenario that allows them to go along to get along.
I’m no stranger to this. Politicians are justifiably famous for it. That is not due to any special weakness in those who hold public office. It is due to the fact that when a politician does it, everybody knows about it. Most of us get to trim the corners of our beliefs to make things easy for ourselves without anyone else being the wiser.
However, large Christian organizations are even more high profile than politicians, especially at a time like now, when the cultural gods are changing. Our society has taken the cross off the altar and replaced it with 300 million little tin gods of self. Instead of following Christ, we bow down to our own desires.
The little g gods of self say that whatever people want to do is morally right. We refuse the real God and chase, like a dog following its tail, after this most picayune of gods — our ever-changing, never-satisfied desires. We fix our course on self-love, selfishness, self-righteousness, self-promotion; everything but self-awareness.
We lie to everyone to excuse our behavior, but most especially we lie to ourselves.
When a well-known Christian organization publicly departs from 2,000 years of Christian teaching on a matter as serious as the definition of marriage, it can not legitimately claim, as World Vision has done, that it is doing it to “unite Christians.” That’s a specious argument if I have ever heard one.
I do not know, do not pretend to know, what the real motivations for this change are. But I don’t believe that the public statements I’ve read are anything more than a lie. They may, at least at some level, be lies that the people who put them forward told themselves, but they are not the truth.
No one could be intelligent enough to run an organization of this size and be stupid enough to believe that this action will unite Christians.
People who have donated money and otherwise supported this organization on the assumption that it was and would continue to be genuinely faithful to the Gospels have every reason to feel betrayed. This was a back room deal. Whatever the true motivations of its proponents were, fealty to their historic organizational beliefs and respect for their supporters could not have been among them.
I think Franklin Graham is justified in expressing dismay and disavowal of World Vision’s decision.
I am also a little bit philosophical about it. We’re going to see more of this. We’re also going to see some of these early deserters turn around and get their heads right as the Holy Spirit works on them. Others will become, as many Christians are today about abortion, set in their defense of principles that fly in the face of Christian morality.
These are difficult times for Christians. The gods of our world are changing. Many will fall away.
Our task is to stay close to Our Lord and to be faithful in all we do. We need to pray, go to mass, trust God and not be afraid.
For a brief look at long-standing Christian teaching, including Catholic teaching, concerning marriage, go here.
I recently posted a statement that if you want to disrespect the Pope, you need to go to another blog.
That post garnered quite a few complaints from would-be Pope dis-respecters, including attempts to get around it by use of innuendo and leading questions. It’s interesting how committed these people are to disrespecting the Holy Father.
Michael Voris of The Church Militant recently put up a YouTube video in which he addresses the same issue. It turns out that he doesn’t disrespect the Pope, either. I don’t agree with everything Mr Voris says, but he’s right-on about this.
Have a look.
Today’s the day in which the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sibelius vs Hobby Lobby.
The question at hand is not whether the HHS Mandate is Constitutional. The question which is being brought before the Court is whether or not the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 protects Hobby Lobby against the fines and penalties of the HHS Mandate.
The Obama Administration has argued in previous court appearances that the First Amendment only applies to formal worship activities and other direct actions of federally recognized churches, within the confines of their church proper. This narrow interpretation of the First Amendment would end freedom of religion in this country. In fact, it is very similar to the kind and type of religious freedom that totalitarian states operating under communism grant.
So much is at stake with this case.
Please pray that the Supreme Court will preserve the religious liberties and religious exemptions that Americans have long enjoyed.
From SCOTUS Review:
This is a casual grouping of You Tube videos demonstrating the push to normalize both polygamy and “polyamory.”
We’re being taught to accept this folks, the same way we were taught to accept gay marriage. We are being offered Kool-Aid that is laced with spiritual and societal hemlock.
Don’t drink it yourself, and point out what’s happening to those around you. Most important of all, talk about it with your children and teach them how evil it is.
Here’s the trailer on from My Five Wives, TLC’s latest sell-job on polygamy.
Sister Wives pushes “plural marriage” in the courts. This one isn’t as worshipful of polygamy.
Big Love. Where the sell job started.
And, if that’s not enough, let’s look at the sell-job on “polyamory.”
And you shall not let any of your children pass through the fire to Molech. If you do, you are dishonoring the name of your God. I am the LORD.
We are made in the image and likeness of God. Human life does not belong to us. It belongs to Him.
God so completely identifies people as made in His likeness that He told us that the sacrifice of human beings, the grave sin of “passing your children through the fire to Molech” profaned Him.
He took this so seriously that He ordered the Israelites to kill everyone already living in the area when they claimed the Holy land. This was a deliberate attempt to keep this people He was raising up be the light bearers of His covenant, and ultimately, the progenitors of the Messiah, free of the taint of the child sacrifice practiced by the people of that land.
Later, when they fell into it anyway, He repeatedly brought them to their knees until finally they were purged of it by a long imprisonment in exile. That worked. Never again after the Babylonian exile did the children of Israel fall into the evils of polygamy and child sacrifice.
Human sacrifice to demonic gods places its participants so far outside the reach of the real God that His people were ordered to destroy every vestige of it, including its practitioners. The reason was not just the practice, but its insidious contagious quality. The arguments may change, but the attraction to rid ourselves of those who are a burden to us, to propitiate the little g gods of our own self interests with human blood, is powerful.
Loving and caring for other people, accepting the claims they impose on us and our lives, can be sold to us as unnecessary and evil by those who appeal to our selfish self-interest and sense of moral superiority. We can, if we want, convince ourselves of anything. We can, and we do, dismiss our own sins with whatever flabby excuse is at hand. At the same time, we can excoriate and abuse our neighbor for violations of much lesser things with the merciless arrogance of the terminally self-righteous.
The sin of passing our children through the fire is a deep departure from everything that is good that is in us. When parents offer their own children to the gods of this world, then the heart of humanity becomes corrupt at its core. Once that is possible, anything is possible.
Our sacrifice of our children to the gods of this world, in abortion clinics and research laboratories, in medical clinics and in law, revivifies the ancient practice of passing children through the fire to appease demonic gods. Abortion, embryonic stem cell research, euthanasia, egg harvesting, designer babies, are all, in one way or another, a form of human sacrifice to the demonic.
If you look at it that way, the practice of incinerating the bodies of babies who were murdered in the name of this world’s little g gods by abortion to heat our buildings seems apropos. It is us, living out the degradation of the human that has been our primary cultural drive for quite some time now. It is a riveting and precisely accurate symbol of the sacrifices we make to the gods of this world.
It is what we have become.
From The Telegraph:
The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found.
Ten NHS trusts have admitted burning foetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat.
Last night the Department of Health issued an instant ban on the practice which health minister Dr Dan Poulter branded ‘totally unacceptable.’
At least 15,500 foetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts over the last two years alone, Channel 4’s Dispatches discovered.
The programme, which will air tonight, found that parents who lose children in early pregnancy were often treated without compassion and were not consulted about what they wanted to happen to the remains.
One of the country’s leading hospitals, Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge, incinerated 797 babies below 13 weeks gestation at their own ‘wast to energy’ plant. The mothers were told the remains had been ‘cremated.’
Another ‘waste to energy’ facility at Ipswich Hospital, operated by a private contractor, incinerated 1,101 foetal remains between 2011 and 2013.
They were brought in from another hospital before being burned, generating energy for the hospital site. Ipswich Hospital itself disposes of remains by cremation.
Pope Francis has set aside this coming Friday as “24 hours for the Lord.”
He is hoping that local parishes will offer special opportunities for prayer and the sacrament of confession. I’m going to try to take advantage of this call for prayer and reconciliation as best I can. Hopefully, many Public Catholic readers will do the same.
We are living in times where our faith is challenged and attacked by the larger culture. If we are going to stand for Christ and not fail, we need to pray and keep ourselves spiritually clean.
From Catholic News Agency:
Vatican City, Mar 23, 2014 / 06:38 am (CNA).- During his Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis announced that March 29-30 would be “24 hours for the Lord,” during which people can find special opportunities for prayer and the sacrament of confession.
“Next Friday and Saturday we will live a special moment of penance, called ‘24 hours for the Lord.’ It will begin with a (liturgical) Celebration in the Basilica of St. Peter’s (on) Friday afternoon, then in the evening and night some churches in the center of Rome will be open for prayer and confessions,” he explained to the crowds in St. Peter’s square on March 23.
“It will be – we could call it – a celebration of forgiveness, which will happen also in many dioceses and parishes of of the world.”
The Holy Father then noted that “the forgiveness that the Lord gives us” should make us “celebrate like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, who when the son returned home, had a party, forgetting all his sins.”