Join tomorrow’s Religious Freedom Tweet Storm.
Now more than ever, we need to make people aware of these historic cases and the threat the mandate poses.
You can help by joining in the Tweet Storm for Religious Freedomtomorrow, Tuesday, March 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon eastern time.
Help set the record straight on the Mandate by tweeting during that time and using the hashtag #ReligiousFreedomForAllto draw national attention to our side and the opposition’s hashtag #NotMyBossBusinessto join their conversation and accurately explain the facts of the case.
In addition to tweeting from 9 a.m. to noon eastern time tomorrow, you can also change your avatarto this great “I Stand with Hobby Lobby” graphic, blog about the casesexplaining how the HHS mandate is forcing family businesses to violate their beliefs or face devastating government penalties, and share the newsby linking to positive news coverage on your Facebook and Twitter so that our story spread far and wide.
- See more at: http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com/2014/tweetstorm/#sthash.BViEw050.dpuf
My Five Wives. Source TLC.
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:
.- 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.”
Dr David Prentice, Senior Research Fellow at the Family Research Council, wrote an article for LifeNews.com, that should give great hope to anyone suffering from Lupus.
Unlike embryonic stem cell research, which has yet to produce effective treatments, adult stem cell research has given us a number of them. Jackie Stollfus, who suffered from Lupus, was the beneficiary of therapy from adult stem cells.
The wonderful thing about this is that Jackie was not offered a choice that involved killing someone else. No human embryos were slaughtered, no women’s bodies were farmed, to produce this treatment.
The video below gives details.
The first godfather movie was something of a watershed in American culture.
It wasn’t the first gangster movie. That genre went back to before James Cagney. But The Godfather was different.
The bad guys were the heroes in The Godfather. That movie and those in the genre which followed it, presented us with an attractive view of an upside-down morality of killing-is-good, selling drugs/women/corruption is just business, and bribery, extortion, arson and theft are “honorable” practices if they are done according to a fictional underworld “code” of conduct.
Organized crime, which is a chilling concept to begin with, was presented as a good, and the culture that housed it was depicted as a papa-loves-bambinos world of endearing tribal loyalties and oddball but real family values. In fact, almost the only family values movies have consistently shown us in these past 50 years have been in stories about the home lives of the professional serial killers of organized crime.
The Godfather turned morality on its head by making the baddest of bad guys into good guys. It presented a world where evil was good and good was non-existent.
Mafia movies have been a staple of American entertainment ever since. The most talented actors, best directors and finest writers have put their incredible abilities to work in the service of creating movies and television that is based on a sympathetic view of the sad, sick world of professional killers, drug pushers and purveyors of prostitution and porn.
The acting and drama of these shows is so excellent that they are almost hypnotic to watch. There is a compelling draw to these presentations of evil that can entrap people, especially when it is packaged by some of the greatest artistic talents money can buy. Meanwhile, the spiral keeps twisting its way downward, as we find our enjoyment in on-screen depictions of sick and sicker murderers.
But evil itself, when it steps off the screen and into our lives, is not so lovely or compelling. Murder isn’t entertainment. Buying, selling and otherwise dehumanizing people for money losses its gloss when you look into the eyes of its victims. There is nothing attractive about watching actual corruption, extortion and killing in progress.
Serial killers are destroyers, not creators. Organized serial killers who kill for money are destruction on a societal scale.
Pope Francis speaks against the Mafia with the prophetic voice of the Vicar of Christ. Yesterday, at a mass for the families of people who have been murdered by the mafia, he stood at the pulpit and spoke directly to those who are in the mafia.
He warned mafia members that they can not take their “blood-stained power” and “blood-stained money” with them when they die. He implored them to turn away from the evil they do and convert. Then, he warned them that “hell awaits you if you continue on this road.”
If Pope Francis told me that I had to change my ways or go to hell, I would change my ways.
It remains to be seen if any of the people who are involved with the mafia allow themselves to hear what the pope has told them and change their ways. The pope set before them life and death. I wonder if any of them will have the courage to chose life.
At least one government official has voiced concern for the pope’s safety. He fears mafia violence against Pope Francis. But if our Holy Father worries about this, it doesn’t show. I think that’s because he’s already chosen life. He knows that no matter what happens to him, his destination is heaven.
Pope Francis is doing what a shepherd of souls does. He is calling the lost sheep home.
Shame on everybody.
I would love to single out one of the mud-slingers and propagandizers in this little set-to and say “Fie on you!” But I can’t. So, I guess I’ll just say “Fie on everybody!” and be done with it.
United States Congressman Gary Peters is running for the United States Senate in Michigan. He evidently drug his kids into a debate over an abortion law, saying that as the father of daughters
… I struggle with how to tell them that the state we love and where our family has been for generations is now unfairly discriminating against them and makes health care less affordable.
I understand why this comment would raise the ire of anyone reading it. What kind of man drags his own kids into something this ugly? And what a schlocky way to do it.
Thankfully, the other fine folks in Michigan didn’t attack the daughters directly. But their reply comes close to matching the Congressman’s for sheer jerkiness. According to the pro life people of Michigan, Congressman Peters “wants to make sure abortion is accessible and cheap for his daughters.”
Maybe the harsh winter has frozen their brains up in Michigan. Can anyone in that state talk about important issues without getting down in the pits? I can think of a lot of ways to defend Michigan’s pro life laws, all of them based on principle and a call to higher orders of thinking. I could also, if I wanted, defend a position in opposition to such laws without ever once painting a target on my kids.
ThinkProgressive, which reported this story, added the cherry on top with its painfully biased reporting. Here’s how the reporter who wrote the story described the law in question:
The statement comes in response to a controversial new abortion restriction in Michigan that took effect earlier this month. Women who buy health insurance in Obamacare’s private market are now barred from purchasing a plan that includes abortion coverage, even if they want to end a pregnancy that resulted from rape or incest. They’ll be required to purchase a separate rider if they want an abortion procedure to be covered, which has led reproductive rights supporters to decry the measure as a rape insurance law.
I haven’t read the Michigan law, but there are a number of similar laws around the country. I am assuming that all this one does is not allow health insurance plans to pay for abortions. If someone wants to have abortion coverage in their insurance, then all they have to do is buy a rider providing it. I doubt very much that the questions of rape and incest enter into it.
I’m guessing that the Michigan pro abortion people couldn’t come up with an intelligent way to oppose this law, so they decided to claim that it is somehow aimed at victims of rape and incest. In my humble opinion, this line argument exploits rape and incest victims.
Evidently, a Michigan legislator joined the fray by talking about her own sexual assault in a speech. I’ve watched bits of the debate on this bill, and what I saw was a deliberate mis-characterization of the law in order to exploit women and girls who have suffered these horrible crimes against their humanity. I honestly regard it as a kind of social rape to do this to women.
I could really go off into a rant here, as the subject of violence against women always gets me going. I feel sorry for the legislator who talked about her own sexual assault in this manner. But, as I said, the bill does not address that issue. Conflating it with that issue is propaganda and exploitation of women who have suffered the dehumanizing effects of sexual assault.
I am also sick to the core of hearing people claim that abortion is the answer to rape. Abortion hides rape and lets the rapist off the hook. Abortion is, in a very real way, an accommodation to rape. It is disgusting to me that our idea of “helping” rape victims is to give them the option of adding the murder of their own child to what has already happened to them.
As I said in another post when I quoted a line from Rob Roy, it’s not the child that needs killing. I said this, even though I am opposed to the death penalty, because I want to make it clear who is at fault here: It is the rapist. We need to stop sexualizing and degrading women in our culture, and we also need to put these guys away and never let them out again.
I could say more, but I’m going to stop.
As for the fine folks in Michigan who, on both sides, have taken this debate about the value of human life and the humanity of women down in the basement: Shame on all of you.
What is Bill Maher’s problem?
Kevin Sorbo, the star of God is Not Dead, responded in the video below to yet another of Bill Maher’s ugly anti-God rants.
In this particular rant, Mr Maher raises the “God is evil” argument, basing it on the movie Noah. I’m going to write a post discussing the “God is evil” argument. But for now, let’s just look at Mr Sorbo and Mr Maher.
Mr Sorbo’s view of Mr Maher’s behavior is worth thinking about. What is behind all this ranting and raving? Is Mr Maher doing it because it attracts an audience and makes money? Or, does he believe it? Even if he believes it, why all the crazy carrying on?
I have never watched Mr Maher’s show. I have seen a quite a few scenes from it on You Tube. Based on that, I would say that he’s also nasty in his treatment of women. In fact, Bill Maher seems to be thoroughly ugly in the way he expresses himself on a number of topics.
But it seems that God is his special hate. In addition to rants like the one on this video, he also made an entire movie attacking God and people of faith. Again, I never saw — and don’t plan to see — the movie. But I have seen a few scenes from it. The pleasure he takes in attacking people of faith is rather striking.
So, what is Bill Maher’s problem? It would seem that, like the professor in the movie, it isn’t so much that he doesn’t believe in God, as that he hates God. He really goes off in this video. It’s as if he’s talking to God directly instead of his audience. Why all this rage about someone he doesn’t believe exists?
I’m sure Mr Maher makes a lot of money attacking God. But I think he probably means most of it. I think he’s as God-obsessed as he appears. I am guessing, of course, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t also as vicious and unpleasant in person as he appears in these clips.
One connected point Mr Sorbo made is something all of us should consider: He doesn’t subscribe to HBO.
We subscribe to a rather expensive cable television package at our house. I honestly don’t know the particulars of this cable package, since my husband set it up and pays the bill for it. If there’s a way for us to dump HBO, we certainly need to do it. If not, we might ought to consider getting rid of the premium channels altogether.
Watching this clip made me wonder if we’re not unintentionally tithing a good bit of our money to support direct attacks on our faith.
Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, England, evidently felt that the people in the pews (not to mention a few priests) needed to remember that malicious gossip, calumny and slander are mortal sins.
They are mortal sins, even when you commit them anonymously on the internet.
Do we really need a bishop to tell us that?
Stop for a moment and think about the dark pleasure that comes into your heart when you verbally destroy another person out of spite or malice. Consider the hard, sadistic satisfaction you take in thinking about the pain you are inflicting.
Do you really think that comes from heaven above?
No matter how self-righteously you proclaim that you are speaking Truth, you know, if you will just be honest with yourself, that what you are doing is practicing cruelty for the evil pleasure of practicing cruelty.
Just like a little kid, pulling the legs off a bug.
That’s you and your grandiose claims of a higher morality that allows you to inflict damage on other people for no other reason but that you get a dark satisfaction out of doing it.
These are, as the bishop tells us, grave sins. They are go-to-hell-for-eternity sins.
They come from the pit.
Don’t commit them.
From Catholic News Service:
MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — An English bishop asked Catholics to use Lent as a time to repent of sins committed on social media.
Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth described the uncharitable use of blogs, Facebook and Twitter as a “grave matter.”
Using social media for abuse or to attack the reputations of other people was a direct sin against the Eighth Commandment, forbidding people from “bearing false witness” against their neighbors, he said in a pastoral letter released March 19.
Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, England, asked Catholics to use Lent as a time to repent of sins committed on social media. (CNS/Reuters)
“We must exercise discretion, respect others and their privacy and not engage in slander, gossip and rash judgment,” the bishop wrote in the document that was to be distributed in parishes the weekend of March 22-23.
“We must avoid calumny, that is, slurring and damaging people, and not spread abroad their sins and failings,” he said.
The bishop encouraged the faithful to ask themselves “How do I use Facebook or Twitter? Am I charitable when blogging? Do I revel in other people’s failings?
“All this is grave matter,” he said.
Cardinal O’Malley, who is a member of the Papal G8 that Pope Francis appointed to consider reforms in the Church, says that the Catholic Church is not going to change its 2,000-year-old teachings on marriage.
The Church will not change her teaching on the dissolubility of marriage, he said in an interview with Joan Frawley Desmond of the National Catholic Register.
He goes on to say that there may be a simplification of the annulment process, which he says “would be a wonderful first step for addressing a crucial pastoral problem for the Church.”
My eleven-year-old son put it better than anyone I have ever heard.
Homeschoolers socialize with other homeschoolers. We took our kids to movies together, enrolled them in activities that ranged from classes at the local science museum to participation in swim teams, homeschool soccer leagues and even a homeschool chess club.
We also had picnics, went to movies and other recreational activities.
It was after a homeschool picnic that my son gave me the best description of God’s viewpoint of us that I’ve ever heard.
We were full of food and feeling mellow and we got into a discussion of the first chapter of Genesis. We were all, including the kids, just kicking it around, expressing our own views. One of the homeschooling mothers took an absolutely literal, and, to me at least, narrow and inaccurate, view of the first chapters of Genesis. She believed that God had created the earth (and presumably the whole universe) in six twenty-four hour solar days.
I kept raising the buts inherent in her argument … but 24 hour days are based on how long it takes the earth to turn on its axis, and there was no earth and no sun “in the beginning,”
… but God created time, so in the beginning there was no time …
… but …
She would have none of it. She couldn’t wrap her mind around the idea that there was once nothing, absolutely nothing, and God created all creation out of this nothingness.
To her, and a lot of other people on both sides of the existence-of-god arguments, the idea of a beginning in which light, time, atoms, the rules of physics — everything, everywhere — simply did not exist was too incomprehensible to bother considering.
My eleven-year-old piped up, “but God created time,” he said. “God is not part of time. When God looks at creation, He doesn’t see a line, going off into the future. He sees a dot.”
My son’s comment didn’t make a ding in our friend’s thinking. It floated past her without engaging one brain cell.
But I was stunned by the simple understanding of an eleven-year-old.
He had said it all.
When scientists taught that the universe always was, they were dodging the obvious. The metaphysical implications in an existence which began from nothing are enormous.
If everything — everything — had a beginning, and that beginning was a sudden something when nothing exploded into all that is, then the question of “What, or Who, did this?” comes shortly after.
I’ve read comments about the discovery of the Big Bang Echo to the effect that the Big Bang Echo debunks the Biblical story of creation once and for all. I assume that by the Biblical story of creation they were referring, not to the Scriptures themselves, but to interpretations of those Scriptures like that of my fellow homeschooler.
The idea that God created the universe in seven 24-hour solar days has so many holes in it, from simple logic, that it won’t stand. If you read the thing literally, really literally, you’ll see that it doesn’t say any such thing. It says “day” and day, used this way, is poetic. It can mean almost any space of time.
The first chapter of Genesis is a poem. Anyone can see that. It’s what it is.
But it also describes, in poetic rather than scientific terms, a reality. God did create the heavens and the earth. He “spoke” existence into existence.
What it does do is let us see it.
As my eleven-year-old son once said, God created time. He is outside time the same way that Henry Ford was outside and not part of the Model T, that I am outside and not part of this blog post. Mr Ford and I both leave our signatures all over our creations. There is an image of us in what we do. But we are not governed by the realities of what we have created. It is governed by us.
God created time just as He created everything else. He is outside of it. I think that when God looks at creation, he sees all of it, all at once, all the time.
When it comes to time, we, who are in it and of it, are like a grasshopper, standing in the middle of an interstate highway. From our vantage point, the highway of time goes on in both directions forever. It has no beginning and no end. But to God, Who is outside of time, the beginning, and the end, are both constantly in view.
That is what it means to be transcendent.
We, who are made in the image and likeness of God, possess the capacity to slowly and painstakingly unravel this mystery of how God did it. From inside our temporal prison, we can, by use of all our wits and by building on one another’s thinking, figure it out.
I believe that’s because we are made for more than this life. Where else did this drive to touch the face of God with our minds come from? What practical purpose does it serve for us to seek and find the echo of the Big Bang from which we came? We are made for more than what we appear to be. Our craving for transcendence is a hunger that we feed but cannot satisfy with the devices of our minds.
What we are hungering for is not the what of existence, but the Who that is behind it.
This Being Who spoke existence into existence, this Word that was there from the beginning, loves us. He left us clues to how He did it scattered throughout creation like Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumbs.
The Big Bang echo is one such crumb. It allows us, for the first time, to see creation as it was created. That is its significance. And its gift.
Science is not the enemy of faith. Ham-handed fools who try to use science to “prove” their personal prejudices can make it seem to be the enemy of faith. Occasional misapprehensions of the partial discoveries we make as we follow the bread crumbs can yield to this hubris and, again, make science seem like the enemy of faith.
But in truth, science is just us, figuring out the creation we’ve been handed.
Science misapplied can be our undoing, both spiritually, and, as we meddle deeper into the building blocks of our existence, physically. We can blow ourselves up or mutate our genes and end ourselves with science. The threat is right in front of us every day we live.
That’s because science is our creation, and as our creation, it is flawed in the ways that we are flawed. It a tool that our tool-making kind has devised to help us understand How He did it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Public Catholic discusses any number of controversial topics.
Sometimes, the conversation gets blunt. There are days when I’m the bluntest of all.
But the purpose of Public Catholic is to equip people so that they can go out into the world and be the light that Jesus called all of us to be.
People who disrespect the Holy Father, are, in my opinion, speaking for the darkness.
I’ve deleted almost all such comments that have shown up here, with the exception of a few that I allowed as an illustration of what not to say.
I understand that Pope Francis has said things that unsettle people, and I have no problem with commenters who express their feelings of being unsettled. I have no problem with honest questions and honest seeking. In fact, I not only encourage them, I often share them. We are all seekers in our walk with Christ.
These are things we need to work through together, in faith.
But Pope Francis is the pope. He is Peter. I will not tolerate spiteful and malicious attacks on his character on this blog.
Tu est petra.
Et portae inferni non praevalebunt.