The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far: Elvis Presley and His Daughter

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The first video is Lisa Marie Presley, singing In the Ghetto with a recording of her father. The second video is a medley of old versions of You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog, Love Me Tender and When My Baby Left Me, original Elvis style.

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Elvis singing  a medley of You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog, Love Me Tender, and Since My Baby Left Me.

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Looking for a Faithful Catholic University? There’s a Guide for That!

Looking for a faithful Catholic university? The Cardinal Newman Society has a guide for that.

I am pleased to say that Oklahoma’s St Gregory University is on the list.

The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College lists a variety of schools, with different educational emphasis and approaches. From my viewpoint, the major problem with all these schools is that they cost more than most Catholic young people can afford. This certainly is not unique to Catholic higher education.

One criterium that I personally hold is whether or not the school has joined the lawsuits against the HHS Mandate. At least one of these universities is a late-comer to the party on that. So far as I’m concerned, that would be an important factor in deciding where to put my tuition dollars. 

For now, remember that it’s important to read the guide carefully and use it as what it calls itself — a guide — to find a school that fits your goals and needs.

To order a copy of the guide, go here.

From the Cardinal Newman Society:

The Cardinal Newman Society recommends for your consideration all of the colleges and universities in this Guide, because of their commitment to providing a faithful Catholic education. The Newman Guide is a great first step in your college search, but no guide can identify the college that is the best fit for a particular student.

All of the fine institutions recommended in this Guide are unique, each with have their own special charism, approach to education, and campus culture. For instance, some of the colleges immerse students in every aspect of faithful Catholic life “from the classroom to the dorm room,” as we like to say. The students at these colleges tend to be mostly or entirely Catholic and motivated by their faith.

On the other hand, some of the other colleges, while fully and faithfully Catholic, serve a more diverse group of students. At these institutions the Catholic culture will tend to be less intense or overt. This is typically more apparent in student activities and dorm life than in the classroom.

Also, many of the Newman Guide colleges are liberal arts institutions, while several others offer a wide variety of majors. Some have extensive athletics and club activities; others favor a quiet atmosphere for contemplation and study. Some have a strong core curriculum that may run through all four years of an undergraduate program, while others offer students a choice of electives and encourage specialization. Some allow opposite sex visitation in dorms, while others do not. In general, one type of institution may not be better than the other. But one type may be better for your unique needs.

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Slander is Murder with Words, Even When the Victim is Pro Abortion

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Don’t try to fight Satan by using Satan’s weapons.

Slander and personal malice are Satan’s weapons.

Ergo, do not use personal attacks against other people, even when they are pro abortion, pro gay marriage, or some other pro or anti that gets your riled.

Stand up for what you believe, and be willing to pay the price for doing that, even if it means that you will be the target of slander, malicious lies, and character assassination yourself. That’s to be expected if you follow Christ. These things are, after all, Satan’s weapons.

I’m not saying this in a general way. I am referring to a specific situation that is arising and needs to be put down before it goes any further. I’ve read several personal attacks on Senator Wendy Davis, the filibustering Texas Senator, now gubernatorial candidate, who rose to national fame last spring.

The way this sort of thing usually happens is that the opposition candidate or the opposition political party does “research” and comes up with these things. They don’t want to slime themselves by saying it, so they give it to their “operatives” in the field to say it for them. That way, their operative is the one who looks like a dirt bag, while the candidate or political party gets the benefit and keeps their skirts clean. This is how President Obama ran his viciously misogynist campaigns against both Senator Hillary Clinton and Governor Sarah Palin.

These attacks on Senator Davis that are circling in the pro life blogosphere have the appearance of being plants by political actors who are using the pro life movement to do their dirty work. I would, as we say in Oklahoma, bet the ranch that the stories have their source in either the opposition political party or the opposition candidate’s camp.

This is a disgusting mis-use of the pro life movement. Not only that, but the stories being circulated about Senator Davis are not worth talking about. The ones I’ve read focus on picayune differences in a couple of dates from when the Senator was young, and — get this — complaints by her ex-husband that she never loved him and was only using him for money.

My feeling about the things I’ve read about Senator Davis is that they do not speak to her ability to do the job, and they do not reveal anything that puts the lie to her basic platform for running for office. Surely there are things in her official record as an office holder that would make a legitimate discussion about her worthiness for the office of governor of Texas.

I rather doubt that Senator Davis has performed her office in a way that jibes with the beliefs of all Texans. If her position on abortion is consistent with her other votes, she may have a number of big-city, rich-district positions that most Texans disagree with. These would be legitimate political issues that are worthy of discussion in a political campaign.

Back when I was pro choice, the pro life people attacked me mercilessly — and inaccurately — about my character, sex life, back ground, etc. They honed in on me personally and just plain made up lies about me and my personal life. Some of these lies still circulate to this day.

What they did not do was defeat me at the polls. In fact, what they succeeded in doing was convincing me, my campaign supporters and the vast majority of my constituents that they were an unsavory and dishonest bunch of people. They did such a good job of this that later on, after my conversion, when the Holy Spirit asked me to change my position on abortion, I was terrified. I knew my pro abortion friends would turn on me, and I had no idea where to go otherwise. I didn’t know any nice pro life people to turn to.

How many people have we kept trapped in their pro choice positions by this kind of behavior?

It saddens me when I see pro life people jump off the high road and into the sewer of political slime. We speak for the cause of the sanctity of human life. Most of us follow a risen Lord, Who is the Lord of all life. We defame our cause and the Lord Jesus Christ whose name we bear when we behave this way.

Senator Davis will have serious economic backing in her campaign. She will also have the well-deserved enthusiasm of every pro choice person in this country. She’s brave. She’s beautiful. She’s intelligent.

She is, in short, a worthy opponent. She could win this election.

If pro life people continue down this road of slandering her personally instead of offering voters a positive alternative, I guarantee that she will win. We need to focus on the issues that the voters of Texas care about and we need to do it in a way that is worthy of the noble cause and the innocent lives we are defending.

I am not saying that Senator Davis is going to win. I am saying that we will not defeat her in this election by sliming her.

Stop with the malice. It maims your higher thinking faculties and defames our cause. It is also a sin.

Slander is murder with words, even when the victim is pro abortion.

Do not use Satan’s weapons to fight Satan.

 

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Glenn Beck: I Made a Lot of Mistakes. I Played a Role in Helping Tear the Country Apart.

I respect Glenn Beck’s honesty in this interview.

His regrets are well-placed. A number of other people should have the same regrets. But he is the only person I’ve heard who has the courage to admit his mistakes like this.

Hopefully we can learn from him. Stand by your principles. But do not let hatred and malice drive you. It is much easier to harm people than it is to heal them later.

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Twins are Born, but Haven’t Realized it Yet

This is a beautiful video. Enjoy.

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Pope Francis: Follow God Even When You Disagree


“Loving Christ without the Church is an absurd dichotomy.”

These are strong words from Pope Francis. He goes on to say that we should be like King David who followed God, even when he disagreed.

So, we should.

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Papal Organist: Witness to History

A real, live person provides the organ music at Papal ceremonies, and he has stories to tell.

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Nick Vujicic: Living Fully for Jesus Christ, Part 4

This is Part 4.

You can watch Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

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Pope Denounces Mafia for Murder of Three-Year-Old Child

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What kind of people kill a 3-year-old child to as part of an execution of his grandfather?

Evidently, the mafia in Italy.

This isn’t the movie mafia of the Corleones and the Sopranos who have a “code” and love bambinos. These are cold-blooded killers who kill a baby in a car seat.

Pope Francis denounced this act. It’s interesting that there are people in high places who feel the Holy Father is already “being watched” by the mafia because of  his work to reform corruption. I considered whether or not to talk about that. But my experience has been that the light of day is the best disinfectant, and the best preventative.

From the Irish Times:

Pope Francis has bitterly denounced the Calabrian Mafia, the ‘Ndrangheta, following the killing of a three-year-old boy caught up in a Mafia “execution” in Cassano allo Jonio in Calabria last week.

Speaking at his Sunday Angelus, the Pope called on the faithful to pray for Coco Campolongo, burned to death as he sat in a baby seat in his grandfather’s car.

“This ferocity against such a small child seems unprecedented in the annals of organised crime,” said the Pontiff. “Let us pray with Coco, who is surely now in heaven with Jesus, for the people who committed this crime so that they might repent and be converted to the Lord”

Little Coco had the misfortune to be sitting in his baby seat in the back of a Fiat Punto car when mafia killers shot his grandfather, 52-year Giuseppe Iannicelli along with his 27-year-old Moroccan partner, Ibtisssan Tous. Police believe that the car was then immediately burnt in the remote rural zone where it was later discovered by a hunter out for a Sunday shoot.

When investigators examined the car, they found three bodies with Coco’s grandfather shut in the boot, whilst the Moroccan woman was still in the front passenger seat and the child was still in his baby-seat. Police point to a 50 cent coin left on the roof of the burnt-out car as an ‘Ndrangheta “signature”.

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Pope Francis Tasks Notre Dame to be “Uncompromising” In Its Catholic Identity

The Holy Father’s remarks to Notre Dame strike to the core mission of all Catholic Universities. I hope that they are listening.

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Atheists Launch Super Bowl Ad Mocking Hail Mary

Doug Flutie the Hail Mary Pass

American Atheists must rolling in cash. They’re running an ad at the upcoming Super Bowl.

Don’t throw your rosaries in the trash yet. There’s nothing new. It’s just the usual jibe at Christians — in this case Catholics. The ad is a pun on the hail Mary pass. It shows a man wearing what looks like a clerical collar, holding a football. The words A Hail Mary only works in football are displayed next to him.

Yuck. Yuck.

The ad will also feature a link to American Atheist’s upcoming convention, where, presumably, there will be jibes, jokes and clever puns attacking Christians galore.

From The Huffington Post:

No country combines sport, politics and religion quite like the US. Just watch this weekend’s Superbowl for a barrage of chest-beating nationalism and religious iconography pumped out before, during and after the game.

Yet atheists, one of the quickest growing demographics in the US, according to recent polls, are striking back this year with a billboard at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium mocking those who turn to prayer during the game.

Superbowl

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Nick Vujicic: Fully Living for Jesus Christ, Part 3

This is part 3. If you haven’t seen parts 1 and 2, you can watch them here and here.

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Pro Life Groups Boycott Girl Scout Cookies: I’m Going to Pass

There are limits, and this reaches one of mine.

Pro life groups are evidently boycotting Girl Scout cookies. The reason, so far as I can tell, is that the Girl Scouts have thrown in with Planned Parenthood.

I find that disgusting. I’ve already written quite a bit about what I think of sexualizing little girls and pushing dangerous chemical birth control on them. It’s hard to fathom that the Girl Scouts are doing something like this.

However, if a little girl comes up to me in the parking lot of a convenience store, or knocks on my door, I am not going to look her in the eye and tell her that I am boycotting Girl Scout Cookies.

Ain’t gonna happen.

I’ll fork over the cash and take the cookies (which are usually stale) and toss them in the trash, just like I always do.

I’m sorry, fellow pro lifers. My spirit is with you. But my flesh doesn’t have what it takes for this one.

Can you think of another way to do this; preferably something that doesn’t involve hurting the feelings of a child who doesn’t know come here from sic ‘em about interlocking boards and organizational alliances?

I don’t think we should target kids to get at adults. Let’s go at the adults directly.

Figure out a way to do that, and I’m with you.

From TownHall.com:

Pro-life organizations are standing with a small pro-life group in Waco, Texas to boycott Girl Scout cookies over the organization’s recent “praise for Wendy Davis and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius…and because of a deep and lasting entanglement with abortion providers and abortion rights organizations,” according to the CookieCott 2014’s website.

Many groups, including the American Life League, LifeNews, the Radiance Foundation, Life Coalition International, the National Black Pro-Life Union, are standing with John Pisciotta, head of Pro-Life Waco, which has launched similar ‘CookieCotts’ in the past.

Breitbart explains:

Pisciotta’s group launched a Girl Scout cookie boycott in Waco in 2004as well after the Bluebonnet Girl Scout Council began co-sponsoring theNobody’s Fool summer sex education program offered by Planned Parenthood for Waco-area teens and pre-teens.

With this sponsorship by Planned Parenthood, Pro-Life Waco states the Bluebonnet Council placed the national Girl Scout logo on the program flyer and advertisements. In addition, Girl Scout employees served as volunteers for the Nobody’s Fool program.

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Book Review: The Scientific Pretensions of the New Atheism and Absolutist Propaganda

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I haven’t read every single one of the various atheist books by Dawkins, Harris, Dennett, Hitchens, et al. But I’ve read most of them.

I’ve also read the historic atheists such as Russell, et al.

What amazes me is that anyone takes them seriously. Even when I was deep in my anti-God period, I could see that Russell’s Why I am Not a Christian (which says everything worth saying that is found in any of the other books, by the way) used self-refuting arguments. If you followed his line of reasoning to its end, you would have eliminated the existence of 2 billion Christians who are on the globe today.

The illogic of his logic actually led me to believe that if atheism had good arguments, they weren’t being advanced. This is telling because I was at a point in my life where I wanted to be convinced by atheism.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the crude and nasty atheists of today’s public forums are the way they are for two simple reasons. First, their philosophy, such as it is, is so hopeless and nihilistic that it is crazy-making. Second, anyone who reads one of these “four horsemen” and is convinced by them (much less goes around quoting them and pretending their ideas are your own) is either an adolescent, or they are an adult who is stuck is permanent adolescence.

The Four Horsemen and their progenitors are not thinkers for grown-ups.

I’ve just finished reading a book that addresses this adolescent thinking from the viewpoint of a fellow scientist. David Berlinski is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. He has written such books as A Tour of the Calculus and The Advent of the Algorithm. What that means, aside from the fact that he’s got the chops to address the scientific hubris of the new atheism from the inside, is that, unlike most of the professional new atheist apologists, he doesn’t just go around writing hate screeds for a living. He actually writes and thinks about something else.

I wish his book on the scientific pretensions of the new atheism had a less lurid title. The book is of a higher quality than its title. However, I know that titles sell, and publishers make these decisions.

The book is called The Devil’s Delusion, Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions.

If you haven’t read it, you should. Berlinski writes with dry wit and clarity of the scientific gibberish that makes up the framework of new atheist arguments. The book is not, as the atheist books are, a vicious screed against those who disagree with him. It is rather, a gentle poke in the ribs.

Berlinski (who is not a believer) disassembles the house of cards of atheist scientific arguments against God, based entirely on the sheer outrageousness of their claims. There are no calls to insult people or attack them in the book. It doesn’t make totalitarian arguments that scientists should have their children taken away from them for the “child abuse” of teaching their kids what they themselves believe. There’s no trippy conflab about flying spaghetti monsters, and not one word of building a Christian revenge movement to drive atheists from the public square.

The Devil’s Delusion simply points out a few of the many over-the-top claims that atheists make in the name of science and calls them what they are: The attack polemics of a blind and absolutist faith. All of which is to say that the scientific claims by atheists are propaganda. They are not science at all.

I recommend The Devil’s Delusion. I hope that you will read it. If you’re been reading the adolescent rants of the new atheists, I especially hope you read it. It’s a great palate cleanser.

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Nick Vujicic: Fully Living for Jesus Christ, Part 2

This is Part 2.  If you haven’t seen it, you can watch Part 1 here.

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NSA Whistleblower Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

I don’t know that I would go this far, even though I do think that Edward Snowden did the American people a favor by letting us know the extent to which our government was spying on us.

It is, however, an indicator of how at least some people in other countries feel about his actions that Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, has been nominated for the Nobel Prize. If it does nothing else, the nomination — which probably has scant chance of ever being more than a nomination — demonstrates just what a rattrap our “representation” in Washington has become.

From USA Today:

STAVANGER, Norway (AP) — Two Norwegian politicians have jointly nominated former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, saying his disclosures of secret U.S. documents have contributed to making the world more peaceful.

Anyone can be nominated for the prestigious award, so the submission Wednesday by Socialist lawmakers Baard Vegard Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen just means Snowden will be one of scores of names that the Nobel committee will consider.

“We do not necessarily condone or support all of his disclosures,” the two lawmakers said in their nomination letter. “We are, however, convinced that the public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden’s whistleblowing has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order.”

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State of the Union 2014: Stop the Hate-Off

My mother was sick last night, so I didn’t give a lot of thought and attention to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

I watched part of it by picking up a live stream on my laptop. But other things took my attention after that and I didn’t see the rest.

The major take-away I got from what I saw is that our president is a fine orator. President Obama’s speech — at least what I saw — was witty, charming and upbeat. He delivered it flawlessly.

As for the substance of it, I’ve heard the good news about America’s growing oil independence before. I think this is wonderful. It’s key to our economic stability and foreign policy freedom of action.

I’m not so impressed with the figures on the economy, for the simple reason that I think that we need to do a lot more to get this country back on track economically. I’ve said in other posts that I believe we must work to re-industrialize America.

A country that does not make its own goods is in a weak position in the world. The president’s ideas about re-building the infrastructure might help do that; if we can pry the contracts out of the hands of the usual pork-barrel recipients and actually work to advance a true free market ethic that gives everybody a chance at the gold.

I could go through the issues he raised, in fact I probably will go through them at other times, in more detail. But basically, it was the same stuff we’ve been talking about for months. I agree with President Obama about some things, and disagree with him emphatically about others.

My primary concern after watching what I saw of the speech is two-fold.

One, I’m tired of seeing the Speaker of the House sit behind the President with a look of obvious hatred on his face. It’s fine to disagree with people on issues, but this business of making everything into a the-other-side-is-the-devil hate-off is harming our country, not to mention doing mental and emotional damage to the politicians indulging in it.

Second, I wonder if Congress going to just keep on yammering at itself and allow the President to make Congress irrelevant in governing this country?

It seems to me that these two concerns are intimately related. Congress is like a bunch of drunks in a bar fight who won’t let themselves be interrupted in their slug-fest, even though the building is on fire.

The Speaker of the House needs to grow up and get over himself. So does everyone else in Congress. Nothing they do is about them and their mulish and picayune little grudges. Their job is about this country.

Congress needs to assert itself as a legislative body and take its place in the system of checks and balances that make this country free. That requires a lot more intelligence and forethought, not to mention higher aspirations, than I saw on the Speaker’s face last night.

This is a video of the President’s entire State of the Union Address 2014.

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Our Pop Pope: What Does It Mean?

What does it mean when the Holy Father is Man of the Year for both Time Magazine and the nation’s number one gay publication?

What, pray tell, is the significance of a pope on the cover of Rolling Stone?

Two Things:

1. The Catholic Church is not irrelevant.

2. The Pope is showing us how to evangelize through love.

This adulation from the press won’t go on forever, of course. Sooner or later the media will figure out just how tough and immovable Jorge Bergoglio is when it comes to the Church and her teachings.

I think we should just roll with it and enjoy our Pop Pope’s popularity while it lasts.

And, in what is probably the most sincere of the bunch, the Holy Father has achieved super hero status in graffiti land.

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