Dec 1, 2009

Islamic god

Most people believe that Christians and Muslims all believe in the same God, e.g., Allah is the God of Abraham which means he is also the God of Christians. However, the Qur'an and the Bible show that the Allah of Muslims differs radically from the God of Christians.

The Christian God and Allah:
  1. Do not partake in the same discourse
  2. Do not put forth the same values
  3. Do not have the same concepts of government and non-religious organizations
  4. Do not propose for humanity the same destiny
In other words, the "same" God is quite different in what He is and how He acts--especially in what He requires of us. One good illustration is that the Christian God, through His son Jesus Christ, is merciful and refuses to punish the adulterous woman by stoning, while the absolute Allah of Muhammad's vision and writings ordains the putting to death of an unfaithful woman.

Allah's religion demands that the Qur'an be the constitution of all governments (e.g., promoting jihad, forbidding the presence of Christian churches, enforcing Islamic law--Sharia). Contrast this with Jesus teaching: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's." Jesus taught that conversion was to be accomplished through persuasive teaching of the Good News of God's mercy and a voluntary Baptism.

Islamic apologists silence all intellectual endeavors that offend them. Many Muslim death threats have been made to writers and politicians--some carried out because the victims couldn't hide fast enough! For a long list of examples throughout the world, google "Muslim death threat." Also google "Islamic slavery" and "Muslim kidnapping" of brides and young children from non-Islamic populations.

A Muslim who studies and writes about the literary and historical sources of the "divinely transcribed" Qur'an will necessarily find himself in physical danger. Salmon Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, is the best example. While he has avoided death from the fatwas, here's what Wikipedia says has happened to his translators and publishers:
In 1991, Rushdie's Japanese translator, Hitoshi Igarashi, was stabbed and killed in Tokyo, and his Italian translator was beaten and stabbed in Milan. In 1993, Rushdie's Norwegian publisher William Nygaard was shot and severely injured in an attack outside his house in Oslo. Thirty-seven guests died when their hotel in Sivas, Turkey was burnt down by locals protesting against Aziz Nesin, Rushdie's Turkish translator.
The most important distinction between the two G(g)ods concerns the Trinity and the Incarnation of God as man. The Muslim god (Allah) denies the existence of a Word made flesh and the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ was recorded by four writers of that day as performing many miracles, including bringing people back from the dead. Jesus says "I Am Who Am"--thus using the Old Testament name and calling Himself God. Muhammed denies Jesus's words and says that Jesus is only a prophet.

Muhammed's and Islamic history is one of conquering by armies against ill-prepared populations. Allah is very different from the Christian God because this Islamic god teaches:
  • The expansion of Islam by aggression (most of the world's military hot spots have something to do with Islam--especially in Africa)
  • Religious rule with a scimitar-wielding fist, including cutting off of hands for stealing (Islamic governments give limited or no rights to non-believers)
  • The reward of faithful adherents with a heaven full of virgins (In contrast, Jesus said “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage....they are like angels.")

Oct 20, 2009

Benedict XVI -- What a Pope!

This elderly Pope Benedict XVI has decided to make his last days on earth some of the most productive times of any Fathers of the Church. What a great blessing he is to the Church of our times. He has turned the outcoming tide of liberal pollution back into stale and stagnant waters. For a good illustration, read John L. Allen, Jr.'s article of October 9, 2009, Calling this week in Rome 'eventful' is an understatement.

What happened today is even more toasty warm with the decisive conclusion of Pope Benedict XVI to assist faith full Christians in the Anglican communion. The way has been paved for Anglicans to rejoin the Catholic Church and become full communicants, with an Apostolic Constitution that creates a "Personal Ordinariate" for them. Now, THAT'S a major event of a whole papal lifetime! Yet this event is only one of several major events of Benedict's short pontificate.

The current decision affecting Anglican entry into the structure of the Church reminds me of my brother-in law learning about that the birth parents and their families were coming to their son's wedding. He said joyfully, "The family's just become a little bigger!" What a beautiful thought of an enlarged family, and it also applies to Anglicans who are spiritually distraught and ill with the ordination of women and homosexuals in their old communities.

Will they accept all the teachings of the Church (e.g., divorce, contraception)? Probably not--that's the way it is with incomplete Christians who have heard only part of the truth. Yet I believe their hearts are good and they want to do God's will, and solid teaching is all that many will need to fully embrace the faith. They have been through a spiritual hell and the Pope wants to extricate them from that situation.

The Pope has not established a Personal Ordinariate for traditional Catholics who prefer the old Latin rite. However, local Bishops are beginning to permit more parishes to be formed to fully serve the Latin Mass folk. St. Anne's Parish in San Diego (with a seating capacity of over 300) is an excellent example of the fervor and commitment of Latin Mass communities.

St. Anne's was reestablished as a personal parish for the Traditional Latin Mass apostolate under the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter on October 7, 2008. One year later, they have four Sunday Masses and twice daily Mass during the week. It has helped that major repairs and re-construction were undertaken by the FSSP priests to restore St. Anne’s Church as a suitable House of God.

What about Personal Ordinariates for the SSPX Latin Mass communities? Fr. Z says "This [the Anglican agreement] could be important down the line also for SSPXers."

Aug 24, 2009

Castor Beans in the Chicken Yard

A home not far from ours has some large leafed vegetation that is well over six feet tall. The huge plants are familiar because they used to provide good shade around Mother's old chicken yard. I stopped to talk with the very nice lady of the house who said the plants came from the 'old country,' but she didn't know the plant name.

The lady's plants are the castor bean. Even though rather dumb, chickens will eat or scratch up other plants but won't touch the castor bean plant. Planting castor beans on the west and south edges of the chicken yard in the springtime meant our chickens had a cool spot in which to rest during the hot summertime months.

Mother always reminded us kids not to play with or eat the castor beans [that contain the poison ricin], just like she warned us not to eat rhubarb leaves that contain poison [oxalates]. We farm children usually listened carefully to warnings about many things, such as not to get too close to the water well, or how horses and cows can kick (horses mostly backwards; cows mostly sideways), and how straw hats were needed when working in the sun.

Training in listening to and heeding warnings is good practice to maintain a long and healthy life. Yet many times, the warning is like for fire--good when used appropriately, and dangerous at other times. That's the case with the good castor bean plant, such as is pointed out by Anne Marie's Chemistry Blog.

Aug 13, 2009


I've just learned that young 'Joe' at work was asled by a young co-worker, 'Joan,' if she could rent a room in his apartment. Of course, he seemed quite interested in being the roommate of this young, intelligent, and beautiful college graduate.

Why is it unwise for unmarried persons of the opposite sex to live together? This question would have been laughed at with ridicule fifty years ago when I was about the same age as the two young persons described above! My college dormitory classmates knew the reasons why they shouldn't sleep in the same apartment with a man--it wasn't necessary to inform them why it was a bad idea. But in the past 30 years, I've known several young women who moved in with young men, and all of them ended up sleeping with their new boyfriends. Only one seemed not to have rued her fornication.

I knew of only one college classmate who become pregnant "out of wedlock", the term used for illegitimate parenthood. Naturally she married the young father of her child. [BTW, most of the girls in our hall claimed to be virgins and almost all ended up in stable marriages).

I had intended to present some of the reasons why "Joan" should not rent a room in "Joe's" apartment (i.e., why fornication is bad). But John C. Wright (my favorite blogger) has provided more information (some sentences are mischievously written) than I could ever imagine.
"The question confronting me was whether one’s eventual spouse, even before you ever meet him, even before you know if he exists, has an interest in your sexual behavior and misbehavior, and in the condition of your habits of virtue, which law and custom ought to protect?"
See Wright's recent series comparing the Libertine outlook with the Christian logic on marriage, fornication, third partners, GLBT, etc. Wright's four-part blog on APOLOGIA PRO OPERE SUIS, may become chapters from a new book that will make him (in my opinion) a worthy successor of the great Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis (who also was an atheist):
Anyone knowing my history knows that I came to the Christian religion [Wright entered the Catholic Church in 2007] after I became convinced of the logic of chastity (or intolerance, as it is called in the anti-conceptual jargon of PC), not before. I did not become pro-marriage (or homophobic, as it is called) because I am a Christian; I became a Christian because I am pro-marriage.

I made the claim that I used to be a member of the Sexual Revolution, like them, and had believed for most of my life that whatever two consenting adults did in the privacy of their bedroom (or on their kitchen floor, depending) provided it harmed no other, was no concern of their neighbors, and not a proper object for either legal sanction or social disapproval. All harmless sexual acts were licit.

Over a period of years, and very much against my natural inclination, I was driven by logical arguments out of this position and into a more conservative and traditional view of sexual morality. Neither my motives were religious, nor was the argument. I was not merely an atheist at the time, I was a vituperative, proselytizing, bitterly zealous atheist. To call my motives Christian is beyond untrue, beyond comical, and deep into the territory of being absurd.
Now begin at the beginning of Wright's series, "Preliminary Comments" in Part I.

How a System Collapses

My nephew emailed me an insightful comment on the failures of many institutions in our times-- economic, cultural, educational, legal, moral/ethical, etc. How very different and scary is this new world from the one in which I grew up, and I'm not referring to technological change.

When I see another subsystem of civilization breaking down, I know Peter is right.
Everything will happen in concert. The successful compromise of each sub-system provides a cascading "critical mass" that degrades the structural integrity of every remaining sub-system... compromising the macro-system with maximum destruction and the smallest "debris" possible. Being an American is not going to be easy.
A broken-down house is a good example of subsystems failing until the entire house is unlivable. The roof leaks and is not repaired; painting is not done; faucets begin to leak; windows are broken; the grass and trees are not taken care of; etc.

Civilization is the house that needs to be maintained by every generation so that we do not descend into barbarism.

Jul 23, 2009

Dear John....

Your comments struck me hard because it is clear that you saw great atrocities to civilian populations during your three tours of duty in Vietnam. The intellectual problem is why an all-merciful God would allow such terrible pain and suffering. If God exists, why does he permit unmasked, unmistakable evil?

John, I see how you love Mike and make sacrifices for him to be able to get outside and play too. Because you are clearly a loving individual, I’m going to try to answer some of your objections to God and Christianity, although please remember that I am not a trained theologian.

The problem of pain is especially evident when soldiers observe (and even cause) the injury and death of non-combatants, including young children.
  • Wartime atrocities are a reminder that all men have serious defects in their moral lives. All need release and forgiveness from evils caused by sins.
  • Virtues and vices are revealed by pain, but differently in particular individuals. One witness to extreme cruelty drinks to forget what he has seen, another resolves to revenge the enemy with other atrocities, another prays for God to remove him from this terrible war before he becomes insane, another condemns God (rather than men) for allowing these depravities to happen, yet another acts to heal the pain and suffering by helping to “pick up the pieces” of ruined lives, etc.
Pain and suffering is allowed by God because He created men in the “image and likeness of God”—He gifted men with free will. Men can choose to be cruel, prideful, and selfish—or compassionate, selfless, and courageous.

God whispers in our pleasures, but He SHOUTS when we know pain. Pain is God’s megaphone to shatter our illusions of self sufficiency and innocence. Thus, tribulation is a necessary element in God’s redemption of fallen mankind.

This earth is the stage for the greatest drama ever written, where great and small souls are tested and Jesus Christ is the ultimate hero. Pain is part of these earthly trials, when we are temporarily on the battlefield. Pain keeps us from resting in this world.

Military recruits are subjected to painful situations during training, showing that pain is not necessarily an evil. The corresponding Christian doctrine is that we are “made perfect through suffering.” [Hebrews 2:10] Even the Greek philosophers stated that the “life of wisdom is the practice of death,” implying that wisdom comes only with necessary suffering.

How then do we solve the apparent contradiction of God’s mercy versus His justice. The finality of death solves this problem—“Mercy in this life; justice in the next.” The pains associated with death have a particular merit, both for the suffering individual and for ourselves because then we can choose to imitate our Savior in His death.

Jesus Christ Himself suffered a very painful death, but with a glorious purpose. Moreover, He taught us to love our enemies so that cruelty would never take place. Yet amazingly, He continues to love us even when WE are cruel and even His enemies.

Compare death to birth, with a baby in the womb whom God wishes to be born. The baby responds—“I’m not ready, I like it here inside where my mother keeps me warm and well-fed.” Regardless, the baby and his mother undergo the painful process of birth. The child opens his eyes to see a new world, just as we will see in heaven if we die in God’s friendship.

Pain and suffering are excellent reminders of Satan and Hell which existence has the full support of Scripture and our Lord’s own words. Thus, pain plants the flag of truth of our own mortality and last end within the rebel fortress of our souls.

With prayers for you (and special thanks to C.S. Lewis, 1898-1963)

P.S. Several months ago I prepared a PowerPoint presentation on the many proofs of God’s existence and showed it to eight grandchildren. The arguments show that cosmology, ontology, and the universe itself are, well, if not incontrovertible proof of God's handiwork, at least much more probable if there is a God than if there is not:

1. Aristotle’s cosmological proof of God
2. St. Anselm’s ontological argument
3. Design of universe
4. Beauty [St. Augustine]
5. Five reasons of St. Thomas Aquinas (motion-First Mover, efficient-first cause, possibility and necessity, contingency-dependency, gradation of being, design)
6. Complexity of DNA [impossible to imagine as chance occurrence, even over billions of years]
7. Information theory
8. Existence of objective morality among all humans (e.g., to kill a friend is evil)
9. Unique values of over 20 fundamental constants of physics and chemistry that are exactly what are absolutely required to allow our universe to exist
10. Laws of quantum physics which show that the universe was designed for an intelligent observer (strong anthropic principle)
—“In the early 1990s, a creeping realization swept through the theoretical physics community that the probability for the universe to even exist was vanishingly small. Indeed, the only "theory" around that seemed able to explain the universe's existence was Intelligent Design. This was not something physicists and cosmologists liked to talk about.” —Analog Magazine of Fact and Fiction, July/August 2008

Jul 21, 2009

China and Catholicism

A most recent and comprehensive article on the growing influence of Catholicism in China, China's Catholic Moment,was published in July 2009 by First Things magazine. I concluded some time ago that China is a developing Roman empire that will eventually rule the world and survive for at least several hundred years.

My previous posts on China have discussed the hopeful and yet often frustrating news that comes from China:
China and "Trajan's Rescript"
China Catholics
China's Increasing Christians
China Embracing Confucian Values?
Saint Martina of China
China--Hope and Frustration
China--Optimism Superceded by Pessimism
The "Guide" of Religions in China
Pope Benedict XVI and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao
Clearly the Vatican believes China's growing influence in the world is going to affect Christianity on a world-wide basis for centuries to come. The First Things article by Francesco Sisci presents the following important observations:
  • At the end of World War II, with a nationalist government supportive of Christian missions, barely two percent of Chinese were Christians. The World Christian Database now counts 111 million Chinese Christians, while an internal survey conducted in 2007 by China’s government puts the number substantially higher: 130 million, nearly 10 percent of the total population.

  • ...this exponential growth of Christianity in China would not have been possible without the forbearance and tacit encouragement of the regime. In recent years, the Chinese government has shifted from persecution of Christians to subtle—and sometimes even open—encouragement of Christianity.

  • is not an exaggeration to say we are near a Constantinian moment for the Chinese Empire, as the government looks to Christianity—particularly Catholicism—for an instrument of social cohesion.

  • Since the discrediting of Maoism twenty years earlier, China had been living with no cohesive set of values.... The successive assault by modern Western ideas and communist ideology erased the old imperial ideology, and the collapse of the communist model left China with a spiritual vacuum.

  • In a now famous essay, one of the youngest important party officials, Pan Yue, argued that religion might well be the opiate of the masses but that the Communist party needs just such an opiate to keep power as it changes from a revolutionary to a ruling party. The party, he argued, needs to learn how to use religion to enhance social stability and to avert rebellions and revolutions.

  • Thus, religion can play an important role in realizing the “harmonious society” that is the new political goal of the party.

  • The leadership views Christianity in a fundamentally different way from how it sees the religions rooted in traditional China. Christianity is inherently open to the modern world and a scientific outlook. Just as China imported science and Western methods of industrial organization, so it could import what Beijing understood to be the spiritual counterpart of Western science. In the view of the party, the naturalization of Christianity in China is not essentially different from the importation of socialist ideology two generations earlier. Christianity, like socialism, can be translated into Chinese characters.
If you find China and its policies toward Christianity critical to the world's future, please read the entire article by Sisci, including the 20+ comments. For a more balanced view of China and Catholicism, Cardinal Zen of Hong Kong reviews The Church in China, Two Years after the Pope's Letter.

Jul 18, 2009

It's Oven (and Racks) Cleaning Day!

My husband knows I will figure out an efficient way to do something, or more likely, not do it very often. Even with a self-cleaning oven, I haven't cleaned mine for over three years, and so it needed it badly. Today is a beautiful sunny day with the temperature in the upper 70's--exactly the kind of day needed to open the windows before turning on the oven hot cleaning cycle that produces smoke and noxious gases.

Oven cleaning is fairly easy with self-cleaning ovens. You start by first removing all pans and other things from the oven--top, inside, and in the storage container at the lower part of the oven. Then wipe the oven interior to remove serious food spills.

It is the oven racks that cause problems. The racks first have to be removed from the oven before turning on the CLEAN cycle that brings the oven up to a high temperature for over three hours.

I've found the easiest and quickest way to clean stainless steel racks is to place them in a black garbage bag in hot sunshine. Spray the racks with OVEN CLEANER before closing the bag entrance. Leave the black bag in the sun for at least half an hour; then open the bag to spill the racks on the ground (without touching the corrosive spray).

Use a water garden hose to spray the racks clean. I used this procedure twice today and the racks now are beautifully clean and shiny with hardly no effort.

May 30, 2009

American Sheeple--A Russian Snicker

The former mouthpiece of Soviet communism, the newspaper Pravda, describes American capitalism gone with a whimper. This remarkable article is consistent with a recent test on American government that was required of one of our children. Using older books, he studied diligently to learn details of how and why the long-successful U.S. system of freedom and republican government was formed over 200 years ago.

The test was passed but greatly distressed our son-in-law because only two of many questions dealt with the principles of American government as established by our founders. Almost all the questions dealt with how our government has evolved into the current socialist system.

No wonder Pravda's article gloats over America's descent into Marxism.
It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists....

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas than the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonald's burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another.

Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison....

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too.

Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride....

The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

May 21, 2009

Education Lobby in Kansas

Rep. Mike Kiegerl of Kansas identifies a problem that has bothered me for almost 50 years--the huge political power that State education lobbies have gathered and impose on state budgets. Education lobbyists necessarily rob other state budgets that provide critical and necessary services. This high-powered lobby yearly demands more and more money while children receive poorer and poorer education in public schools--resulting in more and more parents homeschooling their children.

This year, even the education lobbyists didn't get all they wanted, but they took a far less severe cut than other agencies. For perspective, Kansas schools as a whole spent $12,188 per student during the 2007-08 year. A cut of $116 per student amounts to less than a 1 percent drop, while other agencies averaged cuts over 5 percent.

Here's Kiegerl's comments on how the education lobby influenced the Kansas budget.

It is no exaggeration to say that this [KS] budget is the result of the activities of the strongest lobby in Topeka. There are 42 lobbyists in the “education” lobby. They resist any attempt to make the changes needed for a high quality globally competitive education system.

The only answer these folk have to anything related to education is more money. In the past, when we were taking in more revenues than expected, they got what they asked for. I voted for the largest single increase of over $1 billion four years ago. Now that we don’t have the excess money, the reaction is unreasonable. Their efforts are “cut everybody else but not us.” Never mind the requirements for public safety, the disabled, the poor foster children, the elderly, etc, throw them under the bus!

They succeeded to gather the necessary votes to get their budget. They were no help in saving the taxpayers any money. ... Sad to say they have only postponed the inevitable. When the Federal funds run out in 2011, the shortfall will be huge and the required cut backs enormous.

Consequently, other Kansas state entities had to significantly sacrifice their funding, including (1) loss of $25 million slider payments to cities and the county; (2) loss of $25 million from the state highway fund because these funds had to be transferred to the general fund; (3) a reduction of $8.5 million for public safety; and (4) insufficient funds for the educationally and developmentally disabled and children on the waiting list for services they are entitled to receive. Kansas also will need to institute a $70 million tax increase.

May 2, 2009

The Crucifixion of Bishop Robert Finn

I heard Bishop Robert Finn give his memorable address to the recent Kansas City Gospel of Life Conference and was much edified by this stalwart leader of the Catholic Church. He spoke candidly of militant Catholics who must fight a necessary spiritual war against Satan.
The battle we face for the salvation of our souls is the most important one we face – bar none. Where I spend all eternity; where you spend eternity – in bliss or in damnation – is important beyond any individual choice I make. But the individual human choices I make – even one grave choice in which we remain unrepentant – can determine the direction of my salvation.
To deliberately destroy a human person, and without any justification of self-defense, is to preempt without an equal and sufficient cause, the right to life bestowed by God alone. Life is a gift which we have from God, not from man. This right cannot be taken away by means of a human law. It ought to be protected and assured by human law. The constant magnitude of this crime against humanity is staggering. We must never get used to it.

Occasionally we still hear an elected official speak of his or her personal opposition to abortion, while they support the legal right to an abortion. We should be very clear: Such a person places him or herself completely OUTSIDE the moral framework, the moral imperative of Evangelium Vitae and other Church teaching on these issues. They are NEITHER defending human life against the forces of death, NOR or they taking steps to build a culture of life. They have abandoned their place in the citizenship of the Church. Quite simply they have become warriors for death rather than life.

Such a person who makes a public stand – and acts directly – in defense of the right to kill endangers their eternal salvation. If you and I support such a person who has so flatly told us of their intentions to protect a fraudulent Right to Death, a Right to an Abortion, we make ourselves participants in their attack on life. We risk our salvation, and we better change.

So it is not surprising that Bishop Finn's address has incensed liberal Catholics who feel they must defend the so-called "right" to kill an unborn child. First read Bishop Finn's great talk to pro-lifers published on the new Catholic Key Blog [should be bookmarked first on your list of Kansas City Catholic websites].

Then observe the crucifixion of Bishop Finn in multiple comments on the website of the infamous National Catholic Reporter, which is published in Bishop Finn's diocese. The anger of dissident, unfaithful Catholics and their friends in response to Bishop Finn's remarks clearly shows the influence of Satan.

Apr 11, 2009

Please Come to Our House, and.....

...make sure everyone remembers that we have a farm and what goes along with that.......poop. We have chicken poop, duck poop, cow poop, horse poop, dog poop and cat poop (maybe even some Canadian geese poop) in our yard.

You and your children will step in poop if you are in the yard. You may want to bring boots. We also have a hamster, a snake, a gecko, a dog, 6 baby chickens, x children and 2 adults that live in our house. Hopefully there will not be any poop to step in when in the house. :) We also have 3 hives of bees that will sting if gotten too close to. Please watch your kids.

This message comes from one of our children who decided everyone needed to be warned before coming to Easter Dinner!

Apr 8, 2009

TOTUS talks from the Teleprompter!

Do you remember that Toto, Dorothy's dog in the Wizard of Oz, can speak? Toto is able to talk, just like other animals in the land of Oz, and simply chooses not to.

Well, TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States) is now talking and has come up with the speech that Barack Obama would have given in 1860 if he were to promote slavery reduction in the same way he is trying to promote abortion reduction today. Here is what he came up with:

"Let me be perfectly clear...uh...I am absolutely slavery. We as Americans must...uh...come together, pro-slavery and abolitionist find common reduce slavery...I plan to reduce the size of that one family can farm their land...uh...without the need of additional workers.

I also plan to tax cotton production, to...uh...discourage Big Cotton. They can grow cotton, but...uh...they'll go bankrupt doing it."

"Now, I'm not deaf to those who face an unfair disadvantage...uh...on Wall Street and on Main Street, because they...uh...don't own slaves. For that reason, until we can reduce the need for slavery...uh...I'm now signing an executive order that makes slavery legal in...uh...all 40 of our states [editor's note: yes, I know there were only 33 states at the time, but if Barry is to be consistent with regard to the 57 states he seems to recognize now, then we need to slide the scale a bit.]

I am also going to mandate...uh...that Congress pass a budget that will include federal funding...uh...for anyone who needs a slave, but can't currently afford one. We need to level the playing field."

And that is how...uh...we're going to reduce slavery...uh...during my term of office.
Thanks to the great Kansas pro-life activist, Bill Sutton, of Proud Catholic Voters Association of Kansas. Please check out Sutton's extremely well-written website, and mark it as a favorite prolife bookmark!

Apr 3, 2009

Distribution of Communion to the Sick

Recently on two occasions, I've been invited to receive Holy Communion from lay distributors--once while in the hospital (I'm fine now) and then while visiting in the home of an elderly woman. Both experiences caused me much heartache. First, the preparation for reception of Our Lord's body and blood was very short and perfunctory. Second, only a minute of thanksgiving passed before the lay distributor began talking about something else. The second distributor also was dressed very casually. Both were basically good women who seemed unaware of the awesome nature of what they were doing.

If lay distributors of Holy Communion provide service in priest-deficient Novus Ordo parishes, they must clearly and reverently acknowledge they are touching the Body and Blood of the second person of the Trinity--God Almighty. Currently I have little hope that this will occur.

The basic problem is that laymen are not clerically trained and ordained for this function. It's almost as if a Superintendent, short of skilled architects and engineers, asked for volunteers to service a great institution, and several people of good will offered their services. What grade of performance would result?

Does anyone remember when Pope John Paul II warned Brazilian bishops on the "serious abuses" stemming from the erroneous trend to "clericalize the laity"? One of his listed abuses was distribution of Communion by the laity. But since the Vatican now permits the clericalization of the laity, why was it surprised by the results?

The Mass is Serious Business is a very fine article in the April 2009 issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review, the oldest magazine for Catholic priests in the U.S. Here are a few quotes from author Rev. Bryce A. Sibley of the Diocese of Lafayette, LA who discusses his sadness at seeing large numbers of Catholics who do not take Sunday Mass [and Holy Communion} seriously:
...a significant portion of the blame [is] on the priests and pastors and their irreverent and apathetic celebration of Mass. By his words and deeds, such a priest states that the Mass is trivial. Consequently, the faithful, seeing this poor example, adopt the same lackadaisical attitude....

This is the heart of the issue--the Mass is above and beyond all else a sacrifice, a renewal of the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ....It is serious business.
If the Mass is to be taken seriously, then Holy Communion distributed by lay men and women also needs to be taken seriously. Pope Benedict (in God is Near Us) is quoted by Fr. Sibley on the gravitas of the Eucharist:
The Eucharist is far more than just a meal; it has cost a death to provide it, and the majesty of death is present in it. Whenever we hold it, we should be filled with reverence and awe in the face of this mystery, with awe in the face of this mysterious death that becomes a present reality in our midst....
I was particularly interested in several other statements by Fr. Sibley in his article for HPR:
One can have no doubt that the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite [old Latin Mass] is very serious [my emphasis]. There exists little room for entertainment or innovation within its celebration. Its structured unfolding instills a sense of respect and awe in the priest and the congregation. Its sacral dimension is self-evident....

The chief problem is the casualness of dress seen at many parish Masses. People often look like they are heading to the beach or the health club instead of Holy Mass. In many parishes, the presence of sacred silence before and after Mass has been lost. People talk and mingle freely as if they were meeting in any public place. And of course, there is often a great lack of respect shown in the reception of Holy Communion.... Priests will regularly need to take appropriate measures to cure the lay faithful of these bad habits. It must be done in charity, but something must be done and the faithful must be held to a certain standard.
Until the Church revises its rules on lay distribution of the Eucharist, pastors must not leave lay distributors unmindful of their great responsibilities and must provide detailed and demanding training. However because lay distribution often is so neglectfully performed, I look forward to the day when sufficient priests take Holy Communion to all the sick on a regular basis, as was the case when I was young. Let us pray for many more good vocations to the religious life.

Mar 30, 2009

The Devil in the Next Office

A friendly blogger writes to me:
I am sending you this email because I need prayer support and I know that you will do so. I am in a situation where a woman I know and work with may be possessed. I am working with a priest to help this poor woman but since I am working with this person and have worked with her, I need prayer support too. Please pray for this entire situation.
I remembered my friend's urgent request this morning at Mass and hope that other readers will add her intention to their prayers too. The situation reminds me of one that I encountered many years ago.

I also believed my co-worker might have been possessed by the devil, and another Catholic lady didn't disagree with me. The reasons were that evil always seemed good to her, and good was evil. Here are just a few of the things this 40-year old divorced professional woman did or told me she did:
  1. Met an unhappy Catholic married man in a bar, and went home with him overnight. When he said he needed to go to Mass the next (Sunday) morning, she didn't want to let him go so she decided to go with him.
  2. Then she decided to join the divorced/singles group at a Catholic parish to meet more men. [No, she wasn't Catholic but she liked men.]
  3. Was very antagonistic to and hateful of her own mother. When her mother had a stroke she took the total $20,000+ savings and spent it all within six weeks. Otherwise, she would have been forced to use it to pay for her mother's nursing home expenses.
  4. Provided no phone for her mother in the nursing home to call her friendds, until I complained that this was terribly wrong.
  5. Believed her teenage son was unfair because he preferred living with his father, even though she plied her son with expensive gifts.
  6. Bought a very expensive car even though she was fearful of bankruptcy [yes, eventually that happened even though as a professional she made a very good salary]. She said the monthly payments for the snazzy new car would be somewhat less than for her slightly older car, even though it would have been paid off much, much sooner.
  7. Caused lots of problems at work, always insinuating that she would file a discrimination lawsuit if she were fired [yes, she was discharged as soon as an overall RIF was necessary].
What advice can be offered for a similar situation? Try to help, and see whether your good advice, prayers, and acts have any effect. If and when it becomes clear that the person always chooses evil over good, then leave the person. Select and work with another who will sincerely listen to God's words of truth and goodness.
If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. (Matthew 10:12-13)

Mar 23, 2009

Archbishop Chaput, Notre Dame, and Obama

The Catholic Key Blog notes that distemperous "Catholics United" supports Notre Dame's decision to honor anti-life President Obama by inviting him to speak at this year's commencement and grant him an honorary law degree. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver indirectly commented on the problem while discussing other important issues.
“We need to stop over-counting our numbers, our influence, our institutions and our resources, because they’re not real....We need to stop lying to each other, to ourselves and to should we feel today, preaching the Gospel to an apostate world?”
Many, if not most, Catholics now have more wrong than right understandings about 1) God, 2) His Church, 3) ourselves, and 4) the difference between friends and enemies. Archbishop Chaput says to start with recognizing the reality of our situation as the only way forward.

Read a more complete summary of the good Archbishop's address here. And don't forget to sign the Cardinal Newman Society petition opposing an honorary law degree for President Obama. The petition now has almost 160,000 names.

Mar 15, 2009

China's "Rule of Law" and Huang Guangyu

Shortly after my post on "Chinese Catholic Billionaire", I sent emails to the two reporters who had done the most work to try to find the missing Huang Guangyu (Wong Kwong-yu) who disappeared in late November 2008. Neither reporter responded to my emails, so I concluded they weren't eager to ask for or to share information because it might put their Chinese news sources (and jobs) in jeopardy.

Until November 2008, Huang had the distinction of being the richest man in China, the founder and chairman of Gome Group, which is the largest consumer electronics retailer in China. Even more interesting he proclaimed he couldn't be a member of the Communist Party because he is a Catholic.

In lockstep with China's past, Huang was then arrested, and has yet to be formally charged or to make a public appearance in the almost four months since his disappearance into the hands of China's security police, charged in the Chinese media with economic crimes.

The LA Times profiled Huang and noted that "On the backs of Wang’s business cards and those of all Gome employees are Huang’s three cardinal rules:
Do not accept gifts from customers.
Do not take kickbacks.
Do not use your position for personal gain.

Printed at the very bottom is a hotline number for people to report employee misdeeds. Huang said the rules reflected his religious upbringing."

One Chinese news site now has more information on Huang and shows there is internal hassling in China over how to deal with him, especially in view of the new emphasis on China's "rule of law." The "rule of law" is a centerpiece of President Hu Jintao's administration--and he does 'rule the roost' in China. Another Chinese news article bemoans the fact that Huang would have spent the Chinese New Year celebrating at home with his family if the "rule of law" had been followed!

The Chinese "rule of law" advertised by President Hu Jintao and other senior communist party leaders seemed initially to have an air of authenticity. Now it appears to be all propaganda. The real situation is described in an Asia Times news article of July 8, 2008:
Hu, also party general secretary, has given new orders that zhengfa (political and legal) departments - which handle law enforcement and judicial matters - must observe the so-called "three top priorities", meaning the latter must give "utmost priority to the party's enterprise, the people's interests, and the constitution and the law". That the party's goals and concerns override everything else was made clear in a national meeting of judicial and security officials called late last month...
The TimesOnline says it best: "Last November, Huang, his wife, and their chief financial officer disappeared into the grey zone that awaits those who lose their high-level protection – a world without lawyers, court hearings or constitutional rights." Huang Guangyu, for all anyone knows, may have already died in the dungeon of a Beijing prison. The Chinese "rule of law" is only a fiction.