Tuesday, October 30, 2012

An appeal to Catholic Democrats



If you are a faithful Catholic who still feels loyalty to the Democratic Party, I sympathize. After all, Catholic roots there run deep. But the Democratic Party today is not the party it once was, and we need to make an honest assessment of where the Democrats stand now, in relationship to Christ's Church.

The last two popes and the bishops have taught that there are non-negotiables for Catholics in the public square, which trump all other considerations. Let's look at what our Church says, then let's compare that to the Democrats' positions. The non-negotiables are these:

  • Abortion is intrinsically evil and must never be promoted or condoned.
  • Embryonic stem cell research is intrinsically evil and must never be promoted or condoned.
  • Euthanasia is intrinsically evil and must never be promoted or condoned.
  • The traditional understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman must always be upheld.
  • The right of parents to educate their children must always be upheld.

All other issues (for example, immigration, education, affordable housing, health and welfare, environmental issues, etc.) are considered policy issues. They are issues of prudential judgement, about which Catholics are free to disagree.

As Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has clarified in a guide for Catholics called, Catholics in the Public Square (Shepherd's Voice):
On each of these [policy] issues, we should do our best to be informed and to support those proposed solutions that seem most likely to be effective. However, when it comes to direct attacks on innocent human life, being right on all the other issues can never justify a wrong choice on this most serious matter.
Indeed, Pope John Paul II wrote:
Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights -- for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture -- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with the maximum determination.  (Christifideles Laici, 38)
In his letter, “Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion,” Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) wrote:
Not all moral issues have the same moral weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.
In a 2006 speech to European politicians, Pope Benedict XVI said the following:
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable. Among these the following emerge clearly today: 
Protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; 
Recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family as a union between a man and a woman based on marriage and its defense from attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role; 
The protection of the rights of parents to educate their children.

In light of that crystal clear teaching, consider the following:


Abortion

The Democratic Party Platform 2012, on abortion (my words in black):

The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion [the word "rare" was removed by the Democrats in 2008], regardless of ability to pay [this means taxpayer-funded abortions]. We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research

The Democratic Party Platform 2012, on embryonic stem cell research:

[T]he President issued an executive order repealing the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research….

Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (PAS)

The Democrats in the States of Washington and Oregon (blue states) were the first to legalize physician-assisted suicide for their citizens. The drive for legalization in other states is also led by Democrats, including the current ballot initiative in Massachusetts (another blue state). A growing number of state Democratic platforms explicitly call for the legalization of PAS.


Marriage

The Democratic Party Platform 2012, on marriage (my words in black):

We support marriage equality [this is the euphemism for gay "marriage"] and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples…. 
We oppose discriminatory federal and state constitutional amendments and other attempts to deny equal protection of the laws to committed same-sex couples who seek the same respect and responsibilities as other married couples. We support the full repeal of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act [the federal law that defines marriage as one man, one woman] and the passage of the Respect for Marriage Act [which would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and give "federal benefits and protections" to same-sex "married" couples].
The support for gay "marriage" was added in 2012 and was reportedly a "non-controversial" addition.


The Right of Parents to Educate Their Children

Democrats and the liberal teachers’ unions to which they are beholden go to great lengths to deny parents a real choice in their children’s education, not only opposing school vouchers for private schools, but also discouraging the growth of public charter schools, which often deviate from the leftist model. Laws that seek to limit or end the legal rights of homeschooling parents also come overwhelmingly from Democrats. 


On every non-negotiable point for Catholics, the Democrats take the wrong side. 

When I first wrote on this topic, I could never have predicted the threat to religious freedom we would face just a year or so later, when Obama threw down his devastating HHS mandate. I knew that in certain states, Democrat policies had tragically forced the closing of Catholic foster care and adoption agencies that had stood for generations, but I never expected a stroke of the pen to threaten the very existence of all Catholic charities, schools, hospitals, and businesses in the nation.

The normally milquetoast US bishops were so alarmed that every single one of them voiced a protest and later organized a nationwide Fortnight for Freedom, encouraging organized prayer, adoration, and fasting. Anti-HHS religious liberty rallies have been held in hundreds of cities across the land, attended by tens of thousands of concerned Catholics and other Christians. Even Pope Benedict himself publicly warned of the "grave threat" to religious freedom in America -- a threat which was not even on the radar screen until Obama, the head of the Democrats, came to power.

The trend in the Democratic Party holds not a shred of hope for its future, as it's trending all one way: Toward radical secularization, with a marginalization of and hostility toward Catholicism that is snowballing to the point where this election cycle showcased multiple Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate reassuring their Democratic base that if elected, they would force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions! And at the Democratic National Convention this year, Democrats removed the last remaining reference to God from their Platform. Only after the public got wind of the removal did they famously stage a bogus voice vote to reinstate it. For now.

Catholics, as unpleasant as it may be, it's time to wake up to the reality of what has happened. A once-proud party in which faithful Catholics could feel comfortable is now positioning itself as an enemy of the Church. The Democratic Party of 2012 is nothing like the Democratic Party of our grandparents, which still had a solid moral grounding. Catholic Democrats today are being used for votes, and they are either unaware or unwilling to admit that the party they love no longer exists -- and is not coming back.

To all sincere Catholics who have not yet left the Democratic Party: Please consider that the Democratic Party has long ago left you.





Related post: Catholics: Why it's not a sin to vote for Romney




Saturday, October 27, 2012

A new low

I know. I just posted yesterday. But this cannot wait.

It's a new low for the nation, I am sure. If you haven't seen it yet, I apologize for being the one to show it to you. (To make it almost all better, be sure to watch the parody at the very end of the post.)

Here is the Obama campaign ad that has everyone talking (and/or vomiting):




Okay, so I'm just going to throw out some stream-of-consciousness thoughts about this juvenile, double-entendre ad, and you can feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments.

1) Tacky and creepy.

2) Insulting and degrading.

3) Unbecoming the office of the President of the United States.

4) Is this really where we are now? How did we get here? When did this happen? Even when I was a stupid, immature, irreverent, foul-mouthed, foul-acting, M-TV generation teenager, I never wanted the adults in society to act like adolescents. But the President of the United States is okay with this crap? My constant question: Where have all the grown-ups gone?

5) Obama is nothing if not the "sexual rights" and abortion president. The reduction of women to their reproductive (or non-reproductive) organs is the … can't think of any other word … obsession of this president and his campaign. I have never seen anything like it.

6) What kind of wife would allow her husband to put out an ad which invites women to think of having sex with him? This degrades Michelle Obama. No self-respecting conservative woman I know would stand for it.

7) Would Mr. Obama be proud to play this ad for his young daughters? I'm already so disgusted with how often he and Michelle trot those poor girls out as poster children for why abortion is so badly needed for their "success", so for all I know he would be proud to share a laugh with them over this crude spot implying Dad's deflowering of young women. Oddly, Obama is on record as saying that before they need those abortions, he is "going to teach them first of all about values and morals."  Just what are these "values and morals" that mean so much to you and that you wish to impart to your daughters, Mr. Obama? Do you think they'll buy it, when you put out an ad like this? You are either clueless or you have no integrity, and neither option is acceptable in a president (or a daddy).

(Thankfully, I'm not the only one who thought of the implications for Obama's own daughters. It is quite troubling.)

8) What about other pre-teen and teen girls who see this, who may or may not come from stable homes? Does Obama care about the message it sends them? The single biggest indicator for poverty in this nation is not race but single motherhood, i.e., childbearing before marriage. It is a national catastrophe that no one wants to talk about, and the leader of our land thinks thinks it's cute to showcase the very type of casual attitude about sex that devastates so many women and children and families across America. Where is the hope in these dismal statistics, which no massive government entitlement program can fix? But sure, Obama, go ahead and keep us chuckling with innuendos about single young women losing their virginity. There aren't any consequences at all to that sort of thing, right? It's a laugh riot.

9) This ad makes me think of Obama's bff, Planned Parenthood. I mean, this girl is the perfect PP client. She will need all their services. Enlightened women and girls think and act like her, and PP will provide contraceptives, STD screenings, pregnancy tests, morning after pills, surgical and chemical abortions, you name it. A vote for Obama is a vote for what they'll need, hopefully for free! Obama and Planned Parenthood go together like don't say it, Leila, do not say it a hand and glove.

10) My daughters are 18 and 21, the target age for this bizarre and creepy ad. They both were repulsed, and I asked my 21-year-old to expand on that. She said:

"I think it's degrading to women. I think it's sexist. I don't see any young men doing these videos [saying], "Before, I was a boy. Now, I am a man" for voting for Barack. It's absurd that someone's womanhood is dependent on voting for Barack Obama. It's disturbing that they want us to think of voting for the President in terms of sex with him. Why would I want to think about him in that way? It belittles our country that we appeal to people in that crude of a manner. It is a disgrace to our country. My final comment: I hope he loses."

Me too, honey.

11) Mr. Obama and his entire administration can not be voted out of office fast enough. I am saddened and horrified more and more each day about what we have become, how classless we are, how far we have fallen. I cannot wait until this sad and desperate campaign of sex and lies is finally over.

12) Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, deliver us.

13) Even though you might want to cry, I want to leave you laughing! This Steven Crowder parody of the ad brilliantly exposes its inanity. I think even Obama supporters will find it utterly hilarious:





There, don't you feel better? I do!





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Friday, October 26, 2012

Quick Takes: What an authentic feminist looks like, and more on the election




What? Two Quick Takes in a row? Well, with the crazy lead-up to the election, most days I don't know if I am coming or going, so my blogging is sporatic. But as we approach November 6, things are getting exciting (click those words and see)! Also, you get eight Quick Takes today, since I just couldn't narrow it down to seven. A couple of hours ago I almost made it nine, but then I realized the ninth item was so outrageous, so in need of commentary, that I will give it its very own post, next. Till then...





1) Too good not to share.

High school senior Rosalie Simoneau is an authentic feminist. She loves being a woman, and she is tired of the real war on women that is perpetuated by the political left. Here she is in downtown Phoenix last weekend, standing up for religious liberty during the nationwide protest of Obama's HHS mandate:


Rosalie and my own daughter are graduates of a three-year program called Catholic Academy of Life Leadership (C.A.L.L.), which was created by two of my dear friends, and which is now blessed by our wonderful Bishop Thomas Olmsted as a diocesan program. I hope it will spread to more dioceses soon. With graduates like Rosalie, you can see why that would be a very good thing.

2) I love this quote so much I want to marry it:

“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.” -- Archbishop Fulton Sheen

(Hat tip to Karen for that!)

One of the toughest things for me to see in this crucial election season is that Catholics -- good Catholics -- are not speaking up! They are silent on social media and in their personal lives. Maybe they are afraid, and I understand, but we can't be silent anymore. Silence is no longer an option in this increasingly secular nation. Please, please, speak up. It doesn't have to be much, but say something. Pray to God to give you the courage of your voice. Evil is everywhere (check out #5), and we are commanded to oppose it, in word and in deed.


3) Unlike Obama, who is actively persecuting my Church, Mitt Romney has been reaching out to reassure nervous Catholics. Here is a letter from Romney to us:
Throughout my life, I have defended America’s first liberty: religious freedom. 
In the debates and out on the campaign trail, I have made this very clear: regardless of our practice, we are united in our faith and in our battle to make sure we preserve religious liberty and tolerance in this country. 
That’s why I am grateful to have the support of Catholics like you. I believe the Catholic Church embodies all that’s great about America. You know what you believe; you know who you are; and you know Whom you serve. 
Barack Obama, Joe Biden and their liberal allies have been misleading Catholics in the hopes of gaining support. Even the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops corrected Vice President Biden after he misled Catholics on the threat of the HHS Mandate. 
As president, I will reverse President Obama’s infringements on religious liberty and freedom of conscience, because I respect the role of religious institutions. And I will follow our Constitution and uphold the individual’s right to worship according to his or her beliefs. 
I share your values. And I cannot emphasize enough how essential the Catholic vote is to winning this election for Republicans up and down the ballot. That’s why we need your help in getting out the vote and the truth. 
Please watch my new video on religious liberty and spread the word. 
Thanks,
Mitt Romney




Crazy me, I'd rather have this man in the White House making decisions that affect my Church and religous freedom than a man who has willfully positioned himself as an enemy of the Church. If you agree, spread the word.


4) Continuing in that vein, I've heard good Catholics say that they don't see a difference between Obama and Romney and it baffles me. I've never been able to grasp how a moral equivalence could be drawn between the positions of the candidates, but I thought this might help give a concrete example of the vast differences involved.

Marjorie Dannenfelser of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List reports:
[T]he 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals just handed down a decision that will FORCE the state of Indiana's Medicaid program to fund Planned Parenthood -- despite the Hoosier state passing legislation to get taxpayers OUT of the abortion industry.  
The Obama Administration filed a brief demanding that Planned Parenthood funding continue -- and even threatened to pull over $4 billion in Medicaid funding from the Hoosier State if they didn't keep taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood flowing! 
[This] court decision is a reminder that we MUST defeat President Obama if we are going to fully defund Planned Parenthood the nearly half billion in taxpayer funding they receive each year out of our very own pockets. 
The Obama administration already aggressively threatened to punish Texas in the same way, bringing the full weight of the Justice Department to bear against that state. Do you think for one minute that a President Romney would actively seek to punish states that dare defund Planned Parenthood or that enact abortion restrictions? 

Of course not. These men and their policies are not the same.


5) Catholics believe in the devil. Literally, we believe that Satan and his demons prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. I refuse to link the video directly, but click the photo below to see one of the biggest Democrat donors this election cycle ($120,000 to Washington State Democrats and Barack Obama) in what appears to be a demonic rant against Catholics and the Church.

Please, please, ensure that none of your children are in the room if you choose to watch this vile and evil video:


As of this writing, the Democrats in Washington State have refused to return this woman's money. I wish I were surprised. Catholic Democrats, if you still think this is your Party, wake up!

And if you feel like you want to douse yourselves with holy water now, you are not alone. Me, too.


6) I have been called an "alarmist" for discussing today's politics in terms of the "persecution" of the Church. I believe there is cause for alarm, however, and I think Francis Cardinal George's must-read piece from this week gives voice and historical context to that alarm:


An excerpt:

"The present political campaign has brought to the surface of our public life the anti-religious sentiment, much of it explicitly anti-Catholic, that has been growing in this country for several decades. The secularizing of our culture is a much larger issue than political causes or the outcome of the current electoral campaign, important though that is."

Please be sure to read it all.


7) This press release, from American Life League, says what I was thinking about the disgusting and disingenuous attempts by the Democrats to paint conservatives as lovers of rape. It is one of the lowest things I've witnessed in politics yet, and that's saying something. 

Washington, D.C. - Responding to the controversy over Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's remarks on the right to life for all human beings from creation to death, Paul E. Rondeau, executive director of American Life League, issued the following statement:
Pro-abortionists never miss a chance to politicize the horror of rape to advance their cause of terminating the preborn. In context, Mr. Mourdock was clearly speaking of life, no matter how conceived, being a gift of God. Ask Jesse Jackson, a child conceived by rape.   
The simple truth is that the preborn child is not the criminal; the rapist is the criminal. Killing the child does not punish the rapist. Aborting a child conceived by rape creates a second victim. It also victimizes the mother again. It is interesting that "pro-choice" activists ignore that the innocent child had "no choice" in the rape. 
For Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood and President Obama to call Mourdock's comments about God and life "outrageous" is grotesque. But then, we expect no less: Richards heads an organization that has directly killed over six million babies for profit, consumed $6 billion in tax dollars since 1970, is notorious for fraud, and has repeatedly failed to report child rape.
Meanwhile, Richards personally campaigns for, and Planned Parenthood is spending $5 million to re-elect, its pocket-president-the guy who voted twice to protect partial birth abortion and was against banning abortions based on gender selection. 
Now that's outrageous.

Obama voted "present".



8) Now, back to innocence! Oh, little Constantine! You are only three, and you've already endured more loss and suffering than most of us will endure in a lifetime. But your spirit is strong! Look at this smile:

Hey Mom, is that you??

Constantine is paralyzed on one side of his body, but that has not stopped this sweet boy! For more on this angel baby, check out the post I wrote here:




And there there is adorable Charlotte:

Click my photo to get to my RR page! Then, come and get me!

I don't think they get any cuter! Charlotte is a five-year-old girl who would thrive in a family. Here is what her profile says:

"She has brittle bone disease and spent the first 4 years of her life in a crib. She was able to get transferred last September and she is thriving.  They are getting her bones strong enough to put rods in and she should be able to walk then. She loves to learn, she loves to cuddle and snuggle into you. She is learning English so quickly and loves to be read to."

Could she be yours? 

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One last, fun note: If you glance over to the "Total Pageviews" you will see that we have broken the one million mark! I can't thank you enough for joining me in the Bubble over these past two and a half years!

And thanks to Jen for hosting!





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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Quick Takes: The late edition, ack!

I spent a couple of days out of town watching my eldest son get an academic award at his university (proud of you, son!!), so I am a bit late on the Quick Takes...







1) The binder "controversy". At first I didn't understand and I thought it was a joke. I am still shaking my head that the press and radical feminists could make something out of the statement by Mitt Romney that he looked through "binders" of women's resumes to be sure to hire women for his administration in Massachusetts. Can the left truly be that desperate to smear Romney, to the point that they make no earthly sense? I mean, I don't know a person alive who did not understand what he meant by "binders of women" in the context of all he said. Having heard the story, who could construe it as anything other than good for women?

As my incredulous 18-year-old daughter said to me: "Where else would resumes be?" 

Would it have been better if the resumes were in files or boxes? Would that have been less "hateful" toward women?

Is the Romney-hating left this far gone, this unhinged?

But then again, these are the Democrats -- who are not offended by true degraders of women such as Bill Clinton or any number of Kennedys. Those men can treat women like dirt, or, like Bill Maher, they can use shocking and filthy terms for women, and they get a pass. Why? Because those men worship at the altar of Abortion on Demand. That makes them champions of women. That's the formula.

But has any radical feminist every wondered why womanizing, objectifying, and misogynistic males love abortion so much? It really isn't hard to figure out why a cad might champion abortion more than would a noble, honorable man.

Anyway, the left can keep on making an issue out of "binders" as far as I am concerned, because that type of lunacy shows them to be more and more irrelevant.



2)  I love this clergyman. He is courageous, and he exhorts black Christians to be loyal to Jesus Christ, not Barack Obama:



Amen!!



3) Oh my gosh, this is so funny. Trust me, you need to watch this to the end; you will be laughing and loving every minute! I adore our seminarians! Those of you who are not yet Catholic, what are you waiting for? We have so much fun!






4) Aaaaaaand... by way of utter contrast, we have these angry and seemingly miserable celebrity woman who think and vote with their "lady parts" -- but presumably only on the condition that their lady parts are objectified and sterile. Shiver. Does this attract anyone to their cause? Who would want to be like them? I honestly hope they can find peace with their own biology someday, and realize that they were "fearfully and wonderfully made" by a God who loves them. Ladies, this is no way to live.





5) How come my off-the-cuff "vent" (or rant?) post gets more hits than my average carefully crafted post that takes me hours to perfect? Ha ha, there is a lesson in there for me somewhere….

Maybe I should spew out another rant after Monday night's debate?



6) A very important prayer request from a member of our Bubble family.

You all know "college student" (now graduated and known as "CS"), and you know of our contentious history on this blog and how often we have sparred. CS emailed me a few days ago, humbly asking for our prayers for her beloved father, who has just been diagnosed with cancer. Her father is a good family man -- married to her mother for 33 years, the proud father of two daughters -- and CS is understandably scared. She is also hopeful that her dad will be around for many more years to see her and her sister married and settled with families of their own. Please pray for a good prognosis for Michael. CS is eternally grateful for those prayers ascending to Heaven. She knows that God is working in all of this.


7) This orphan report is a rough one. The Lost Boys are the hardest to write about or even think about, so I will keep this portion of it brief. I wrote a post about Heath, Sasha, and Hanson here:

I hope you might take the time to read it, for their sakes.



Heath has over $21,000 in his grant! Money is not an issue!

Click my photo for more information!


Never mind my clothes, I am a boy! And I need saving!

Please, read my post here, and spread the word as best you can. One person alone cannot save the Lost Boys. We really have to work together to get the word out to potential families.


In fact, we have seen what happens when we all work together to save a special needs orphan! Remember Malcolm?! His soon-to-be parents have touched down in Moscow within the past hour and will be meeting him for the first time this week! Praise God for this blessing. They still have a few months to go to bring him all the way home, but before long he will be an orphan no more, thanks in large part to you!

Have a great Sunday!





Thanks to Jen for hosting Quick Takes!






Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TOTAL VENT!!!

I am sick and damn tired of the leftist press and pundits telling me as a woman who I am and what I believe.

"Women want this, and women want that, and women's issues, and women's rights, and the woman vote, and blah, blah, blah, blah."

I am sick of being told that the right to shred and dismember my own offspring is important -- no essential -- to me as a woman. Don't anyone dare say that my womanhood is defined by child killing. I mean, seriously, don't say it to my face.

How dare Obama keep up the sick line that I can only have a "fair shot" as a woman if I am chemically sterilized, surgically neutered, or the contents of my uterus aborted. What kind of anti-female garbage is that? And if he and Michelle use their young daughters one more time to promote abortion as the way to "success" (I am happy to provide a list of all the times they've done it), I will scream. Those girls are going to think their parents expect them to be promiscuous, get knocked up and abort! Seriously, that is borderline child abuse to use them again and again in that context, so publicly.

And get OFF of it with all this talk about how "women felt offended or uncomfortable" with Obama and Romney "fighting" at the debate. WTH??? I loved it! Let men be men! Let them hash it out, and vigorously. Bring it! I am not a weak little flower who needs smelling salts or gets the vapors, I am not a "victim" like the whiny feminists who need others to buy them their contraception or they cannot possibly go on in life.

I am a strong, confident woman who is SICK of people speaking for me about what a woman is or does or wants. KNOCK IT OFF!!!

Not polished, this post, but seriously, I've just about had it.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Quick Takes: The "Biden makes my brain twist into a pretzel" edition



I hope I can get an answer from a pro-"choice" Catholic on this first one…





1) I have a question that never gets an answer.

Biden says he agrees with the Church (and science, of course) that human life begins at conception. But he goes on to say that although he believes the unborn are real human beings, he will not "impose" his belief on others when it comes to abortion law. (Note: For him, this "non-imposition" means aggressive advocating for abortion rights -- go figure).

My question is: How is what Biden says different from someone saying, "I personally believe that slavery is wrong, because black people are human beings. However, I will not impose my beliefs on others"?

Remember, the key here is that Biden believes that actual human beings are killed during abortions.

Can anyone give me a coherent answer? I'm sincerely asking.


2) I am so pleased that my own pastor, Fr. John Ehrich, addressed the absolute scandal of (Catholic) Joe Biden's statements in the recent debate. Fr. Ehrich minces no words, and I applaud his courage in calling Biden out. He begins:

Perhaps lost in all of the buffoonery of Vice President Joe Biden during the vice presidential debate was his demonstration of infidelity to Church teaching.

As we know both Joe Biden and Paul Ryan are Catholics. However, I saw only one faithful Catholic last night and it was not the Vice President….

Read the rest here:

The Buffoonery of Biden

And please remember to pray for our priests! The devil always targets them first.


3) This is the coolest, simplest little video from Catholic Vote that explains, from a Catholic perspective, why we are not required to support massive government entitlement programs. Watch it with your children. We must begin to educate our kids and ourselves on this stuff, because no one else is going to! Please, share it far and wide, especially the next time a "social justice" Catholic tells you that she's a faithful Catholic and you're not, simply because she supports the federal welfare state (and probably abortion "rights" too)…




And if someone could share it with the goofball hypocrites who make up the bulk of the faculty of Georgetown University, that'd be nice. Not that they'd listen, but still.


4) Here's a brave Catholic business owner who is fighting back against the immoral, unconscionable and unconstitutional HHS mandate that threatens so many Catholic institutions and all of their employees. If you are still unsure about voting for Romney (which is a vote to limit the evil that Obama can and will do), then look into this man's eyes and decide if you want to be on his side as he steps out in courage to battle Obama and his adminstration. God bless him, and for his sake and thousands of others like him, let's get Obama OUT:





5) Some well-done political cartoons and images, to make you laugh and/or cry:










6) St. Thomas More knew a thing or two about weathering the dangerous politics of his day. When the King demanded obedience to an evil mandate, St. Thomas kept his integrity and stayed loyal to Christ and His Church, even though he knew it would cost him his life. He's a saint for our time, and his quote is relevant to us today:
“You must not abandon the ship in a storm because you cannot control the winds…. What you cannot turn to good, you must at least make as little bad as you can.” -- St. Thomas More

7) Suffering special needs orphans do not care about American politics, they just need families.

Here is Janelle, a beautiful 5-year-old girl who is facing transfer to the adult institution and will remain bed/chair-ridden her whole life if not adopted:

Click my photo for more information!

+++++++

And here is sweet little Sophia, who turns three years old this month. Practically a baby and yet already so marginalized. She does not have a good prognosis in her own country, but in America, she could have the best of medical care and a good life, full of love and possibilities:

Click my photo for more info!

Families considering Sophia should be experienced with significant medical needs. 



Thank you for praying for these girls and considering them for your own family, and thanks to Jen for hosting Quick Takes!




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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Catholics: Why it is not a sin to vote for Romney



I have heard faithful Catholics agonize over this year's presidential election. They know that a vote for Obama is morally impossible (they are correct), but they are conflicted about voting for Mitt Romney, who is not 100% pro-life. Should they sit out the election or vote for a third party or write-in candidate, knowing that those options boost Obama's chances of winning?

Or should they vote for Romney and possibly commit a sin?

I hope to assure you today that you will not commit a sin if you vote for Mitt Romney. Not only is the faithful-to-the-Magisterium organization, Catholic Vote, endorsing Romney, but pro-life warrior Fr. Frank Pavone will be voting for him as well:
Speaking as a private citizen and not on behalf of any of the organizations I lead, it is clear to me that taking account not only of the teachings of the Church but of the demands of conscience in the light of the holocaust we continue to face with abortion, voting for the Romney-Ryan ticket is a smart way to mitigate the present evil we are facing. 

Priests for Life has laid out "Ten Easy Steps to Voting with a Clear Conscience", and I'd like to draw your attention to number eight, which helps us make some critical distinctions. Please note that all emphases are from the original:

8. Distinguish “choosing evil” from “limiting evil.”

What happens if two opposing candidates both support abortion [in all or some cases]?

First of all, refrain from putting any labels or endorsements on anyone. Don't call them anything. Or, if you prefer, call them both pro-abortion. Then just ask a simple question: Which of the two candidates will do less harm to unborn children if elected?

For example, is either of the candidates willing at least to ban late-term abortion? Is either of them willing to put up some roadblocks to free and easy abortion? Will either support parental notification, or parental consent, or waiting periods? Has either of them expressed a desire to support pregnancy assistance centers? How about stricter regulation of abortion facilities? Has either candidate expressed support for that idea? Nobody is saying that's the final goal. But ask these questions just to see whether you can see any benefit of one of the candidates above the other.

One of the two of them will be elected; there is no question about that. So you are not free right now, in this race, to really choose the candidate you want. Forces beyond your control have already limited your choices. Whichever way the election goes, the one elected will not have the position we want elected officials to have on abortion.

In this case, it is morally acceptable to vote for the candidate who will do less harm. This is not "choosing the lesser of two evils." We may never choose evil. But in the case described above, you would not be choosing evil. Why? Because in choosing to limit an evil, you are choosing a good.

You oppose the evil of abortion, in every circumstance, no matter what. You know that no law can legitimize even a single abortion, ever. If the candidate thinks some abortion is OK, you don't agree.

But by your vote, you can keep the worse person out. And trying to do that is not only legitimate, but good. Some may think it's not the best strategy. But if your question is whether it is morally permissible to vote for the better of two bad candidates, the answer -- in the case described above -- is yes.

Cardinal John O’Connor, in a special booklet on abortion, once wrote about this problem, “Suppose all candidates support ‘abortion rights’? … One could try to determine whether the position of one candidate is less supportive of abortion than that of another. Other things being equal, one might then morally vote for a less supportive position. If all candidates support "abortion rights" equally, one might vote for the candidate who seems best in regard to other issues” (1990, “Abortion: Questions and Answers”).

In this context, the question also arises as to whether one is required to vote for a third candidate who does not have a strong base of support but does have the right position. The answer is, no, you are not required to vote for this candidate. The reason is that your vote is not a canonization of a candidate. It is a transfer of power. You have to look concretely at where the power is really going to be transferred, and use your vote not to make a statement but to help bring about the most acceptable results under the circumstances.

Of course, our conscience may be telling us, “Don’t say it’s impossible to elect the candidate who doesn’t have a strong base of support.” Of course, it is possible to elect almost anyone if the necessary work is done within the necessary time. God doesn’t ask us to base our choices on “the possibility of miracles,” but rather on solid human reason. The point is that if there’s a relatively unknown but excellent candidate, the time to begin building up support for that person’s candidacy is several years before the election, not several months. What you have to ask as Election Day draws near is whether your vote is needed to keep the worse candidate (of the two, less acceptable but more realistic choices) out of office.


After you chew on that for a bit (I know I did!), you can continue to form your conscience on these matters by considering what Blessed John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae (paragraph 73), concerning the legislative votes of elected officials (emphasis mine):

A particular problem of conscience can arise in cases where a legislative vote would be decisive for the passage of a more restrictive law, aimed at limiting the number of authorized abortions, in place of a more permissive law already passed or ready to be voted on. Such cases are not infrequent. It is a fact that while in some parts of the world there continue to be campaigns to introduce laws favouring abortion, often supported by powerful international organizations, in other nations-particularly those which have already experienced the bitter fruits of such permissive legislation-there are growing signs of a rethinking in this matter. In a case like the one just mentioned, when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.

Look, it would be nice to have the perfect candidate running against Barack Obama this November. But we live in the real world, the fallen world. We have a viable candidate in Mitt Romney, a man who will not actively persecute the Church (can you believe that's even an issue?), and who will mitigate the evil that has come and will continue to come through Obama's policies, executive orders, mandates, and (lifetime!) judicial appointments. As we read above, "by your vote, you can keep the worse person out. And trying to do that is not only legitimate, but good." 

You will not be in sin by voting for Romney. I beg of you not to "make a statement" this election, but to make sure that Obama is voted out of office for good. There is no greater threat to both the Catholic Church and unborn children in America than four more years of Barack Obama in the White House.

According to the principles of the Catholic Church, you may vote Romney-Ryan with a clear conscience.

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Quick Takes: The Saturday edition!



Well, we will pretend it's still Friday, in the same way that the Obama team wishes that Wednesday's debate never happened. (Wasn't that the greatest thing, evah??? No protective media filter for Obama means we got to see the real men in a real debate.)





1) Before you do anything else, go here to sign up for the weekly emails that will make it easy for all of us to...


I signed up and am so excited! Pope Benedict XVI has declared the Year of Faith, which begins on October 11 (Thursday) -- the very same day that you will receive your first emailed section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Let's all do this together, and live the Year of Faith deeply! Non-Catholics should sign up, too…. It's a great way to familiarize yourself with one of the great world religions (and it will help facilitate the debates we have on this blog). You might be amazed at what insights and riches you find there! 


2) This is a video of a doctor speaking only one sentence. You will enjoy the sentence immensely, but not really. You'll see what I mean:



Remember: It's not too late. Vote for Romney, and get all your friends and family to do the same. Especially you folks in the swing states! It is imperative that Obama not get a second term.


3) From funny(ish) to not funny at all. Read this very sad letter that was posted on facebook by Karl Keating, the president of Catholic Answers:

Dear President Obama:

Today I received a phone call from our family physician’s office. It was a courtesy call, to let us know that next week we will receive a letter. The letter will notify us that his medical office is closing permanently.


We have been making use of this man’s services for 25 years and were among his first patients, after his graduation from medical school and residency. He always has had a solo practice, and he always has kept up on the latest medical procedures. His bedside manner is exemplary, and I count him as a friend, not just as a physician. (As a happy bonus for us, he happens to be a fine Catholic.)


Once your new law took effect, he discovered that the reporting and allied software requirements were so onerous and so expensive that he couldn’t afford to process insurance and remain as a solo practitioner. Either he had to drop handling insurance for his patients, forcing them to pay for services as rendered and to seek reimbursement from their insurance companies on their own, or he had to join a conglomerate of physicians.


He thought the latter was the worse option because he wouldn’t be able to give his patients the consistent and personalized care that has been his hallmark, so he elected to drop processing insurance. As he expected, he lost patients, since under the new arrangement his patients pay more out of pocket (because the insurance company covers less of the total bill).


As it turned out—and perhaps this should be no surprise in such a weak economy—he has lost so many of his patients that he simply can’t afford to keep the doors open. The result is that he will take an unwanted early retirement (he’s about 55). His receptionist/bookkeeper and his medical technician, who have been with him for many years, will lose their jobs, and my wife and I will lose the best physician we’ve ever had.


Thank you, Mr. President.


Isn't that sorrowful? My own father was a solo practitioner, so it truly burdens my heart to know how many good doctors will be leaving (essentially forced out of) the practice of medicine due to Obamacare. Not only are we losing wonderful doctors, which harms us all, but remember that all Catholic institutions and business owners may be forced to close up or quit due to Obamacare and its unjust, unconscionable HHS mandate.


4) So much ignorance on the part of the electorate. And so much apathy -- well, except when it comes to shredding humans and sexual license. I was watching the news last week, and a reporter stopped a well-spoken twenty-something woman in the street, asking her if she knew the difference between Medicaid and Medicare. She said she did not know the difference (sigh), and that she was still on her parents' insurance. She then added, unsolicited, "I only care about abortion and gay marriage." I've always thought that abortion and sexual "rights" is the base, burning passion for so many Obama voters, and this just solidified my thought. Lord, help us.


5) Since you need some good news now, how about this? The head of Arizona State University's Secular Free Thought Society (i.e., the atheists), had a dramatic conversion to Catholicism, which was profiled in ASU's online journal, no less! Sometimes God hits people over the head with zero subtlety. I have a feeling God will be using this young man for great things:


And then, you can watch a day in the life of the priest who heads up ASU's Newman Center, a young, vibrant priest named Father John Muir (whom I remember as a seminarian, and whose sister is a friend of mine). Trust me. You.Will.Love.This.

A Day In The Life from Derek Natzke on Vimeo.


Yep, some very, very good things are happening at Arizona State.


6) Best piece I read all week, from Simcha Fisher:


You nailed it, Simcha! I love clarity and logic.


7) Dear, sweet Valery. She needs a family, badly. Please pray for her, consider her, share her photo and information.

Click my photo for more info!

Valery just had her sixth birthday, and there was likely no celebration. She really is one of the forgotten ones, even among those who advocate for the Reece's Rainbow kids. Please read my post about Valery, here:



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Next, please meet Sean, a little redheaded cutie with Down Syndrome who is ready to make someone a wonderful son!

Click my photo for more info!

Sean is two-years-old now and is simply beautiful! Please, pray and consider him. And of course, share him with everyone you know! There is a family out there, just waiting to be found!

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Finally, if I could hypnotize you and make you read this Orphan Report post I wrote the other day, I would. ("You are getting veeery sleepy…") Please take a look, and…



Click my photo!



Thanks to Jen for hosting!




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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

When even the Pope is concerned about American freedom, it's time to stop being silent


In my last post I mentioned some outrageous things about Obama. These and other things should worry us, but as Catholics, we have another big clue that something very unsettling is going on in our land: Pope Benedict XVI himself has sounded the alarm about America's "grave" political situation.

On January 19 of this year, the Pope addressed the American bishops on their ad limina visit to the Vatican. I've reprinted his words here, with some of my own emphases and comments. I was working on editing this down to make it easy for everyone to read, but then I thought: How often does the Pope speak directly to the politics of the day, calling out the forces that undermine freedom in my own nation? We need to ingest all of it.

And besides, it's not that long and I think you can handle it. ;)

So please, as Catholics, let us pay close attention to the words of the Vicar of Christ on earth, who is our trustworthy Shepherd and our beloved Papa:


Dear Brother Bishops,

I greet all of you with fraternal affection and I pray that this pilgrimage of spiritual renewal and deepened communion will confirm you in faith and commitment to your task as Pastors of the Church in the United States of America. As you know, it is my intention in the course of this year to reflect with you on some of the spiritual and cultural challenges of the new evangelization.

One of the most memorable aspects of my Pastoral Visit to the United States was the opportunity it afforded me to reflect on America’s historical experience of religious freedom, and specifically the relationship between religion and culture. At the heart of every culture, whether perceived or not, is a consensus about the nature of reality and the moral good, and thus about the conditions for human flourishing. In America, that consensus, as enshrined in your nation’s founding documents, was grounded in a worldview shaped not only by faith but a commitment to certain ethical principles deriving from nature and nature’s God. Today that consensus has eroded significantly in the face of powerful new cultural currents which are not only directly opposed to core moral teachings of the Judeo-Christian tradition, but increasingly hostile to Christianity as such.

For her part, the Church in the United States is called, in season and out of season, to proclaim a Gospel which not only proposes unchanging moral truths but proposes them precisely as the key to human happiness and social prospering (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 10). To the extent that some current cultural trends contain elements that would curtail the proclamation of these truths, whether constricting it within the limits of a merely scientific rationality, or suppressing it in the name of political power or majority rule, they represent a threat not just to Christian faith, but also to humanity itself and to the deepest truth about our being and ultimate vocation, our relationship to God. When a culture attempts to suppress the dimension of ultimate mystery, and to close the doors to transcendent truth, it inevitably becomes impoverished and falls prey, as the late Pope John Paul II so clearly saw, to reductionist and totalitarian readings of the human person and the nature of society.

With her long tradition of respect for the right relationship between faith and reason, the Church has a critical role to play in countering cultural currents which, on the basis of an extreme individualism, seek to promote notions of freedom detached from moral truth. Our tradition does not speak from blind faith, but from a rational perspective which links our commitment to building an authentically just, humane and prosperous society to our ultimate assurance that the cosmos is possessed of an inner logic accessible to human reasoning. The Church’s defense of a moral reasoning based on the natural law is grounded on her conviction that this law is not a threat to our freedom, but rather a “language” which enables us to understand ourselves and the truth of our being, and so to shape a more just and humane world. She thus proposes her moral teaching as a message not of constraint but of liberation, and as the basis for building a secure future.

The Church’s witness, then, is of its nature public: she seeks to convince by proposing rational arguments in the public square. The legitimate separation of Church and State cannot be taken to mean that the Church must be silent on certain issues, nor that the State may choose not to engage, or be engaged by, the voices of committed believers in determining the values which will shape the future of the nation.

In the light of these considerations, it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. [People!! He's talking about Obama's HHS mandate!] Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience. [Again, this is all Obama and the Democrats. No one else is doing this.]

Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the future of American society. The preparation of committed lay leaders and the presentation of a convincing articulation of the Christian vision of man and society remain a primary task of the Church in your country; as essential components of the new evangelization, these concerns must shape the vision and goals of catechetical programs at every level.

In this regard, I would mention with appreciation your efforts to maintain contacts with Catholics involved in political life and to help them understand their personal responsibility to offer public witness to their faith, especially with regard to the great moral issues of our time: respect for God’s gift of life, the protection of human dignity and the promotion of authentic human rights. As the Council noted, and I wished to reiterate during my Pastoral Visit, respect for the just autonomy of the secular sphere must also take into consideration the truth that there is no realm of worldly affairs which can be withdrawn from the Creator and his dominion (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 36). There can be no doubt that a more consistent witness on the part of America’s Catholics to their deepest convictions would make a major contribution to the renewal of society as a whole.

Dear Brother Bishops, in these brief remarks I have wished to touch upon some of the pressing issues which you face in your service to the Gospel and their significance for the evangelization of American culture. No one who looks at these issues realistically can ignore the genuine difficulties which the Church encounters at the present moment. Yet in faith we can take heart from the growing awareness of the need to preserve a civil order clearly rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition, as well as from the promise offered by a new generation of Catholics whose experience and convictions will have a decisive role in renewing the Church’s presence and witness in American society. The hope which these “signs of the times” give us is itself a reason to renew our efforts to mobilize the intellectual and moral resources of the entire Catholic community in the service of the evangelization of American culture and the building of the civilization of love. With great affection I commend all of you, and the flock entrusted to your care, to the prayers of Mary, Mother of Hope, and cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and peace in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Catholics, we are the voices and votes of our Church here in America. When we keep our voices silent, or when we use our votes in contradiction to the Truth, we are complicit. There is no justification for silence any more. It's time for every one of you to find your voice and start speaking up. I know it's scary, and it's difficult, but silence in the name of "getting along" is just not an option anymore.

In addition, we all should commit to an increase in prayer (the bishops' Rosary Novena for Life and Liberty starts soon) and also take up fasting before this election. If nothing else, it will increase our spiritual fortitude for the future. Because ultimately, this is a spiritual battle we're fighting.







Related post: To Lukewarm Catholics: This is your moment. Defend your Mother.

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