Friday, January 30, 2015

The SPLC and the Homosexual Hate Movement

Just returned from a very productive evangelization project in the Monadnock area.

In the news, Patrick Vaughn, Legal Counsel for the American Family Association, correctly observes that, "The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) calls the American Family Association (AFA) a 'hate group' because AFA promotes traditional Biblical views on homosexuality and marriage. SPLC does not have a standard for who they label as a 'hate group.' They apply the label to whomever they want to dehumanize and attack." See here.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has even included Mass Resistance in its list of hate groups because of the organization's opposition to homosexuality, an opposition which is rooted in both Divine Revelation and Natural Law. This is ridiculous on so many different levels. What is particularly ironic, however, is that Mass Resistance doesn't even meet the SPLC's definition of a hate group: "All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics." (Source:

And what is the definition of "immutable"? The word itself comes from the Latin: in - not and mutabilis - mutable (changeable). The American Heritage Dictionary provides us with an excellent definition: "Not subject or susceptible to change." But can one honestly suggest that homosexuality is immutable? Not according to the hard science:

What then has motivated the Southern Poverty Law Center to include Mass Resistance in its listing of hate groups? Is the SPLC driven by politics or science? Tolerance or relativism? Open-mindedness or indiscrimination?

And where is the hate really coming from?  See here and here.

The mainstream media would have us believe that the homosexual movement has nothing to do with hate. Tell that to the Catholics, Protestants and Mormons who came under both verbal and physical attack in California after the Prop 8 controversy.  Nobody wants to persecute us? That must be why I have received numerous threats and hate mail, not to mention hateful comments at this Blog directed against my person. There is no hatred from the "gay" community? This must be why a homosexual activist called The Mothertown News in Massachusetts to tell them he objected to an article I wrote for that publication - explaining the Church's authentic teaching regarding homosexuality which includes respect for the homosexual person - and that he was going to kill me with his high-powered rifle.

Radical homosexual activists do not view themselves as fanatics.  This comes as no surprise.  It was the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel, a man whose thought so greatly influenced my own, who said that, "Fanaticism is essentially opinion; opinion pushed to paroxysm; with everything that the notion of opinion may imply of blinded ignorance as to its own nature...whatever ends the fanatic is aiming at or thinks he is aiming at, even if he wishes to gather men together, he can only in fact separate them; but as his own interests cannot lie in effecting this separation, his is wish to wipe his opponents out. And when he is thinking of these opponents, he takes care to form the most degrading images of them possible - they are 'lubricious vipers' or 'hyenas and jackals with typewriters' - and the ones that reduce them to most grossly material terms. In fact, he no longer thinks of these opponents except as material obstacles to be overturned or smashed down. Having abandoned the behaviour of a thinking being, he has lost even the feeblest notion of what a thinking being, outside himself, could be. It is understandable therefore that he should make very effort to deny in advance the rights and qualifications of those whom he wishes to eliminate; and that he should regard all means to this end as fair. We are back here again at the techniques of degradation...fanaticism is, of its very nature, incompatible with any regard for truth; and as truth itself is not really seperable from our regard for it, we need not hesitate to say that the fanatic is the enemy of truth..." (Man Against Mass Society, pp. 149-150).

Which is why Catholics faithful to the Church, faithful to the Lord Jesus, must be painted as "loony" and "deranged." We must be made to be seen as being somehow "dangerous."  We must be demonized and eventually criminalized.  And then we can be disposed of in the gulag or in front of a firing squad.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My challenge to Pope Francis: One which will, of course, go unanswered

Most of you are aware of Pope Francis' concern over the size of Catholic families.  The pontiff suggested the use of Natural Family Planning while quipping that married couples do not have to "breed like rabbits."

As I said on Facebook: "It's true that married people do not have to "breed like rabbits." But then, priests don't have to float around the altar like Liberace around his Steinway or resemble Judy Garland."

Where is the Holy Father's concern over homosexual priests?  At the onset of his pontificate, when asked about the Vatican's alleged "gay lobby" [read Lavender Mafia] the Pope asserted that while a lobby might be an issue, he doesn't have any problem with the inclination to homosexuality itself: "Who am I to judge them if they're seeking the Lord in good faith?" he said.

Now obviously this comment includes priests who suffer from a homosexual inclination.

The problem?

Before entering into any state of life, a divine vocation is necessary. This because without such a vocation, it is difficult if not impossible to fulfil the obligations which pertain to that state and to obtain salvation. This is particularly true for the ministerial priesthood or any other ecclesiastical state. After all, it was Our Lord Who said: "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up another way, the same is a thief and a robber" (John 10:1).

Consequently, the man who takes holy orders without a call from God is convicted of theft in taking by force a dignity which God has not called him to and does not desire to bestow upon him. This is the teaching of Saint Paul:"Neither doth any man take the honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So Christ also did not glorify Himself that He might be made a high priest; but he that said unto Him: Thou art My Son; this day I have begotten Thee." (Hebrews 5:4,5).

It matters not then how learned or prudent or holy a man may be. No man may place himself into the holy sanctuary unless he is first called and introduced to the same by Almighty God. Jesus Our Lord was certainly the most learned and holy among all men, full of grace and truth (John 1:14), the Son of Man in Whom were (and are) hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3). And yet, Jesus required a divine call to assume the dignity of the priesthood. This is the teaching of the Council of Trent. That the Church regards the man who assumes the priesthood without a vocation not as a minister but as a robber: "Decernit sancta Synodus eos qui ea (ministeria) propria temeritate sibi sumunt, omnes, non Ecclesiae ministros, sed fures et latrones per ostium non ingressos habendos esse" (Session 23, cap. 4).

Those who seize the priesthood without a vocation may labor and toil exhaustively. But their labors will profit them very little before God. In fact, the very works which would be considered of much merit when performed by others will deserve chastisement for such souls. Because such men are not in conformity with the divine will, not having a vocation to the state of life which they have usurped, the Lord Jesus will not accept their toils: "I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will not receive a gift of your hand" (Malachi 1:10).

Not only will God refuse the gifts of their hand, He will punish the works of the minister who has entered the sanctuary without being called; without a vocation:"What stranger soever cometh to it (the Tabernacle) shall be slain." (Numbers 1:51).

Bearing all of this in mind, please read the following which first appeared in The Wanderer [I submitted it back in 2001] and may be found at the website:

On October 1, 1986, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published an instruction entitled, Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Pastoral Service for Homosexual Persons, signed by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and approved by Pope John Paul II. In this Instruction, Cardinal Ratzinger writes, "It is necessary to point out that the particular inclination of a homosexual person, though not a sin in itself, nevertheless constitutes a more or less strong tendency to an intrinsically evil behavior from the moral standpoint. For this reason, the very inclination should be considered as objectively disordered." (No. 3).

This would appear to be especially significant since Canon 1040 of the Code of Canon Law states that: "Persons who are affected by a perpetual impediment, which is called an irregularity, or a simple impediment, are prevented from receiving orders."

Now, irregularities arise either from defect (ex defectu) or from crime (ex delicto). It seems clear to me that a homosexual inclination, which Cardinal Ratzinger has referred to as "objectively disordered," constitutes an irregularity ex defectu. In fact, when asked by a Bishop if it is licit to confer priestly ordination to men with manifest homosexual tendencies, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments replied with a letter signed by Jorge Cardinal Medina Estevez which stated that, "Ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood of homosexual men or men with homosexual tendencies is absolutely inadvisable and imprudent and, from the pastoral point of view, very risky. A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency is not, therefore, fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders."

What say you Pope Francis? We have seen that you are most adept with the slogan.  Perhaps Your Holiness would be so kind as to explain to the rest of us why the homosexual inclination would not constitute an irregularity ex defectu?

Holy Father?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Diocese of Baton Rouge and the attack on the priest-penitent privilege

Washington D.C., Jan 21, 2015 / 05:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a petition from a Louisiana Catholic diocese that fears a civil lawsuit could force a priest to violate the seal of confession or go to jail.

The Diocese of Baton Rouge and diocesan priest Father Jeff Bayhi were disappointed by the decision, which the diocese said has “significant ramifications for religious freedom in Louisiana and beyond.”

“The diocese and Fr. Bayhi will continue their efforts to protect the guarantees of religious freedom set forth in our state and federal constitutions, and are confident that those efforts will, in due course, be successful,” the diocese said in a Jan. 20 statement.

The diocese and the priest are considering “a number of options” for other constitutional challenges in the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand the Louisiana Supreme Court’s May 2014 ruling that a court hearing is necessary to determine whether state law protects a priest’s conversation during confession with a minor about an alleged sexual abuser in the parish.

Catholic priests are bound to observe the seal of confession and cannot not reveal to anyone the contents of a confession or whether a confession took place. Priests who violate the seal are automatically excommunicated.

At issue is a civil lawsuit involving a woman who said that in 2008, when she was a minor, she told Fr. Bayhi that she was being abused by a parishioner. The alleged conversation with the priest took place during the Sacrament of Confession. The woman is now in her early 20s.

The young woman's family is now suing the priest and the diocese for damages, saying they were negligent in allowing the abuse to continue, The Times-Picayune newspaper reports. The estate of the man who allegedly molested the woman is also named in the suit. The accused man died in 2009.

A trial court had denied the diocese's motion to prevent any plaintiffs from testifying about any confessions that may have taken place between the then-minor and the priest. However, a state appeals court had ruled that the alleged confession was legally confidential and that the priest was not a mandatory reporter.

Later, the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned the appeals court. It said that a fact finding hearing should determine whether the priest had the duty to report alleged abuse under the state's mandatory reporting law. It noted that Louisiana law requires any mandatory reporter to report suspected abuse “notwithstanding any claim of privileged communication.”

The Louisiana Supreme Court also ruled that under state law the priest-penitent privilege belongs to the penitent, not to the priest, and if the penitent waives the privilege then the priest “cannot raise it to protect himself.”

In September 2014, the diocese characterized the legal issue as something that “attacks the seal of confession” and an “attempt by the plaintiffs to have the court compel testimony from the priest.”
Thomas McKenna, the president of the San Diego-based group Catholic Action for Faith and Family, also expressed disappointment that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to give a hearing to the question.

“We had hoped that the Supreme Court would clarify the issue once and for all,” said McKenna, whose organization joined several other groups in filing legal briefs in support of the Baton Rouge diocese and the priest.

He suggested that the plaintiff attorneys modified their position in response to the briefs and began to voice uncertainty about whether they would call the priest to testify about anything he allegedly heard in confession.

“That’s a success,” McKenna said. “Because all these briefs were filed, they changed their tone, and that’s probably why the Supreme Court didn’t accept hearing the case right now.”

If the plaintiff attorneys do call the priest to testify, he said, “we would revisit the case again.”

However, McKenna warned that the case threatens to advance a significant change in American culture when respect for religious freedom is already on the wane.

“This is unprecedented in the history of our country,” he said, saying that a state supreme court has never before ruled that a priest would have to violate the seal of confession.

“We have a civil court calling a priest and disregarding his religious perspective, saying that this is a civil matter and we don’t care what your religion says. You have to tell us.”

“The state has no right to demand from him that he break his vow. That’s what’s very concerning and scary,” McKenna continued. “What you have is the state telling the religion that they have to re-structure and re-order its religion.”

McKenna encouraged Catholics to pray for Fr. Bayhi.


This is extremely disturbing and has implications across the country.  The priest-penitent privilege has a long history in American jurisprudence, stretching back more than 200 years.

The earliest and most influential case acknowledging the priest-penitent privilege was People v. Phillips, where the Court of General Sessions of the City of New York refused to compel a priest to testify or face criminal punishment.

The Court rightfully asserted that, "It is essential to the free exercise of a religion, that its ordinances should be administered - that its ceremonies as well as its essentials should be protected. Secrecy is of the essence of penance. The sinner will not confess, nor will the priest receive his confession, if the veil of secrecy is removed: To decide that the minister shall promulgate what he receives in confession, is to declare that there shall be no penance..."

Attacks against the priest-penitent privilege have multiplied in recent years as the State seeks to encroach on religious freedom.  The Termite Nations seek to punish clerics who refuse to commit the crime of violating the seal of the confessional.

Canon 983: "The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore, it is a crime for a confessor in any way to betray a penitent by word or in any other manner or for any reason."

Any law which seeks to violate the seal of confession is no law at all.  The doctrine on the necessary conformity of civil law with the moral law is in continuity with the whole tradition of the Church. This is clear for example from the teaching of Pope John XXIII who said that,  "Authority is a postulate of the moral order and derives from God. Consequently, laws and decrees enacted in contravention of the moral order, and hence of the divine will, can have no binding force in conscience...; indeed, the passing of such laws undermines the very nature of authority and results in shameful abuse".

This is the clear teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas, who writes that "human law is law inasmuch as it is in conformity with right reason and thus derives from the eternal law. But when a law is contrary to reason, it is called an unjust law; but in this case it ceases to be a law and becomes instead an act of violence". And again: "Every law made by man can be called a law insofar as it derives from the natural law. But if it is somehow opposed to the natural law, then it is not really a law but rather a corruption of the law".

Monday, January 19, 2015

American Sniper and bloodlust

General Douglas MacArthur, in his farewell speech given to the Corps of Cadets at West Point on May 12, 1962, spoke of duty, honor and country and what these words entail for the professional soldier.

General MacArthur spoke of the bloody battles and the heroic sacrifices made by the soldier on countless battlefields. But he added, "This does not mean that you are warmongers. On the contrary, the soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."

This point is not understood by everyone.  It is least understood by those who have never served in the Armed Forces.  In a post on Facebook, Mr. Deal Hudson writes, ""American Sniper,' in my opinion is NOT TO BE MISSED. The 500 persons in the theater walked out in absolute silence. I've never witnessed that kind of a reaction to a film before, ever. Bradley Cooper is wonderful and Clint Eastwood's direction is masterful."

Various people chimed in fully agreeing.  One woman wrote, "I agree, it is a great movie!!! Thank God for Chris Kyle & others who serve our nation, their wives, children & families.

Another wrote, "Amen Mary. He saved the lives of a lot of Marines." And another, "Saw it Friday, took my very breath away!"

One woman added, "My husband (marine who served in Iraq and Afg) took our 17 year-old son last night. The entire audience reacted the exact same way - complete silence."

One individual wrote, "Heard this movie has lefty heads exploding, so naturally I must see this soon!"

Marcus Grodi, of EWTN's The Journey Home, wrote: "Couldn't agree more. Deeply moving. But a subtle point of the story: why the demands of some Callings require or should require celibacy. Celibacy allows a person the complete freedom to risk all for the good of his task—as it does or should for a priest. Marriage makes some Callings difficult—as it did for Chris when he was in the process of looking for threats to 'take out' to protect the troops while on his cellphone with his wife who was challenging his Calling. There are married men like Chris in harms way every day — like unappreciated policemen — protecting our lives: they need our prayers and support."

Only one individual, Stephen Hand, expressed concern over the film and it's glorification of a man some might consider sociopathic.  He wrote, "Er, the Church opposed that war. We opened up the gates of hell (ISIS). Read John Paul II and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who at the time warned us," and included this link with his comment:

And then added: "The real American Sniper was a hate-filled killer. Why are simplistic patriots treating him as a...[hero]?

Deal Hudson responded, "Stephan [Stephen], I don't agree with but I'm not going to argue it out in public in a thread that honors the memory of a man and his comrades who fought for our nation."

Stephen Hand replied, "I don't want to do an injustice to anyone. But his officers had a duty to remove him from combat. Or remove themselves if they were the ones who exhibited psychopathic tendencies. That was always military code and honor."

Deal Hudson answered, "Like I said, Stephen, I understand the point you want to make but this is not the place."

But it is the place to honor a man [sniper Chris Kyle] who publically quipped, "The enemy are savages and despicably evil,” and that his “only regret is that I didn’t kill more.” Kyle made these statements in his best-selling book, “American Sniper,” on which the film is based.

This is not what General MacArthur had in mind when he spoke of Duty, Honor and Country.  And what a tragedy that a man who came to enjoy killing so much that he actually wanted to kill more and regretted not being able to do so should be glorified in the cinema.

In his excellent and prophetic book Trousered Apes, Professor Duncan Williams documented extensively the banishment of God from society in the West and said that as a result, "the Western world and its culture is saturated with violence and animalism....We are teaching savagery and are naively appalled at the success of our instruction."

Professor Williams continues, "What shocks an audience today will be acceptable tomorrow and thus the contemporary dramatist [or reality show producer, my note] is constantly impelled to seek further excesses to gratify a warped taste which he has himself implanted in the public mind....The whole modern cult of violence and animalism is in essence an admission of defeat.  Since we cannot be men to any idealistic extent, let us lapse into barbaric animalism but, still clinging to vestiges of a past which we hate but cannot escape, let us clothe our defeat in high-sounding terms: 'alienation,' 'cult of unpleasure,' 'realism,' and similar jargon.  Yet all this fashionable phraseology cannot conceal the fact that the Emperor has no clothes....The contemporary playwright or producer might well take as his motto, Apres moi, la secheresse (After me, the drought), and congratulate himself that he is writing before a morbid public appetite demands scenes of such repellent realism that actors and actresses will have to be killed on stage in order to satisfy it."

Welcome to the Theater of Lust, the Theater of Violence, the Theater of Antichrist.

God help us all!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pray for the success of this endeavor....

Charlie Butts, writing for One News Now, notes that: "State lawmakers in Mississippi are gathering endorsements to make the Bible the state book.

Representatives Tom Miles and Michael Evans note that Mississippi has state symbols ranging from a state flower to a state toy, and after hearing from people they represent, they decided to approach the subject of creating a new state symbol – the Bible as the state book.

“It seems like the world is just in such bad turmoil, and every time you turn on the TV something just awful is happening,” Miles tells OneNewsNow. “And some constituents suggested to us that maybe as legislators we ought to try and do something different to make people think about the world in a different way.”

He suggests that making the Bible the state book could be one way of encouraging people to read the Bible and practice its tenets such as love, kindness, compassion and understanding. He adds that it would not force residents of the state who are Muslim, Buddhists, Jews or of any other religious preference to read or be influenced by the Bible.

“I think we are a Christian state and a Christian nation, but we're not trying to force religion on anyone and this doesn't require anyone to read the Bible,” he says. “This doesn't require a person to go out and purchase a Bible. This is just a symbolic gesture such as having a state flower or state tree or any other state symbol.”

The proposed bill already has 20 bipartisan sponsors, and Miles and Evans are looking for even more encouragement from constituents as they pursue making the Bible the state book of Mississippi."

Papal preacher Raniero Cantalamessa: Our culture isn't en route to Hell but is journeying to an encounter with God

“We are not heading for an eternal void and an eternal silence but we are on our way to an encounter, an encounter with Him who created us and loves us more than mother and father.” (Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, see here).

Only a delusional mind could advance such a hypothesis.  At a time when children are being slaughtered in the womb, governments are promoting sodomy and so-called "gay marriage," terrorism and other forms of violence are on the rise, there is general immorality with people engaging in and condoning various mortal sins, and the Churches are emptying, we are supposed to believe that we are not heading for the void but for the Kingdom of God?

In his powerful classic entitled, "The Flight from God," the eminent Swiss philosopher Max Picard writes: "In every age man has been in flight from God. What distinguishes the Flight to-day from every other flight is this: once Faith was the universal, and prior to the individual; there was an objective world of Faith, while the Flight was only accomplished subjectively, within the individual man. It came into being through the individual man's separating himself from the world of Faith by an act of decision. A man who wanted to flee had first to make his own flight. The opposite is true to-day. The objective and external world of Faith is no more; it is Faith which has to be remade moment by moment through the individual's act of decision, that is to say, through the individual's cutting himself off from the world of the Flight. For to-day it is no longer Faith which exists as an objective world, but rather the Flight; for every situation into which man comes is from the beginning, without his making it so, plainly a situation of flight, since everything in this world exists only in the form of the Flight." (The Flight from God, Gateway Editions, 1951, pp.1-2).

Picard goes on to explain in this critically important work that, "The man of the Flight cannot bear the feeling that there is one thing and one thing only: the Flight. He needs something wholly other, something, now threatening, now friendly, which is above him, like a heaven beneath which he can make his journey...This is Art...The very existence of Art in a sphere of its own already means that it is 'wholly other,' and from the beginning it is other than reality itself. The strange thing about Art is that a work of art is indeed made by man, but that once it is made it stands there independently of man. This gives it a semblance of otherness." (The Flight from God, pp. 138-139).

This is of the utmost importance for "modern man" as he flees from his God Who is Wholly Other. Nature abhors a vacuum after all. And so, in his flight from the Divine Other, man in the flight substitutes "Art" for the Divine Being as the Wholly Other." Picard explains that the cinema " the perfect Flight" and that here is where "men may learn how best to flee." For this reason, "..cinemas are everywhere erected, examples of the Flight. The figures on the screen are fashioned only for the Flight, they are disembodied. Like one in a hurry who drops his luggage, the figures have laid down their bodily substance somewhere in the background, while they themselves make off in the foreground of the screen, outlines only of their bodies. Sometimes they are still for a moment, looking backwards fearfully, as if there was one who pursued them. Alas, it is only a game, they do but pretend to be afraid. No one can reach them, these things without being. And now, as if they want to fool the one who pursues them, they move more slowly, they even translate a movement which ought o be fast into a slow one; they demonstrate slowness in the Flight, so sure are they that nothing can reach them, these things without being. Here in the cinema it is as if there were no more men, as if the real men were somewhere in safety, had for long been in safety, and as if these shadows had been left behind simply to flee in place of the real men. They only pretend to be in flight and even the men who sit in front of the screen in order to gaze at the shadows there seem nothing but dummies, arranged to complete the illusion,while the real men have long since departed." (pp. 8-9).

Dr. Von Hildebrand was right when he said that, "Modern man has lost that consciousness of being a creature which even the pagan possessed, and he lives in the illusion that by his own powers he can transform the world into a terrestrial paradise." (The New Tower of Babel, Sophia Institute Press, 1994, p. 21).

Having decided against God, "modern man" has embraced the Flight. This flight from the Divine Other has led to the decline of man's confidence in the powers of human reason to attain reality and truth. Man in the Flight has concluded today that all truth is relative. In the same way that Pilate asked Our Lord, "What is truth?" and hastened in his flight to the judgment-hall without waiting for an answer (John 18:38), so "modern man," in his embrace of relativism, joins the flight without any thought of inquiring for the truth. Instead, he settles for illusion, rejecting the permanent authority of truth as founded by the Divine Other in reality, reason and revelation while setting himself up as the autonomous source of all truth:"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the 'mystery of iniquity' in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675).

The Antichrist is behind the Flight, urging "modern man" to hasten in his Flight and not to look back. How will this Flight end? In the words of Romano Guardini:"One day the Antichrist will come: a human being who introduces an order of things in which rebellion against God will attain its ultimate power. He will be filled with enlightenment and strength. The ultimate aim of all aims will be to prove that existence without Christ is possible - nay rather, that Christ is the enemy of existence, which can be fully realized only when all Christian values have been destroyed. His arguments will be so impressive, supported by means of such tremendous power - violent and diplomatic, material and intellectual - that to reject them will result in almost insurmountable scandal, and everyone whose eyes are not opened by grace will be lost. Then it will be clear what the Christian essence really is: that which stems not from the world, but from the heart of God; victory of grace over the world; redemption of the world, for her true essence is not to be found in herself, but in God, from whom she has received it. When God becomes all in all, the world will finally burst into flower." (The Lord, p. 513).

Are we not approaching the Reign of Antichrist? "Modern man" strives to build a godless world where he is subject to no one but himself. Having eliminated God from this world, "modern man" deifies and absolutizes himself. Having rejected his place as a creature dependent upon God, "modern man" is moving, "..not toward divinity, but toward dehumanizing, toward the destruction of being itself through through the destruction of truth. The Jacobin variant of the idea of a rebellion against being human in itself, rebellion against truth, and that is why it leads people - as Sartre percipiently observed - into a self-contradictory existence that we call hell." (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Truth and Tolerance, p. 248).

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Attorney General Eric Holder wants the "Supreme Court" to set itself in opposition to the Author of Marriage

High court to hear gay marriage cases in April
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (January 16, 2015) — Setting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.

The justices will take up gay-rights cases that ask them to overturn bans in four states and declare for the entire nation that people can marry the partners of their choice, regardless of gender. The cases will be argued in April, and a decision is expected by late June.

Proponents of same-sex marriage said they expect the court to settle the matter once and for all with a decision that invalidates state provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Obama administration would urge the court "to make marriage equality a reality for all Americans."

On the other side, advocates for traditional marriage want the court to let the political process play out, rather than have judges order states to allow same-sex couples to marry.

"The people of every state should remain free to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman in their laws," said Austin R. Nimocks, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.

Same-sex couples can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

That number is nearly double what it was just three months ago, when the justices initially declined to hear gay marriage appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on same-sex marriage. The effect of the court's action in October was to make final several pro-gay rights rulings in the lower courts.

Now there are 14 states in which same-sex couples cannot wed. The court's decision to get involved is another marker of the rapid change that has redefined societal norms in the space of a generation.

The court will be weighing in on major gay rights issues for the fourth time in in 27 years. In the first of those, in 1986, the court upheld Georgia's anti-sodomy law in a devastating defeat for gay rights advocates.

But the three subsequent rulings, all written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, were major victories for gay men and lesbians. In its most recent case in 2013, the court struck down part of a federal marriage law in a decision that has paved the way for a wave of lower court rulings across the country in favor of same-sex marriage rights.

The court is extending the time it usually allots for argument from an hour to two-and-a-half hours. The justices will consider two related questions. The first is whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The other is whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

The appeals before the court come from gay and lesbian plaintiffs in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The federal appeals court that oversees those four states upheld their same-sex marriage bans in November, reversing pro-gay rights rulings of federal judges in all four states. It was the first, and so far only, appellate court to rule against same-sex marriage since the high court's 2013 decision.

Ten other states also prohibit such unions. In Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota and Texas, judges have struck down traditional marriage laws, but they remain in effect pending appeals. In Missouri, same-sex couples can marry in St. Louis and Kansas City only.

Louisiana is the only other state that has seen its gay marriage ban upheld by a federal judge. There have been no rulings on lawsuits in Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska and North Dakota.

In his Encyclical Letter Libertas Humana, Pope Leo XIII explained that:

"It is manifest that the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man, but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united. Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he please, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the state; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law . . . the binding force of the human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law . . . where a law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance of God, obedience is unlawful, lest while obeying man we become disobedient to God."

Human laws are "incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law." This is crystal clear Catholic teaching. There is no room for doubt. All other "laws" are unjust and are, therefore, not laws at all. And Catholics are not bound to obey them. In fact, Catholics have a duty to resist them. As I mentioned in a previous post, "Any law supportive of same-sex 'marriage' is no law at all. This because any law which is promulgated must correspond to the divine law. No human authority can declare what is morally evil to be morally good. Laws permitting slavery, abortion, euthanasia, divorce and "marriages" between persons of the same gender are immoral, and therefore unjust (St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, I-II, q. 96, a.5)."

Men might actually believe that they have the right to change the definition of marriage, but this is merely symptomatic of an illusion which is rooted in pride. As such, it represents a form of insanity. Men are not free to change God's eternal law to suit their own pleasures. Recall the teaching of Pope Pius XI in his famous Encyclical "On Christian Marriage":

"First of all, let this remain the unchanged and unshakable foundation: Matrimony was neither established nor restored by man but by God. It has been protected, strengthened, and elevated not by the laws of men, but by those of God, the author of human nature, and of Christ who restored that same nature. Consequently, these laws cannot be changed according to men's pleasure, nor by any agreement of the spouses themselves that is contrary to these laws. This is the teaching of Sacred Scripture (see Gen 1:27; 2:22f.; Mt 19:3ff.; Eph 5:23ff.); this is the constant, universal tradition of the Church; this is the solemn definition of the holy Council of Trent, which in the words of Sacred Scripture teaches and reasserts that the permanent and indissoluble bond of matrimony, its unity and strength, have their origin in God."

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 1603-1605, explain marriage in the order of creation:

"The intimate community of life and love which constitutes the married state has been established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . . . God himself is the author of marriage." The vocation to marriage is written in the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator. Marriage is not a purely human institution despite the many variations it may have undergone through the centuries in different cultures, social structures, and spiritual attitudes. These differences should not cause us to forget its common and permanent characteristics. Although the dignity of this institution is not transparent everywhere with the same clarity, some sense of the greatness of the matrimonial union exists in all cultures. "The well-being of the individual person and of both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life."

God who created man out of love also calls him to love the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being. For man is created in the image and likeness of God who is himself love. Since God created him man and woman, their mutual love becomes an image of the absolute and unfailing love with which God loves man. It is good, very good, in the Creator's eyes. And this love which God blesses is intended to be fruitful and to be realized in the common work of watching over creation: "And God blessed them, and God said to them: 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.'"

Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone." The woman, "flesh of his flesh," his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."

Again, we may choose to reject these truths. But in so doing, we lose our grip on sanity as it were. In the words of the late (great) F.J. Sheed:

"..if we see anything - ourself or some other man, or the Universe as a whole or any part of it - without at the same time seeing God holding it there, then we are seeing it all wrong. If we saw a coat hanging on a wall and did not realize that it was held there by a hook, we should not be living in the real world at all, but in some fantastic world of our own in which coats defied the law of gravity and hung on walls by their own power. Similarly if we see things in existence and do not in the same act see that they are held in existence by God, then equally we are living in a fantastic world, not the real world. Seeing God everywhere and all things upheld by Him [such as marriage, my note] is not a matter of sanctity; but of plain sanity, because God is everywhere and all things are upheld by Him...To overlook God's presence is not simply to be irreligious; it is a kind of insanity, like overlooking anything else that is actually there." (Theology and Sanity, p.6).

The choice is ours: We either view marriage within the context of the order of creation with God as its Author, or we sink into insanity.

If this nation continues to set itself against the Author of marriage, the Eternal Lawgiver, it will find out soon enough what the judgment of the real Supreme Court is.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pope Francis: This is why there cannot be any authentic dialogue with Islam

In his Encyclical Letter Ecclesiam Suam, Pope Paul VI told us that, "The Church must enter into dialogue with the world in which it lives. It has something to say, a message to give, a communication to make." (No. 65).

The Holy Father goes on to say that, "Dialogue, therefore, is a recognized method of the apostolate. It is a way of making spiritual contact. It should however have the following characteristics:

1) Clarity before all else; the dialogue demands that what is said should be intelligible. We can think of it as a kind of thought transfusion. It is an invitation to the exercise and development of the highest spiritual and mental powers a man possesses. This fact alone would suffice to make such dialogue rank among the greatest manifestations of human activity and culture. In order to satisfy this first requirement, all of us who feel the spur of the apostolate should examine closely the kind of speech we use. Is it easy to understand? Can it be grasped by ordinary people? Is it current idiom?

2) Our dialogue must be accompanied by that meekness which Christ bade us learn from Himself: "Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart." It would indeed be a disgrace if our dialogue were marked by arrogance, the use of bared words or offensive bitterness. What gives it its authority is the fact that it affirms the truth, shares with others the gifts of charity, is itself an example of virtue, avoids peremptory language, makes no demands. It is peaceful, has no use for extreme methods, is patient under contradiction and inclines towards generosity. 

3) Confidence is also necessary; confidence not only in the power of one's own words, but also in the good will of both parties to the dialogue. Hence dialogue promotes intimacy and friendship on both sides. It unites them in a mutual adherence to the Good, and thus excludes all self-seeking.

4) Finally, the prudence of a teacher who is most careful to make allowances for the psychological and moral circumstances of his hearer, particularly if he is a child, unprepared, suspicious or hostile. The person who speaks is always at pains to learn the sensitivities of his audience, and if reason demands it, he adapts himself and the manner of his presentation to the susceptibilities and the degree of intelligence of his hearers....In a dialogue conducted with this kind of foresight, truth is wedded to charity and understanding to love." (Nos. 81, 82).

As faithful Catholics, we must recognize and embrace these characteristics of authentic dialogue, even when our partners in dialogue refuse to accept these principles. For we will often encounter those who have succumbed to relativism or who do not possess a love of objective truth. For such people, the purpose of dialogue is not to attain truth but rather to achieve personal victory and to triumph at any cost. As Dr. Montague Brown explains in his wonderful book "The One-Minute Philosopher" (Sophia Institute Books): "An argument (emotional, not rational) is a disorderly confrontation based on an unwillingness to learn from one another. Desire for victory takes precedence over love of truth, with the result that agreement becomes an argument, I simply want my position to be the right one and you to agree with me. I am, indeed, looking for agreement, but on my terms, not in terms of objective truth." (p. 33). An authentic dialogue (which such people are not really interested in) is, " orderly confrontation based on a mutual willingness to learn from one another. It involves the presentation of evidence by each party and then a good-faith attempt of the participants in the discussion to come to agreement...In a discussion [or dialogue], I do not primarily want to disagree: I want to know the truth.." (The One-Minute Philosopher, p. 32).

It was Pope John Paul II, in his Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint, No. 36, who said, "There must be charity toward one's partner in dialogue, and humility with regard to the truth which comes to light and which might require a review of assertions and attitudes."

In order for dialogue to be authentic, all parties involved must be charitable toward others in the dialogue and possess humility with regard to the demands of truth.

As Franklin Graham just said on Facebook, "..followers of Islam are raping, butchering, and beheading Christians, Jews, and anyone who doesn't submit to their Sharia Islamic law." Clearly one cannot dialogue with such people.  Anyone who believes differently is simply not in touch with reality.

Those who attempt to argue, as Pope Francis has, that there is nothing inherently violent about Islam, are being dishonest.  As this website correctly notes, "The strangest and most untrue thing that can be said about Islam is that it is a Religion of Peace.  If every standard by which the West is judged and condemned (slavery, imperialism, intolerance, misogyny, sexual repression, warfare...) were applied equally to Islam, the verdict would be devastating.  Islam never gives up what it conquers, be it religion, culture, language or life.  Neither does it make apologies or any real effort at moral progress.  It is the least open to dialogue and the most self-absorbed.  It is convinced of its own perfection, yet brutally shuns self-examination and represses criticism.

This is what makes the Quran's verses of violence so dangerous.  They are given the weight of divine command.  While Muslim terrorists take them as literally as anything else in their holy book, and understand that Islam is incomplete without Jihad, moderates offer little to contradict them - outside of opinion.  Indeed, what do they have?  Speaking of peace and love may win over the ignorant, but when every twelfth verse of Islam's holiest book either speaks to Allah's hatred for non-Muslims or calls for their death, forced conversion, or subjugation, it's little wonder that sympathy for terrorism runs as deeply as it does in the broader community - even if most Muslims personally prefer not to interpret their religion in this way."

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A rising Islamic world: We are coming for you!

"An awakening and rising Islamic world — a more militant faith than Christianity or secularism — is saying to the West: We want you out of our part of the world, and we are coming to your part of the world, and you cannot stop us." - Pat Buchanan.  See here.

There are still some, including sadly many within the Church such as Bishop Robert McManus, who believe that the Church and the West can "dialogue" with Islam, which is a manifestation of Antichrist.

Apparently the message of 9/11 was lost on such people.  The date of this heinous and cowardly act of terrorism was not an accident of history.  It was chosen to send a message to the [largely] Christian West: "We are coming for you."

September 11th is the date on which the Battle of Vienna took place in 1683.

You're probably thinking: What does that have to do with a rising Islam and the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon?

Much.  You see, this battle between the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation in league with the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth versus the Muslim Ottoman Empire was decisive and really marked the turning-point in the Ottoman–Habsburg wars, the 300-year struggle between the Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire.

In other words, September 11, 2001 was considered [by the sick minds who orchestrated the terrorist attacks] to be both "payback" and a way of announcing that militant Islam was back.

In his book entitled Truth and Tolerance: Christian Belief and World Religions, Pope Benedict XVI makes a few observations which some Catholics would apparently find problematic. The Holy Father writes, "To what extent the new surge forward of the Islamic world is fuelled by truly religious forces to question. In many places, as we can see, there is the danger of a pathological development of the autonomy of feeling.." (p. 104).

On page 204 of the same book, Pope Benedict XVI writes, "...even with Islam, with all the greatness it represents, is always in danger of losing balance, letting violence have a place and letting religion slide away into mere outward observance and ritualism."

A rising and militant Islam intends to conquer the entire world and to destroy the Church.  And we're supposed to dialogue with that?


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pope Francis: Jesus said , "Let the children come to me."

The Daily Mail is reporting that, "Street children as young as five are being caged in brutal detention centres alongside adult criminals in a cynical drive to smarten up the Philippines capital ahead of a visit by Pope Francis this week.

Hundreds of boys and girls have been rounded up from doorways and roadsides by police and officials and put behind bars in recent weeks to make the poverty-racked city more presentable when Pope Francis arrives tomorrow, a MailOnline investigation has found.

In a blatant abuse of the country's own child protection laws, the terrified children are locked up in filthy detention centres where they sleep on concrete floors and where many of them are beaten or abused by older inmates and adult prisoners and, in some cases, starved and chained to pillars.

Six million people are expected to attend an open air mass conducted by Pope Francis in Manila's Rizal Park on Sunday, which will watched by a global TV audience and officials appear determined to ensure that urchins are hidden from view."

In a Letter dated December 3, 1994, to the world's children, Pope John Paul II wrote:


"Dear children,

Jesus is born

In a few days we shall celebrate Christmas, the holy day which is so full of meaning for all children in every family. This year it will be even more so, because this is the Year of the Family. Before the Year of the Family ends, I want to write to you, the children of the whole world, and to share with you in the joy of this happy time of year.

Christmas is the feast day of a Child, of a Newborn Baby. So it is your feast day too! You wait impatiently for it and get ready for it with joy, counting the days and even the hours to the Holy Night of Bethlehem.

I can almost see you: you are setting up the Crib at home, in the parish, in every corner of the world, recreating the surroundings and the atmosphere in which the Saviour was born. Yes, it is true! At Christmastime, the stable and the manger take centre place in the Church. And everyone hurries to go there, to make a spiritual pilgrimage, like the shepherds on the night of Jesus' birth. Later, it will be the Magi arriving from the distant East, following the star, to the place where the Redeemer of the universe lay.

You too, during the days of Christmas, visit the Cribs, stopping to look at the Child lying in the hay. You look at his Mother and you look at Saint Joseph, the Redeemer's guardian. As you look at the Holy Family, you think of your own family, the family in which you came into the world. You think of your mother, who gave you birth, and of your father. Both of them provide for the family and for your upbringing. For it is the parents' duty not only to have children but to bring them up from the moment of their birth.

Dear children, as I write to you I am thinking of when many years ago I was a child like you. I too used to experience the peaceful feelings of Christmas, and when the star of Bethlehem shone, I would hurry to the Crib together with the other boys and girls to relive what happened 2000 years ago in Palestine. We children expressed our joy mostly in song. How beautiful and moving are the Christmas carols which in the tradition of every people are sung around the Crib! What deep thoughts they contain, and above all what joy and tenderness they express about the Divine Child who came into the world that Holy Night!

The days which follow the birth of Jesus are also feast days: so eight days afterwards, according to the Old Testament tradition, the Child was given a name: he was called Jesus. After forty days, we commemorate his presentation in the Temple, like every other first-born son of Israel. On that occasion, an extraordinary meeting took place: Mary, when she arrived in the Temple with the Child, was met by the old man Simeon, who took the Baby Jesus in his arms and spoke these prophetic words: "Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel" (Lk 2:29-32). Then, speaking to his Mother Mary, he added: "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed" (Lk 2:34-35). So already in the very first days of Jesus' life we heard the foretelling of the Passion, which will one day include his Mother Mary too: on Good Friday she will stand silently by the Cross of her Son. Also, not much time will pass after his birth before the Baby Jesus finds himself facing a grave danger: the cruel king Herod will order all the children under the age of two years to be killed, and for this reason Jesus will be forced to flee with his parents into Egypt.

You certainly know all about these events connected with the birth of Jesus. They are told to you by your parents, and by priests, teachers and catechists, and each year you relive them spiritually at Christmastime together with the whole Church. So you know about these dramatic aspects of Jesus' infancy.

Dear friends! In what happened to the Child of Bethlehem you can recognize what happens to children throughout the world. It is true that a child represents the joy not only of its parents but also the joy of the Church and the whole of society. But it is also true that in our days, unfortunately, many children in different parts of the world are suffering and being threatened: they are hungry and poor, they are dying from diseases and malnutrition, they are the victims of war, they are abandoned by their parents and condemned to remain without a home, without the warmth of a family of their own, they suffer many forms of violence and arrogance from grown-ups. How can we not care, when we see the suffering of so many children, especially when this suffering is in some way caused by grown-ups?

Jesus brings the Truth

The Child whom we see in the manger at Christmas grew up as the years passed. When he was twelve years old, as you know, he went for the first time with Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. There, in the crowds of pilgrims, he was separated from his parents and, with other boys and girls of his own age, he stopped to listen to the teachers in the Temple, for a sort of "catechism lesson". The holidays were good opportunities for handing on the faith to children who were about the same age as Jesus. But on this occasion it happened that this extraordinary boy who had come from Nazareth not only asked very intelligent questions but also started to give profound answers to those who were teaching him. The questions and even more the answers astonished the Temple teachers. It was the same amazement which later on would mark Jesus' public preaching. The episode in the Temple of Jerusalem was simply the beginning and a kind of foreshadowing of what would happen some years later.

Dear boys and girls who are the same age as the twelve-year-old Jesus, are you not reminded now of the religion lessons in the parish and at school, lessons which you are invited to take part in? So I would like to ask you some questions: What do you think of your religion lessons? Do you become involved like the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple? Do you regularly go to these lessons at school and in the parish? Do your parents help you to do so?

The twelve-year-old Jesus became so interested in the religion lesson in the Temple of Jerusalem that, in a sense, he even forgot about his own parents. Mary and Joseph, having started off on the journey back to Nazareth with other pilgrims, soon realized that Jesus was not with them. They searched hard for him. They went back and only on the third day did they find him in Jerusalem, in the Temple. "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously" (Lk 2:48). How strange is Jesus' answer and how it makes us stop and think! "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (Lk 2:49). It was an answer difficult to accept. The evangelist Luke simply adds that Mary "kept all these things in her heart" (2:51). In fact, it was an answer which would be understood only later, when Jesus, as a grown-up, began to preach and say that for his Heavenly Father he was ready to face any sufferings and even death on the cross.

From Jerusalem Jesus went back with Mary and Joseph to Nazareth where he was obedient to them (Lk 2:51). Regarding this period, before his public preaching began, the Gospel notes only that he "increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man" (Lk 2:52).

Dear children, in the Child whom you look at in the Crib you must try to see also the twelve-year-old boy in the Temple in Jerusalem, talking with the teachers. He is the same grown man who later, at thirty years old, will begin to preach the word of God, will choose the Twelve Apostles, will be followed by crowds thirsting for the truth. At every step he will confirm his extraordinary teaching with signs of divine power: he will give sight to the blind, heal the sick, even raise the dead. And among the dead whom he will bring back to life there will be the twelve-year-old daughter of Jairus, and the son of the widow of Naim, given back alive to his weeping mother.

It is really true: this Child, now just born, once he is grown up, as Teacher of divine Truth, will show an extraordinary love for children. He will say to the Apostles: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them", and he will add: "for to such belongs the kingdom of God" (Mk 10:14). Another time, as the Apostles are arguing about who is the greatest, he will put a child in front of them and say: "Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 18:3). On that occasion, he also spoke harsh words of warning: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believes in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Mt 18:6).

How important children are in the eyes of Jesus! We could even say that the Gospel is full of the truth about children. The whole of the Gospel could actually be read as the "Gospel of children".

What does it mean that "unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven"? Is not Jesus pointing to children as models even for grown-ups? In children there is something that must never be missing in people who want to enter the kingdom of heaven. People who are destined to go to heaven are simple like children, and like children are full of trust, rich in goodness and pure. Only people of this sort can find in God a Father and, thanks to Jesus, can become in their own turn children of God.

Is not this the main message of Christmas? We read in Saint John: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" (Jn 1:14); and again: "To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God" (Jn 1:12). Children of God! You, dear children, are sons and daughters of your parents. God wants us all to become his adopted children by grace. Here we have the real reason for Christmas joy, the joy I am writing to you about at the end of this Year of the Family. Be happy in this "Gospel of divine sonship". In this joy I hope that the coming Christmas holidays will bear abundant fruit in this Year of the Family.

Jesus gives himself

Dear friends, there is no doubt that an unforgettable meeting with Jesus is First Holy Communion, a day to be remembered as one of life's most beautiful. The Eucharist, instituted by Christ at the Last Supper, on the night before his Passion, is a Sacrament of the New Covenant, rather, the greatest of the Sacraments. In this Sacrament, the Lord becomes food for the soul under the appearances of bread and wine. Children receive this Sacrament solemnly a first time-in First Holy Communion-and are encouraged to receive it afterwards as often as possible in order to remain in close friendship with Jesus.

To be able to receive Holy Communion, as you know, it is necessary to have received Baptism: this is the first of the Sacraments and the one most necessary for salvation. Baptism is a great event! In the Church's first centuries, when Baptism was received mostly by grown-ups, the ceremony ended with receiving the Eucharist, and was as solemn as First Holy Communion is today. Later on, when Baptism began to be given mainly to newborn babies-and this is the case of many of you, dear children, so that in fact you do not remember the day of your Baptism-the more solemn celebration was transferred to the moment of First Holy Communion. Every boy and every girl belonging to a Catholic family knows all about this custom: First Holy Communion is a great family celebration. On that day, together with the one who is making his or her First Holy Communion, the parents, brothers, sisters, relatives, godparents, and sometimes also the instructors and teachers, generally receive the Eucharist.

The day of First Holy Communion is also a great day of celebration in the parish. I remember as though it were yesterday when, together with the other boys and girls of my own age, I received the Eucharist for the first time in the parish church of my town. This event is usually commemorated in a family photo, so that it will not be forgotten. Photos like these generally remain with a person all through his or her life. As time goes by, people take out these pictures and experience once more the emotions of those moments; they return to the purity and joy experienced in that meeting with Jesus, the One who out of love became the Redeemer of man.

For how many children in the history of the Church has the Eucharist been a source of spiritual strength, sometimes even heroic strength! How can we fail to be reminded, for example, of holy boys and girls who lived in the first centuries and are still known and venerated throughout the Church? Saint Agnes, who lived in Rome; Saint Agatha, who was martyred in Sicily; Saint Tarcisius, a boy who is rightly called the "martyr of the Eucharist" because he preferred to die rather than give up Jesus, whom he was carrying under the appearance of bread.

And so down the centuries, up to our own times, there are many boys and girls among those declared by the Church to be saints or blessed. Just as Jesus in the Gospel shows special trust in children, so his Mother Mary, in the course of history, has not failed to show her motherly care for the little ones. Think of Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, the children of La Salette and, in our own century Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta of Fatima.

Earlier I was speaking to you about the "Gospel of children": has this not found in our own time a particular expression in the spirituality of Saint Theresa of the Child Jesus? It is absolutely true: Jesus and his Mother often choose children and give them important tasks for the life of the Church and of humanity. I have named only a few who are known everywhere, but how many others there are who are less widely known! The Redeemer of humanity seems to share with them his concern for others: for parents, for other boys and girls. He eagerly awaits their prayers. What enormous power the prayer of children has! This becomes a model for grown-ups themselves: praying with simple and complete trust means praying as children pray.

And here I come to an important point in this Letter: at the end of this Year of the Family, dear young friends, it is to your prayers that I want to entrust the problems of your own families and of all the families in the world. And not only this: I also have other intentions to ask you to pray for. The Pope counts very much on your prayers. We must pray together and pray hard, that humanity, made up of billions of human beings, may become more and more the family of God and able to live in peace. At the beginning of this Letter I mentioned the unspeakable suffering which many children have experienced in this century, and which many of them are continuing to endure at this very moment. How many of them, even in these days, are becoming victims of the hatred which is raging in different parts of the world: in the Balkans, for example, and in some African countries. It was while I was thinking about these facts, which fill our hearts with pain, that I decided to ask you, dear boys and girls, to take upon yourselves the duty of praying for peace. You know this well: love and harmony build peace, hatred and violence destroy it. You instinctively turn away from hatred and are attracted by love: for this reason the Pope is certain that you will not refuse his request, but that you will join in his prayer for peace in the world with the same enthusiasm with which you pray for peace and harmony in your own families.

Praise the name of the Lord!

At the end of this Letter, dear boys and girls, let me recall the words of a Psalm which have always moved me: Laudate pueri Dominum! Praise, O children of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord! Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and for evermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting may the name of the Lord be praised! (Ps 112/113:1-3). As I meditate on the words of this Psalm, the faces of all the world's children pass before my eyes: from the East to the West, from the North to the South. It is to you, young friends, without distinction of language, race or nationality, that I say: Praise the name of the Lord!

And since people must praise God first of all with their own lives, do not forget what the twelve-year-old Jesus said to his Mother and to Joseph in the Temple in Jerusalem: "Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" (Lk 2:49). People praise God by following the voice of their own calling. God calls every person, and his voice makes itself heard even in the hearts of children: he calls people to live in marriage or to be priests; he calls them to the consecrated life or perhaps to work on the missions... Who can say? Pray, dear boys and girls, that you will find out what your calling is, and that you will then follow it generously.

Praise the name of the Lord! The children of every continent, on the night of Bethlehem, look with faith upon the newborn Child and experience the great joy of Christmas. They sing in their own languages, praising the name of the Lord. The touching melodies of Christmas spread throughout the earth. They are tender and moving words which are heard in every human language; it is like a festive song rising from all the earth, which blends with the song of the Angels, the messengers of the glory of God, above the stable in Bethlehem: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!" (Lk 2:14). The highly favoured Son of God becomes present among us as a newborn baby; gathered around him, the children of every nation on earth feel his eyes upon them, eyes full of the Heavenly Father's love, and they rejoice because God loves them. People cannot live without love. They are called to love God and their neighbour, but in order to love properly they must be certain that God loves them.

God loves you, dear children! This is what I want to tell you at the end of the Year of the Family and on the occasion of these Christmas feast days, which in a special way are your feast days.

I hope that they will be joyful and peaceful for you; I hope that during them you will have a more intense experience of the love of your parents, of your brothers and sisters, and of the other members of your family. This love must then spread to your whole community, even to the whole world, precisely through you, dear children. Love will then be able to reach those who are most in need of it, especially the suffering and the abandoned. What joy is greater than the joy brought by love? What joy is greater than the joy which you, O Jesus, bring at Christmas to people's hearts, and especially to the hearts of children?

Raise your tiny hand, Divine Child,
and bless these young friends of yours,
bless the children of all the earth."

Does this not included every child Holy Father?

Pope Francis, Jesus said, "Let the children come to me." Will you not say the same?

Monday, January 12, 2015

America and the rest of the world have opted for Sparta over Calvary. Blood will soon flow in our streets.

One of my favorite poets, who was also a great prophetic author, is James Dickey. In his book Deliverance, which was made into a film starring Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight, he writes about the system failing. Years later, a policeman told me something I already knew for myself: that the day was fast approaching when people wouldn't be able to rely on the police and we would be reduced to a fight for survival.

I realize for some of you, this will just sound like doom and gloom. But believe it. We are already seeing mob violence and the targeting of police.

Prepare now. Both spiritually and physically.

It can no longer be denied that America has become a "seething cesspool of filth and corruption."  America has become a haunt of demons and of every foul spirit.  Today, even those who present themselves as "Catholic" have lost the sense of sin.  Archbishop Fulton Sheen warned that, "Man is powerless to resist evil if he does not recognize it as such, and deceives himself when he becomes indifferent to evil; his whole personality immediately begins to dissolve, for the power of conscience is inseparably bound up with the denunciation of evil. And this is precisely what our world is doing today; the very beliefs on which the best culture of the world was built are now called in question.  Even the distinction between good and evil is lost, and now only a sense of civic loyalty remains.  The prophet Isaias sounded such a decadence in his day: 'Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.'  If we called sin by its name it would lose all of its seductiveness.  Hell can be made attractive, only by surfacing it with the gold of Paradise." (Essay entitled The Sense of Sin).

Today, evil is called good and good is called evil.  Catholics faithful to the Magisterium are portrayed as "divisive" and "offensive" even as active homosexuals are celebrated and told to have "pride" in their behaviors.

On April 6, 1941, Bishop Fulton John Sheen gave a sermon on his radio show "The Catholic Hour" in which he reminded listeners that, "The basic spirit of the modern world for the last century has been a determination to escape the Cross." He told his audience as well that, "There is no such thing as living without a cross. We are free only to choose between crosses." And then he asked them: "Will it be the Cross of Christ which redeems us from our sins, or will it be the double cross, the swastika, the hammer and sickle, the fasces"? Bishop Sheen believed, as I do, that America is at a crossroads. In his own words, "We in America are now faced with the threat of that double cross...Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it? Will we get it from without, or from within, Will it be inspired by Sparta or Calvary? By Valhalla or Gethsemane? By militarism or religion? By the double cross or the Cross? By Caesar or by God? That is the choice facing America today.

The hour of false freedom is past. No longer can we have education without discipline, family life without sacrifice, individual existence without moral responsibility, economics and politics without subservience to the common good. We are now only free to say whence it shall come. We will have a sword. Shall it be only the sword that thrusts outward to cut off the ears of our enemies, or the sword that pierces inward to cut out our own selfish pride"?

Thus far, America has chosen the double cross. Fleeing from the Cross of Christ and the supernatural kingdom established by the Son of God; one of sacrifice and sanctity, America has chosen to pursue a terrestrial kingdom of pleasure and power founded upon a distorted idea of what constitutes liberty or freedom. But this city of man, which has certainly achieved astounding advancements in various spheres while increasing the affluence of some, has also contributed to a climate where men are regarded as mere machines whose only value is to be found in what they produce or consume. This in turn destroys the individual’s sense of personal dignity and responsibility. Americans, in their tragic desire to flee from the Cross of Christ, have rushed to embrace this distorted notion of "freedom" and have forgotten that, as created beings, they only possess contingent rights. That is to say, rights which are accorded by Almighty God. Consequently, in their zeal to promote the fallacious idea that the basis of public morality should be whatever the majority of citizens are prepared to accept, they have also forgotten that man does not possess, and never will possess, the right to perform or engage in any act which is displeasing to God.

And where has this flight from the Cross of Christ led us up to this point? Was Bishop Sheen being an alarmist? In the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, taken from his Commencement Address at Harvard University entitled "A World Split Apart": "Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. This is considered to be part of freedom, and theoretically counterbalanced by the young peoples’ right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil."

Getting back to Bishop Sheen. What did he mean when he said that, "Our choice is not: Will we or will we not have more discipline, more respect for law, more order, more sacrifice; but, where will we get it"? I believe Pope Benedict XVI was providing us with a hint toward an answer when he spoke of the "dictatorship of relativism." Americans who have gleefully embraced the tenets of liberalism have not learned the lesson the concentration camp and the gulag. These unfortunate souls refuse to acknowledge that atheistic ideology (and make no mistake, the current idea of "freedom" which has taken root in America is itself rooted in atheistic ideology) always, and without exception, gives birth to sheer violence. This is the lesson of atheistic humanism. A lesson which the majority of Americans would rather not think about.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke on the war against masculinity

In an article which may be found here, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke says,  "I think there has been a great confusion with regard to the specific vocation of men in marriage and of men in general in the Church during the past 50 years or so. It’s due to a number of factors, but the radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalized.

Unfortunately, the radical feminist movement strongly influenced the Church, leading the Church to constantly address women’s issues at the expense of addressing critical issues important to men; the importance of the father, whether in the union of marriage or not; the importance of a father to children; the importance of fatherhood for priests; the critical impact of a manly character; the emphasis on the particular gifts that God gives to men for the good of the whole society.

The goodness and importance of men became very obscured, and for all practical purposes, were not emphasized at all. This is despite the fact that it was a long tradition in the Church, especially through the devotion of St. Joseph, to stress the manly character of the man who sacrifices his life for the sake of the home, who prepares with chivalry to defend his wife and his children and who works to provide the livelihood for the family. So much of this tradition of heralding the heroic nature of manhood has been lost in the Church today.

All of those virtuous characteristics of the male sex are very important for a child to observe as they grow up and mature. The healthy relationship with the father helps the child to prepare to move from the intimate love of the mother, building a discipline so that the child can avoid excessive self‑love. This ensures that the child is able to identify himself or herself properly as a person in relationship with others; this is critical for both boys and girls.

A child’s relationship with their father is key to a child’s self‑identification, which takes places when we are growing up. We need that very close and affirming relationship with the mother, but at the same time, it is the relationship with the father, which is of its nature more distant but not less loving, which disciplines our lives. It teaches a child to lead a selfless life, ready to embrace whatever sacrifices are necessary to be true to God and to one another.

I recall in the mid-1970’s, young men telling me that they were, in a certain way, frightened by marriage because of the radicalizing and self-focused attitudes of women that were emerging at that time. These young men were concerned that entering a marriage would simply not work because of a constant and insistent demanding of rights for women. These divisions between women and men have gotten worse since then.

Everyone understands that women have and can be abused by men. Men who abuse women are not true men, but false men who have violated their own manly character by being abusive to women.

The crisis between man and woman has been made much worse by a complete collapse of catechesis in the Church. Young men grew up without proper instruction with regard to their faith and to the knowledge of their vocation. Young men were not being taught that they are made in the image of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These young men were not taught to know all those virtues that are necessary in order to be a man and to fulfill the particular gifts of being male.

Making things worse, there was a very fluffy, superficial kind of catechetical approach to the question of human sexuality and the nature of the marital relationship.

At the same time, in society, there came an explosion of pornography, which is particularly corrosive for men because it terribly distorts the whole reality of human sexuality. It leads men and women to view their human sexuality apart from a relationship between a man and woman in marriage.

In truth, the gift of sexual attraction is directed toward marriage, and any kind of sexual union belongs properly only within marriage. But the whole world of pornography corrupts young people into believing that their sexual capacity is for their own entertainment and pleasure, and becomes a consuming lust, which is one of the seven capital sins.

The gift of human sexuality is turned into a means of self‑gratification often at the expense of another person, whether in heterosexual relations or in homosexual relations. A man who has not been formed with a proper identity as a man and as a father figure will ultimately become very unhappy. These poorly formed men become addicted to pornography, sexual promiscuity, alcohol, drugs, and the whole gamut of addictions..."

Now I've been saying this for years at this Blog.  The Cult of Softness has infected the clergy and Christianity is increasingly being effeminized.

Dr. Leon Podles, in his book entitled "The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity," notes that, "Many Catholic dioceses actively discourage vocations to the priesthood, in a transparent attempt to put pressure on Rome to allow the ordination of women, or at least of married men...Because Christianity is now seen as a part of the sphere of life proper to women rather than to men, it sometimes attracts men whose own masculinity is somewhat doubtful.  By this I do not mean homosexuals, although a certain type of homosexual is included.  Rather religion is seen as a safe field, a refuge from the challenges of life, and therefore attracts men who are fearful of making the break with the secure world of childhood dominated by women.  These are men who have problems following the path of masculine development..." (p. XIV).

Dr. Podles cites a study by Lewis M. Terman and Catherine Cox Miles, which included a Masculinity-Femininity test, writing, "Terman and Miles gathered data from three groups: Catholic seminarians, Protestant seminarians, and Protestant ministers.  As one might expect, men attracted to the religious life differed strikingly in their masculinity from the general male population: 'The Catholic student priests score at a point far less masculine than any other male group of their age; in their early twenties they are more feminine than the general male population at middle life.  The Protestant theological students in their middle tewnties are, however, more feminine than they and exceed in femininity the sixty-year-old man of equal education.  The adult ministerial group is barely more masculine than the Protestant theological students and less so than the student priests.  They exceed in femininity the college men of the seventh decade.'  Terman and Miles concluded that 'some dominant factors must be present in all three groups to make them, without regard to age, conspicuously and almost equally lacking in mental masculinity.'  Interestingly enough, the similarities between the Protestant and Catholic groups and the Catholic group's slightly higher scores ruled out celibacy as a major factor in a lack of masculinity..." (P. 9).

Effeminacy (and here we are not necessarily speaking of homosexuality), has become the forgotten vice in seminary formation.  This as many masculine men continue to be excluded from pursuing priestly vocations and masculinity itself is banished to the margins of the Church.

I should know.  I'm one of them.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Je suis confus

"...the Catholic Church has engaged herself in inter-religious dialogue with
Muslims.  This dialogue has produced a harvest of mutual respect, understanding and cooperation throughout the world and here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." - Bishop Robert McManus, February, 2013. See here.

Tom Heneghan, writing for Charisma News:

"Radical Islamists were the main persecutors of Christians around the world last year, not only in the Middle East but increasingly in sub-Saharan Africa, according to an annual survey monitoring religious freedom.

Open Doors, an international group supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, said on Wednesday Islamic militants posed the greatest threat to the faith in 18 of the 20 countries that its annual World Watch List says are toughest for Christians.

Rankings are based on the group's analysis of violence against Christians and official or informal restrictions on rights to practice their faith, convert from other religions and enjoy the same civil liberties as other citizens.

Topping the list of Christians confirmed to have been killed for faith-related reasons were Nigeria at 2,484 and Central African Republic at 1,088, with Syria and Iraq—where Islamic State militants have driven hundreds of thousands of Christians from areas they control—at 271 and 60 respectively.

"Islamic extremism has two global centers of gravity. One in the Arab Middle East, but the other is in sub-Saharan Africa," researcher Ron Boyd-MacMillan wrote in a report accompanying the survey. (See for full report)

"Even Christian majority states are experiencing unprecedented levels of exclusion, discrimination and even violence," he wrote. See here.

Violence and the Quran

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

One would expect an uninspired book to contradict itself or speak ambiguously on various subjects, at times appearing both to endorse and condemn a practice. So it is with physical violence in the Quran. Yet, despite the occasional puzzling remark that may seem to imply the reverse, the Quran is replete with explicit and implicit sanction and promotion of armed conflict, violence, and bloodshed by Muslims. For example, within months of the Hijrah, Muhammad claimed to receive a revelation that clarified the issue:

Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens. That (is the ordinance). And if Allah willed He could have punished them (without you) but (thus it is ordained) that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain (Surah 47:4, emp. added).

Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors. And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. And fight not with them at the Inviolable Place of Worship until they first attack you there, but if they attack you (there) then slay them. Such is the reward of disbelievers. But if they desist, then lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrongdoers. The forbidden month for the forbidden month, and forbidden things in retaliation. And one who attacketh you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you. Observe your duty to Allah, and know that Allah is with those who ward off (evil) (Surah 2:190-194, emp. added).

Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not. They question thee (O Muhammad) with regard to warfare in the sacred month. Say: Warfare therein is a great (transgression), but to turn (men) from the way of Allah, and to disbelieve in Him and in the Inviolable Place of Worship, and to expel his people thence, is a greater with Allah; for persecution is worse than killing. And they will not cease from fighting against you till they have made you renegades from your religion, if they can (Surah 2:216-217, emp. added).

Muhammad was informed that warfare was prescribed for him! Though he may have hated warfare, it was actually good for him, and what he loved, i.e., non-warfare, was actually bad for him! And though under normal circumstances, fighting is not appropriate during sacred months, killing was warranted against those who sought to prevent Muslims from practicing their religion. Killing is better than being persecuted! A similar injunction states: “Sanction is given unto those who fight because they have been wronged; and Allah is indeed Able to give them victory” (Surah 22:39, emp. added). In fact, “Allah loveth those who battle for His cause in ranks, as if they were a solid structure” (Surah 61:4, emp. added).

In a surah titled “Repentance” that issues stern measures to be taken against idolaters, the requirement to engage in carnal warfare is apparent:

Freedom from obligation (is proclaimed) from Allah and His messenger toward those of the idolaters with whom ye made a treaty: Travel freely in the land four months, and know that ye cannot escape Allah and that Allah will confound the disbelievers (in His guidance). And a proclamation from Allah and His messenger to all men on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage that Allah is free from obligation to the idolaters, and (so is) His messenger. So, if ye repent, it will be better for you; but if ye are averse, then know that ye cannot escape Allah. Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve. Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfill their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him). Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (Surah 9:1-5, emp. added).

The ancient Muslim histories elaborate on the occasion of these admonitions: “[T]he idolaters were given four months’ respite to come and go as they pleased in safety, but after that God and His Messenger would be free from any obligation towards them. War was declared upon them, and they were to be slain or taken captive wherever they were found” (Lings, 1983, p. 323).

Later in the same surah, “Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth, until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low” (Surah 9:29, emp. added). “Those who have been given the Scripture” is a reference to Jews and Christians. The surah advocates coercion against Jews and Christians in order to physically force them to pay the jizyah—a special religious tax imposed on religious minorities (see Nasr, 2002, p. 166). Muslim translator Mohammed Pickthall explains the historical setting of this quranic utterance: “It signified the end of idolatry in Arabia. The Christian Byzantine Empire had begun to move against the growing Muslim power, and this Surah contains mention of a greater war to come, and instructions with regard to it” (p. 145). Indeed, the final verse of Surah 2 calls upon Allah to give Muslims “victory over the disbelieving folk” (vs. 286), rendered by Rodwell: “give us victory therefore over the infidel nations.” That this stance by the Quran was to be expected is evident from the formulation of the Second Pledge of Aqabah, in which the men pledged their loyalty and their commitment to protecting Muhammad from all opponents. This pledge included duties of war, and was taken only by the males. Consequently, the First Aqabah pact, which contained no mention of war, became known as the “pledge of the women” (Lings, p. 112).

Additional allusions to warfare in the Quran are seen in the surah, “The Spoils,” dated in the second year of the Hijrah (A.D. 623), within a month after the Battle of Badr:

And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah.... If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them.... And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s purpose). Lo! they cannot escape. Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others beside them whom ye know not.... O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty stedfast they shall overcome two hundred, and if there be of you a hundred stedfast they shall overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are a folk without intelligence.... It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise. Had it not been for an ordinance of Allah which had gone before, an awful doom had come upon you on account of what ye took. Now enjoy what ye have won, as lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful (Surah 8:39,57,59-60,65,67-69, emp. added; cf. 33:26).

Muslim scholar Pickthall readily concedes the context of these verses:

vv. 67-69 were revealed when the Prophet had decided to spare the lives of the prisoners taken at Badr and hold them to ransom, against the wish of Omar, who would have executed them for their past crimes. The Prophet took the verses as a reproof, and they are generally understood to mean that no quarter ought to have been given in that first battle (p. 144, emp. added).

So the Quran indicates that at the Battle of Badr, no captives should have been taken. The enemy should have been completely slaughtered, with no quarter given. This very fate awaited the Jewish Bani Qurayzah, when some 700 men were beheaded by the Muslims with Muhammad’s approval (Lings, p. 232). Likewise, members of a clan of the Bani Nadir were executed in Khaybar for concealing their treasure rather than forfeiting it to the Muslims (Lings, p. 267).

Another surah describes how allowances respecting the daily prayers were to be made for Muhammad’s Muslim warriors when engaged in military action:

And when ye go forth in the land, it is no sin for you to curtail (your) worship if ye fear that those who disbelieve may attack you. In truth the disbelievers are an open enemy to you. And when thou (O Muhammad) art among them and arrangest (their) worship for them, let only a party of them stand with thee (to worship) and let them take their arms. Then when they have performed their prostrations let them fall to the rear and let another party come that hath not worshipped and let them worship with thee, and let them take their precaution and their arms. Those who disbelieve long for you to neglect your arms and your baggage that they may attack you once for all. It is no sin for you to lay aside your arms, if rain impedeth you or ye are sick. But take your precaution. Lo! Allah prepareth for the disbelievers shameful punishment. When ye have performed the act of worship, remember Allah, standing, sitting and reclining. And when ye are in safety, observe proper worship. Worship at fixed hours hath been enjoined on the believers. Relent not in pursuit of the enemy (Surah 4:101-104, emp. added; cf. 73:20).

These verses show that the Quran implicitly endorses armed conflict and war to advance Islam.

Muslim historical sources themselves report the background details of those armed conflicts that have characterized Islam from its inception—including Muhammad’s own warring tendencies involving personal participation in and endorsement of military campaigns (cf. Lings, pp. 86,111). Muslim scholar Pickthall’s own summary of Muhammad’s war record is an eye-opener: “The number of the campaigns which he led in person during the last ten years of his life is twenty-seven, in nine of which there was hard fighting. The number of the expeditions which he planned and sent out under other leaders is thirty-eight” (n.d., p. xxvi).

What a contrast with Jesus—Who never once took up the sword or encouraged anyone else to do so! The one time that one of His close followers took it upon himself to do so, the disciple was soundly reprimanded and ordered to put the sword away, with the added warning: “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Indeed, when Pilate quizzed Jesus regarding His intentions, He responded: “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36)—the very opposite of the Aqabah pact. And whereas the Quran boldly declares, “And one who attacks you, attack him in like manner as he attacked you” (Surah 2:194; cf. 22:60), Jesus counters, “But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also” and “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:39,44). The New Testament record presents a far higher, more noble and godly ethic on the matter of violence and armed conflict. In fact, the following verses demonstrate how irrevocably deep the chasm is between the Quran and the New Testament on this point:

[L]ove your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? (Matthew 5:44-46).

But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful (Luke 6:27-36).

What an amazing contrast! The New Testament says to love, bless, do good to, and pray for those who persecute you. The Quran says that “persecution is worse than killing” (Surah 2:217)—i.e., it is better to kill your persecutors than to endure their persecutions!

The standard Muslim attempt to justify the Quran’s endorsement of violence is that such violence was undertaken in self-defense (e.g., Surah 42:41). Consider the following Muslim explanation:

At the time when this surah (Surah 2—DM) was revealed at Al-Madinah, the Prophet’s own tribe, the pagan Qureysh at Mecca, were preparing to attack the Muslims in their place of refuge. Cruel persecution was the lot of Muslims who had stayed in Meccan territory or who journeyed thither, and Muslims were being prevented from performing the pilgrimage. The possible necessity of fighting had been foreseen in the terms of the oath, taken at Al-Aqabah by the Muslims of Yathrib before the Flight, to defend the Prophet as they would their own wives and children, and the first commandment to fight was revealed to the Prophet before his flight from Mecca; but there was no actual fighting by the Muslims until the battle of Badr. Many of them were reluctant, having before been subject to a rule of strict non-violence. It was with difficulty that they could accept the idea of fighting even in self-defence [sic].... (Pickthall, p. 33, emp. added).

Apart from the fact that the claim that Muhammad’s advocacy of fighting was justifiable on the ground of self-defense is contrary to the historical facts (since the wars waged by Muhammad and the territorial expansion of Islam achieved by his subsequent followers cannot all be dismissed as defensive), this explanation fails to come to grips with the propriety of shedding of blood and inflicting violence—regardless of the reason. Muslim scholar Seyyed Nasr seems unconscious of the inherent self-contradiction apparent in his own remark:

The spread of Islam occurred in waves. In less than a century after the establishment of the first Islamic society in Medina by the Prophet, Arab armies had conquered a land stretching from the Indus River to France and brought with them Islam, which, contrary to popular Western conceptions, was not, however, forced on the people by the sword (2003, p. 17, emp. added).

In other words, Muslim armies physically conquered—by military force and bloodshed—various nations, forcing the population to submit to Muslim rule, but did not require them to become Muslims! One suspects that, at the time, the distinction escaped the citizens of those conquered countries, even as it surely does the reader.

The Quran appears to have been somewhat influenced by the Law of Moses in this regard. For example, the Quran states: “If ye punish, then punish with the like of that wherewith ye were afflicted” (Surah 16:126). Similarly, “O ye who believe! Retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the murdered; the freeman for the freeman, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female.... And there is life for you in retaliation, O men of understanding, that ye may ward off (evil)” (Surah 2:178-179). One is reminded of the lex talionis [literally “law as (or of) retaliation”] of the Law of Moses. However, whereas the Quran appears to enjoin retaliation, the lex talionis were not intended to promote retaliation. Enjoining retaliation would be in direct conflict with the nature of God. God is never vindictive. The New Testament law does not differ with the Old Testament in the areas of proper values, ethics, mercy, and justice. The “eye for an eye” injunctions of the Old Testament were designed to be prohibitive in their thrust, i.e., they humanely limited and restricted legal punishment to a degree in keeping with the crime. That is, they prevented dispensers of justice from punishing too harshly or too much. They were intended to inculcate into Israelite society the principle of confining retribution to appropriate parameters.

The fact that the author of the Quran failed to grasp this feature of God’s laws is evident in various quranic injunctions: “As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise” (Surah 5:38, emp. added).

The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.... And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony—They indeed are evildoers (Surah 24:2,4, emp. added).

These latter verses conflict with Mosaic injunction on two significant points. First, on the one hand, it doubles the more reasonable and appropriate forty stripes (Deuteronomy 25:3)—a number that the Jews were so concerned not to exceed that they counted thirty-nine and stopped to allow for accidental miscount (2 Corinthians 11:24). On the other hand, this eighty increases to one hundred for adultery. Second, the requirement of four witnesses is an unreasonable number. The two or three witnesses of the Bible (Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1; 1 Timothy 5:19) strikes a logical medium between the precariousness of only a single witness on the one hand, and the excessive and unlikely availability of the four witnesses required by the Quran.

It is true that the God of the Bible enjoined violent, armed conflict for the Israelites in the Old Testament. He did so in order to eliminate the morally corrupt Canaanite civilizations that inhabited Palestine prior to the Israelite occupation of the land (Deuteronomy 9:4; 18:9-12; Leviticus 18:24-25,27-28). There simply was no viable solution to their condition except extermination. Their moral depravity was “full” (Genesis 15:16). They had slumped to such an immoral, depraved state, with no hope of recovery, that their existence on this Earth had to be ended—just like in Noah’s day when God waited while Noah preached for years but was unable to turn the world’s population from its wickedness (Genesis 6:3,5-7; 1 Peter 3:20; 2 Peter 3:5-9).

Additionally, since the nation of Israel was also a civil entity in its own right, the government was also charged with implementing civil retribution upon lawbreakers. However, with the arrival of New Testament Christianity—an international religion intended for all persons without regard to ethnicity or nationality—God has assigned to civil government (not the church or the individual) the responsibility of regulating secular behavior. God’s people who live posterior to the cross of Christ (i.e., Christians) are not charged by God with the responsibility of inflicting physical punishment on the evildoer. Rather, civil government is charged with the responsibility of maintaining order and punishing lawbreakers (Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14). Observe Paul’s explanation of this dichotomy:

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor (Romans 13:1-7, NKJV, emp. added).

One translation (NIV) renders the boldface type in the above quote “an agent of wrath to bring punishment.” But this assignment of judicial and penal retribution to the government is a contrast in Paul’s discussion with what he wrote in the three verses prior to this quotation:

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:19-21, NKJV, emp. added).

Notice that the very responsibility that is enjoined on the government, i.e., “an avenger to execute wrath” by use of the sword in 13:4, is strictly forbidden to the individual Christian in 12:19, i.e., “do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath.” To “give place to wrath” means to allow God’s wrath to show itself in His own appointed way that, according to the next few verses, is by means of the civil government.

True Christianity (i.e., that which is based strictly on the New Testament) dictates peace and non-retaliatory promotion of itself. The “absolute imperative” (Rahman, 1979, p. 22) of Islam is the submission/conversion of the whole world. In stark contrast, the absolute imperative of New Testament Christianity is the evangelism of the whole world, i.e., the dissemination of the message of salvation—whether people embrace it or not (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47). Absolutely no coercion is admissible from the Christian (i.e., New Testament) viewpoint. The Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and all other violent activities undertaken in the name of Christ and Christianity have been in complete conflict with the teaching of the New Testament. The perpetrators acted without the authority and sanction of Christ.

Islam seeks to bring the entire world into submission to Allah and the Quran—even using jihad, coercion, and force; Christianity seeks to go into all the world and to announce the “good news” that God loves every individual, that Jesus Christ died for the sins of everyone, and that He offers salvation, forgiveness, and reconciliation. But, each person has free choice to accept or reject without any retaliation by Christians against those who choose to reject. Jesus taught His disciples, when faced with opposition and resistance, simply to walk away: “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet” (Matthew 10:14). In fact, on one occasion when a Samaritan village was particularly nonreceptive, some of Jesus’ disciples wished to command fire to come down from heaven to consume them! But Jesus rebuked them and said, “ ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ And they went to another village” (Luke 9:55). Muhammad and the Quran stand in diametrical opposition to Jesus and the New Testament.

If the majority of Muslims were violent, that would not prove that Islam is a religion of violence. The vast majority of those who claim to be “Christian” are practicing a corrupted form of the Christian faith. So the validity of any religion is determined ultimately not by the imperfect, inaccurate practice of the religion by even a majority of its adherents, but by the official authority or standard upon which it is based, i.e., its Scriptures. The present discussion in the world regarding whether or not jihad includes physical force in the advancement of Islam is ultimately irrelevant (cf. Nasr, 2002, pp. 256-266). The Quran unquestionably endorses violence, war, and armed conflict. No wonder a substantial number of Muslims manifest a maniacal, reckless abandon in their willingness to die by sacrificing their lives in order to kill as many “infidels” (especially Israelis and Americans) as possible. They have read the following:

Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks.... And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He rendereth not their actions vain. He will guide them and improve their state, and bring them in unto the Garden [Paradise—DM] which He hath made known to them (Surah 47:4-6, emp. added).

O ye who believe! Be not as those who disbelieved and said of their brethren who went abroad in the land or were fighting in the field: If they had been (here) with us they would not have died or been killed.... And what though ye be slain in Allah’s way or die therein? Surely pardon from Allah and mercy are better than all that they amass. What though ye be slain or die, when unto Allah ye are gathered?.... So those who...fought and were slain, verily I shall remit their evil deeds from them and verily I shall bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow—a reward from Allah (Surah 3:156-158,195, emp. added).

Even if the vast majority of Muslims in the world reject violence and refrain from terrorist activity (which would appear to be the case), it is still a fact that the Quran (as well as the example of Muhammad himself) endorses the advancement of Islam through physical force. While Muslim apologist Seyyed Hossein Nasr insists that “the traditional norms based on peace and openness to others” characterize true Islam and the majority of Muslims, in contradistinction, he freely admits that at times Islam “has been forced to take recourse to physical action in the form of defense” (Nasr, 2002, pp. 112,110). This concession cannot be successfully denied in view of the Quran’s own declarations. Hence, the Muslim is forced to maintain the self-contradictory position that, yes, there have been times that Islam has been properly violent and, yes, the Quran does endorse violence, but, no, most Muslims are not violent, and then only in self-defense. As reprehensible and cowardly as Islamic terrorists have shown themselves to be in recent years, an honest reading of the Quran leads one to believe that they, at least, are more consistent with, and true to, their own Scriptures—as revolting an idea as that may be.


Lings, Martin (1983), Muhammad (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International).

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2002), The Heart of Islam (New York: HarperCollins).

Nasr, Seyyed Hossein (2003), Islam (New York: HarperCollins).

Pickthall, Mohammed M. (no date), The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (New York: Mentor).

Rahman, Fazlur (1979), Islam (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second edition.

Rodwell, J.M., trans. (1950 reprint), The Koran (London: J.M. Dent and Sons).

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