Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, we need Shepherds not Keystone Cops who fall asleep while on duty

Writing from the UK, my good friend Deacon Nick Donnelly of Protect the Pope reports that:

Archbishop Nichols has re-affirmed the Archdiocese of Westminster’s provision of pastoral care to homosexuals through the so called Soho Masses, while at the same time announcing that he is undertaking a review of the current provision to ensure these Masses are not occasions for opposition to the Church’s teaching on sexuality: ‘At the present time consideration is being given to the circumstances in which these Masses are celebrated to ensure that their purpose is respected and that they are not occasions for confusion or opposition concerning the positive teaching of the Church on the meaning of human sexuality or the moral imperatives that flow from that teaching, which we uphold and towards which we all strive.' (See full article here).

Deacon Nick comments: "This is good news from Archbishop Nichols,and signifies an important shift in his position on the Soho Masses. Before the Holy Father’s visit the archbishop expressed, in intemperate language, that those Catholics concerned about public dissent at the Soho Masses should ‘hold their tongues.’ Now 18 months later Archbishop Nichols has admitted the concern that the Soho Masses could be occasions for confusion and opposition to the Church’s teaching, and needs investigating. This is exactly the claim made by Daphne McLeod and Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice....Protect the Pope recommends that the archbishop includes in his review an examination of the website Queering the Church, run by a member of the organising council Terence Weldon."

So Archbishop Nichols is going to conduct a "review" to ensure that the infamous Soho Masses "are not occasions for confusion or opposition" to the Church's moral teaching regarding homosexuality?  Why is it that I have an image of The Keystone Cops playing in my head?  Your Excellency, Terence Weldon, who serves as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist at these Masses, has been engaging in public dissent from the Church's teaching in this area for years.

In his latest post at "Queering the Church," Mr. Weldon writes that, "One part of conventional Catholic teaching on homosexual persons, is that our orientation is the cross that we must take up, and deal with. I disagree – orientation in itself is a gift from God, not an ordeal to survive. The cross that we carry, as I wrote in a Lenten post last year, is the disordered teaching of the Church, the persecution that it brings in discrimination bullying, gay -bashing and hate-crime murders – and the internalized homophobia that drives a disproportionate number of us to suicide, or to less extreme pathological behaviour, in addictions or in the closet....CDF documents claim, with no evidence whatsoever, that homosexuality/homosexual acts lead us away from God. That is certainly not my experience, which shows the exact reverse." (See here).

What do you think Your Excellency?  Does this passage indicate that Terence Weldon is striving to conform to Church teaching or that he is openly dissenting from the same?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Clark University: An ideology inspired by the Devil

In her article entitled, "The Degradation of Women by Feminist Extremists," Bridget Geegan Blanton writes, "...from the repressive identity that reduced a woman’s worth to her body parts. Those tough-minded Suffragettes, pioneers of the women’s movement, risked everything in the fight for rights and equal treatment under the law for American women. Feminist Extremists have squandered that legacy with an assault on the dignity of women and a dark retreat to the repressive past by claiming that a woman’s worth is defined by and limited to her body as propagandized in the demeaning production known as ‘The Vagina Monologues’.

The annual goose step onto college campuses of this exercise in female degradation is announced every Valentine’s day with shock value PR tactics such as 40-foot inflatable vaginas. This offensive strike against traditional values is actually an overt attempt to hijack the romance associated with this day and replace it with a message of male-bashing and sexual deviance. In textbook leftist style, supporters of the play cloak their attack on values and morality under the guise of promoting awareness about violence against women. In reality, the play is a non-stop obsession with a body part and imparts zero information regarding the defense against or recovery from a violent attack...Promoters of the play peddle their pornographic, anti-male propaganda behind a smokescreen of feel-good phrases like ‘empowerment’, ‘breaking the silence’, ‘liberating women’ and ‘provocative’. The term ‘provocative’ is a rather benign description of vignettes that feature pedophilia and sexual perversion..."

But The Vagina Monologues is more than pornographic agitprop which degrades women.  This satanic play also represents an attack on the Virgin Mary, Mother of God.  Which explains why Clark University, which has a history of Catholic-bashing, is so in love with the production.  Bridget Blanton explains, "No devoted, rank and file leftist is worth their tainted salt if they fail to take a swipe at the Catholic Church. You’re not considered part of the club if this rite of passage is left undone. In ‘The Vagina Monologues’ actresses describe 'Vagina Sightings and Miracles', an ugly, rapacious smear against sightings of the Blessed Mother that have been attested to, by the faithful in locations such as Lourdes, France. Ensler scored high with secular progressives by employing this standard bashing method against the Catholic veneration of the Virgin Mary."

This is most significant because the enemies of Mary are the enemies of Christ.  And the enemies of Christ are the enemies of God.  When people engage in hatred against Mary, the Most Holy Mother of God, this is strong evidence that they are inspired by the devil and, in certain cases, it is evidence of demonic possession.  It was St. Louis de Montfort, in his classic work on the Holy Rosary entitled "The Secret of the Rosary" (Ninth Rose), who said that: "It is very wicked indeed and unfair to other souls to hinder the progress of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. Almighty God has severely punished many of those who have been so benighted as to scorn the Confraternity and who have sought to destroy it.

Even though God has set His seal of approval on the Holy Rosary by many miracles, and in spite of the Papal Bulls that have been written approving it, there are only too many people who are against the Holy Rosary today. These freethinkers and those who scorn religion either condemn the Rosary or try to turn others away from it.

It is easy to see that they have absorbed the poison of hell and that they are inspired by the devil - for nobody can condemn devotion to the Holy Rosary without condemning all that is most holy in the Catholic Faith, such as the Lord's Prayer, the Angelic Salutation and the mysteries of the life, death, and glory of Jesus Christ and of His Holy Mother.

These freethinkers who cannot bear others to say the Rosary often fall into a really heretical state of mind without even realizing it and some to hate the Rosary and its holy mysteries.

To have a loathing for confraternities is to fall away from God and true piety, for Our Lord Himself has told us that He is always in the midst of those who are gathered together in His name. No good Catholic should forget the many great indulgences which Holy Mother Church has granted to Confraternities. Finally, to dissuade others from joining the Rosary Confraternity is to be an enemy of souls because the Rosary is a sure means of curing oneself of sin and of embracing a Christian Life.

Saint Bonaventure said (in his Psalter) that whoever neglected Our Lady would perish in his sins and would be damned: 'He who neglects her will die in his sins.' If such is the penalty for neglecting her, what must be the punishment in store for those who actually turn others away from their devotions!"

But isn't that precisely what those who promote The Vagina Monologues are doing?  They mock devotion to and veneration of Our Lady because they have absorbed the poison of Hell.  The importance of devotion to Our Lady, and more specifically devotion to the Holy Rosary, is often downplayed by those who, either consciously or unconsciously, have become instruments of the Evil One. The Devil knows full well that what St. Louis de Montfort says about the Holy Rosary is true: "I beg of you to beware of thinking of the Rosary as something of little importance - as do ignorant people, and even several great but proud scholars. Far from being insignificant, the Rosary is a priceless treasure which is inspired by God. Almighty God has given it to you because he wants you to use it as a means to convert the most hardened sinners and the most obstinate heretics. He has attached to it grace in this life and glory in the next. The saints have said it faithfully and the Popes have endorsed it." (Secret of the Rosary, White Rose).

The Devil frequently uses people (and this includes misguided Catholics) to frustrate or hinder the Confraternity of the Rosary. Why is this? Because, as St. Louis De Montfort explains: "Blessed Alan de la Roche, Fr. Jean Dumont, Fr. Thomas, the chronicles of St. Dominic and other writers who have seen these things with their own eyes [miracles of the Rosary] speak of the marvelous conversions that are brought about by this wonderful devotion. Great sinners, both men and women, have been converted after twenty, thirty or forty years of sin and unspeakable vice...I shall content myself with saying, in company with Blessed Alan de la Roche, that the Rosary is a source and a storehouse of countless blessings. 1. Sinners obtain pardon; 2. Those who thirst are refreshed; 3. Those who are fettered are set free; 4. Those who weep find joy; 5. Those who are tempted find peace; 6. Those in need find help; 7. Religious are reformed; 8. The ignorant are instructed; 9. The living learn to resist spiritual decline; 10. The dead have their pains eased by suffrages." (Secret of the Rosary, Fortieth Rose).

Clark University has clearly chosen sides in the Culture Wars.  And in the spiritual battle in which we find ourselves, Clark has sided with the evil spirits who both hate and fear Our Lady, the Immaculata.  Hence the attacks against her.  Again, St. Montfort: "God has established only one enmity - but it is an irreconcilable one - which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer.

Thus the most fearful enemy that God has set up against the devil is Mary, his holy Mother. From the time of the earthly paradise, although she existed then only in his mind, he gave her such a hatred for his accursed enemy, such ingenuity in exposing the wickedness of the ancient serpent and such power to defeat, overthrow and crush this proud rebel, that Satan fears her not only more than angels and men but in a certain sense more than God himself. This does not mean that the anger, hatred and power of God are not infinitely greater than the Blessed Virgin's, since her attributes are limited. It simply means that Satan, being so proud, suffers infinitely more in being vanquished and punished by a lowly and humble servant of God, for her humility humiliates him more than the power of God. Moreover, God has given Mary such great power over the evil spirits that, as they have often been forced unwillingly to admit through the lips of possessed persons, they fear one of her pleadings for a soul more than the prayers of all the saints, and one of her threats more than all their other torments." (True Devotion to Mary).

The enemies of Mary, the enemies of Christ, know this full well.  Which explains their hatred and their rage directed against the Immaculata.

Related reading: At Clark University it's "okay" to mock Christianity.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Clark University: Promoting a Theology of Violence

At their website, the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute has an excellent article refuting the lies of those who promote the anti-Catholic production The Vagina Monologues, a pornographic play which encourages violence against women.  Entitled, "The Vagina Monologues Facts vs. Fallacies," the article refutes the top ten common claims made by V-Day organizers and supporters:

1) Claim: "The play empowers/liberates women."

False: The Vagina Monologues is a lie. It does not empower women with its message that: women's identity and image are wrapped up in their sexual organs. True empowerment lies in the heart and the mind. Consider these images from the play:

•"The Woman Who Loved To Make Vaginas Happy" is a monologue about a successful tax attorney who leaves her career to become a lesbian dominatrix prostitute, specializing in the use of sexual "props," i.e. whips, handcuffs and ropes. Liberating or ironically violent?

•"The Vagina Workshop" describes a woman who attends an orgasm workshop and participates in a group masturbation session. The workshop leader tells the woman her sexual organs are "the essence of me, both the doorbell to my house and the house itself." This mindset is exactly what the early suffragettes were fighting against.

•Reclaiming C**t” invites the audience to participate in cult-like chanting of an explicit word to describe a woman's private parts. And this exercise empowers women because?

2) Claim: "The play raises awareness about violence against women."

False: The play offers women little more than encouragement to view themselves as a single body part and become obsessed with their sexuality and sexual behavior. It does not provide healthy or practical information about how to protect themselves against violence and/or recover from a violent experience.

•The opening monologue states that playwright Eve Ensler's biggest anxiety was not about adequately and responsibly addressing violence against women. She wrote this play because she “was worried about [her] own vagina” as far as “what we think about vaginas and even more worried that we don't think about them.” How about worrying that laws setting punishments for sexual offenders are not strong enough? Or that most women are unfamiliar with basic self-defense techniques?

•Questions raised throughout the play make a mockery of meaningful ways to address and learn about violence against women. They include, “If your vagina got dressed, what would it wear?,” “If your vagina could talk, what would it say?,” and “What does a vagina smell like?"

3) Claim: "The play is not anti-male."

False: Men are only mentioned in a negative way throughout the play as adulterers, abusers, weirdos, and rapists. Consider the following examples:

•The cheating husband who “forced” his wife to shave her vagina in the monologue “Hair.”

•Andy Leftkov, who in “The Flood,” calls his date “a stinky weird girl.”

•Supporters of the play will often ask, “What about Bob?” Bob is featured in “Because He Like To Look At It.” “It” meaning a woman's vagina. What we learn is that Bob is ordinary, boring, and unappealing, that is, until the woman character discovers his one redeeming quality: a perverted obsession with women's private parts.

4) Claim: "If you don't want to see the play, you don't have to."

False: Advertisements, promotional materials, and other events surrounding the play around campus are equally offensive and degrading.

•Roger Williams University was flooded with signs that read, "My Vagina is Huggable," "My Vagina is Flirty," and "My Vagina is Regal."

•University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill allowed tee shirts that read "I Heart My Vagina."

•Boise State University distributed vagina lollipops.

•Florida State University had an orgasm workshop.

•Arizona State University constructed a 40-foot inflatable vagina on campus.

5) Claim: "The play is not pornographic"

False: It includes extremely graphic descriptions of women's sexual experiences.

•One monologue has an explicit depiction of two lesbians having sex. “She's inside me. I'm inside me.” And it gets much, much worse.

•“The Vagina Workshop” describes one woman's experience with masturbation. “I bounced and landed, landed and bounced. I came into my own muscles and blood cells and then I just slid into my vagina.”

6) Claim: "Opponents of the play are anti-feminist."

False: Those who oppose the play are pro-woman. We reject the effort to convince women to think of themselves as sexual objects. And we object to this play as a way to bring meaningful attention to the serious issue of violence against women. In addition, the early suffragettes—the original feminists—fought hard for equal rights and treatment under the law for women. They fought against the very notion that a woman is reducible to a single body part. By opposing this play, we honor their efforts.

7) Claim: "The play does not venerate child rape."

False: The child rape that occurs in “The Little Coochie Snorcher That Could” is presented as a sympathetic and spiritually redeeming experience for the young girl who is violated. She describes the rape as “surprising, unexpected, politically incorrect salvation” that “transformed my sorry-ass coochi snorcher and raised it up into a kind of heaven.” The monologue describes how a 24-year-old woman plies a 16-year-old girl (she is 13 in the original version) with vodka and then sexually violates her. And in the original version, this monologue ended with the line: “If it was rape, it was a good rape.”

8) Claim: "Funds raised by the play are ending violence against women."

While some of the funds are being sent to community programs and organizations that help victims of violence, the play itself does not effectively address this issue, its cause or any meaningful solutions. Rather, it encourages the very attitude that often leads to sexual violence: treating women as objects. According to V-Day organizers, groups who have also received proceeds from the play include Equality Now,, gay and lesbian centers, Planned Parenthood, and Girls, Inc.—groups with specific political agendas that reach way beyond violence against women.

We hope the V-Day marketing ploy and the lunacy of the play will be exposed. We also hope women, men, professors, and administrators will reject this demeaning portrayal of women. Until then, our approach is to inform, equip, and support reasonable students who are offended.

9) Claim: "The play is based on real women's stories."

False: In her book, Eve Ensler states, “Some of the monologues are close to verbatim interviews, some are composite interviews, and with some I just began with the seed of an interview and had a good time.” The "V-Day" website provides no evidence these interviews actually occurred or that any of the women mentioned exist.

10) Claim: "Opponents of the play are against free speech."

False: Opposing the play and advocating censorship are two very different things. We do not propose violating the First Amendment. In the free marketplace of ideas, the best idea will win out.

V-Day Unveiled was created to offer positive approaches that students can use to offer alternatives and/or express their disapproval of the play being performed on campus and with school funds. (See here).

But Jeremy Levine, a student who writes for Clark University's student newspaper The Scarlet, is quite content with the pornographic agitprop which encourages violence against women.  For Jeremy, true empowerment does not lie in the heart and mind.  For Jeremy, a woman's identity is wrapped up in her sexual organs.  He writes, "The vagina is much more than a body part, its the essence of what it is to be female, the epitome of feminine empowerment, and every single one is unique, not just on a biological level."

And this at a time when a student was sexually assaulted on Clark's campus.

Jeremy's review of The Vagina Monologues is so disturbing that it reads like the transcript of a serial rapist who is fixated on women's vaginas: "The performances themselves were fabulous. Stage productions often rely on acting, but not this one. Sure, the lines were memorized, and agonizing hours went into rehearsal, but the feeling was sincere. The people on stage really cared about vaginas, and really understood how the women they were portraying felt. This made [it] much easier to connect to the message....I learned about angry vaginas, young vaginas, old vaginas, neglected vaginas, adored vaginas, mysterious vaginas, overeager vaginas, and shy vaginas. One woman described her vagina as being “better than the grand canyon,” while another stated that hers “stays closed, and [she] doesn’t go down there.”..I always knew that sexuality was complicated, but this brought it to a whole new level... Every person on stage had a completely different take on her vagina and her interactions involving it...Vaginas are complicated, but their complications go beyond the physical. Each individual woman (and each individual man) has his or her own relationship with particular vaginas, and vaginas in general. These are not relationships to oversimplify, neglect, or generalize. They are the epitome of understanding one’s sexuality, and the beginning of trying to understand that of other people." (See here).

What Jeremy (and Clark University) is advancing is a theology from Hell. It is most ironic that his article is entitled "Peace, love and Vagina Monologues," for this pornographic play has nothing to do with love.  It is, rather, representative of today's cruel demand for sex without love, for a licentiousness in sex which has wrought a heartless society in which individuals do not care for anyone but themselves. The fruit of this demonic theology is the slaughter through abortion and euthanasia of human beings created in the Imago Dei. It is a theology of violence which is rooted in hatred of truth. For at the heart of immorality is falsity, the hatred of truth. Fr. Vincent Miceli explains: "...violence entered creation from the rebellion of Lucifer. This rebellion arose from the heart of pride. But the sin of pride is the offspring of the vice known as hatred of truth. Hatred of truth is the result of the creature's attempt to rearrange God's hierarchy of beings and values into an order which the creature prefers to the plan of God. This attempt immediately produces the violence of disorder, the chaos of falsity and immorality. For hatred of truth is really hatred of God who creates all things wisely and governs them lovingly. Lucifer, the Morning Star, was instantly deformed into the Prince of Darkness because he attempted to live a lie. He wanted to dethrone God and become God himself..." ( Essay entitled The Taproot of Violence).

At one university, the student Knights of Columbus group issued an open letter deploring the, "..performance of trash that demeans women and only serves to degrade the dignity of the human person...The Monologues will not further the mission of our University. A woman is a person, not an object. God blessed humanity with the gift of sex as a way of celebrating the love between spouses and of bringing new life into His world...."

This is the essence of the new anti-Christian sex education in preparation for the Moloch State. As George Kendall explains in Witness for the Truth, this sex education "radically separates sex from the very idea of the covenanted love of man and woman. Sex becomes merely a self-centered appetite to be satisfied and not a gift of self to another. As a result, what this kind of education produces is the lonely, autonomous individual. This is the ultimate in alienation. The autonomous individual is alienated even from his own body, which becomes to him only a thing, too - a thing to be used as a means to his autonomous pleasure. The end result is depersonalization which, if it lasts into eternity without being healed, means eternal loss.

Few have put it as eloquently as Randy Engel did: 'Is it any wonder that the state must wage war against the family? For the state requires not individuals who dream, and think, and pray, but rather what has come to be called 'the mass man' - rootless, unaffirmed, a reactor - a mere reed blowing in the wind - a thing to be manipulated, to be used, to be disposed of, but never, never, to be loved, for the giant has no heart. And since the modern state has no heart, that which men previously have done out of love, must now be done out of fear, and hatred, and brute force.' So clearly, contemporary sex education, 'Catholic' or otherwise, is a profound attack on human dignity and on the human person.." (Witness for the Truth, pp. 399-400. citing Randy Engel "The Family Under Siege," Wanderer, March 6, 1980).

And now I would add, satanic. The United States, like the other Termite Nations of the West, is fast-becoming a Moloch State which claims total jurisdiction over man. It is becoming a demon-state which rejects God's Commandments and His plan for the human family. This demon-state (and make no mistake about it, our leaders increasingly have recourse to demons) denies that there is any transcendent, higher-than-human voice or authority that cares for man. R.J. Rushdoony explains that:

"The Moloch State simply represents the supreme effort of man to command the future, to predestine the world, and to be as God. Lesser efforts, divination, spirit-questing, magic and witchcraft are equally anathema to God. All represent efforts to have the future on other than God's terms, to have a future apart from and in defiance of God. They are assertions that the world is not of God but of brute factuality, and that man can somehow master the world and the future by going directly to the raw materials thereof."

Clark University has succumbed to hatred of truth.  For this reason, the institution is now succumbing to a lust for violence.  Our Lord warned the Pharisees that men who reject God's plan for their salvation will imitate Satan's deeds.  Enter the Moloch State and he who will rule it with hatred and violence in his own name. (John 5: 43).

Sunday, February 26, 2012

For some Clark University students, I am "delusional" for seeing the connection between destructive pornography and violence against women

The Most Rev. John D'Arcy, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, in a statement which may be found here, asks, "What is wrong with the text of this play [The Vagina Monologues]? It distorts the beautiful gift of human sexuality, clouding its richness so it becomes merely the seeking of pleasure. Sexuality in the Catholic tradition is always related to the gift of self to another. 'Sexuality is an enrichment of the whole person — body, emotions and soul — and it manifests its inmost meaning in leading the person to the gift of self in love.' (Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II).

In contrast, the play in question reduces sexuality to a particular organ of a woman’s body separate from the person of the woman, from her soul and her spirit. It alienates woman from man whom God has entrusted to her as friend and companion. It separates sexuality and the human body from love. How opposite from our tradition which says, 'A woman’s dignity is closely connected with the love which she receives by the very reason of her femininity. It is likewise connected with the love she gives in return.' (On the Dignity of Women,  Pope John Paul II).

While some will find it hard to believe, it is true that this play depicts in an approving way a sexual relationship between an adult woman and an adolescent girl, a minor. Such an action, which is a crime in both civil and church law, is also considered a serious sin in Christian moral teaching. The play also contains explicit depictions of masturbation and lesbian sex, portrayed in a positive light.

In this first encyclical letter, Pope Benedict XVI, theologian and pastor, speaks to this cultural phenomenon with striking clarity. 'Nowadays Christianity of the past is often criticized as having been opposed to the body; and it is quite true that tendencies of this sort have always existed. Yet the contemporary way of exalting the body is deceptive. Eros, reduced to pure 'sex,' has become a commodity, a mere ‘thing’ to be bought and sold, or rather, man himself becomes a commodity. This is hardly man’s great 'yes’ to the body and his sexuality as the purely material part of himself to be used and exploited at will. Nor does he see it as an arena for the exercise of his freedom, but as mere object that he attempts, as he pleases, to make both enjoyable and harmless. Here we are actually dealing with a debasement of the human body: no longer is it integrated into our overall existential freedom; no longer is it a vital expression of our whole being, but it is more or less relegated to the purely biological sphere. The apparent exaltation of the body can quickly turn into a hatred of bodiliness. Christian faith, on the other hand, has always considered man a unity in duality, a reality in which spirit and matter compenetrate, and in which each is brought to a new nobility.' (Deus Caritas Est, Pope Benedict XVI, Dec. 25, 2005).

Bishop D'Arcy then cites Pope John Paul II in his classic work "Love and Responsibility": 'Art has a right and a duty, for the sake of realism, to reproduce the human body, and the love of man and woman, as they are in reality, to speak the whole truth about them. The human body is an authentic part of the truth about man, just as its sensual and sexual aspects are an authentic part of the truth about human love. But it would be wrong to let this part obscure the whole — and this is what often happens in artPornography is a marked tendency to accentuate the sexual element when reproducing the human body or human love in a work of art, with the object of inducing the reader or viewer to believe that sexual values are the only real values of the person, and that love is nothing more than the experience, individual or shared, of those values alone.' And then His Excellency adds, "Such an analysis brings clarity. The play [The Vagina Monologues],...does not portray the whole truth about human sexuality; and by this separation, it violates the truth about the body, the truth about the gift of sexuality, the truth about love, and the truth about man and woman."

As I mentioned in my last Blog post, Women for Faith and Family, a highly respected association of Catholic women led by serious scholars, has said that: "Vagina Monologues is destructive, pornographic, deforming agit-prop deliberately and cynically aimed at young women - in particular at young Catholic women - a form of victimization that it is perilous to ignore. It contradicts at the deepest level the truth of creation; it is profoundly anti-Catholic, anti-God; and a contemptible assault on the very nature of the human person."  The play, as WFF correctly notes, "..actually contributes to violence against women, while claiming to be fighting it."

But many of the students at Clark University don't see it that way.  I received an email from an individual calling himself Carson Stevens.  In this email, Carson asserted that, "The implication that Clark University creates an atmosphere that is partially responsible for the sexual assault is incorrect."  On what does he base his argument?  Well it's simple according to Carson: "Clark's production of Vagina Monologues does not include that scene which you described."  But there is far more than just one offensive scene.  As Bishop D'Arcy noted, "The play also contains explicit depictions of masturbation and lesbian sex, portrayed in a positive light."  The whole play, as Bishop D'Arcy said, "reduces sexuality to a particular organ of a woman's body."

So much for the "they deleted the one lesbian rape scene" argument.

Then Carson writes, "As for the guilt of Clark, no Clark community member has been linked to the crime (with the exception of the survivor, herself)."  Translation: You cannot put Clark Students or faculty at the scene of the crime as actual participants, therefore we bear no responsibility for this crime even though we have been  fostering an atmosphere where women are demeaned and others are encouraged to view women as objects to be used and exploited at will.

If productions do not influence human behavior, what is the point of the television commercial?

Another Clark Student (I traced his IP address to Clark University), calling himself "Sigma," berated me for my post on The Vagina Monologues and wrote, "Dude, your views aren't even accepted by 99.9 percent of Christians."  In other words, because I believe women are created in the Imago Dei (in the Image and Likeness of God) and should not be reduced to being mere sexual objects to be exploited and used, I am out of touch with reality.  Sigma added, "You need to get off your delusional Christian agenda and leave Clark alone."

According to the City of Worcester, in 2011, detectives investigated approximately 280 sexual assault cases in which 41 fell within the definition of forcible rape as defined in the UCR. "The remainder of the cases did not meet the strict definition....It is anticipated that the reported number of forcible rapes as defined by the UCR will increase when the FBI changes the UCR definition of rape."

280 sexual assault cases.  In one year.  In one city. That number is an obscenity. But it would appear that some Clark Students do not have a problem with sexual assault and violence against women in general.  Hence the cavalier attitude toward a pornographic play which contributes to violence against women.

You can be sure that if these same individuals had a wife, a daughter or a sister who was raped or in some way sexually assaulted, they wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the legitimate concerns expressed here. They would be too busy trying to comfort their loved one.  They would be in tears.

This is part of the problem. Until this sort of violence hits close to home, it is easy for some to just wave the hand and dismiss the concerns of those who see the connection between destructive pornography and sexual assault  Such people forget that every woman who is sexually assaulted is a person with hopes and dreams. A person who wants to feel safe.

For some Clark University students, I am "delusional" for seeing the connection between destructive pornography and violence against women.

Yes, clearly I am the delusional one.  Which is why we read here that:  "All pornography soft, hard, and even 'neutral' sex-education materials, desensitize the viewer and allow him to become conditioned to sexual acts, violent and nonviolent, as an integral part of human behavior. This conclusion has been reached in 26 separate studies."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Is Clark University partially responsible for the climate which led to the sexual assault of a woman on campus?

WHDH is reporting that: "Worcester police are investigating an alleged sexual assault after a Clark University student says she was attacked early Thursday morning. The 20-year-old student says she was walking home at around 3:30 Thursday morning. Investigators say the victim was on Clifton Street when she was approached by three men in a car. According to police, a man in the backseat grabbed the woman, slapped her, stole her purse and sexually assaulted her."  See here.

As I noted in a previous post, Clark University, which has become a hotbed of radical homosexual agitprop and Christianophobic propaganda, supports Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, a play which celebrates lesbian rape. In one scene, a twenty-four-year-old woman gets a thirteen-year-old girl drunk and rapes her. This is presented as a good thing. The victim later says, "If it was rape, it was a good rape. I'll never need to rely on a man."

Then I looked at what Women for Faith and Family has to say about The Vagina Monologues at its website.  This Catholic organization explains that, "It is extremely difficult to know how one might address such a matter as 'V-Day' in the most productive way - not least because to even name this performance involves our using the very language that the perpetrators intend to desensitize us to. Thus, ironically, we are forced to participate, at some level, in the very degradation and violence against the human person to which we object. I believe this is part of the plan. It considerably compounds the difficulty of criticizing it... That is by no means the only irony - or contradiction - involved in the V-Day movement (of which performance of the V-Monologues is the keystone). As you doubtless know, V-Day projects claim to be fighting abuse of women. But the verbally pornographic 'monologues' are themselves abusive of women - they attack the concept of womanhood itself, and destroy the integrity of the human person. Thus it actually contributes to violence against women, while claiming to be fighting it".

1. Reducing women essentially to one body part is hardly pro-woman. It distorts sexuality, objectifies women and, ironically, promotes attitudes towards women and sexuality precisely like those that lead to sexual violence against women.

2. This performance does not even represent real 'voices of women', as it claims in order to give it a ring of authenticity. The author, Eve Ensler, says she based her contemptible creation on her personal interviews with 200 women - indeed, the V-Monologues are usually represented as the authentic voices of women 'telling their own stories' (e.g., Father Timothy Clancy, SJ's editorial enclosed).

But Ensler herself acknowledges that she freely interpreted her 'data'.

3. The stated goal of V-Day is to stop all violence against women, and the income from the plays allegedly is given to agencies that help stop 'violence' (the "V" in "V-Day" also stands for violence) against women. But this, too, is a sham. Ensler employs a full time staff of ten to manage her "V-Day" movement; and donations are often given to dubious (or worse) groups (a set-up similar to Catholics for a Free Choice).

a. Planned Parenthood groups have produced the play (e.g. Planned Parenthood, Eureka, California: the web-site notice is enclosed).

b. In at least one instance a battered women's shelter that had been selected to receive a donation from the V- Monologues refused to accept it after learning what the performance was about. (Reported in Texas A&M's News Source - Feb. 12, 2002: 'V-Day stirs controversy'.)

c. The liberation of Afghan women is one of Ensler's causes. However, as we have seen recently, the 'aid' to Afghan women has included provision of abortion services. While we were not able to establish that Ensler's 'V-Day' has actually given any aid at all to Afghan women, it is clear that not all 'aid' is beneficial.

4. The V-Monologues promote particular sexual pathologies: lesbianism and pedophilia. One 'voice' - that of a 13-year-old girl - vividly describes how she was seduced by a 24-year-old woman. She says, 'if it was a rape, it was a good rape'. This section reportedly led to objections even by feminists sympathetic to the production, leading one reporter to wonder whether this scene might be expurgated from the version being performed on more than 543 college campuses this year. Whether or not the producers do self-censor this scene (as may be likely especially in the context of recent pedophila scandals), it is entirely consistent with the rest of the production.

Vagina Monologues is destructive, pornographic, deforming agit-prop deliberately and cynically aimed at young women - in particular at young Catholic women - a form of victimization that it is perilous to ignore. It contradicts at the deepest level the truth of creation; it is profoundly anti-Catholic, anti-God; and a contemptible assault on the very nature of the human person".

One has to wonder if officials at Clark University are really concerned about violence against women.  Women for Faith and Family is right in saying that The Vagina Monologues is destructive, pornographic agitprop which objectifies women and "promotes attitudes towards women and sexuality precisely like those that lead to sexual violence against women."

Is Clark University at least partially responsible for the climate which led to the sexual assault of a young woman on its campus?

It is my contention that Clark University has encouraged Christianophobia (see here) while attempting to demonize moral opposition toward homosexuality.  See here.

Our sad time.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sir Trevor Phillips: Christians, and only Christians, should be denied religious freedom and conscience rights

Saint Thomas Aquinas explains that a law is just if it corresponds to the divine law.  If civil law does conform to the divine law, then it has the power to bind us in conscience and to disobey such a law would be a sin.  But human law cannot exceed the power of its human authors.  Aquinas teaches that the law which is promulgated must correspond to the divine law.  No human authority can declare what is morally evil to be morally good.  For this reason, laws permitting slavery, abortion, euthanasia, divorce and "marriages" between persons of the same gender are immoral, and therefore unjust (Summa theologiae, I-II, q. 96, a.5).

In his Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae, Nos. 72-74, Pope John Paul II teaches that, "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 once more from John XXIII’s Encyclical: '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'.

Now the first and most immediate application of this teaching concerns a human law which disregards the fundamental right and source of all other rights which is the right to life, a right belonging to every individual. Consequently, laws which legitimize the direct killing of innocent human beings through abortion or euthanasia are in complete opposition to the inviolable right to life proper to every individual; they thus deny the equality of everyone before the law. It might be objected that such is not the case in euthanasia, when it is requested with full awareness by the person involved. But any State which made such a request legitimate and authorized it to be carried out would be legalizing a case of suicide-murder, contrary to the fundamental principles of absolute respect for life and of the protection of every innocent life. In this way the State contributes to lessening respect for life and opens the door to ways of acting which are destructive of trust in relations between people. Laws which authorize and promote abortion and euthanasia are therefore radically opposed not only to the good of the individual but also to the common good ;as such they are completely lacking in authentic juridical validity. Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good. Consequently, a civil law authorizing abortion or euthanasia ceases by that very fact to be a true, morally binding civil law.

Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. From the very beginnings of the Church, the apostolic preaching reminded Christians of their duty to obey legitimately constituted public authorities (cf. Rom 13:1-7;1 Pet 2:13-14), but at the same time it firmly warned that 'we must obey God rather than men'(Acts 5:29). In the Old Testament, precisely in regard to threats against life, we find a significant example of resistance to the unjust command of those in authority. After Pharaoh ordered the killing of all newborn males, the Hebrew midwives refused. 'They did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live'(Ex 1:17). But the ultimate reason for their action should be noted: 'the midwives feared God' (ibid.). It is precisely from obedience to God-to whom alone is due that fear which is acknowledgment of his absolute sovereignty-that the strength and the courage to resist unjust human laws are born. It is the strength and the courage of those prepared even to be imprisoned or put to the sword, in the certainty that this is what makes for 'the endurance and faith of the saints' (Rev 13:10).

In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it'.

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

The passing of unjust laws often raises difficult problems of conscience for morally upright people with regard to the issue of cooperation, since they have a right to demand not to be forced to take part in morally evil actions. Sometimes the choices which have to be made are difficult; they may require the sacrifice of prestigious professional positions or the relinquishing of reasonable hopes of career advancement. In other cases, it can happen that carrying out certain actions,which are provided for by legislation that overall is unjust, but which in themselves are indifferent, or even positive,can serve to protect human lives under threat. There may be reason to fear, however, that willingness to carry out such actions will not only cause scandal and weaken the necessary opposition to attacks on life, but will gradually lead to further capitulation to a mentality of permissiveness.

In order to shed light on this difficult question,it is necessary to recall the general principles concerning cooperation in evil actions. Christians, like all people of good will, are called upon under grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint,it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. Such cooperation occurs when an action, either by its very nature or by the form it takes in a concrete situation, can be defined as a direct participation in an act against innocent human life or a sharing in the immoral intention of the person committing it. This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it. Each individual in fact has moral responsibility for the acts which he personally performs;no one can be exempted from this responsibility, and on the basis of it everyone will be judged by God himself (cf. Rom 2:6;14:12).

To refuse to take part in committing an injustice is not only a moral duty; it is also a basic human right. Were this not so, the human person would be forced to perform an action intrinsically incompatible with human dignity, and in this way human freedom itself, the authentic meaning and purpose of which are found in its orientation to the true and the good, would be radically compromised. What is at stake therefore is an essential right which, precisely as such, should be acknowledged and protected by civil law. In this sense,the opportunity to refuse to take part in the phases of consultation, preparation and execution of these acts against life should be guaranteed to physicians, health-care personnel, and directors of hospitals, clinics and convalescent facilities. Those who have recourse to conscientious objection must be protected not only from legal penalties but also from any negative effects on the legal, disciplinary,financial and professional plane."

Deacon Nick Donnelly over at Protect the Pope is reporting that Sir Trevor Phillips, the Head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has stated categorically that freedom of religion and freedom of conscience is restricted to within the confines of church buildings if they conflict with secular law.  Sir Phillips has been quoted as having said that, "the law stops at the door of the temple as far as I am concerned."  He has accused Christians who insist upon following the teachings of Christ and their consciences of wanting to impose "sharia law"on the UK.

Deacon Nick comments, "The Equality Commissioner, like the Obama administration, is attempting to re-define freedom of religion as freedom to worship. It’s a verbal slight of hand that seeks to strip away our basic human rights as religious believers in public life and wider society. Basically he’s saying we’re free to practice our faith within our church buildings but nowhere else in society.

Trevor Phillips has already removed our right to practice the moral teachings of the faith within our own homes, because, for example, if we run a bed and breakfast we have to allow homosexuals to sleep together in rooms in our houses, or else be taken to court and fined.

Trevor Phillips, and his like, have removed the rights of parents to bring their children up in the faith, because if our children, as young as 13, want contraception or abortion the State will provide it without parental knowledge or consent.

Trevor Phillips trivializes Catholic moral teaching on sexuality and parenthood by saying that we just 'decided we’re different’and that we need a different set of laws'. Catholics didn’t decide we’re different when parliament changed the law, we remained steadfast in upholding the moral law...
Trevor Phillips is also hypocritical by saying Christian demands to follow their teachings and consciences are equivalent to wanting to impose sharia law. Sharia law is being exercised in the UK, creating a parallel legal system with the support of the liberal establishment in this country as an expression of 'diversity'. Here’s the BBC’s support for sharia law in the UK:

Deacon Nick raises an excellent point here.  When the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, said that it "seems unavoidable" that the UK will have to "face up to the fact" that millions of Muslims do not relate to the British legal system and implied that British law should accommodate Sharia law, where was Sir Phillips?  When the Archbishop said that, "There's a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law," ("Sharia Law for UK is 'Unavoidable,'" BBC News, Feb 7, 2008), Sir Phillips was strangely silent.
It's obvious that Sir Phillip is anxious to strip Christians of their religious freedoms and to deny them - and apparently only them - of the right to follow their conscience.

Interesting no?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Those who are critical of Rick Santorum for speaking of Satan are thereby critical of Christian doctrine...

We can expect presidential candidate Rick Santorum to continue to come under heavy fire for warning that, "Satan has his sights on the United States of America" and that  he is "attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition."

We read here that, "The former senator from Pennsylvania warned in 2008 how politics and government are falling to Satan. 'This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country - the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions.' Santorum made the provocative comments to students at Ave Maria University in Florida."

We are experiencing various signs of demonic activity throughout our troubled culture and even many of our shepherds have not taken this seriously. Demonic abortion continues to be practiced even while our society rushes to embrace a culture of sodomy and same-sex "marriage." Many individuals, including some Catholic priests, have abandoned themselves to sexual perversions, violence, and drug use.

Our culture has been so secularized that any mention of the supernatural realm is greeted either with complete indifference or with ridicule.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in its document entitled "Les formes de la superstition," helped the faithful better understand the Church's teaching regarding demonic spirits. The document said that, "It would be a fatal mistake to act as if history were already finished and redemption had achieved all its effects, so that it were no longer necessary to to engage in the struggle [against the Devil and demons] of which the New Testament and the masters of the spiritual life speak...To maintain today, therefore, that Jesus' words about Satan express only a teaching borrowed from his culture and are unimportant for the faith of other believers is evidently to show little understanding either of the Master's character or of his age. If Jesus used this kind of language and, above all, if he translated it into practice during his ministry, it was because it expressed a doctrine that was to some extent essential to the idea and reality of the salvation that he was bringing....Satan whom Jesus attacked with his exorcisms and confronted in the wilderness and in his passion, cannot simply be a product of the human ability to tell stories and personify ideas nor a stray survival of a primitive culture and its language...Satan's action on man is admittedly interior but it is impossible to regard him as therefore simply a personification of sin and temptation....It was for all these reasons that the Fathers of the Church were convinced from Scripture that Satan and the demons are the enemies of man's redemption, and they did not fail to remind the faithful of their existence and action..."

Pope Paul VI, in a general audience on November 15, 1972, asked, "What are the Church's greatest needs at the present time?" and provided an answer: "Don't be surprised at our answer and don't write it off as simplistic or even superstitious: one of the Church's greatest needs is to be defended against the evil which we call the Devil...Evil is not merely an absence of something but an active force, a living, spiritual being that is perverted and that perverts others....It is a departure from the picture provided by biblical and Church teaching to refuse to acknowledge the Devil's existence...or to explain the Devil as a pseudoreality, a conceptual, fanciful, personification of the unknown causes of our misfortunes....St. Paul calls him the 'god of this world,' and warns us of the struggle we Christians must carry on in the dark, not only against one Devil, but against a frightening multiplicity of them..."

Back in 2010, Archbishop Charles Chaput gave a keynote address to the Emmanuel Community of Rome's conference on "Priests and Laity in the Mission."  During this address, His Excellency elaborated on a major theme of his talk - the reality of Satan and the importance of "spiritual combat," saying that, "I think we live in disappointing times, in times of confusion, and in some ways that is the result of our failure to understand that we have an enemy in the Devil, but also we have enemies in the world around us."

Then His Excellency pointed to a "great talk" from an American Protestant pastor he once heard which was entitled "We preach as though we don't have enemies," and reflected that this sentiment "is true in the United States..." adding, "I think it's important to understand that we are in a battle, we really do live in a time of spiritual combat and I think we've lost that sense of the Church," Archbishop Chaput stated.

Archbishop Chaput continued with a comparison of the temptation we face to be like "everyone else" like the Israelites from the Old Testament wishing for a king like the other nations. They wanted a king ... they got Saul and he was a good man, and then he became a politician and he lost his faith. We're just like that...In America, we don't want to be different than our Protestant brothers and sisters, or the secular forces around us. And, I think that's the great danger of our time, we don't love God enough and we don't enter into combat with the enemy enough and we need to recommit ourselves to doing that," he urged.

Those who criticize Rick Santorum for addressing the reality of Satan and the spiritual combat which we find ourselves in are not just criticizing Mr. Santorum.  They are ridiculing the teaching of Jesus and His Apostles (and most notably St. Paul).  They are ridiculing the Church Fathers, the Popes and the Saints who taught on the reality of Satan.  They are ridiculing more than 2,000 years of Church tradition.

How is that for going "well over the line"?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Episcopal Church: The fruit of building with Satan's blueprints...

"That if gold rust, what shall iron do?/ For if a priest be foul, in whom we trust,/ No wonder is a lewd man to rust." - Geoffrey Chaucer.

Remember V. Gene Robinson, New Hampshire's Episcopal "Bishop" who said that the Vatican's ban on ordaining men with a homosexual inclination was "vile" and represented an "act of violence"?  As I noted back in 2009, Mr. Robinson once opined that "the Episcopal Church and its proclamation of God's inclusive love" was something which appealed to young people who want to be part of a church "in which there truly are no outcasts."

I responded thusly:

"Of course, such a 'church' would not be Christian. The God of both Old and New Testaments loves all but has been known to be exclusive. Remember the Ark which saved Noah and his family? Outside there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.

When Jesus began His public ministry, He did so with the word 'repent' (Matthew 4:17). And He advised the woman caught in adultery to 'sin no more' (John 8:11). Likewise, in the case of the man cured at the Pool of Bethesda, Jesus advised him to 'sin no more lest something worse befall thee' (John 5:14). When queried on the subject of how many would be saved, Jesus replied 'few' because the 'gate' to Heaven is 'narrow' (Matthew 7:13-14). And while no one can pinpoint the precise meaning of the word 'few,' still, it is sobering that Jesus chose the image of a narrow gate.

Jesus is likened in the gospel to a stern master who has lazy servants flogged and murderous ones put to death (Matthew 21:41; Luke 12:47). And while it is true that Jesus is Mercy, He is also Justice. And for every parable illustrative of His mercy, there are three or four threatening divine retribution. The Judgment Day is always described as a day of wrath and never as a day of rejoicing (Proverbs 11:4; Zephaniah 1:15; Sirach 5:10; Romans 2:5; Revelation 6:17).

Just as some were excluded - almost all in fact - (because of their own sinfulness) from that salvation which was found in Noah's Ark [a figure of the Church], so too some will be excluded from the Heavenly Kingdom because they preferred their own will to God's: 'The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.' (Matthew 13: 41,42)."

In a post at his Blog Canterbury Tales from the Fringe, Gene Robinson boldly stated that, "My sense is that the place of the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion is not in danger. Strained and tense, sometimes, yes. But actually threatened, no. Are we in the same place regarding the issue of homosexuality -- of course not. But the bonds of affection are strong and deep, and God will see us through this difficult time. This is a strong belief exhibited by all the primates and bishops visiting this Convention from across the Anglican Communion. It confirms my own belief that it is time for us to stand up and be the Church God is calling us to be, and trust that the Anglican Communion will not only survive, but be a blessing to all." (See here).

Mr. Robinson may have believed that all would be well in the Episcopal Church.  But as Pat Buchanan explains, "Today, the Episcopal Church is divided and disintegrating, having lost a million members since 2000.  It has been torn asunder over morality, the ordination of female and gay priests and bishops, and the legitimacy of same-sex unions.  The Church's share of the adult population has fallen to less than 1 percent...In Fairfax County, Virginia, nine parishes broke with the national Episcopal Church over the installation at Washington National Cathedral of Katharine Jefferts Schori as the 26th Presiding Bishop.  Schori had blessed same-sex unions and supported the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire, who had left his wife and daughters and entered a homosexual union.  Seven of 111 Episcopal dioceses refused to accept Schori's elevation."

The result of the Episcopal Church's apostasy from the Gospel?  Buchanan: "All the efforts by mainstream churches to accommodate modernity have gone hand in hand with what Newsweek sees as the decline and fall of Christianity in the United States.  Now ranked fifteenth in congregants, the Episcopal Church is losing members more rapidly than are the Presbyterians, Lutherans, or Methodists." (Suicide of a Superpower, pp. 56-57, 58),

The Episcopal Church has sought to become a church made in the image and likeness of man.  It has ignored the warning of the Psalmist, in clear dogmatic language, that "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it."  Fr. Vincent Miceli explains that, "This truth holds for the building of families, societies, nations, international communities and, above all, of Churches....building without the Lord is equivalent to building with the aid of Satan.  And any city that rises from Satan's blueprints can only end up a City of Hatred and Violent Death."

Or, as my mentor Gabriel Marcel put it, "When man becomes God, society becomes a termite colony and collapses from within."

The whole sorry story of the Episcopal Church provides us with a sobering warning: that without Jesus we can do nothing.  To the extent that churches stray from the Gospel, they disintegrate and become meaningless and irrelevant.

Related reading: Pastor Rick Warren and Barack Obama have welcomed Gene Robinson's message.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Who has really gone "well over the line," Rick Santorum or Barack Obama?

Former White House Press Secretary and current campaign adviser Robert Gibbs is alleging that GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum went "well over the line" when he questioned Obama's Christian values.  Gibbs told ABC's "This Week" that it's time to get rid of this mindset in our politics that, if we disagree, we have to question character and faith."  See here.

If Robert Gibbs really believes that Rick Santorum went "well over the line" by merely questioning Obama's so-called "Christian virtues," he must then concede that Barack Obama obliterated that line when he said that Christians, Jews, Muslims and others who are opposed to homosexuality on moral grounds are clinging to "worn arguments and old attitudes." See here.

Where was Mr. Gibbs when Barack Obama said, "You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them...And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them.."  If we are not supposed to question character or faith, why was Mr. Obama questioning the character and faith of average Americans who live in "a lot of small towns in the Midwest"?

I've noted before at this Blog that Barack Obama imposes a standard on others which he refuses to live up to himself.  See here.  And it would seem that Robert Gibbs would also hold others to a higher standard than he expects from his boss.  Mr. Gibbs should reflect very carefully on what the philosopher Plato had to say in Book I of his Laws (635a): "We invite you to criticize our institutions without reserve. One is not insulted by being informed of something amiss, but rather gets an opportunity for amendment, if the information is taken in good part, without resentment."

In the meantime, I would like an explanation as to how Barack Obama may be considered a Christian when he has rejected the teaching of Sacred Scripture.  I would really like to hear Mr. Gibbs' explain that one.  I just love creative fiction.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

From the La Salette Journey archives...

Jeanette Santiago, a friend of mine on Facebook, was gracious enough to send me an email with a prayer which Paul Harvey aired on his program many years ago.  I have written about this in the past but would like to share it again because it is most powerful:

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask

your forgiveness and to seek your direction and
guidance. We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those
who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we
have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We have exploited the poor and called it
the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it

We have killed our unborn and called it

We have shot abortionists and called it

We have neglected to discipline our
children and called it building self esteem....

We have abused power and called it

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions
and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and
pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values
of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts
today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.


Jeanette prefaced the prayer in her email with this commentary: "Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard...The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively.. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India , Africa and Korea...Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story" and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.

Very true.  And so I would like to re-post something I wrote several years ago for this Blog shortly after Paul Harvey went to be with the Lord:
"I grew up listening to Paul Harvey on the radio. I always appreciated his genteel style and his dignified approach to the news and talk radio in general. I was really saddened when he died recently. His death represents more of a loss than I think most people realize. For Paul Harvey was the very epitome of civility. And our age is lacking in civility. This is why we have become so alienated from one another. So angry. So lacking in peace. We have exchanged a relationship with Christ Jesus and our neighbor for technological progress and material things.

Some years ago, Paul Harvey addressed this in a most beautiful way with a broadcast entitled "Dirt Roads":

'What’s mainly wrong with society today is that too many Dirt Roads have been paved.

There’s not a problem in America today, crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency that wouldn’t be remedied, if we just had more Dirt Roads, because Dirt Roads give character.

People that live at the end of Dirt Roads learn early on that life is a bumpy ride. That it can jar you right down to your teeth sometimes, but it’s worth it, if at the end is home…a loving spouse, happy kids and a dog.

We wouldn’t have near the trouble with our educational system if our kids got their exercise walking a Dirt Road with other kids, from whom they learn how to get along. There was less crime in our streets before they were paved. Criminals didn’t walk two dusty miles to rob or rape, if they knew they’d be welcomed by five barking dogs and a double barrel shotgun. And there were no drive by shootings.

Our values were better when our roads were worse! People did not worship their cars more than their kids, and motorists were more courteous, they didn’t tailgate by riding the bumper or the guy in front would choke you with dust & bust your windshield with rocks. Dirt Roads taught patience.

Dirt Roads were environmentally friendly, you didn’t hop in your car for a quart of milk you walked to the barn for your milk. For your mail, you walked to the mail box. What if it rained and the Dirt Road got washed out? That was the best part, then you stayed home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows and popped popcorn and pony rode on Daddy’s shoulders and learned how to make prettier quilts than anybody.

At the end of Dirt Roads, you soon learned that bad words tasted like soap. Most paved roads lead to trouble, Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole. At the end of a Dirt Road, the only time we even locked our car was in August, because if we didn’t some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini.

At the end of a Dirt Road, there was always extra springtime income, from when city dudes would get stuck, you’d have to hitch up a team and pull them out. Usually you got a dollar…always you got a new friend…at the end of a Dirt Road!'

We have indeed created such a mess haven't we? Everything across our society is crumbling: The economy, government, our educational system, churches, families. But there is a way out from underneath our problems, a solution which has gone untried for so long:

“Pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary to obtain peace in the world . . . for she alone can save it.” (Our Lady—July 13, 1917)

“God has placed peace in her hands, and it is from the Immaculate Heart that men must ask it." (Jacinta—shortly before her death)

There you have it. Heaven's stimulus package for peace! Most, unfortunately, will scoff at such an idea. "Absurd" some will say. "Simplistic" still others will say. But I have seen up close the transforming power of the Holy Rosary and watched with amazement as those who prayed it with sincerity experienced changed lives. I have seen the Holy Rosary alter events with a supernatural power which must be experienced to be believed and appreciated.

We can return to simplicity of life and holiness. We don't have to be alienated from Christ Jesus and our neighbor. We can change the human heart through prayerful recitation of the Rosary. Why do we find this so difficult to accept? Mostly because we are too proud and believe too much in our own abilities.

The Rosary has the power not only to restore relationships and heal a broken world where neighbor is alienated from neighbor. It has the power to shape our will so that we may all the more easily abandon it to the Divine Will. I prayed so many Rosaries as my father was dying at St. Vincent's Hospital in Worcester. I prayed day and night. Yes, my father still died. Yes, his passing filled me with sadness. But when Our Lady entered my father's hospital room to bring him back home, the peace I experienced was something words will never be able to convey.

Our roads may be paved now. But there is a way back to simplicity of life and holiness. It will only be by holding our Heavenly Mother's hand and walking with her that we will recover what we have lost: "for never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help or sought her intercession was left unaided." And that, as Paul Harvey would have said is "the rest of the story."

Related Paul Harvey on Prayer in America.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Atheist Brian Bridson of "Philosopher's Haze": Catholics are bigots who should be told to shut up and who should be put in their place

Brian Bridson, the same atheist mental midget who has referred to Pope Benedict XVI as "Ben-the-Dick," (which in itself reveals his adolescent mindset), is angry at the Catholic Church and is calling for Catholics to be "put in their place."  And what is their place?  For Bridson, it would be better for all Catholics to live at the Vatican because their views do not belong in the public square.  Maybe he would like to stick Catholics in concentration camps?

Why is Bridson so angry?  Well, Dalton McGuinty, the Premier of Ontario, is attempting to bully Catholic schools into allowing the celebration of homosexuality.  Responding to Catholic Tim Storey, who wrote in The Intelligencer, "I am appalled at Premier Dalton McGuinty's recent comments in which he plans to impose the homosexual agenda on Catholic schools under the guise of anti-bullying Gay-Straight Alliance clubs.  McGuinty is the one who needs a 'change of attitude' - not Catholics.  Catholics were the first to introduce the idea of anti-bullying.  Anti-bullying does not mean the approval of a lifestyle that is not in accord with Catholic teaching," Bridson, in the typical knee-jerk response of the unthinking atheist, writes:

"But Tim, catholic schools accept public monies that keep them in business. These catholic schools are not private institutions: they exist in the public realm and take money from the public. Therefore, whether you like it or not, you must adhere to ethical standards being established by the public."

Bridson conveniently ignores the fact that Catholic citizens pay taxes which support public schools.  If he doesn't want Catholic schools to receive "public monies," does he support Catholic citizens being exempt from taxes which go to support public schools?

Erik Stanley, Senior legal counsel and head of the Pulpit Initiative for the Alliance Defense Fund, explains that, "There is said to be an old Arabian proverb: 'If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.' This expression is especially pertinent in the tax exemption context. Churches are tax exempt under the principle that there is no surer way to destroy the free exercise of religion than to tax it. If the government is allowed to tax churches (or to condition a tax exemption on a church refraining from the free exercise of religion), the camel's nose is under the tent, and its body is sure to follow. But that's not just my opinion; it's the understanding of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In its 1970 opinion in Walz vs. Tax Commission of the City of New York, the high court stated that a tax exemption for churches 'creates only a minimal and remote involvement between church and state and far less than taxation of churches. [An exemption] restricts the fiscal relationship between church and state, and tends to complement and reinforce the desired separation insulating each from the other.' The Supreme Court also said that "the power to tax involves the power to destroy." Taxing churches breaks down the healthy separation of church and state and leads to the destruction of the free exercise of religion."

Of course, this is what the atheist Brian Bridson, anti-Catholic bigot that he is, wants: the destruction of the free exercise of religion.  His animus is so extreme that he writes,  "..yes, it is true the religion has been around for a very long time, and for most of that time, religion has enjoyed far too many exemptions from the rules that citizens and other public organizations have been subject too: such as the exemption from paying taxes. But this has never been a proper relationship between the state and religion, as religious interests do not, and ought not to supersede the interests of the state’s citizens. Remember, catholics, you have the Vatican city-state, so if you really want state-endorsed catholic-ignorance-and-bigotry-made-law, move there and let the state be as prejudicial as hell."

But, as the Supreme Court has said here in the United States, tax exemptions restrict the fiscal relationship between the church and state and actually tend to complement and reinforce the desired separation which insulates each from the other.  So Bridson's argument falls flat.  It has no substance.  Much like its author.
Continuing his anti-Catholic tirade, Bridson the bigot asserts that in every country "the church, and all other religious organizations, take a back seat."  In other words, for Bridson, Catholics do not have a place in the public square.  Therefore he writes, "So, catholics, shut the hell up and accept what you are being instructed to do."

For Bridson, the Catholic political viewpoint is "skewed."  Why?  Because, he insists, "..they are quick to yell and scream and cry when they believe their ability to practice their religion as they see fit is infringed upon, but have no reservation about pushing their religion down the throats of the rest of society."  This charge is particularly ironic since,  as Pope John Paul II wrote in his Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio (The Mission of the Redeemer), "The Church proposes; she imposes nothing." (No. 39).

Such was the teaching of Vatican II: "The Church strictly forbids forcing anyone to embrace the faith, or alluring or enticing people by worrisome wiles. By the same token, she also strongly insists on this right, that no one be frightened away from the faith by unjust vexations on the part of others." (Ad Gentes, No. 13). And Dignitatis Humanae, No. 10 teaches that: "It is one of the major tenets of Catholic doctrine that man's response to God in faith must be free: no one therefore is to be forced to embrace the Christian faith against his own will. This doctrine is contained in the word of God and it was constantly proclaimed by the Fathers of the Church. The act of faith is of its very nature a free act. Man, redeemed by Christ the Savior and through Christ Jesus called to be God's adopted son, cannot give his adherence to God revealing Himself unless, under the drawing of the Father, he offers to God the reasonable and free submission of faith. It is therefore completely in accord with the nature of faith that in matters religious every manner of coercion on the part of men should be excluded. In consequence, the principle of religious freedom makes no small contribution to the creation of an environment in which men can without hindrance be invited to the Christian faith, embrace it of their own free will, and profess it effectively in their whole manner of life."

So Bridson is simply lying when he asserts that the Church attempts to push its faith "down the throats of the rest of society."  Separation of church and state does not mean separation of religious belief from the state.  Believers have the same rights as other citizens to engage in political discourse.  Even someone with Bridson's limited intellectual capacity should be able to understand that.

But Bridson is an anti-Catholic ideologue.  He wants the Catholic Church removed entirely from the public square.  He writes, "Enough is enough! It is time to stop allowing this ancient and ignorant group to meddle in public affairs. The hypocrites! They bitch about public policy but have no problem taking public money. Ignorant and Intolerant! They have nothing to justify their beliefs, including their beliefs about such things as homosexuality (except for a book of ancient ignorance and hatred), but expect these beliefs to dictate how we all live our lives and how we all choose to think about things."

And then he concludes his hate-diatribe by sending a message to the Catholic Church:

"To the catholic church and its SS-esque Minions: The only people who prefer your ideologies and assorted plans for society are other catholics. No one else wants or needs your ridiculous and lie-filled dogma. Keep it to yourselves…because we are not going to take your nonsense any longer. We will not allow our rights and privileges be sacrificed because you would prefer that they were.

So catholic church: shut up or get the hell out!"  (Article may be found here).

There you have it.  For Brian Bridson, Catholics around the world - more than 1 billion people - are comparable to the Nazi SS and their Church should be banished from the public square.  The face of anti-Catholic bigotry.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Archbishop Dolan: If New York City is not a "Neo-Sodom and Gomorrah," what would you call it? A Neo-Nineveh?

"New York seems to have an innate interest and respect for religion and I'm going to bring that up because I don't like that caricature that New York is some neo-Sodom and Gomorrah" - Archbishop Timothy Dolan.  See here.

Greenwich Village is the birthplace of the American homosexual movement.  New York City is known far and wide for being a "gay" hotspot.  So much so that Michael Musto writes openly about "The Five Best Places To Have Gay Sex in New York."  See here.

In a press release dated July 7, 2011, Senator Ruben Diaz said that,  "I voted my conscience and opposed Governor Andrew Cuomo's key piece of social legislation in the New York State Senate that redefines our marriage laws away from the traditional definition of one man and one woman. I was the only Democrat in the Senate to vote against this legislation, and I wear my vote as a badge of honor.

I have been congratulated by religious leaders and constituents not only from my district, but from districts all over New York State. I have received messages of encouragement and gratitude from people throughout the United States. Alberto Martinez tweeted: "Jesus said: 'Whoever is ashamed of Him and His words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of such person at His coming.' Bravo Senator Diaz." All of these supporters know that I am unashamed to be a Christian. If we talk the talk, we must walk the walk.

Although Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos ushered the gay marriage vote to the floor in order to make the 11:00PM news, and even though the vote passed, the hatred that has spewed in my direction before June 24th continues.

Yesterday I received a series of five emails in my Senate account from one person that read like homicidal rantings: "You eat s***. You are s***." "There is no worse person on Earth than you. God has told me so." "You worthless pile of human excrement!!!" "I hope you die! I hope you die soon! I'm waiting for you to die!" "Satan would sooner nail a stake through your heart than admit to knowing you. Your very own lover!!!"

To err on the side of caution and especially since one of the messages awaits my demise, those emails were properly reported to the FBI.

Those messages suggest that even though the gay marriage vote passed, that author did not get what he wanted which suggests to me that for some reason, I am the embodiment of his disappointment. He may also be upset because I am unashamed of my vote.

Last Tuesday, a website posted an article titled: "Sen. Ruben Douchebag: I Made History." The tag labels that follow that online piece are as vulgar as possible. I quote them here not to amplify their vulgarity, but to let people know the ever-growing hatred freely expressed by those who claim to promote tolerance: "assholery, batshittery, bigotry, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, douchenozzles, evil, and f***weasels".

I am amazed that the author of that site continues to fixate on me as he does. I was told that he even tweeted about me just one hour after the supposed May 21 rapture: "An hour past #Rapture in New York City and this town is still infested with Sen. Ruben Diaz and his filthy ilk. #Disappointed."

For all intents and purposes I am a stranger to this person, yet for some reason I have his full attention. As a religious leader I thank the Lord that he continues to pay attention to my efforts to spread the Word of God. I hope and pray that since he seems to be a grown man, he will try to no longer promote vulgarity, indecency and hatred online or elsewhere.

After the June 24 vote, so many people who disguise themselves as victims and decry bullies hide behind their computer screens and demonstrate what is called "keyboard courage" by posting hateful and vicious comments about me.

In the great spirit of interfaith unity I will continue to work to promote what the late Pope John Paul II called the Culture of Life and continue to highlight the actions of the opposition which is still not pleased even with their declared victory in New York against traditional marriage.

For my part, I will continue to be unashamed to be a Christian.

The homosexual lobby used threats and strong tactics to smash their same-sex depravity law through the New York Assembly and to Governor Cuomo’s pen. I guess one can call this the tactics of homosexual mafia." (See here).

Every year New York City celebrates "Gay Pride" and a satanic organization called the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, cross-dressing "Sisters" who mock Jesus and His Church while celebrating sodomite debauchery, calls New York City home. 

Your Excellency, if New York City is not a Neo-Sodom, what would you call it?  A Neo-Nineveh?  The people of Nineveh repented of their sins and their city was spared from disaster. The spirit of penance which saved them from chastisement was expressed through the sackcloth and ashes. We are told in Sacred Scripture that, "The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you. So Jonah set out for Nineveh, in accord with the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an awesomely great city; it took three days to walk through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and when he had gone only a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be overthrown,” the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh: 'By decree of the king and his nobles, no man or beast, no cattle or sheep, shall taste anything; they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water. Man and beast alike must be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God; they all must turn from their evil way and from the violence of their hands. Who knows? God may again repent and turn from his blazing wrath, so that we will not perish.' When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out." (Jonah 3: 1-10).

Where is the fast in New York City? [not that there's not sin elsewhere but we're speaking of NYC here] Where is the penance? Saint Paul tells us that all men have the basic moral law before them, the Ten Commandments written in their hearts. All men are capable of knowing good from evil:

"For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse.." (Romans 1: 19-20).

But excuses are all we find today.  Not to mention a celebration of sin - even that sin which is most detestable - sodomy. As Father Albert J. Hebert, S.M. put it, "All great pagan judicial systems admitted the fact of wrong-doing and their legal systems prescribed punishment for it. It is only in our day that there is such a widespread denial of the existence of sin and moral laws. This makes God appear as the Creator of evil, and God hates this blasphemy, pride, and hypocrisy on the part of His creature man...Today, persons great and lowly commit sin, deny it and even blasphemously call it virtue. For example, active homosexuals and lesbians call their perverse practices 'love' and demand the legal status of normal married man and wife."

With all due respect Your Excellency, let's not forget the words Our Lord spoke 2,000 years ago to another generation but which nevertheless apply to our own sin-sick generation:

"The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonah. And behold a greater than Jonah here." (Matthew 12: 41).

New York City is not another Sodom?  I'm afraid I must disagree Archbishop. I believe in truth in advertising.  I believe a thing should be called what it is.  And I agree with St. Francis de Sales, a Doctor of the Church, who reminded us in his Introduction to the Devout Life that, "If the declared enemies of God and of the Church ought to be blamed and censured with all possible vigor, charity obliges us to cry wolf when the wolf slips into the midst of the flock, and in every way and place we may meet him."
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