So Delaware just passed a law which effectively outlaw corporal punishment on the basis that child abusers exist.
My question is this: Should we outlaw sex because rapists exist?
I mean, in both instances, we have laws in place that specifically punish folks guilty of child abuse / rape. We are we looking to abolish corporal punishment altogether? Exactly when did the state gain the authority to tell me how to properly discipline my child??
Pardon me, Delaware, but methinks you've just spoiled an entire generation of children. Why? Because most kids are smart enough to realize that with a simple false report to the police, Mommy or Daddy will be at their mercy and can thus get away with being terrible, terrible people.
"You think you can ground me for failing three semesters of math? Yeah right. I can easily call the cops and tell them you've been hitting me behind closed doors and you won't be around to enforce that, will you?"
This is a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE idea. Our government's been remarkably good at making those recently.
But yes... should we now outlaw sex on the same grounds?
Please be warned - the linked article has a moderately graphic image for some of you involving blood. No bodies are shown, but blood smeared on the wall in letters is.
This is an article regarding the wave of anti-Christian crime that's been sweeping through Russia and the surrounding areas in the wake of the Riot sentencing. A few people are now dead in connection to the crime-spree (whether capitalizing on the fame of the trial or not is to be determined) and countless churches and communities have been victimized through desecration, theft and violence.
We are to be tried once more in the public square. Anti-Christian fervor is building, and we can expect more of this to spread even to within our own borders.
Arm yourselves, Church Militant. Prayer is your sword; the saints are your armor. Your battle cry is Truth and that Truth is Christ.
Fr. Levi over at The Way Out There posted another article regarding the slipping of society as it falls further into the cesspool of degradation and disorder it seems hellbent on creating for itself.
The article deals with the "plight" of pedophiles who are demanding to be accepted as normal in the same way that homosexuals are now deemed "normal." Incredibly, there are psychologists who want to help this along by removing Pedophilia from the list of mental disorders they list in their version of the Bible - the DSM.
In an attempt to make people more aware that this was happening, I posted the link (along with the following commentary) onto my Facebook page:
'Cause no one saw this coming...
NAMBLA has been attempting to push for declassification of pedophilia for a while. So has IASHS. Homosexuality issue aside, this is severely disturbing that anyone in their right damn mind thinks it's even remotely okay to declassify this as a mental disorder.
Adults wanting to have sex with children is mentally disordered. There's simply no other way of looking at it.
"Oh, but these poor men and women who abused children must live with the stigma attached! They've gotta warn parents when they move into the area! They've gotta have 'the talk' with potential employers!"
Oh flippin' well. What about the children whose lives you shattered? What about what THEY are forced to endure for the rest of their lives?
You get to deal with moments of social awkwardness every now and again. They get to deal with shattered innocence, a void of trust, a shamed self-image, and the stigma of having endured your barbarity.
Your whining behind is lucky we don't still brand people on the forehead. Stop attempting to justify your mental disorder and just accept it for what it is so you can seek help to protect those children who you seek to harm!
BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE DOING! I don't care how much you think you love these children, you're outta your dang mind.
About 30 seconds later I got a "like" and an "AGREED!" comment (both from a family member of mine). Another minute or so later, my good friend posted a video of the South Park parody that deals with NAMBLA's insistence that pedophilia is normal. Otherwise, there was complete radio silence.
Now I'm not upset that I didn't get "likes" or "comments." That's not why I post things. I post them to educate... to make others aware. However, I have to admit being slightly unsettled by the lack of feedback regarding this particular post. Typically things this upsetting in nature solicit SOMETHING.
My first thought was "Folks are steering clear of this because of the connection with homosexuality. It makes them uneasy."
Well of course it does. No one likes to look at the truth of this logic because it's somewhat similar to the crazy folks out there shouting that once we accept homosexuality, we'll accept people marrying goats, sheep or dinosaurs.
However, the fact remains that when a minority of folks force others to accept disordered conduct as a product of "It's just the way I am" then other minorities are able to do the same. They're able to use the same arguments and the same tactics because from a logical standpoint, they've got accepted precedence.
So I chalked it up to the fact that the majority of my friends are very pro-homosexual marriage and were bristling at the idea that I was advocating homosexuality and pedophilia being on the same wavelength (which I'm not... but people tend to automatically assume that about those of us who disagree with homosexual unions).
The next morning, though, I got two supremely disturbing messages through Facebook from a family member and an acquaintance I had gone to school with. The first was from a family member who is both a woman, and a mother. A MOTHER. Keep that in mind. The second was also from a woman (though she has no children).
Both stated very similar things, so I'll give you a quick summary.
Gina, I would've posted this on your thread, but I didn't want to look like I condoned molestation. The psychologists make a good argument for why pedophilia should be removed from the disorder list because they (the pedophilies) really can't help themselves. It's unfair to be stigmatized for your entire life because of feelings you can't help. They shouldn't have to suffer so cruelly just because they have strong affection for children. They're good people, and they really try to love everyone. There are chemical imbalances that make them aroused around children, and with the proper medicines, they could live out normal lives that don't involve harming children.
One even went so far as to suggest that children SHOULD be allowed to make the decision for themselves by the time they're 12 because "by that age, I was fully capable of deciding who I should or should not have sex with."
Go ahead and let that digest a little bit.
This person was 12 years old and already felt capable of deciding who she should or should not have sex with. This means she was ALREADY deciding she SHOULD have sex with some folks (note that 'folks' is plural) at 12 years of age.
Below is exactly how I felt upon reading those two letters. I wanted to blast myself off the Earth because no... there is just no way that people can really, truly feel this way. I simply do not want to live in a world that wishes to allow such perversion to walk around unabated because it's "just how they are." NO. My SON lives in this world, and allowing these folks to just "be who they are" without needing to warn ANY of the surrounding families leaves him open to some terrible, terrible things!
I promptly wrote back (with less charity than I should have, I'm ashamed to admit) that they were part of the problem.
I was so taken aback by the mother who agreed with this declassification. She has children! How would she feel if we just allowed these people to move from town to town completely undetected so they could harm more children? If her son or her daughter were abused by a pedophile who was disordered to the point of thinking the abuse is not only OK, but DESIRED by her child, how would she feel when this person was allowed to move on to a new city to begin the process again? How would she feel knowing her child could have been protected had society treated pedophilia as the mental disorder it is???
She wrote back that people do take pedophilia seriously. No one wants to see children hurt by adults in any manner. There were ways to control those desires, she said.
I agree. There ARE ways of controlling those desires, but ya know what's a great deterrent? Knowing that everyone is keeping an eye on you.
And the only way that folks really learn you're a pedophile is when you get caught... which means that you've already abused someone in the past in some way. So guess what? Punishment is that you get marked going forward as someone likely to harm a child. Ya know why? Because studies have shown that much like homosexuality, pedophilia isn't something that can be "cured." It's simply a disorder of the brain. It is a lifelong cross for those who bear it.
Does that make pedophilias horrible, awful people? No. Not at all. Much like the rest of us, they've got a particular cross to bear, and this is it. It's a terrible one. But considering how much danger they pose to children - the most innocent among us - this cross NEEDS to be public. It NEEDS to be shared, because it is only in sharing this cross that they will be given the proper direction and support necessary to shoulder it properly. The public NEEDS to help them, and that help will arrive in the form of policing their activities. Not necessarily in an over-bearing "Who are you seeing today?" sort of way, but in an "We know you have an issue and we want to make sure that no temptations come your way... and if they do, you are able to handle them in the proper way because you know we're looking out for you" sort of way.
The only way for us to be able to "look out" for them is through knowing they've got an issue. Knowing they've got a disorder is the only way we know to remove the temptation should it arise.
Bah - I'll have to write more coherently later. I just wanted to get that out there because I've been meaning to write about it for a while. It's been banging around in my head since first reading it, and I can't help but feel completely unsettled that there are folks out there trying to push for this declassification.
Anyone have experience with this? Any words of wisdom on language to use to counter-act this line of thinking?
So I've seen a lot of my blogger friends take part in Conversion Diary's Quick Take Fridays. I've also been an avid follower of Jennifer Fulwiler's for a while. I'd considered taking part in the past, but my life is honestly not interesting enough to do a weekly "catch-all." Maybe a quarterly one.
Anyway, today I lucked upon some great articles that totaled seven in number. I thought Hey now! That's just enough to make an actual Quick Take Friday post! Then I wondered, Is it cheating to use articles for my quick takes as opposed to using items about my actual life?
The answer I arrived at was "Yes. Yes, it's cheating, but who cares? Doubtful anyone's gonna come after me with some sort of blogging demerits."
So, my 7 Quick Takes:
From Esquire Magazine comes an open letter to the world from a Christian who aims to correct the negative perceptions of an anti-Christian world. My favorite quote:
"... at one point God even speaks to a guy named Balaam through his donkey. Some say God spoke to Balaam through his ass and has been speaking through asses ever since. So if God should choose to use us, then we should be grateful but not think too highly of ourselves. And if upon meeting someone we think God could never use, we should think again."
NBC reports that some yahoo decided to drop raw bacon in the field where Muslims were celebrating the close of Ramadan. This person (people?) also left a note and police are investigating it as a hate crime.
I'm all for investigating this as a hate crime because it's obvious this person (or these people) was attempting to bully others on the grounds of their religion, but I find it interesting that this had no effect on their celebrations and this wasn't even done on sacred grounds / with sacred objects. It's rightly being investigated as a hate crime, but folks are still indignant that the Russian women - who desecrated the main altar of a Cathedral - were convicted of religious intolerance. Color me incredulous.
A high school valedictorian has been denied her diploma by her school because of the use of "Hell" in her speech. They haven't denied her transcripts (which she needs for college), but the diploma is symbolic of her achievements.
I think the approach is heavy-handed, but I do believe she owes the school the written apology it asked for in punishment for her misstep. Her reaction and continued "I'm right, I'm right, I'm right" when she is CLEARLY in the wrong only serves to show how arrogant she is. She provided them with an approved speech, then she decided to throw unnecessary vulgarity in there. As punishment, they with-held the diploma and simply asked for an apology.
I'm sorta bothered by everyone coming to her defense in saying this is an attack of freedom of speech. It's a SCHOOL SPEECH that everyone knows must be approved first by the board (or whoever is in charge of the ceremony). It's to both protect the school and the student from embarrassment. This girl simply thought she was above the rules because of her intelligence and achievements.
Sorry, honey, but you've still gotta play by the rules. This has nothing to do with freedom of speech. It has everything to do with following procedure during a solemn ceremony. Get over yourself. If this is how you respond to situations that call you out for trying to place yourself above authority, you're in for a rude awakening when you make it to the real world.
Fr. Levi over at The Way Out There came across the last words of St. David Lewis, a martyred priest whose story is incredibly touching.
After reading both his life overview and then his final address, I couldn't help but thank God for granting us so brave and faithful witnesses to His Love. Bless our priests.
God certainly knows how to choose them!
This is for all my fellow educators out there. In a special way, it's for those who are part of the unique group of people who work with children who have speech delays (my son being one of those children!).
I have no words to properly express the appreciation I have for your dedication and your love. Michelle at Liturgical Time does a fabulous job of expressing so well just how much we love the children we're blessed to work with, and I think being an educator myself, knowing that love on a personal level and seeing it doled out to my son just makes me that much more appreciative and awe-struck. Those who work with children are special, special people.
By Erika V of CS!
This is almost another cheat, but CatholicSistas has absolutely been on a roll this week. It's like someone swapped their coffee for Red Bull and they've been hammering out gold on a daily basis. Two of their articles REALLY touched me this week and I wanted to highlight them for you.
The first is Infant Death and Scared Parenting. A perinatal loss nurse is interviewed and she gives an inside look into this oft-overlooked area of holistic medicine. Incredibly inspiring and moving.
The second is titled The Trauma and Pain of Abortion After Rape and is written by a woman who conceived through rape. Exceedingly well-written, honest and poignant.
Finally, and maybe this isn't an article so much as a Book Release, but a mystic I've been following for a while, Maria Divine Mercy, has finally had the messages bundled into a book.
However, you don't need to purchase the book to read the messages. You can simply go to the website dedicated to collecting them all and download the PDF.
Again, typical warning goes into effect with mystics. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance as these are all considered personal revelations. Also, try to forgive the horrific formatting of the website. It's set up very much like a yellow-journalism rag and whoever is in charge of it is definitely trying to capitalize off fear and panic. I don't approve of that. Ignore the terrible formatting and focus on the messages and the Crusade Prayers. I promise you'll thank me later for it.
For more Quick Takes, check out Conversion Diary (who hosts this entertaining weekly blogroll!
Vince's face says it all.
I'm going to try really hard to remain civil. I apologize in advance if If am less than perfect in my attempt.
Some of you may have been following the deplorable media frenzy over a certain Russian 'band' that decided to stage a blasphemous protest inside the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. For those of you that haven't, do yourselves a favor and simply skip this particular entry so you can remain blissfully unaware that such disregard for common decency exists in the world.
A couple months ago, members of this feminist group trespassed on sacred Cathedral grounds and brassly went up to the main sanctuary to the soleas (the platform in front of the gates that enclose the altar) and shrieked out an incredibly offensive string of lines aimed at denigrating Christians under the guise of opposing Putin.
Judging from the lyrics (and really... don't search them out unless you really want to upset yourself), they were mostly looking to humiliate Christians and drag our beliefs through the mud. To do this in front of the main altar where Christ is present... oh Heaven! Forgive us this travesty.
When these yahoos were finally brought before a judge, they were found guilty of hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison.
Of course everyone and their brother cried foul over this. The media kicked into high gear blasting the government for stifling freedom of speech. Instead of being viewed as a hate crime aimed at humiliating Christians, folks painted the picture of innocent women who just wanted to speak out against the injustice of Russian big-wigs.
How anyone could possibly write this off as simply the government trying to stifle free speech is beyond me - especially given that these same women have landed themselves in prison before. The ONLY reason they've attracted so much attention this time around is because of where they staged their antics.
They chose the central Cathedral of Moscow because it'd garner the most publicity. And instead of just staging this in front of the cathedral (where I doubt I'd've had an issue with it), they chose to go INSIDE the church and dare to go up to the sanctuary.
I won't even go near the sanctuary, and I'm a practicing Catholic!
And yet everyone who I've spoke to about this defends these women because the media is portraying this as an issue of free speech. Instead, the media completely neglects the incredibly horrible injustice done to the Christians of that community. Because most folks don't care about the beliefs of these people, they don't CARE that this injustice has been done.
*Shakes head* That really worries me.
An incredible article that details just how distrurbing this is was written by Janice Shaw Crouse of The American Thinker.
In attempting to explain this to atheist / agnostic / disagreeing friends, I likened it to a stunt orchestrated by a Christian in the middle of a homosexual support group. Let's say Bob wants to protest President Obama because he believes President Obama is in bed with the homosexual lobby. Instead of protesting someplace normal and open to the public, he decides to break into a homosexual support group meeting (or support community home) and yell anti-homosexual things.
Should Bob be arrested? YES! For goodness sakes, he trespassed with the willful intent to denegrate homosexuals! He'd be immediately labeled a homophobe, would probably be arrested and charged with a hate crime, and face an extremely publicized trial that would laugh at his attempt to use "freedom of speech" as a defense for his actions.
This is because most folks are in agreement with the homosexual lobby. Most folks would rightly be offended that anyone would THINK to enter such a safe, sacred spot and begin bullying homosexuals in so offensive a manner - even under the guise of raging against the President.
Why, then, is this same outrage not shown to the Christians who are now left with months of restitution to serve in atonement for the treachery committed against their community by these women?
Ah yes - because it's perfectly acceptable to bully Christians. It's perfectly acceptable - respected, even - to humiliate and denigrate Christianity.
Again - this should be HIGHLY alarming to folks. It certainly is to me.
Names were changed. This is the transcript of a conversation I had with a man who underwent gender reassignment surgery (and hormone therapy) to become a physical woman. He is still struggling with it (even after completing it several years ago).
I felt this conversation important to post publicly because it's a conversation we should all be ready to handle as issues of gender dysphoria seem to be more common. People who struggle under the weight of this cross deserve love and respect. We each have our crosses, but we must support one another to carry them with dignity.
For an easier read, just click "Fullscreen" on the tab below. :)
A poor peasant in China has shamed the country that has discarded and murdered its own through inhumane laws that seek to stamp out innocence and liberty.
Over the years, she has found and saved 30 abandoned babies - victims of China's one-child policy and the ever-growing disregard for the validity and sacredness of human life.
Bless her, and bless her children. Keep them all in your prayers.
No doubt this living saint has a special spot in Heaven all her own.
Read her story here. However, please use caution as this story is connected with an abandoned baby girl who was viciously harmed. She is now safe in a hospital and will hopefully be available for adoption to a loving home soon. So even though it's graphic, the ending could be happy yet!
So a wonderful friend of mine left a link on my wall this morning regarding the proposed boycott of Chick-Fil-A that has now extended down to my hometown of Philadelphia.
I had read about it here last night, but it was about 2am and I didn't have the energy to find words for the irritation I felt.
Luckily, Nicole found someone who did it for me and was kind enough to share his words this morning. I'm returning the favor by sharing it with all of you.
Please take a moment (especially if you appreciate Mr. Mendte's common sense) to drop him an e-mail at Mendte@aol.com to let him know. I certainly did.
And remember - this is NOT just about gay rights, this is not about a chicken place, and this is not about our righteous indignation regarding either side of the issue.
This is about our freedoms and how politicians, pundits and yes, even some journalists, are going out of their way to cloud the fact that our liberty is being threatened. Not only is it being threatened, but it's being bullied, battered and spit upon - all in the name of "tolerance."
Again... the hypocrisy... it hurts.
Dear Mr. Mendte,
I'm typically ridiculously verbose - pointlessly so. However, your article in the Philly Mag regarding the proposed Chick-Fil-A boycott has left me absolutely speechless.
You, my good sir, are brilliant.
I've thought this many times about your reporting, but I've never felt compelled to reach out and actually tip my hat your way through an e-mail. Now, I am compelled. Your poise, fairness and clarity are so necessary in this confused climate of rhetoric and indignant anger. Thank you for being a voice of reason. Thank you for having the brass tacks to confront the tide of folly and for calling others to do the same.
We need more men - real men - like you in the world (and ESPECIALLY in the field of journalism). May you be blessed immensely in all you do.
Op-Ed piece by Ross Douthat that was run in the NY Times. This one is highlighted by Fr. Z over at WDTPRS.
This on the heels of the NY Times running THIS story that aims to shame other journalists into doing their jobs and not allowing the government (Republican and Democrat alike) to color the news.
Methinks the NYT just garnered a tip of my hat.
Well done, NYT. Well done.
I'm simply going to repost my FB status here with a few points since I don't see it necessary to re-invent the wheel.
Anyone who thought that Chick-fil-a didn't adhere to the Christian morality it calmly demonstrates in all facets of its existence is a fool.
CFA founders have never forced their beliefs onto others. They simply live out their faith and have made no bones about it. It's folks who are just realizing the founders are Christian that are making a mountain out of a mole-hill.
Everyone's up in arms because the Jim Henson Company pulled out. However, they didn't pull out because they support same-sex marriage. If that were the case, they never would've stood behind CFA to begin with.
Instead, they pulled out because it's a smart PR move considering the massive amount of publicity they're now getting as a result of the gay-pride lobby.
Smart move on their part, but I don't see why folks are coming down on CFA for simply doing what they've always done. Serve delicious chicken and try to model their business in a way that adheres to their particular belief set (which, again, they're not forcing on anyone).
They still hire folks regardless of sexuality, they won't refuse service if you and your gay lover walk in, and they certainly won't attempt to herd you off to concentration camps (which has been proposed as fact by more than one individual).
If you're going to boycott them, great! I'm in full support of you utilizing your God-given intellect and putting your purchasing dollars behind your particular belief set.
However, what I won't support the complete betrayal of intellectual honesty. If you want to boycott them, boycott them for valid reasons. Don't just jump ship and declare CFA to be minions of Satan.
Don't boycott them because you're mother's brother's friend's sister told you that they hate homosexuals (because no one ever said that).
Don't boycott them because you were told by someone on TV that they are secretly funneling money into a top secret organization that is actively working to kill homosexuals (because they don't actually do that).
And certainly don't boycott them because you read somewhere that they wish cancer upon anyone who walks through the doors to eat there.
Oh wait... that was this classy, tolerant and loving homosexual marriage supporter who did that. My bad.
Point is, do what you will under the prudence of your own conscience. No one should judge you one way or the other for it. However, just make sure that you've got all your facts straight and you aren't going on a bender accusing this company and its founders of being evil, monstrous people when - in all reality - they've done nothing but live by the same faith they've always lived by.
And that faith does NOT call for death of homosexuals.
So to all you folks calling for CFA to burn in hell for supporting well-documented beliefs (that don't interfere with business) take a moment and consider the hypocrisy of that little gem.
Also (and thanks to Cam from A Woman's Place for this one) take a moment to ponder this one while you're at it:
Respectfully, Susan Sarandon, you're a fool.
Calling Pope Benedict a Nazi because he was forced into the same Hitler Youth programs that every other boy his age was drafted into is like saying a rape victim (who was forced into a sexual act she had no say over) is a whore.
And then to hold a double standard regarding Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict simply because you've deluded yourself into thinking you had a personal relationship with the former just shows how daft you are.
Just because you had your panties in a bunch doesn't give you the right to slander someone in so vile a manner. Adults who are angry should be able to express that anger in a dignified, logical manner.
Apparently you need a script to act like an adult.
***WARNING: Some images will offend folks. I apologize in advance. Also, my views are STRICTLY my opinions and might not perfectly reflect those of Judaism / Catholicism - I'm still working on that. I admit that this particular topic is a little hazy for me, and I welcome anyone who wishes to comment or redirect my read on it. Just trying to get a conversation going - not supporting or condemning one way or the other. Thanks!!!***
So an interesting comment popped up on my Newsfeed this morning. A young woman expressed exasperation at a Jehovah's Witness who basically condemned her to hell for her tattoos.
I jumped the gun a bit (having been "condemned" myself, this morning - I was on an indignant roll) and responded that tattooing was, in fact, in the Bible, and tattooing happens to be part of MANY religious practices all over the world.
Just because Mr. Door-Preacher interprets the Bible as a condemnation of everyone's soul does not, in fact, mean that the rest of the world does. It also most certainly doesn't mean that God does.
Anywho, I figured this would be a good topic to bring up since so many people seem to be confused about the "sin-potential" of tattooing and what the Bible actually says about it. I am, a bit, too, so open dialogue is always a plus.
Disclaimer: I've always wanted a tattoo. I've never gotten one, but I've always been intrigued by some of the more beautiful body art I've seen. Some artwork truly is beautiful, and I admit wanting a piece of the action for myself.
That being said, I've always refrained because of the stigma attached to them. I never - EVER - wanted my kids to utilize my tattoos as a means for their own questionable activities. I also never wanted to give them reason to think poorly of me (as I'm sure I can handle that on my own without the aid of taboos).
Anyway, my desire for tattooing is what led me to research the Biblical history of tattoos. I figured if I ever did get one, I'd want to make sure it was permissible so I'd have evidence to back myself up when folks would inevitably start raining hellfire on me.
So if you're wondering why I'd ever know any of this, my own selfishness is why. Ha!
So - onwards with the discussion!
First things first. What does the Bible actually have to say about tattoos?
Leviticus 19:28: "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord."
This is typically the number one quote used by those who want to condemn tattooed folks to hell. However, this is like using a microscope to view a sunset.
When you only see a tiny part of the picture, you neglect to realize that there's a whole lot more to see. Until you remove the microscope and view the image in its fullness, you can't claim to pass judgement on the various colors, silhouettes, and cloud layers that work in tandem to create that sunset.
So, let's zoom out a bit and put some context to that particular quote.
Leviticus 19:26-31 deals with temple laws. You see, now that the Jews had to rely on Levitical priests to sacrifice and commune with God (instead of all the male heads of households before the Golden Calf incident), they were forced to create a gathering space in which these Levites could carry out the work of God. In developing their religious culture to match the punishment doled out by Divine Justice, a temple needed to be constructed which would serve as a central place for worship / sacrifice. This was the first time in Jewish history that they'd need a temple just like all the other pagan religions that were being practiced.
Because of this, God foresaw the very real possibility of the Israelites slipping back into their "Let's do what everyone else is doing!" habits. As such, He made provisions in the Law to ensure that His people would not be led astray by pagan customs.
The prohibitions in Lev 19: 26-31 ALL deal with prohibitions against pagan practices. God didn't want His people to slip into the idolatry of the surrounding nations because they were supposed to be set apart. Israel was MEANT to stand-out as different because their example of holiness (if practiced accordingly) would attract the pagan nations away from their sinfulness and towards God.
So, now that we know that, we need to figure out exactly what that aforementioned verse 28 really stated.
Leviticus 19:28: "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord."
Alrighty - so understanding that these are based on the pagan religious practices of their respective temples, God is specifically saying, "Don't make yourselves LOOK like pagans."
It was typical of pagans to mutilate themselves as part of the grieving process. Also, the tattoos of some pagan cultures wasn't the colorful ink we think of when we hear the word tattoo. That sort of tattoo was reserved for the wealthy because they could afford ink and such. Others, however, had their skin seared in a pattern that became raised as the skin healed into a scar. It would've looked something like this:
So that's where the prohibition against tattoos originally came from. HOWEVER, there's an interesting line in Ezekiel that clouds the issue a bit.Credit: Catholic Caveman
"And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof." (Ez. 9:4)
Hey now wait a minute! I thought God doesn't want us tattooing ourselves!
Well, before you bust out your needles, again, let's pull away from the microscope and view the panoramic shot in full.
God was commanding the prophet to go through the Holy Land and mark those who are innocent of sin against the Lord. Those without this special marking upon their forehead were punished by Divine Justice. Those marked with the sign of "taw" (a letter of the Hebrew alphabet meaning "truth") escaped the wrath of God.
***Interestingly, this letter is translated to "T" using our alphabet... a symbol of the Cross of Christ. Another interesting thing that makes me giddy is that the Arabic version of the Hebrew taw is what looks to be a smilie face. Ha ha!***
Anyway, God's not talking about marking folks with tattoos. He just wanted to make sure His harbinger of justice could easily discern who needed to be slain and who didn't. So it's not like this was a permanent mark. Not to make light of a truly horrible situation, but my guess is the man with the linen cloth had something akin to a Sharpie. The mark definitely stood out, but it could be scrubbed away after a period of time (that period lasting through the close of slaughter).
Whew! Now that we covered all of that, we can get into the nitty gritty.
Are tattoos allowed, or aren't they?
According to most Jewish scholars, the answer is "No." Thus, if the Jews held that tattoos are a no-no, Christians would hold the same principle to be true (expounded upon in many of the epistles with the theme of our bodies being Temples of the Spirit).
However, does that mean to get one would be a sure-ticket to hell?
No. To my knowledge there's only one sin that is a sure-ticket to hell, and that's the sin against the Holy Spirit (refusing to trust that His Mercy is greater than your guilt). Granted, I don't claim to know the Mind of the Lord, but there's a difference between getting a tattoo of Zeus on your arm in the hopes that it brings you power and getting a tattoo of a butterfly after surviving breast cancer, ya know?
Plus, with these particular "little laws" of Leviticus, they really do have a substantial amount of social influence. As such, we need to understand that times have changed and these principles (not dogmatic in nature) are free to be interpreted differently at different times (which is why Jewish women pierce their ears even though that's technically forbidden in the same verse that forbids tattooing).
So is tattooing going to send you straight to hell? No. Could it possibly open the door to idolatrous actions that have you sliding down the slippery slope? Definitely - but so could that bag of Funions I'm currently eying. If I pop that baby open, I'm likely to go all sorts of gluttonous.
We are tasked with moderation and keeping our consciences clear before the Lord. He gave us a body with which to love and praise Him with. If you'd like to show Him honor by keeping a tattoo of His Mother over your heart, I certainly won't be condemning you for it. If you wish to praise Him by tattooing His Word on your hand so you keep it ever in-mind, far be it from me to prepare a seat in hell for you.
However, I can't see myself getting one simply because I don't feel doing those things would be beneficial to my spiritual life. I also tend to play it safe when it comes to Scripture. Ha ha ha.
Moral of the story: You cannot condemn a person for getting a tattoo. Unless your name is Jesus Christ, Son of the Most High God, keep your mouth shut in judgement of another's soul. When in doubt, just offer a prayer to the Lord for their purity of heart.
So, anyone else have thoughts on this?
***Large uptick in visitors after dinner. Please let me know who is directing traffic my way. Thanks! Also, please keep the language clean and the discourse civil. I don't want to be deleting / editing commentary all night.***
It takes a village.
Or in this man's case - a town.
We need more stories like this depicting the incredible beauty that humanity is capable of.
God bless the people of Bussey, Iowa.
Judaism and Christianity... the two witnesses spoken of in Revelation.
We are the two burning lamp posts which bear forth the Light of the True God to the world.
As such, we are the ones who the evil one attempts to snuff out the most. We're the ones zeroed in on for attack. Ours are the religious freedoms that produce the greatest threat to his darkness.
Germany has just made circumcision illegal (save for medical emergencies). That means that faithful Orthodox Jews can no longer live out their faith without fear of the government taking their children / finding themselves in jail.
Now, truth be told, I'm on the fence regarding circumcision. When Vince was a baby, I'd read up on it and found all sorts of conflicting reports. After talking with three different doctors (two of which said the risk for UTI dropped significantly), I made the decision to go forward with the procedure for Vincent. However, I revisited the issue about a year later and learned even MORE information that made me second guess myself. I even found a blog entry written by a level-headed Jewish man who tackled the topic, too.
Truth is, I'm still on the fence and feel somewhat guilty for having made Vincent go through the procedure just because the majority of people said it was "right" to do.
However, this article isn't about the rightness or wrongness of circumcision. It IS about religious freedoms that are once again being taken away by governments around the world.
For faithful Jews, circumcision is an outward sign of a spiritual covenant with God. Through this 4000+ year old sacred tradition, Jewish boys are accepted into the line of the Chosen Ones.... to remove this sacred custom is to remove their ability to enter into communion with their God.
How is that okay?
The reasoning is that children cannot consent to what is seen as an invasive procedure that has lasting consequences. Does this mean that parents would need to wait until their child is 16 in order to be treated for a cleft lip?
Regardless of your feelings on circumcision, this is cause for alarm because it's the government once more revoking personal choice from parents / families. It's once more squashing religious freedom to appease a fickle public opinion.
Yet because people no longer understand religious beliefs to be static, they grumble and push for change because, to them (the kings and queens of everything fluid), anything stationary and revered is antiquated. Anything that doesn't fall in line with their newest fad in thinking is seen as unnecessary and foolish.
There are simply some religious beliefs that are sacred and rooted in Truth. These unalterable tenets cannot and will not change simply because the public decides it's time for them to. They are God-given mandates and as such, they will not bow out to public pressure.
My prayers are with Germany's Jews... just as they lose their rights across the pond, we Catholics here in the US are losing ours to the new mandate. May God have mercy on us.
The Name of Christ is mighty
Apparently the Name of Christ is more dangerous to the public than concealed weapons (which are perfectly legal) in N. Carolina.
I found a seed on Father Z's blog this morning detailing a new policy enacted in N. Carolina regarding police chaplains' ability to use Christ's name while praying at public events.
One chaplain's response was like an arrow to my heart... a beautiful, wonderful arrow of integrity and wisdom.
Pastor Terry Sartain, upon learning of this change, withdrew from the event because, "Jesus is the only thing I have to bless people with."
This man understands what so many others do not. The Name of Christ is one of our greatest blessings. It's why we always ask for everything "in Jesus' Name." Christ left us even the grace of His own Name to help shield us from harm.
Other religions treat the names of their gods / prophets as unspeakable or curse-inducing utterances. Not Christianity. We were blessed to understand that our God is a loving God who WANTS a personal relationship with us. He WANTS us to know Him intimately. Thus, He blesses us with the comfort of His Holy Name.
To remove our ability to call out His blessing through using His Name, this policy effectively steals from us our ability to properly pray. It also forces us to deny the God who gave His Life for our salvation.
And I can't help but know with certainly that the developers of this policy fully understood that. I believe Satan and his demons coated this with the sugar of tolerance and unity, but in reality, this is just one more step towards a global "religion" that is no religion at all.
It is a dismantling of Christianity in lieu of agnosticism. It is a stifling of our faith... another gentle inoculation to prevent the spread of Christ's Name to new generations of souls. This has nothing to do with tolerance. It is INTOLERANCE that has paved the way for this desecration of religious liberties.
But few will see it this way because so many are grateful for the chance to cast aside the trappings of religion. Their own opinions on religion cloud their ability to see beyond the "Don't use Jesus' Name" and realize that it is a tiny cog in a bigger machine that is shooting down a person's individual right to practice their religion as he or she sees fit.
Chaplains are VOLUNTEERS. They are volunteering their time to give comfort to the men and women who serve. At a prayer service (if one is requested by the police force), folks EXPECT to hear names like Jesus, God, Buddha or Mohammad. These words do not point a finger at atheists, Jews or Spaghetti Monster believers in an attempt to say "You're going to a naughty place for not believing!" If you invite a volunteer chaplain to one of these prayer services, you're inviting their brand of religion. If you don't want to be stifled by Christianity, find a volunteer who will speak what you're looking for. But do NOT, NOT, NOT attempt to tell someone how they can and cannot pray (publicly or otherwise!).
These chaplains (whatever their religion may be) are looking to offer comfort in the form of a universal blessing. Christ does not just bless Christians. He blesses all, regardless of their belief in Him.
If someone were to say to me, "May the Spaghetti Monster's blessing be upon you always" I'd say, "Right on, good sir. Thanks for having my back with the warm fuzzies."
I would not respond, "Dude, I believe in JESUS, okay? Stop insulting me with your well-wishes!"
And yet that's exactly what is being done by this policy. It is ludicrous and is once again an attempt by policy makers to stifle the religious freedoms of folks... folks who are VOLUNTEERING THEIR TIME for goodness sake!
It reminds me of this yearly mess... Will this sort of foolishness have no end?
This is a perfect time for the Golden Arrow Prayer. It was given to St. Gertrude the Great by Christ, Himself, who said, "It will wound My Heart delightfully and heal the wounds inflicted by blasphemy."
As I said on Fr. Z's wall, I hope in this case it will heal the wounds inflicted by arrogance, silence and betrayal.
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth by all the creatures of God and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.
Judge a tree by it's fruits, man!
I got an e-mail last night from a friend of mine. We had been discussing the current LCWR review. He was under the impression (as so many are) that the Vatican was trying to stamp out the personal freedoms of poor, innocent nuns just trying to live our their vocation serving their communities.
I admit I got rather heated at the thought of these women being pitied as a result of the media's false stories of heroism in the face of the big, bad Vatican. These women should never - EVER - be held up as the gold standard for Catholicism. The women in question shouldn't even be held up as a bad example of Catholicism. Many have given up being Catholic long, long ago and just haven't 'fessed up to it yet. Thus, use them as a bad example of Protestantism. Please leave the word "Catholic" out of their mess.
Anyway, this friend chided me for my harsh words. He quoted the oft repeated (and incredibly misunderstood) line from Matthew 7: "Judge not lest you be judged."
I've already sent this friend an e-mail detailing my feelings on the matter (candidly as I'm apt to do). However, I felt this a topic very necessary to broach with the general population as this quote is so often used by people in an attempt to bow out to political correctness.
In my opinion, it's nothing more than an excuse to hide one's insecurities behind a veil of false nicety.
Let's say my mother is driving a car. We're about to take a curve too harshly. Considering there's a canyon to the left of us, if she continues speeding, we're likely to tumble into the abyss.
Do I refrain from telling her to slow down because I'm afraid I might hurt her feelings for criticizing her driving?
No. I like my life.
Instead, I'd say, "Hey Mom, you need to apply the brakes because if you don't, we're likely to take a tumble neither one of us will enjoy."
Would I be judging my mother to be a bad driver? No.
Would I be judging her behavior to be bad? Yes.
Might she feel as though I'd judged her to be a bad driver? Yes, it's a possibility.
If she feels as though I've passed a negative judgement on her, does that mean I have? No.
Even knowing that she might have her feelings hurt as a result of my criticism, should I refrain from suggesting she slow down? NO.
As I've said in previous entries, I simply do not have the personality to sit on the sidelines while someone is acting in a way that is either harmful to self or others. I can't. I automatically put a familiar face on these folks and my decision is made - political correctness be damned.
That is exactly what we are asked to do as Catholics. The quote "Judge not, lest ye be judged" is often given as a means to stifle this responsibility. However, if we read juuust a little bit further, we'll come to understand that this misrepresented quote (found on everything from billboards to memes to T-shirts) means something much different than the sound byte it's utilized as.
Here is the quote in its entirety (from the New American Bible, so the wording is slightly changed):
Jesus said to His disciples: “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Matt 7:1-5
In other words, use your God-given intellect to discern judgement. It isn't necessarily meaning we should condemn, but it's certainly charging us with the responsibility of properly judging all things with equality.
In fact, there are quotes all over the Bible specifically commanding this of us.
In the gospels, Luke echoes Matthew in Chapter 6 with "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven... For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."
John (7:24) relays Jesus saying "Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteously."
In Proverbs (3:21), "Preserve sound judgement and discernment."
In the Letter of St. Paul to the Phillipians (1:9-11), "And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God."
And my favorite (also from Luke 6) stating, "A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For people do not pick figs from thorn bushes, nor do they gather grapes from brambles. A good person out of the store of goodness in his heart produces good, but an evil person out of a store of evil produces evil; for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks."
"See the good that we do and give glory to God."
That being said, we have a Christian responsibility to judge that which is presented to us in this world... ESPECIALLY when that which is presented wreaks of evil. We must not allow such evil to continue spreading as a cancer. The Body of Christ - OUR spiritual body - must be protected. If we remain silent as these "religious" continue to misinform, polarize and confuse the general population, we commit a sin of commission. We allow a greater evil to exist both within our ranks, and within ourselves through our silence.
This is exactly how the atrocities of WWII were accomplished. Sure there were plenty of folks who disagreed with the Nazi ideals. However, too many were silent for too long.
First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
I, for one, cannot endure such silence. I cannot wither away behind a false veil of "live and let live" when that includes allowing misinformation to fester and spread to my friends, family and children. No. It is my duty as a Christian to call evil out where it is and shed the light of truth upon the dishonesty and willful desecration of the Faith.
And those Christians among you who read this (be you Catholic or otherwise), this is your duty as well. We must work together to bring the light of Truth to others. We must not allow the lies, the half-truths, the confusion to tear souls away from Christ.
Laws no longer protect but intimidate.
Thanks to Catholic Vote for seeding. This article details the plight of a young photographer who refused her services to a lesbian couple looking to have photos taken of their commitment ceremony (since homosexual unions aren't recognized or legal in New Mexico).
Instead of simply finding another photographer, these miscreants took Elaine (the photographer) to court. Apparently their poor little feelings were hurt because Elaine didn't want to take pictures of their ring-exchange. So what's any rational couple to do?
Silly me, if faced with such a decision, I'd simply type "photographer" into Google.
Apparently it's way more entertaining to sue the person. With this being the great country of America, it's incredibly easy to do considering we don't understand our own Constitution!
*Grumble grumble grumble*
As I said, the homosexual lobby is attempting to manipulate laws into forcing folks to accept their lifestyle choices. Instead of simply finding another photographer to take photos of their "special day," they wanted to drag this woman through the mud to make an example of her in order to put pressure on others who would deny services to protect their consciences.
Since when did people become so entitled to having the world conform to their opinions? Are they so really so insecure and desperate for acceptance that they're willing to stoop THIS LOW in order to intimidate folks into a false posturing of agreement?
For shame. For absolute shame.
Our 1st Amendment rights as US Citizens... for now.
I'm successfully irritated. My charity level is low to non-existent right now, so I apologize in advance.
There has been yet another striking blow to religious freedoms today... this time in Denmark. All over the world, governments are attempting to put religious freedom to death, and no one is any the wiser. Why? Because it's all being done under the guise of social justice.
Danish parliament has just passed a law making it MANDATORY for all churches in Denmark to provide homosexual marriage ceremonies.
Take a second and let that process (if you're not too busy hurling).
A government is attempting to FORCE entire religious communities to utilize their sacred houses of worship for a ceremony that goes directly against their religious beliefs as a people.
I'm beyond disgusted.
Once again the issue of religious freedoms is ignored because folks are too busy crying foul over the issue of homosexuality.
I don't care if two men want to get hitched through civil unions. Be my guest. I draw the line, however, when those two men attempt making a mockery of our Sacrament by committing such a sacrilege in front of the Blessed Sacrament in a Catholic Church.
As I said on Facebook, welcome to the reason I refuse to vote in favor of anyone trying to push this through our court system.
As I said in a previous entry, Australia is quickly following suit. The US won't be far behind.
I'm all for homosexuals getting hitched in churches that condone it. I am NOT okay with a government stepping in to force ANYONE to accept a union that cannot be recognized by aforementioned religion.
Catholic priests cannot "consecrate" a union that is considered abhorrent and inherently sinful. No matter how much a government wants to kick, scream and cry, a faithful Catholic priest cannot (and will not) call a blessing down upon that which is mortally sinful.
Even if one tried to, do you think God would say, "Ya know what? Alright... since you asked so nicely, I'll be sure to go against that which I've stated - repeatedly - and reward you for your impressively arrogant disobedience."
Again, Lord, mercy.
Hmmm... I had no idea this is what those "Harmony" shirts I've been seeing were all about.
Apparently folks are looking to boycott Target for it's current push to financially back the Family Equality Council (read: LGBT lobby). I was completely unaware of this until today!
I don't really have too much of an opinion on this just yet. Thus far, I don't see the donations as horrible because in order for me to participate, I'd have to be directly purchasing these "Pride" items.
I'd be happy if they'd offer something like Soaps for Life in their stores as a worthy cause to get behind. I doubt there would be a conservative call for boycott with something like that. The liberals might boycott, but the point is, if you don't support a cause, you're not being forced to purchase the items in question in this case. If Target was donating a portion of ALL sales to the FEC, I'd be singing a different tune. But they're not.
That being said, I expect to see well-placed signs and tags on these items so I can steer clear of them if I were to enter a Target. I don't want to mistakenly donate money to something that goes against my belief system - same as I'm sure a pro-abortion person would balk at seeing any of his or her money go into an ultrasound truck that sits in front of a Planned Parenthood for mothers who are on the fence. So long as signs and tags are visible and plenty, I wouldn't boycott Target itself so much as the particular line of products.
Kinda like boycotting a particular brand of make-up because they do animal testing, ya know? Obviously not the same level of morality, but my point still stands.
My friend, Christina, said something to me that has been bouncing around in my head for the last few days:
There's something about a fire that doesn't seem to burn you. [This] issue had fire written all over it and you just jumped on in like it was a bubble bath.
Ah... the story of my life.
Last week, when I wrote that "Alone" entry, I got several follow-up messages from the person the entry was originally about. He gave me permission to post his story here, because I honestly think it's something that folks should be aware of, especially those of us who are active on Christian blogs / forums.
While I was chatting with some folks on a Christian forum, a young man timidly asked for advice with an issue he'd been struggling with. We happily agreed to hear him out. He identifies himself as homosexual, he's 19, and he still lives home with his "strict Christian parents." He loves his parents dearly, but he hasn't "come out" to them, yet. He was looking for advice on how to best do it without having them disown him.
Within minutes the thread was lighting up with comments like:
"It's a phase." "Keep that to yourself until you get it fixed."
"You'll go to hell!" "You SHOULD be disowned."
"Homosexuality is a disease." ETC...
Seriously. I was absolutely FLOORED. I immediately jumped in to dispel the notion that his sexuality was a one-way ticket to hell that needed to be exchanged through a one-night stand with a woman (suggested by a particularly vulgar member who, until that point, had been the most proper one of the bunch!). I then pointed out that the various responses were less than Christian in content.
You'd think I stumbled upon a hellmouth or something. Not only was I trying to defend this person against attacks, I was on the receiving end, myself, with no hope of respite. To say anything contrary to "Gays are evil, hell-bound freaks of nature" was tantamount to painting yourself with a bulls-eye and handing out arrows during open season. I felt HORRIBLE because all that viciousness simply caused this young man to pull away, completely embarrassed, ashamed and hurt by the torrent of verbal abuse. Worse, he assumed that response was a unanimously Christian one because no one took a stand against it!!! Heaven forbid!
For the record:
Condemning a person is NOT CHRISTIAN CHARITY.
Suggesting that they commit a mortal sin in order to "reverse" another perceived mortal sin is NOT CHRISTIAN CHARITY.
Responding to a plea for help with vitriol and wishes for the emotional distress of family abandonment is NOT CHRISTIAN CHARITY.
This gentle young man and I have been blessed to have several discussions on this now. He now understands that regardless of his sexuality, he is a body and soul created and loved by God. He understands Catholic teaching on homosexuality, and though he doesn't agree with it, at least he doesn't believe Catholicism teaches he's got a sure-ticket to hell just for being attracted to other men. He also feels better about talking to his parents about this. After all, a parent's duty is to love above all else. Heck, our job as humans is to love above all else. Loving doesn't mean accepting the sins of another, but it DOES mean accepting the person for who they're made as and helping them carry the crosses uniquely granted by God to help them on their path towards Heaven.
Keep folks like this in your prayers. It takes a lot of courage to be upfront about your deepest struggles, especially when you've got the whole world ready to rip into you.
And this is why I tend to step into the fire with seemingly little regard for the flames. On the other end of the verbal assault, someone is feeling the effects. On the other side of the computer screen, someone is being made to feel subhuman. When these hot-button conversations ignite, there is someone, somewhere being given a very incorrect view of Christianity through the poor examples of those who laud themselves as being the epitome of Christian practice. I can't help but feel my own heart break for them.
So yes. I frequently involve myself in these types of conversations and threads because if I don't, who will? Be the change you wish to see, right? If I had kept my mouth shut and just allowed them to steamroll this person, what type of image would he have of Christianity? Would there be no nugget of hope regarding coming out to his parents?
And what of the people who could easily have offered their own "Likes" or commentary to mine? Instead of private messaging, they could have helped this young man feel something of the love of God. Instead, he was left with a very bitter taste in his mouth, spoon-fed by supposedly loving Christians.
Our duty is not to stand by and allow such ill-feelings to spread. Our duty as Christians is to love God by loving one another - not silently... not ashamedly... not timidly. We are called to live our love out loud.
If that means dancing in the fire, bring on the flames.
I found this through Spirit Daily this morning. It's taking all the charity I have within me not to start spewing horrible, nasty things about this pea-brain of an "artist."
He claims he made popsicles using the Blood of Christ after a priest "inadvertently" blessed it during a Mass.
For the record, a priest cannot "inadvertently" bless anything. He either does or he doesn't. The corporal isn't just there to act as a napkin to catch fallen particles. It's also a boundary for items that need to be included for consecration.
So in order for this fool to obtain the Precious Blood, he'd've had to do one of two things:
1) Sneak a cruet of wine onto the corporal (which is direct center of the altar) in the middle of Mass (since the priest opens and places it after the Liturgy of the Word), then somehow steal it away before Communion without ever being detected.
2) Steal the consecrated wine through taking a chalice that's being used during Communion (which would create some sort of commotion, I'd assume), or accepting the Precious Blood via Communion and instead of ingesting, commit an even greater sacrilege by spitting the now consecrated wine into a vial or some other container for later use.
It's not like he could hold his little bottle of wine under his pew during a Mass and have it consecrated (which is what he stupidly thinks he did). It's not like he could drive by a chapel and suddenly the wine in his cooler becomes Christ's Blood.
Seriously - how foolish does he expect people to be???
Apparently exactly as foolish as they are. This article ran on CNN and he's planning to sell them during NY's Design Week. Disgusting.
May God have mercy on us. We have no idea how tragic we are unto ourselves.
This has been rattling around in my head since the middle of last week. A new mother was a bit frazzled because she was planning a baptism for her daughter. In the course of the planning, she tried to solidify paperwork for the baby's godparents. The godfather wasn't Catholic, but the godmother was. She just couldn't get a letter from her pastor because she no longer practiced.
Now before any of you start rolling your eyes and stamping your feet with irritation, take a deep breath and let it go. She's a good mom and wonderful person, but like many Catholics anymore, regular practice isn't "normal."
We can't punish the child by refusing baptism because the adults in her life are negligent in their Catholic responsibilities. Baptism is still an avenue of grace for her, so every effort should be made to ensure she is able to obtain a proper Sacrament.
So again - no coming down on this woman. It's not her fault our current pool of potential godparents is miserable.
Anyway, as I was talking to the new mother about this, she and I agreed that it was darn near impossible anymore to find practicing Catholics our age to trust as godparents. She said something, however, that made me kind of stop. She said, "Who goes to Mass anymore? I know I don't. Do you? It's just so old-fashioned."
I responded, "Yes, actually, I do go to Mass every Sunday. All those days of obligation, too." I then added with a laugh, "I guess that sorta makes me old-fashioned, huh?"
Now mind you, there was no animosity at all during this conversation. She made a valid point that I hadn't given much thought to before. It really is considered "old fashioned" to be a practicing ANYTHING anymore (when it comes to religion, anyway). Religion has become antiquated in the minds of youth... a relic of a past era where science had not yet 'made sense of the world.'
I dunno. When you see novenas, pilgrimages and even your own weekly Mass being attended by mostly elderly parishioners, it's hard not to think you're the odd man out. However, things like World Youth Day and the upswing in Pro-Life activism from people my own age are remarkable. They're strong signs that the youth of Catholicism aren't to be discounted just yet. I also have to admit that through blogging, I've come to meet other like-minded Catholics (my age, even!) which has done wonders for my own feelings of loneliness regarding the practice of my faith. Though we aren't members of the same parish, we're members of the same Church. We may be young, we may even be "old-fashioned," but last time I checked, Truth and Morality never go out of style. Loving and praising the Father who created me can never really be considered outdated.
I love stories like this.
I'm no fan of Westboro Baptist Church, and I honestly feel terrible for the cultish mentality that the children of that family are an unwitting part of.
However, this entry isn't about WBC so much as it is about a brave young man armed with a pencil, paper and love.
Upon seeing the demonstrators rallying with their anti-homosexual posters and signs, this young boy requested permission to write a sign of his own. Playing off their typical "God Hates ..." signs, little Josef simply wrote "God Hates No One."
Amen, little Josef! Amen!
We'd all do well to remember this.
No matter the lifestyle choices, no matter the faith preference, no matter the grievous list of sins we souls have committed, God still loves each of us and wants nothing more than to embrace us in His arms. Search out that love in yourself, as God is a part of you. Search out that love and extend it to everyone you meet.
This is a toughie for me. Still not exactly sure where I stand.
Keaton Fuller, a senior at a Catholic High school in Iowa, was awarded a $40,000 scholarship by the Eychaner Foundation. The award, named the Gold Matthew Shephard Scholarship, caused an uproar because of it's overtly homosexual basis. Originally, the bishop had refused to allow this award to be given publicly during commencement, fearing it would cause confusion and scandal among those present.
However, after speaking with the Eychaner Foundation, he reversed his decision with the caveat that the Superintendent read the script for presentation instead of a member of the foundation.
Here are the things I don't have a problem with:
The Eychaner Foundation has a Scholarship award that falls in line with its core mission to promote acceptance and tolerance of the LGBT community. Common sense.
Fuller, a student of a Catholic school, successfully applied for this award with the help of faculty members. Scholarships are open to anyone regardless of where they're from, and considering the basis for this scholarship isn't the promotion of something that goes against dogma, faculty members were not at fault for putting him at risk for supporting heresy. In fact, this scholarship aims to curb bullying and promote the love and acceptance of people who are homosexual - something that does fall in line with Church teaching.
The Eychaner Foundation desiring to publicly award this scholarship to Fuller at his commencement. Can't fault them for realizing the marketing victory this would be for them.
There being public pressure put onto the Bishop to reverse his decision. Free speech, after all, is still supposedly free in this country.
The Bishop agreeing to speak with the Eychaner Foundation to reach an amicable solution. This is, after all, how one responds with love, especially when his own flock is so up in arms about the issue. In all honesty, I believe (from the quotes) that he responded graciously, thoughtfully, and with charity.
Here are the things I DO have a problem with:
The Eychaner Foundation expecting to force its way into a private school's commencement ceremony. Asking politely and accepting a decline is normal behavior. Getting pushy and demanding you gain entrance as a SPEAKER is ludicrous.
The Bishop reversing his decision. I got several scholarships / awards upon graduation. Plenty of other students did, too. No one ever came to speak about these things considering they're private awards. We had our various scholarships listed in the program, I think, but there wasn't any singling out of students because the commencement was for ALL of us. Unless you were the valedictorian (or saludictorian), there was no real singling out for random awards. It'd've taken forever.
I'm all for this young man being recognized for his achievements. I really am. I have no issue with how he got the scholarship, what the scholarship represents, or even the faculty responsible for helping him apply. That's all well and good.
I am a little iffy on having that recognition overshadow the entire commencement ceremony due to all the protests, pressure and talks. I mean, are any of the other students having speakers for their scholarships? Would anyone have even cared if two or three of these speakers were turned away? Doubtful. The only reason this issue became an issue is because of the push by the homosexual agenda to be accepted everywhere and anywhere.
Once again, this isn't an issue of homosexuality. It's an issue of common sense. Most speakers for high school graduations consist of faculty, students and a particular person who is brought in to reflect on success and opportunity for ALL those graduating. This person was brought in to highlight the achievements of a homosexual student for academics and his work in promoting peace and tolerance for homosexuals. While that's a noble thing for sure, why must we have a commencement speaker highlight this as opposed to the student who raised funds to help a no-kill shelter survive? A student who raised awareness for those with Down-Syndrome? A student who stood outside her local Planned Parenthood every Saturday afternoon, rain or shine, to wage a silent war with her rosary in hand?
In my mind, this is a ploy to once again push the homosexual agenda onto Catholic schools in a very publicized, marketable way. Fuller is a perfect poster-child for something like this, and I can't help but wonder if that isn't at least part of the reason he was chosen. Maybe it's all those years of public relations courses that has jaded me, but I can't help but think if I were in their shoes, I'd've chosen him as well. He'd provide the perfect excuse to gain entry to a plethora of conflict that could very well kick the dust up at the Catholic Church.
I really hope they make the full script available as I'm curious to know what, exactly, the bishop signed off on.
Two young women from a Catholic High School were barred entrance from their prom because they arrived as a homosexual couple. They could have easily shown up with two male friends and bypassed this entire controversy, but no... they wanted to make a statement. Apparently that statement went a little something like this:
We go to a Catholic school that expressly teaches that homosexual unions are not in line with Catholic teachings. We know this. We understand this. However, we want to whine and complain anyway when said school (which is only following the dictates of its well documented, 2000+ year faith) refuses to be a party to us going directly against the same Catholic teaching that we've paid to learn.
Entitlement and a complete lack of common sense. But people will eat it right up because no one sees logic - they're too busy fawning over the "civil rights issue" when in reality - there ISN'T one. It's as basic as "The invitation says black tie. Don't show up in jeans and a T-shirt."
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