Friday, January 25, 2008
I like this new word. Read the article:
"Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in European international organizations, has drawn the attention of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to the increase in the crime against Christians in Europe.
"We often hear about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and very little is said about Christianophobia, which is gaining strength in many European countries," Bishop Hilarion said during a meeting between Barosso and representatives of the Orthodox Churches to the European Union.
Among the forms of Christianophobia in Europe, Bishop Hilarion mentioned the removal of Christian symbols from the public sphere, the denigration of Christianity and refusal to recognize the Christian heritage of Europe, the persecution of people who openly express Christian convictions and who choose to live according to Christian moral standards."
A Wall Street Journal editorial says the Republican Party is splintered. Duh!
Whatever piece you favor, you can find a candidate that supports the issue, but I don't think there is one that supports all the pieces. The once harmonious symphony is now a loud, clanging noise.
The article says:"On the pundit civil wars, Rush Limbaugh declared on the radio this week, "I'm here to tell you, if either of these two guys [Mr. McCain or Mike Huckabee] get the nomination, it's going to destroy the Republican Party. It's going to change it forever, be the end of it!"
This is absurd. George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues.
Were there other causes? Yes, of course. But there was an immediate and essential cause.
And this needs saying, because if you don't know what broke the elephant you can't put it together again. The party cannot re-find itself if it can't trace back the moment at which it became lost. It cannot heal an illness whose origin is kept obscure.
I believe that some of the ferocity of the pundit wars is due to a certain amount of self-censorship. It's not in human nature to enjoy self-censorship. The truth will out, like steam from a kettle. It hurts to say something you supported didn't work. I would know. But I would say of these men (why, in the continuing age of Bill Clinton, does the emoting come from the men?) who are fighting one another as they resist naming the cause for the fight: Sack up, get serious, define. That's the way to help."
Thursday, January 24, 2008
If Whitman is considered one of America's greatest poets, why don't we listen to what he has to say about the human body? I doubt any English teacher in a public school would say the evil Whitman wrote about is still with us. I hear a lot of Theology of the Body in his poem, "I Sing the Body Electric."
At this site http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=470749 , it says:
"Walt Whitman's description of the body being the same as the soul in "I Sing the Body Electric" is important in understanding his equal desire and passion for all human beings. Because of this comparison of the body and the soul, Whitman's description of the minute details of the body becomes an important insight into his description of the quality of the soul. In this myriad of human beings, he describes his passion for both men and women, for people of other races, and for the elderly."
Slavery was the devaluation of the human body that concerned Whitman as the most evil in his day. What he wrote equally applies to the devaluation of unborn human bodies through abortion. These are a few of the lines that seem most pro-life to me:
"I Sing The Body Electric."
Be not ashamed women, your privilege encloses the rest, and is the
The man's body is sacred and the woman's body is sacred,
If any thing is sacred the human body is sacred,
O I say these are not the parts and poems of the body only, but of
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
There is only a link to another page.
Look at what John McCain said about abortion in the 2000 election campaign. It shows a big change.
I think this is also significant:
- Rated 0% by National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
- Rated 75% by the National Right to Life (NRLC), indicating a mixed record on abortion. (Dec 2006)
- Absent from Values Voter Presidential Debate. (Sep 2007)
- Voted YES on confirming Samuel Alito as Supreme Court Justice. (Jan 2006)
- Voted YES on confirming John Roberts for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. (Sep 2005)
Anyway you look at it, John McCain's position on abortion is inconsistent with some of his previous positions. Which one is the real John McCain?
Could I vote for him? If he is the lesser of two evils, yes. He is not my first choice, but I would pick him over Clinton, Obama, Edwards or other Democrats any day.
His position on abortion is at this site:
http://www.johnmccain.com/Informing/Issues/95b18512-d5b6-456e-90a2-12028d71df58.htm"John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench. Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe v. Wade, returning the abortion question to the individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat. The family represents the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society and John McCain believes the institution of marriage is a union between one man and one woman. It is only this definition that sufficiently recognizes the vital and unique role played by mothers and fathers in the raising of children, and the role of the family in shaping, stabilizing, and strengthening communities and our nation. For this reason, John McCain opposes the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes. To that end, Senator McCain voted to ban the practice of "fetal farming," making it a federal crime for researchers to use cells or fetal tissue from an embryo created for research purposes. Furthermore, he voted to ban attempts to use or obtain human cells gestated in animals. Finally, John McCain strongly opposes human cloning and voted to ban the practice, and any related experimentation, under federal law."
Real Clear Politics, which is a summary of major polls, says that if the General Election has McCain vs. Clinton or vs. Obama, McCain would win. In all the other match ups, the Democrats would win.
By Father Jonathan Morris
We can listen to speeches, banter with friends and foes at the coffee shop, or study campaign Web sites. We can compare and contrast party and candidate platforms, hedging our bets on who is most likely to get done more of what we most need, or want.
My suggestion to voters at this point in the race is to forget about all of this — including what other states have done, or are about to do — and instead, to choose the candidate who, according to Constitutional criterion, has the best PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT and whose RECORD coincides with this philosophy.
I mean to say, let’s choose a candidate who understands the true purpose of government and the way it’s supposed to work in the United States of America as described in our founding documents, in particular, the Constitution and the Federalist Papers.
We are not electing a national mayor, a local pastor, a motivational speaker, a civil rights activist or even a CEO.
The federal government — including the executive branch — is primarily responsible for defending the nation and its citizens from attack and subversion, maintaining public order (including commerce) and protecting people‘s fundamental rights and liberties.
In other areas, its role is secondary, or more precisely “subsidiary,” first of all to the work of families, community, charitable, religious, and other civic organizations, and then to local and state governments.
When candidates make promises to end poverty, boost the economy, restore hope, and provide health care and education for all, the questions we should ask are HOW and WHO. If they plan to use their presidential powers (including the appointment of judges) to run our states and to raise our families, they are out of line.
Read this thoughtful article at this site:
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
"Stephanopoulos continued his assault Sunday on Terri Schindler Schiavo, the disabled Florida woman who was killed by court decree at the behest of her adulterous husband, dying of dehydration on March 31, 2005, 13 days after her feeding tube was removed following nearly a decade of contentious courtroom action."
Stephanopoulos asked, "But should the federal government have weighed in or not."
“In that case, I believe that it ultimately was because anything to do that will help save a human life and at least show the importance, imperative of valuing life, I think is a good thing, George, and I, one thing, if anything, and that’s consistent on the fact that every human life has dignity and intrinsic worth and value and I think it’s fundamental to the very essence of our civilization that we treat each other with that sense of dignity. If we don’t, if we ever violate the idea that we’re all of equal worth, I think we’ve lost something more that a political debate, I think we’ve lost our moral center because if one person is more valuable because of IQ, ancestry, net worth, if one person is more valuable than another because of ability or disability, then we really have redefined what it means to be not just a human being but specifically what it means to be an American”. http://www.northcountrygazette.org/news/2008/01/08/schiavo_disability_rights/
Wow! That is one of the defining differences of Christianity v. atheism and paganism. If you want to read about more of these differences, I recommend reading the book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible. I read that book over the holidays. I was blown away with the clarity with which it compares the benefits of Christianity and faith.
CONCORD, NH - Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee sees his conservative religious base as reaching beyond evangelical Protestants to Catholics as well.
Huckabee, an ordained Baptist preacher, won the Iowa caucus last week which kicks off the nominating process for the November presidential election, largely because of support from the state’s numerous evengelical community.
“Catholics were a major source of support for me in Arkansas. And they have been nationally. And it’s not only because of the pro-life and pro-family issues,” he said, refering to his opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage.
“I certainly believe that Catholics are right about talking about poverty, disease and hunger. Things I talk about … I think a lot of evangelicals have not talked enough about it quite frankly,” he said.
This article points out that Catholics tend to put emphasis on both pro-life and social justice issues. But how can the Federal government be both concerned with welfare and have the fiscal responsibility and limited government that Republican have traditionally supported? That is the question. Those two goals are incompatible.
Nevertheless, the Democrats position on social justice issues are the most attractive part of the party. Stealing their thunder sounds like a good idea. Make the Republican party "the party of the little guy" as Democrats say. But remember that any government that is powerful enough to give you everything you want is powerful enough to take away everything you have.
Since Baptists criticise Catholics of working their way to heaven, it strikes me funny that Huckabee says evangelicals have not talked enough about poverty, disease and hunger. Huckabee sounds Catholic to me.
BTW, there aren't many Catholics in Arkansas, so it must have been Baptists that elected him governor. Since Arkansas is my home state, I have heard feedback that he really does work for social welfare, not just talk about it.
Survey: Non-attendees find faith outside church"LifeWay Research, the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, based in Nashville, conducted the survey of 1,402 "unchurched" adults last spring and summer. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
Most of the unchurched (86%) say they believe they can have a "good relationship with God without belonging to a church." And 79% say "Christianity today is more about organized religion than loving God and loving people."
"These outsiders are making a clear comment that churches are not getting through on the two greatest commandments," to love God and love your neighbor, says Scott McConnell, associate director of LifeWay Research. "When they look at churches … they don't see people living out the faith."
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
I can't stand Hillary. Not another 8 years of Clintons in the White House! The country went through enough embarrassment when Bill was there! We became the laughing stock of the whole world. I'm not surprised when Leno laughs at him. My German cousins still joke about him.
Hillary care? Do you remember she wanted to nationalize the whole health care industry? She would turn every hospital into an abortion mill. Need a transplant? Too bad. You would be too old under a rationed system. If you think the budget deficit is bad now, wait till the government has to pay health care for all the illegal immigrants.
I don't see any Democrats I could vote for. I would hold my nose and vote for Romney instead. I could go with Thompson, but he is a long shot. I'm hoping Huckabee gets more support in future primaries. Missouri's is Feb. 5. Save the date.
Myths Exposed on Charismatic Christianity in America
By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter
"Many people believe that charismatic Christianity is almost exclusively a Protestant phenomenon, but research shows that one-third of all U.S. Catholics (36 percent) fit the charismatic classification, according to the new Barna study. And nearly one-quarter of all charismatics in the U.S. (22 percent) are Catholics."
This article surprised me. I had no idea the percent of Catholics who are charismatics is this high. I think that is probably true in my parish, but I thought we were an anomoly. I think that the charismatic movement is the reason the ones who are active Catholics have remained and are the most involved in volunteering at the parish. I wish more people would be open to receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is rarely ever mentioned in a Sunday homily. Why? Beats me!