Archives for July 2012

Obama’s war on religion (update #9)

Obama's War on Religion

Some battles in the war against religion (specifically Christianity – and even more specifically Catholicism) have recently gone to the good guys. This gives us hope, but falls far short of any indication that the tide has turned.

This piece continues my series on the very real war on religion. My last summary was 1 month ago. This is the latest update. To see the whole series, click here.

Unnatural unions vs. Chick-fil-A

One would think from watching the media or listening to uber-liberal big-city mayors that virtually the entire country backs the destruction of “traditional” marriage as we know it. The pressure has increased markedly since President Obama has given it his fully “evolved” support. Over last weekend, the president’s party voted to endorse “gay marriage” in their platorm.

This is not about equal rights but is another avenue to attack religion. Were “gay marriage” to be the law of the land, teaching and practicing the true Christian faith would be greatly hampered. Speaking against it will become hate speech and marrying heterosexuals but not homosexuals discrimination. Count on it and count on vigorous legal prosecution.

Many companies see upside publicity in announcing their support with little downside. Chick-fil-A is not one of them. They embrace Christian values, natural law and 5,000 years of tradition by simply saying they support marriage as between 1 man and 1 woman. Imagine the outrage from the extremely intolerant homosexual community and their supporters!

Tomorrow Wednesday, August 1st is Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. Show them your support. Also show every other company that the American people are NOT in mindless support of the gay agenda. Buy your lunch or dinner at Chick-fil-A. Treat the whole family, your Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts, your American Heritage Girls, your soccer team, your book club. Order from their catering menu for your function. Chick-fil-A food is a cut above typical fast-food fare, their restaurants are clean, their drive-thru is fast and their employees are friendly. Find them here.

This is something that YOU can do. It is small but may be part of something historic. It is easy, inexpensive, comparably healthy and tastes good too!

HHS mandate and private business

The issue of Obama’s HHS mandate against Christian conscience is often considered in the context of religious institutions such as schools, hospitals, charitable organizations and so on. They are good examples of how his decree (via the HHS which he controls) tramples religious freedom, but the issue is much larger than that because it also tramples upon individual business owners too.

Last week, a Catholic family-owned business in Colorado won an injunction against the ObamaCare mandate. The case must still be heard in court and the injunction applies only to this 1 company. It is a small victory, but it is a start.

This is a promotional video for Hercules Industries from 2009. The company employs 265 full-time workers.

NYC schools ban on worship

For a very long time, NYC schools have blatantly discriminated against off-hours religious use of their facilities. All other external parties were permitted. The ban applied only to the exercise of free speech which, in their opinion, represented “worship.”

Finally, after 17 years of litigation, a US District Court has overturned this law. Now we get to see what new obstacles they can invent.

Twisting the “separation of church and state” principal

The Freedom from Religion Foundation together with Robert Moss in behalf of his minor child, has sued a South Carolina school district. Elective credit is widely given around the country for off-site, elective study. The FRF wanted a test case to block credit if the study was religious in nature, proposing that it violated the so-called separation principal.

Year after year, this extralegal (i.e. not in law) principal is expanded to remove any trace of religious beliefs from every sector of government. This time, a federal appeals court sided with the good guys.

Further Reading

Here is a sampling of some new articles written on this topic in the last few weeks:

  1. A Kulturkampf Primer
  2. Affordable Care Act ruling promises religious fights for the forseeable future
  3. Archbishop Chaput: ‘It’s Going to Be a Long Fight’
  4. Archbishop Chaput’s Homily for the Closing Mass of the Fortnight for Freedom
  5. Archbishop Lori: Religious liberty bid unaffected by Supreme Court ruling
  6. Battle over ObamaCare shifts from courtroom to campaign trail
  7. Catholic Charities of Chicago lawsuit shows reach of HHS mandate
  8. Catholic business owners score win against ObamaCare mandate
  9. Catholics Need To Heed The Prophetic Voice Of The Church!
  10. Concluding the Fortnight: Now What?
  11. Congressman introduces Religious Freedom Tax Repeal Act
  12. Court strikes down NYC ban on churches meeting in schools
  13. Court’s Obamacare Ruling: What it Means for America
  14. Crucial Components of Religious Liberty
  15. Defining Religious Liberty Down
  16. Dems will include same-sex “marriage” plank in their platform at convention
  17. Federal court allows company to ignore birth-control mandate
  18. Five major ObamaCare taxes that will hit your wallet in 2013
  19. Gay marriage headed to DNC platform
  20. Government cannot take away true freedom, Archbishop Chaput teaches
  21. Hercules shows strength, halts Obama abortion pill mandate
  22. How Will the Church Respond to the Mandate?
  23. Keith Hennessey: A Strategy to Undo ObamaCare
  24. Key Quotes from Today’s Decision that Signal the Court’s Willingness to Strike Down the HHS Mandate
  25. Law in Service of Life
  26. More to come: Lawsuits over HHS mandate keep health reform law in court
  27. Obama Defends HHS Mandate: It’s “Not Fair” That Catholics Won’t Fund Birth Control
  28. Obamacare is Not Permanent Yet. Not Nearly.
  29. One HHS Mandate Case Dismissed, Don’t Read Too Much Into It
  30. Pelosi almost calls health law penalty a tax
  31. Post-Comfortable Christianity and the Election of 2012
  32. Religious Liberty and Its Contemporary Enemies
  33. Religious freedom: use it or lose it
  34. Religious liberty is ‘a foundational right,’ says Archbishop Chaput
  35. Rising Threats to American Religious Freedom
  36. Southern Baptists “Stand With the Bishops” Against the White House
  37. Supreme Court Keeps Health Care Law on Life Support
  38. Supreme Court Upholds Health-Care Law, Stage Set for First Amendment Showdown
  39. The Day After: A Declaration of War
  40. The Duty to Throw off Such Government
  41. The Fight for Freedom Begins July Fifth
  42. The HHS Mandate: What Now, In Light of the Supreme Court Ruling?
  43. The Obamacare Decision: A Mixed Bag
  44. The Roadmap to Obamacare Repeal
  45. The State Of Liberty
  46. The Two Social Justice Priorities
  47. To Fix Healthcare System, Put Consumers In Charge
  48. VICTORY: Private Company Wins Challenge to HHS Mandate
  49. What Will Independence Day in 2013 Look Like?
  50. Wheaton College (Protestant) joins Catholic institutions in lawsuit against HHS mandate
  51. Wheaton College Sues Over HHS Mandate
  52. Wheaton College backs, rabbi blasts Catholic bishops
Chick Fil A Appreciation

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #71)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: The Boy Scouts of America refuse to surrender their moral convictions. JP Catholic to offer Pillars of Catholicism. President Obama is right, you are not successful on your own. The dream presidency for the new millennium – a status update. Free cell phones for everybody. Good guys, making music. Finally a solution to the vexing problem of buttering toast.

— 1 —

Boy Scouts

While it is truly sad what has happened to the Girl Scouts, the same can not be said of the Boy Scouts. These are very, very different organizations. Unlike Girl Scouts USA, the Boy Scouts of America continue to maintain moral values in the face of an increasingly radical secular society. Like the Church, they get a lot of grief for it.

Crisis Magazine covers the latest developments in three good articles: American Boy Scouts Once More a Moral Compass, Boy Scouts Rules out Gay Members and Bravo for the Boy Scouts; Boo for the Washington Post. Robert Reilly’s The Boy Scouts Stand and Deliver for Catholic Exchange is also very good.

— 2 —

Pillars Of Catholicism

John Paul the Great Catholic University is offering a free, 13 session, online class entitled Pillars of Catholicism. The class which teaches fundamentals, launches August 20th and is open to everyone. Mary Lane has more on it at Catholic Exchange. This could be a good refresher for some or of interest to those wishing to explore the faith.

JP Catholic’s students were also behind the video work on the Cimorelli videos that have gone viral on YouTube. BTW – these girls are from a large (11 kids), home-schooled Catholic family:

— 3 —

You are NOT successful on your own. The President is 100% right on that but for the wrong reason. GoD was your helper, not goV. The government’s role was to regulate, restrict, license and control your efforts. Then, as you succeeded in spite of that, to take a portion of your hard-earned bounty. The bridges and infrastructure the President speaks of – YOU paid for. God on the other hand, truly “invested” in you. He gave you life, your “smarts,” your family, your customers and everything else you needed to succeed.

— 4 —

Many people in 2008 felt like they won the lottery when President Obama took office. Our new president was a smart, charismatic man with new ideas that would prepare the country for a bright future. The deficit would be cut in half, unemployment reduced to 6 percent, peace brought to the Middle East – all in a new era of unprecedented transparency and bipartisanship. There was great joy among many. So, how did that work out?

— 5 —

Free cell phones! Get two! Get a dozen!

Spotted by my friend Tom

— 6 —

Good guys, making music – The Piano Guys. Carolyn Moynihan has the story: The joy of music. See also their YouTube channel.

— 7 —

It is morning and you are still wiping the “sand” out of your eyes. You stumble into the kitchen, make some toast, spread some butter and enjoy. If only the last preparation step were that easy. No, you wage an armed battle with the butter stick then torture your poor toast trying to apply it. Battle no more:

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

A Scriptural Rosary

The Rosary

A Scriptural Rosary is simply The Holy Rosary with a short Bible verse recited before each Hail Mary. These are read aloud in a prayer group by the leader or via a recording. They can also be used as a Rosary meditation.

My favorite of this genre is from Greg and Jennifer Willits, best known for their SirusXM satellite radio show The Catholics Next Door. They also have a project known as Rosary Army to freely distribute knotted Rosaries to anyone who needs one. As part of that project, they wrote and recorded their own Scriptural Rosary recordings.

The verses Greg and Jennifer used are from the RSV Bible, with the text available on their website. I have reorganized, reformatted and extended it below for your convenience:

Note: if you are new to the Rosary, see my earlier piece first!

Play The Joyful Mysteries (Monday and Saturday)
To download MP3: right click here (then ‘Save target as…’)
  • The First Joyful Mystery – The Annunciation
    1. In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph; of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. (Luke 1:26-27)
    2. And [Gabriel] came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28)
    3. But she was greatly troubled at the saying and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. (Luke 1:29)
    4. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30)
    5. “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” (Luke 1:31)
    6. “He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33)
    7. And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” (Luke 1:34)
    8. And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Luke 1:35)
    9. “Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35)
    10. And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
  • The Second Joyful Mystery – The Visitation
    1. In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country. to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. (Luke 1:39-40)
    2. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1:41)
    3. And she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42)
    4. “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (Luke 1:45)
    5. And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.” (Luke 1:46-48)
    6. “For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me.” (Luke 1:48-49)
    7. “And holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:49-50)
    8. “He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.” (Luke 1:51)
    9. “He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree.” (Luke 1:52)
    10. ” He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.” (Luke 1:53)
  • The Third Joyful Mystery – The Nativity
    1. And while [Mary and Joseph] were [in Bethlehem] the time came for her to be delivered. (Luke 2:6)
    2. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes. (Luke 2:7)
    3. And [she] laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7)
    4. And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. (Luke 2:8-9)
    5. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you news of a great joy which will come to all the people.” (Luke 2:10)
    6. “For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
    7. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:14)
    8. And going into the house [the Wise Men] saw the child with Mary his mother. (Matthew 2:1,11)
    9. And they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11)
    10. But Mary kept all these things pondering them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)
  • The Fourth Joyful Mystery – The Presentation
    1. And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, [Mary and Joseph] took [Jesus] up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. (Luke 2:22)
    2. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. (Luke 2:25)
    3. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. (Luke 2:26)
    4. And inspired by the Spirit [Simeon] came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God. (Luke 2:27-28)
    5. “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word.” (Luke 2:29)
    6. “For my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples.” (Luke 2:30-31)
    7. “A light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:32)
    8. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against.” (Luke 2:34)
    9. “And a sword will pierce through your own soul also, that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:35)
    10. And when they performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. (Luke 2:39-40)
  • The Fifth Joyful Mystery – The Finding of Jesus in the Temple
    1. Now [Jesus’] parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when [Jesus] was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. (Luke 2:41-42)
    2. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it. (Luke 2:43)
    3. And when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem seeking him. After three days, they found him in the temple. (Luke 2:45-46)
    4. [He was] sitting among the teachers, listening to them, and asking them questions. (Luke 2:46)
    5. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. (Luke 2:47)
    6. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” (Luke 2:48)
    7. And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)
    8. And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. (Luke 2:50)
    9. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. (Luke 2:51)
    10. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:52)

Play The Luminous Mysteries (The Mysteries of Light; Thursday)
To download MP3: right click here (then ‘Save target as…’)
  • The First Luminous Mystery – The Baptism in the Jordan
    1. [John the Baptist] said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” (John 1:23)
    2. And [John] preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.” (Mark 1:7)
    3. “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me…   will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” (Matthew 3:11)
    4. [John] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
    5. Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. (Matthew 3:13)
    6. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (Matthew 3:14)
    7. But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then [John] consented. (Matthew 3:15)
    8. And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. (Matthew 3:16)
    9. And behold, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)
    10. The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan. (Mark 1:12-13)
  • The Second Luminous Mystery – The Wedding at Cana
    1. There was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. (John 2:1)
    2. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” (John 2:3)
    3. And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:4)
    4. His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:5)
    5. Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. (John 2:6)
    6. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. (John 2:7)
    7. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” (John 2:8)
    8. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from, …the steward of the feast called the bridegroom. (John 2:9)
    9. And [the steward of the feast] said to [the bridegroom], “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:10)
    10. This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him. (John 2:11)
  • The Third Luminous Mystery – The Proclamation of the Kingdom
    1. Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God (Mark 1:14)
    2. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5)
    3. [Jesus said], “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)
    4. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them…   and he was preaching the word to them. (Mark 2:2)
    5. And when they could not get near [Jesus] because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. (Mark 2:4)
    6. “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your pallet and walk?'” (Mark 2:9)
    7. “But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” (Mark 2:10-11)
    8. And [Jesus] called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity. (Matthew 10:1)
    9. These Twelve Jesus sent out charging them…   to preach…   “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (cf. Matthew 10:5 & 7)
    10. And when [Jesus] had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:22-23)
  • The Fourth Luminous Mystery – The Transfiguration
    1. Now about eight days after these saying [Jesus] took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. (Luke 9:28)
    2. And [Jesus] was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light (Matthew 17:2)
    3. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him (Matthew 17:3)
    4. [Moses and Elijah]…   spoke of [Jesus’] exodus that he was to accomplish in Jerusalem. (Luke 9:31)
    5. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Matthew 17:4)
    6. As [Peter] said this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. (Luke 9:34)
    7. And a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” (Luke 9:35)
    8. And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only. (Mark 9:8)
    9. And as they were coming down the mountain, [Jesus] charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead. (Mark 9:9)
    10. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. (Mark 9:10)
  • The Fifth Luminous Mystery – The Institution of the Eucharist
    1. Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” (Matthew 26:17)
    2. [Jesus] said, “Go into the city to a such a one, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'” (Matthew 26:18)
    3. And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” (Luke 22:14-15)
    4. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” (Matthew 26:21)
    5. Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Is it I, Master?” (Matthew 26:25)
    6. Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” (Matthew 26:26)
    7. And he took a chalice, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28)
    8. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the chalice, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26)
    9. “I am the living bread which comes down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (John 6:51)
    10. “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him at the last day.” (John 6:54)

Play The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday and Friday)
To download MP3: right click here (then ‘Save target as…’)
  • The First Sorrowful Mystery – The Agony in the Garden
    1. Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane. And he began to be sorrowful and troubled. (Matthew 26:36-37)
    2. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” (Matthew 26:38)
    3. And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed. (Luke 22:41)
    4. “Father, if you are willing, remove this chalice from me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42)
    5. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. (Luke 22:43)
    6. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly. (Luke 22:44)
    7. And his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. (Luke 22:44)
    8. And he came back to his disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40)
    9. “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41)
    10. “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
  • The Second Sorrowful Mystery – The Scourging at the Pillar
    1. And as soon as it was morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” (Mark 15:1-2)
    2. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world.” (John 18:36)
    3. Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.” (John 18:37)
    4. Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, “I find no crime in him.”(John 18:38)
    5. “I will therefore chastise him and release him.” Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. (Luke 23:16, John 19:1)
    6. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)
    7. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7)
    8. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities. (Isaiah 53:5)
    9. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows Yet we esteemed him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4)
    10. Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
  • The Third Sorrowful Mystery – The Crowning with Thorns
    1. And the soldiers led him away [to the Praetorium]. And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe upon him. (Mark 15:16-17, Matthew 27:28)
    2. And plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand. (Matthew 27:29)
    3. And kneeling before him they mocked him, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” (Matthew 27:29)
    4. And they spat upon him and took the reed and struck him on the head. (Matthew 27:30)
    5. [Then Pilate] took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this righteous man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” (Matthew 27:24)
    6. So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. (John 19:5)
    7. [Pilate] said to the Jews, “Here is your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, Crucify him!” (John 19:15)
    8. And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” (Mark 15:14)
    9. “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” (John 19:15)
    10. So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. (Mark 15:15)
  • The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery – The Carrying of the Cross
    1. “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself.” (Luke 9:23)
    2. “And take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)
    3. So they took Jesus, and he went out, carrying his own cross. (John 19:17)
    4. And as the led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. (Luke 23:26)
    5. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me.” (Matthew 11:29)
    6. “For I am gentle and lowly in heart.” (Matthew 11:29)
    7. “And you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
    8. And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. (Luke 23:27)
    9. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” (Luke 23:28)
    10. “For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” (Luke 23:31)
  • The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery – The Crucifixion
    1. And when they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him. (Luke 23:33)
    2. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34)
    3. One of the criminals who were crucified with him said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power.” (Luke 23:39,4215:32)
    4. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
    5. But standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother…   and the disciple whom he loved. (John 19:25-26)
    6. [Jesus] said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” (John 19:26-27)
    7. And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:27)
    8. And there was darkness over the whole land. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook. (Luke 23:51)
    9. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46)
    10. And he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)

Play The Glorious Mysteries (Wednesday and Sunday)
To download MP3: right click here (then ‘Save target as…’)
  • The First Glorious Mystery – The Resurrection
    1. “Truly, Truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” (John 16:20)
    2. “But I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:22)
    3. At the early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. (Luke 24:1)
    4. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. (Matthew 28:2)
    5. “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here.” (Matthew 28:5-6)
    6. “For he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” (Luke 24:6)
    7. “He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.” (Matthew 28:7)
    8. And [the women] went out and fled from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. (Mark 16:8, Matthew 28:8)
    9. “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25)
    10. “And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.” (John 11:26)
  • The Second Glorious Mystery – The Ascension
    1. Then [Jesus] led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. (Luke 24:50)
    2. And Jesus came and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18)
    3. “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)
    4. “…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)
    5. “…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:20)
    6. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” (Mark 16:16)
    7. “But he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)
    8. “And behold, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
    9. And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. (Acts 1:9)
    10. So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. (Mark 16:19)
  • The Third Glorious Mystery – The Descent of the Holy Spirit
    1. When the day of Pentecost day had come, they were all together in one place. (Acts 2:1)
    2. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. (Acts 2:2)
    3. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. (Acts 2:3)
    4. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to tell the mighty works of God. (Acts 2:4,11)
    5. Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. (Acts 2:5)
    6. But Peter, standing with the Eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them. (Acts 2:14)
    7. And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
    8. So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)
    9. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created; and you shall renew the face of the earth. (Pentecost Alleluia)
    10. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful; and kindle in them the fire of your love. (Pentecost Alleluia)
  • The Fourth Glorious Mystery – The Assumption
    1. “My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my dove, my fair one, and come away.” (Song 2:10)
    2. “For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.”‘ (Song 2:11)
    3. “Let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is comely.” (Song 2:14)
    4. Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, loud noises, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. (Revelation 11:19)
    5. And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun. (Revelation 12:1)
    6. …with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. (Revelation 12:1)
    7. The daughter of the king is decked in her chamber with gold-woven robes; in many-colored robes she is led to the king. (Psalms 45:13-14)
    8. “O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High God above all women on earth.” (Judith 13:18)
    9. “Your hope will never depart from the hearts of men, as they remember the power of God.” (Judith 13:19)
    10. “You are the exaltation of Jerusalem, you are the great pride of our nation!” (Judith 15:9)
  • The Fifth Glorious Mystery – The Coronation
    1. Who is this that looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun?” (Song 6:10)
    2. Like the rainbow gleaming in glorious clouds; like roses in the days of the first fruits. (Sirach 50:7-8)
    3. I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. (Song 2:1)
    4. My throne was in a pillar of cloud, and for eternity I shall not cease to exist. (Sirach 24:4,9)
    5. Come to me, you who desire me, and eat your fill of my produce. (Sirach 24:19)
    6. Like a terebinth I spread out my branches, my teaching is sweeter than honey. (Sirach 24:17,20)
    7. And now, my sons, listen to me; happy are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise.’ (Proverbs 8:32-33)
    8. Happy are those who keep my ways, watching daily at my gates.’ (Proverbs 8:32,34)
    9. For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord. (Proverbs 8:35)
    10. Hail, Queen of mercy, protect us from the enemy, and receive us at the hour of death. (Queenship of the B.V.M., Gradual)

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #70)

7 Quick Takes Friday

This week: Melinda Gates is behind a controversial $4,000,000,000 population control initiative. New videos detail numerous pro-abortion advocacy examples in the Girl Scouts. Father Robert Sirico has a new book and video on moral capitalism. Calling for a girlcott for Chick-fil-A. New York City bus driver Steve St. Bernard, hero. Carmelites, coffee and Wyoming. False accusations against the Church – one example.

— 1 —

Bill Gates’ wife is behind a new, very controversial $4 BILLION campaign to push artificial contraception upon poor women. Margaret Sanger would be proud. She is starting it off with her own $560 million contribution announced at the London Summit on Population Control Family Planning. See also Human Life International‘s

— 2 —

Girl Scouts Tears

Please do not let your daughters be indoctrinated by the anti-life, anti-family positions of the Girl Scouts USA. I wrote about this last September in Loss of innocense.

I have updated the piece with additional references plus a 3-part video series that methodically identifies numerous instances of pro-abortion propaganda in Girl Scout literature. No matter what you have heard (e.g. “there is no problem”, “this is a smear campaign”, “the problems have been fixed”, etc.) – do not believe it. Check the facts yourself.

— 3 —

Defending the Free Market is a new book by Father Robert Sirico. I have not read the book yet, but the introduction and this video are excellent:

— 4 —

I am calling for a girlcott for Chick-fil-A. A “girlcott” would be the opposite of a boycott, right? Here is a company guided by basic Christian morals, not to mention obvious natural law, at a time when many others have wholeheartedly embraced unnatural unions. Of course, this paints a huge target upon them by the ironically labeled “tolerance” crowd.

Support Chick-fil-A. Their restaurants are clean, friendly and offer the very best chicken sandwiches available (they invented the chicken sandwich). Stop by for lunch or dinner. Take the family, your Cub Scouts, your American Heritage Girls and your youth athletics team.

Read the article ‘Guilty as charged,’ Cathy says of Chick-fil-A’s stand on biblical & family values for background on the current attack (not the first, for example). This story was spotted by Matthew Archbold at CMR.

— 5 —

Presence of mind and putting the welfare of another first is how I would describe Steve St. Bernard, a NYC bus driver. Tired and coming home from his shift, he came upon a young girl dancing on-top of an air conditioner – hanging out of a window 3 stories up. The danger for this child was immense.

— 6 —

Last Monday was the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a perfect time to remember the Monks of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel near Cody, Wyoming.

These monks are working to build a beautiful, classic gothic monastery and support themselves through their Mystic Monk Coffee business. Father Zuhlsdorf speaks very highly of it!

— 7 —

Fact: most (certainly not all) allegations of sexual misconduct against the Church are false. They occur because (1) people dislike the Church’s unyielding moral stances, therefore (2) the media is predisposed to believe them, (3) leading the public to believe them. Usually these allegations are made to extort money, have been successful and have resulted in terrible consequences for the falsely accused (e.g. Fr. MacRae).

The typical approach is, after many, many years – either finally get the courage to “come forward” or to “remember” repressed memories to falsely accuse a priest (living or dead). This can not be proven one way or another so there is the chance of a diocese settling for a modest tens of thousands of dollars to make it go away.

Sometimes shear hatred is the motive, as it was for Tim Udinski. He knew media and law enforcement would jump on his allegations. The police interviewed almost 100 people and spent 200 hours chasing this.

Details of the story are here. Bill Donohue of the Catholic League notes that 173 false accusations have been made against Catholic priests in the last 3 years alone (that we know of).

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

Elsewhere: Liberal Christianity


Christianity is a moving target. What were serious sins at one time are now simply lifestyle choices. Every Christian community in 1930 strongly opposed contraception. Today it is no more sinful than taking a vitamin. Divorce, homosexual acts, killing your children in the womb – no problem for many. The bottom line is that you only need to be a “good person.” Well, not really even that as God will surely show you mercy. You were created after all for this party we call life. Anything goes and you can settle the score with the man upstairs later.

At least this seems to be the view of many (not all) in various Protestant communities. NONE OF THIS is true for the Catholic Church and its faithful. Truth is not relative to the individual nor does it change over time. What is true is true for everyone and what was true 2,000 years ago remains true. We take a lot of grief for our inflexible doctrine.

A good Protestant case-in-point is the Episcopal community. Where they were once more traditional Christians in teaching and practice, today they are quite “modern.” For the most part they look the same, but under that veneer a lot has been gutted.

Ross Douthat wrote an excellent op-ed for (of all places, “hell’s bible”) the New York Times. In it, he looks at the march of liberalism and its effects on their community. It is not a pretty picture.

IN 1998, John Shelby Spong, then the reliably controversial Episcopal bishop of Newark, published a book entitled “Why Christianity Must Change or Die.” Spong was a uniquely radical figure – during his career, he dismissed almost every element of traditional Christian faith as so much superstition – but most recent leaders of the Episcopal Church have shared his premise. Thus their church has spent the last several decades changing and then changing some more, from a sedate pillar of the WASP establishment into one of the most self-consciously progressive Christian bodies in the United States.

As a result, today the Episcopal Church looks roughly how Roman Catholicism would look if Pope Benedict XVI suddenly adopted every reform ever urged on the Vatican by liberal pundits and theologians. It still has priests and bishops, altars and stained-glass windows. But it is flexible to the point of indifference on dogma, friendly to sexual liberation in almost every form, willing to blend Christianity with other faiths, and eager to downplay theology entirely in favor of secular political causes.

Yet instead of attracting a younger, more open-minded demographic with these changes, the Episcopal Church’s dying has proceeded apace. Last week, while the church’s House of Bishops was approving a rite to bless same-sex unions, Episcopalian church attendance figures for 2000-10 circulated in the religion blogosphere. They showed something between a decline and a collapse: In the last decade, average Sunday attendance dropped 23 percent, and not a single Episcopal diocese in the country saw churchgoing increase.

This decline is the latest chapter in a story dating to the 1960s. The trends unleashed in that era – not only the sexual revolution, but also consumerism and materialism, multiculturalism and relativism – threw all of American Christianity into crisis, and ushered in decades of debate over how to keep the nation’s churches relevant and vital.

Traditional believers, both Protestant and Catholic, have not necessarily thrived in this environment. The most successful Christian bodies have often been politically conservative but theologically shallow, preaching a gospel of health and wealth rather than the full New Testament message.

But if conservative Christianity has often been compromised, liberal Christianity has simply collapsed. Practically every denomination – Methodist, Lutheran, Presbyterian – that has tried to adapt itself to contemporary liberal values has seen an Episcopal-style plunge in church attendance. Within the Catholic Church, too, the most progressive-minded religious orders have often failed to generate the vocations necessary to sustain themselves.

Both religious and secular liberals have been loath to recognize this crisis. Leaders of liberal churches have alternated between a Monty Python-esque “it’s just a flesh wound!” bravado and a weird self-righteousness about their looming extinction. (In a 2006 interview, the Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop explained that her communion’s members valued “the stewardship of the earth” too highly to reproduce themselves.)

Liberal commentators, meanwhile, consistently hail these forms of Christianity as a model for the future without reckoning with their decline. Few of the outraged critiques of the Vatican’s investigation of progressive nuns mentioned the fact that Rome had intervened because otherwise the orders in question were likely to disappear in a generation. Fewer still noted the consequences of this eclipse: Because progressive Catholicism has failed to inspire a new generation of sisters, Catholic hospitals across the country are passing into the hands of more bottom-line-focused administrators, with inevitable consequences for how they serve the poor.

As the article mentions, we Catholics have our liberals too (a better word is probably “progressives”). To be clear, I am referring to those Catholics who do not accept the infallible teaching of the Church and long for a day that it will be more “open-minded” like the Episcopalians. Fortunately, that day will never come. Unlike Protestant communities, the true Church founded by our Lord:

  1. …is not a democracy; there is no voting on matters of faith and morals.
  2. …is guided by the Magisterium – our pope (His Vicar, the successor to Peter) and bishops (successors to the Apostles) in communion with him – who preserve the Christian faith as revealed by God. Very rarely, they (infallibly) clarify the faith if necessary.
  3. …is protected against the gates of hell until the end of time.

My own mainline Protestant denomination evolved over time, much as the Episcopalians have. I woke-up one day to find myself in a Christian community that was increasingly separating itself from the faith. By God’s grace I was led by the Holy Spirit to His true Holy Church. I often thank God for that, as do many of us converts generally.

Read Ross’ whole article at the NYT: Can Liberal Christianity Be Saved?

Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture, says the LORD.

Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.

I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to their meadow; there they shall increase and multiply.

I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble; and none shall be missing, says the LORD.