Sts. John and John Paul

Today witnessed a historic canonization ceremony in which two former popes, John XXIII (1958-1963) and John Paul II (1978-2005), were canonized as saints with two living popes, Pope Francis and the retired Pope Benedict XVI (2005-2013), on hand.  Here is a clip from the canonization ceremony at the Vatican earlier today: Pope John XXIII is credited with convening the Second Vatican Council which put forth numerous reforms including my favorite, having the mass said in a church’s local language rather than Latin.  Pope John Paul II is credited with helping to bring an end to European communism while inspiring millions of young people to live their lives through Christ. I don’t know John XXIII well, but most of my life the Catholic church was dominated by John Paul II.  John Paul II was always strong and stood for Catholic principles.  His role in ending communism in Eastern Europe already puts him in the world history books.  He also led the church while it enduring perhaps one of the most significant crises of the modern Roman Catholic Church, the priest sexual abuse scandals.  Ultimately, he lived as an example of the dignity of life during his very public health deterioration in the waning years of his papacy. Whether or not enough time had passed to justify a canonization of John Paul is a bit above my pay grade.  I’m just happy that a spiritual model of mine during my childhood has been deemed worthy to be in the pantheon of those in whom Christ dwells in on Earth.

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Sts. John and John Paul


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Vatican Chief to Obama Administration: You are “Hostile Towards Christian Civilization”

Vatican chief justice Cardinal Raymond Burke said the following when asked about the Obama Administration in an interview for a Christian magazine: It is true that the policies of the president of the United States have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization. He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies. Well, duh!  There’s plenty more too in the link. It’s heartening to hear people speaking truth to power on religious liberty while standing on principle.  The Supreme Court will be deliberating on the Hobby Lobby case soon where the Obama Administration is clearly attacking religious liberty through certain Obamacare mandates.  Lest we forget the Little Sisters of the Poor ? There are countless examples of how the state under Obama is trying to supplant, attack, intimidate, or ridicule religious institutions to promote its agenda.  So, I’m pleased that someone so high profile in the religious community is speaking out.

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Vatican Chief to Obama Administration: You are “Hostile Towards Christian Civilization”


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Disillusionment, Where I’ve Been, and Why I’m Back

So like my co-blogger Mike , I’ve been remiss in posting to this site for quite some time, for a host of reasons.  The primary reason is that for the last couple of years, my personal life has undergone a sweeping change.  Back in the summer of 2012, Mrs Sal started our family by adopting a little two-year old boy.  The experience has been life-changing — our son is a wonderful little guy and really has changed us.  We can’t imagine life without him, and are so grateful that he bas been brought into our lives.  With all that, we were plunged into parenthood head first, and sometimes it seemed like we couldn’t come up for air enough to spend time with each other, let alone spend time pursuing other interests.  So there is that. At the same time, I’d become quite disillusioned with politics.  Watching the GOP establishment sell out core conservative principles time after time, and bicker with the grassroots more often than with the opposition has caused me to rethink a lot of my own political thoughts.  At present, I no longer consider myself a Republican, although I still often vote that way because there aren’t many credible alternatives.  Additionally, I’ve been observing a trend of hypocrisy among many of the GOP punditry (and even some of the conservative punditry) in which they criticize things that they would have defended during the last administration.  Suffice to say, I’ve stopped paying attention to a lot of it.  I keep up with the news, but I try to get information from a variety of sources (especially online) to make my own decisions based on my ideals rather than rely on the silliness that seems to be everywhere. My political views have evolved to more of a Christian libertarianism — government should, by and large, stay as small as possible, stay out of the way on most issues, and only get involved when it is necessary to protect rights (I say Christian libertarianism to separate myself from the pro-abortion branch of libertarianism).  I’ve also become more focused on my faith in the past few years.  I’ve been studying it, learning more about it, and trying to focus on the things in life that matter — faith and family.  Yet politics remains important and keeps drawing me back in because it affects so much else.  As we continue to go down the slippery slope of big government in this country, it affects those things.  The battle over religious freedom in this country is but one example of that.  So that is why I’m returning — to continue to fight that battle, to offer a new perspective that I didn’t have before, and to do my very small part to help restore some sanity to our political world.  I’ll be touching on different topics than in the past — technology in politics, faith, and the practical effects that politics have on average Americans, as well as the normal news-based commentary that I used to provide.  As we approach another election season, there will be no shortage of things to discuss.  I will say that I have missed writing, and it’s good to be back!

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Disillusionment, Where I’ve Been, and Why I’m Back


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Obamacare vs. Little Sisters of the Poor

Just to review, the First Amendment to the Constitution states in its first clause : Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; … That second part makes some very uncomfortable, and often is ignored in the courts. That being said, the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t approve of contraception and is vehemently opposed to abortion.  So, when Obamacare’s contraception mandate (forcing every employer, including those in charge of religious organizations, to provide mandatory contraception coverage to their employees) was “clarified” by HHS in 2012, it wasn’t to exempt religious institutions like the RCC but to merely give them a year to suck it up before being coerced to break their religious principles or face heavy fines. The latest high-profile example of this comes on the back of the Little Sisters of the Poor , a Catholic religious organization formed in 1839 to provide charitable care to the elderly in great need.  The Little Sisters refused to go along with the contraception mandate for their employees because it violates their religious conviction about the sanctity of all human life.  According to one of their representatives : The government demands that the Little Sisters of the Poor sign a permission slip for abortion drugs and contraceptives, or pay of millions in fines. The Sisters believe that doing that violates their faith, and that they shouldn’t be forced to divert funds from the poor elderly and dying people they’ve devoted their lives to serve. So here’s what happened:  Obama appointee Justice Sotomayor granted an emergency injunction in favor of the Little Sisters on New Years Eve and asked the Justice Department to react. They did .  The Justice Department is choosing to fight the injunction, stating that no religious exemption should exist for the contraception mandate. In my opinion, the contraception mandate does violate the First Amendment rights of groups like the Little Sisters.  This is a significant issue with huge implications for religious liberty, so pretty soon we’re probably going to see this in front of the Supreme Court.

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There is Plenty of White Guilt to Go Around But has It really Helped the Blacks.

Shelby Steele is the author of White Guilt. I found the book fascinating especially after the uprising brought about by the self destruction of little Trayvon. All of a sudden America was faced with the illogical cries that everything is unfair in this country because of color. And I had my own observations on this matter but it was interesting to read the remarks brought by a so called black conservative who claimed to live through the bad times in America. So let’s see if we can understand what this is all about. First off we see all these liberals like the NY Times and writers like Lambro feel that they must give in to this white guilt. They need to recognize it and do their mea culpas. But does this really help the black folks? Last week O’Reilly had been on the “need for a family” roll to make things work. And that could be true, but it would be like trying to prove that CO2 caused climate change while exhaling CO2. I am surprised that O’Reilly didn’t throw out religion in the mix. If you don’t have the ten commandments to lean on, then what would stop a black person from whooping a white person for no really good justifiable reason. Let’s see if we can work through some of Steele’s arguments. First off my summation is easy. For a hundred years the black leaders are trying to place the responsibility and blame on the white folks. All these white males that for decades have stolen the souls from the blacks. My answer is just like alcoholism, the blacks need to take care of their own problems. When you read how Malcolm X set up businesses in bad neighborhoods, why didn’t community organizers like Obama organize businesses in bad neighborhoods and clean up the neighborhoods? They had the people, they had all that government money and they played the white blame game instead of enticing businesses and factories to build in these neighborhoods. Are you telling me it was impossible for the blacks to police their own neighborhoods! Other nationalities have done that for ages. Before we get carried away, let’s make something perfectly clear. Most Blacks are doing quite fine. And they have done well for decades. Look at the Obamas. They didn’t live in no ghetto. It might come down to about 20% of the blacks have problems, excluding those in prison etc. And whose a black? Obama and Tiger are only 50% black. But they still don’t stand for Blacks standing on their own. It is always the white guy’s fault. And the white guy owes reparation! But what about the 20% of other races that are not doing so well? One of O’Reilly’s guest a PhD black said poverty comes first. And these folks are not capable of working their way out of poverty. Most people actually do. Why can’t a lot of these black folks? Maybe because they are blaming the whites instead of blaming themselves. Well that’s what the NY Times thinks and they can’t be wrong. So Steele tries to fabricate a story between Slick Willie and President Eisenhower. And how in a few short years society has changed. But Steele is hypothesizing that Social Authority has become the rule of the day. Steele writes: ” (P82) this guilt is the vacuum in moral authority created by all of white America’s moral failings and infidelities to democracy: racism, sexism, imperialism, materialism, conformity, environmental indifference, educational inequality, superficiality, greed and so on. other issues — women’s rights, the plight of farm workers, degradation of the environment, black and white poverty… oppressiveness, greed, exploitation, and violence were the essence of American character.” So everything in America that is wrong is the white man’s fault. Therefore we have White Guilt. And that is what drives the so called black civil rights leaders who in turn pressure businesses and liberals and the businesses and politicians cave in. Most important is that the whites on the NY Times feel exonerated when they pat themselves on the shoulder for speaking out for this white guilt. But Steele makes the argument that it doesn’t eliminate White supremacy, it only enhances it. Most of these white liberals including Pelosi don’t ever see the ghettos. They go home to their penthouse apartments. Good example was Zimmerman. Everyone who followed the case and knew a little about the law came to the conclusion before the verdict that Zimmerman was innocent. (Some would say not guilty). So since that didn’t work we have to go after him with a civil suit. And it was difficult to find any liberals discussing the causality brought by little Trayvon that may have been the problem. Can we call that black guilt? The funny part about all of this is that we have a black president and we have more White Guilt than ever. But if you look under the covers I think Obama’s follies are fueled by global socialization /communistic issues rather than race. Steele goes on to make the argument that once we invoke all these fixes like school busing, lower test standards, etc. for blacks, we have not made the blacks whole. They are still considered inferior to whites which maybe is the cause for the problem as determined by Steele. If you can’t be equal why not use White Guilt as an excuse to get the whites to give more to the blacks. It is just a circle of life that will not end until the whites grow up and the blacks take responsibility for their own future! They always throw out the word slavery as the big guilt monger. But they never discuss the good parts about slavery. First off most of the blacks who were descendants of Slaves in America would probably be dead today if they were not brought to this country on slave ships. Remember Barack’s grandfather allegedly was one of the first in his tribe to wear white man’s clothes. He was ridiculed for it by his dad. But he was smart enough to understand where prosperity would come from. We are talking about the beginning of the 1920′s or later. How many of your grandparents were walking around with just their genitals covered? Africa lacked modern medicine. And most of the successful plantations took good care of their slaves. And remember that many of the slaves were sold by black folks. And I would imagine slavery was probably a bit better then living in a Baltimore prison today. Slavery lacked all freedoms, but how free are the black folks today who don’t have good jobs and actually want to work. No system is perfect but it is time to stop reacting to the make believe world of white guilt. There was one part where Steele would get very angry. It seemed when Blacks felt they were not fully appreciated as a “worker” or a contributor to the community. Some thoughts for example: “Like you are black so we know how you think”. Steele obviously is a well educated Black, and like any other race or nationality in the world, you don’t want to be assumed or taken for granted. I am with Steele. We need to bury the White guilt trip and like MLK and Malcolm X whose goals included that all men be created equally and treated equally. This did not include affirmative action, locking up white Hispanics for self defense, and dumbing down tests so women and non-whites can get a job before more qualified white males. For decades certain blacks were adamant in believing that only blacks can teach blacks. That has not worked out too well. If we had a real president he would be more concerned about inviting jobs into this country rather then taxing the folks who have jobs so we can create more “system sucking jobs” than we could ever need or pay for! There are many Steele quotes and connotations in the book. One thing he mentioned was the fact that our founders did not like the idea of having slavery in the country. So they considered shipping the slaves back to Africa. Now that would have been a hoot. That is one statistic you don’t read about. After slavery was abolished and many white Americans were killed and maimed in the process, how many folks returned to Africa to be free from white guilt? Read Steele’s book, but let’s quit playing to the game of White Guilt. I grew up in the North East and I never saw any of this garbage. I wonder if any of these lies are actually true? Everyone always feels there is an injustice for not getting hired etc.. Maybe it had nothing to do with race. It may have been that someone was more qualified than you were or worse yet, you weren’t qualified at all! So tell me again why you should get the job? There is Plenty of White Guilt to Go Around But has It really Helped the Blacks. by Rev. Bresciani syndicated from The Land of the Free .

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