Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Who Was Margaret Sanger?


Hillary Clinton recently received Planned Parenthood's "most prestigious" award; the Margaret Sanger Award. Hillary Clinton had only praiseworthy words for the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger. I'd like to analyze Clinton's acceptance speech in it's entirety in a later blog, but for this post I'd just like to highlight one of the quotes from Secretary of State Clinton.

"Now, I have to tell you that it was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award. I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision."

Clinton continues to praise Sanger in her acceptance speech, much to the pleasure of all those at Planned Parenthood who were in attendance. So who exactly is this Margaret Sanger person, and why is she so beloved by Clinton and those people at Planned Parenthood who named their "most prestigious" award the Margaret Sanger Award?

Margaret Sanger was born in the late 1800's to a poor Irish Catholic family, the 6th of 11 children. Her father rejected religious teachings and taught her to question everything. Her mother, who was a devout Catholic, was frequently pregnant and the young Margaret blamed too many pregnancies as the cause of her mother's poor health.

Her life experience led her to believe that pregnancy was the root of much of society's problems. She grew up in a large family that happened to be poor, and it greatly affected her. She thought that her work to promote birth control and finding ways to "help" women limit the number of children they had was a charitable mission. Maybe her intentions were not completely evil, but the effects have been devastating. Her ideas led to the eugenics movement. Nazi Germany’s racial policies and extermination of Jews and so-called “life not fit for life” were also influenced by the movement and the lead organization – the American Eugenics Society. She founded Planned Parenthood in 1916.

The mission for this organization was centered on population control and selective killing of innocent lives. "Family Planning" is not an accurate term to describe what Planned Parenthood has always promoted. Planning is something you do before taking an action. "Family Planning" is not actually planning anything at all. It is the action following a previous action. Often times the first action may not have been planned, but "taking care" of the first action is not a plan. Artificial contraception is not a plan, but an action that is contrary to the natural order of the human body. Natural birth control on the other hand can be considered family planning because it is not an action taken to prevent the natural order of the human body, but rather a mastering and understanding of the human body that will help families plan their future. Planned Parenthood was founded on principals contrary to Christian teaching and thought. The ideas of Margaret Sanger were intended (in her mind) to benefit society, but have had the exact opposite effect. Unfortunately, many of her ideas are widely accepted today and the culture of death appears to be gaining supporters.


Some quotes of Margaret Sanger illustrate her attitudes towards race and eugenics,


"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members" (Sanger's letter to Clarence J. Gamble, 1939, December)

Margaret Sanger referred to immigrants and Catholics as reckless breeders, writing in her book, Pivot of Civilization, "[They're] an unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all." (Sanger, p.187).

"The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it," Margaret Sanger wrote in her 1920 book Women and the New Race (Sanger, p. 63).


So who was Margaret Sanger? I think her words speak for themselves. She is not only the founder of Planned Parenthood, but also one of the founders of a culture of death. Margaret Sanger and those who support a culture of death see life as a burden. They think that killing innocent lives will improve the lives of others. Hitler also thought this way. I wonder if Hillary Clinton would be honored to accept an award named after Hitler? Something tells me she wouldn't be, but were the views of Sanger and Hitler really that much different? They both supported the killing of innocent human life for the "convenience" and "wellbeing" of society. They found death to be the answer to solve most problems. I could go into much further depth about Margaret Sanger's life and how she formed her ideas and opinions, but I'll leave that for another day. Like I said earlier, I think Margaret Sanger's words speak for themselves. If you support Planned Parenthood, ask yourself what do you like about the organization? Do you look up to and praise the work of Margaret Sanger or does her eugenic and racist attitude sicken you? Is this the kind of organization that you want to be associated with? I don't ask these questions to condemn, but hopefully to get you to seriously consider these issues. Does "reproductive rights" improve a society or damage a society? What does "reproductive rights" really mean? I will talk much more about Clinton's acceptance speech and her support of Planned Parenthood. There are several comments that she made that I want to analyze and I hope you all check back to see what I have to say. I think we can learn a lot by listening to opposing views and their rationale, and hopefully once we understand our enemies we will be able to learn how to convert them to accept the truth. The mission might seem impossible at times, but anything is possible with God. God bless!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Prayer Request

I have a prayer request. My wife is 36 weeks pregnant. She had a doctor's appointment today and the baby looks healthy, but she is in the breech position - Her head is up high and her feet are down low. Doctors informed Shelly that if Julie does not turn her head down by next week we have 2 options. 1) we can schedule a c-section (which we would strongly prefer to avoid if at all possible). Or 2) they can do a procedure called an External Cephalic Version - They try to physically move the baby's head down to the right position. Shelly and I are not sure what the best option is at this time. We've been discussing our options and are going to do some research on c-sections and on this other procedure. We just want to do what is best for mom and for baby. I ask that you remember our family in your prayers. I ask that you pray for the health of Shelly and Julie, for the wisdom of Shelly and I to make the best decision, and if it is in God's will that Julie will turn all by herself so that we won't have to make this tough decision. Thank you for your prayers and God bless!

Thank You Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput!


Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput is a man that I look up to with great admiration. He is not shy to speak the truth despite receiving a lot of criticism for speaking up on occasion. He is an inspirational leader in the Church and I hope fellow bishops and clergy follow his lead. I have read Living the Catholic Faith, written by Chaput and it is excellent. He has also written a book named Render Unto Ceaser. That book is on my short list of books I want to read (unfortunately my list of books is growing at a rapid pace and I'm a slow reader). Chaput recently delivered an OUTSTANDING speech at the Hands-On Conference Celebrating the Year of St. Paul, which was hosted at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit. I have copied the article from CNA and pasted it below. The archbishop's words are directed toward Catholics, but they are applicable to all Christians. I hope you all take the time to read his words and reflect on them. I hope his words motivate you as they motivate me and give me comfort knowing that we do still have some great moral leaders and teachers. God bless you Archbishop Chaput and God bless you all!
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Catholic ‘complacency’ shares blame for country’s failures, Archbishop Chaput says

Detroit, Mich., Mar 21, 2009 / 12:32 pm (CNA).- Archbishop of Denver Charles J. Chaput delivered a speech on Saturday reflecting on the significance of the November 2008 election. Warning that media “narratives” should not obscure truth, he blamed the indifference and complacency of many U.S. Catholics for the country’s failures on abortion, poverty and immigration issues.

He also advised Catholics to “master the language of popular culture” and to refuse to be afraid, saying “fear is the disease of our age.”

The archbishop’s comments were delivered in his keynote address at the Hands-On Conference Celebrating the Year of St. Paul, which was hosted at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.

Having been asked to examine what November 2008 and its aftermath can teach Catholics about American culture, the state of American Catholicism and the kind of Pauline discipleship necessary today, Archbishop Chaput said:

“November showed us that 40 years of American Catholic complacency and poor formation are bearing exactly the fruit we should have expected. Or to put it more discreetly, the November elections confirmed a trend, rather than created a new moment, in American culture.”

Noting that there was no question about President Barack Obama’s views on abortion “rights,” embryonic stem cell research and other “problematic issues,” he commented:

“Some Catholics in both political parties are deeply troubled by these issues. But too many Catholics just don’t really care. That’s the truth of it. If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could ignore what we believe about justice for the poor, or the homeless, or immigrants, or the unborn child. If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn’t need to waste each other’s time arguing about whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow ‘balanced out’ or excused by three other good social policies.”

Offering a sober evaluation of the state of American Catholicism, he added:

“We need to stop over-counting our numbers, our influence, our institutions and our resources, because they’re not real. We can’t talk about following St. Paul and converting our culture until we sober up and get honest about what we’ve allowed ourselves to become. We need to stop lying to each other, to ourselves and to God by claiming to ‘personally oppose’ some homicidal evil -- but then allowing it to be legal at the same time.”

Commenting on society’s attitude towards Catholic beliefs, Archbishop Chaput said, “we have to make ourselves stupid to believe some of the things American Catholics are now expected to accept.”

“There’s nothing more empty-headed in a pluralist democracy than telling citizens to keep quiet about their beliefs. A healthy democracy requires exactly the opposite.”

Noting the 2008 presidential campaign’s “revealing” focus upon the candidates’ “narratives,” he said the campaign seemed not to involve facts, but rather “story-telling.”

“Of course, there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with story-telling -- unless the press and other news media themselves become part of the story-telling syndicate; in other words, peddlers of narratives in which facts are not told because they’re true, but rather become ‘true’ because they’re told by those who have the power to create an absorbing narrative,” the archbishop explained.

In such a state, he warned, real power does not rest with the people but with those who “shape the structure of our information.” He linked this situation with Pope Benedict’s critique of the “dictatorship of relativism.”

The archbishop also connected this relativistic spirit to St. Paul’s appearance at the Aeropagus, recounted in the Book of Acts. At the Areopagus, a prestigious place of debate for Greek philosophers, “Nearly anything was tolerated, so long as no one claimed to have an exclusive and binding claim on the truth,” the archbishop explained.

He then quoted Acts 17’s description of the Areopagite mindset: “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.”

“It’s worth paying attention to that description. There’s no mention of truth,” he commented, noting that when St. Paul preaches the truth “he’s mocked and despised and his preaching is a failure, at least in the short term.”

“Paul’s failure at the Areopagus is a good lesson for the times we face now in America,” the archbishop said. “When Catholics start leading their daily lives without a hunger for something higher than their own ambitions or appetites, or with the idea that they can create their own truth and then baptize it with an appeal to personal conscience, they become, in practice, agnostics in their personal lives, and Sophists in their public lives. In fact, people who openly reject God or dismiss Christianity as obsolete are sometimes far more honest and far less discouraging than Catholics who claim to be faithful to the Church but directly reject her guidance by their words and actions.”

Noting that Paul mastered the language of the popular urban culture of his time and used “every technical resource, tool and environment at his disposal,” Archbishop Chaput extensively quoted Pope John Paul II’s 1990 encyclical Redemptoris Missio, which also discussed St. Paul at the Areopagus.

“If Paul felt so fiercely compelled to preach the Gospel -- whether ‘timely [or] untimely’ -- to a pagan world, then how should we feel today, preaching the Gospel to an apostate world?” he asked, answering that the love of Christ must “impel” Catholics forward.

“Catholics in America, at least the many good Catholics who yearn to live their faith honestly and deeply, can easily feel tempted to hopelessness,” he concluded. “It becomes very burdensome to watch so many persons who call themselves Catholic compromise their faith and submit their hearts and consciences to the Caesars of our day.”

But Archbishop Chaput closed by encouraging Christians to remember the words of Jesus:

“In this world you will have tribulation. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Friday, March 27, 2009

Notre Dame Students Respond

Several students at Notre Dame have voiced their displeasure at Obama's invitation to speak at their graduation. They composed a beautifully written response that can be found at the website below. It's sad that the president of a university can overshadow so much good that is taking place at Notre Dame. I still believe that this can be a perfect opportunity to make a statement and to educate the public about Catholic beliefs. Maybe, just maybe we can teach some Catholics what it truly means to be Catholic. Visit the website and click on the press release for the complete letter.

Notre Dame Response

Several other Catholics are speaking out as well. Below is a letter written by Virginia House Member Robert Marshall to the president of Notre Dame. This letter was so beautifully and masterfully written I had to share this with you as well. I found this in Judie Brown's blog from American Life League. God bless!

--

Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President, Notre Dame University
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Dear President Jenkins:
I write to you as a Catholic, an l8-year legislator and as a graduate of Benedictine Belmont Abbey College regarding your invitation to Barrack Obama as a Commencement speaker.

You claim that Notre Dame's invitation for the President to address graduates "should in no way be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of life, such as abortion and embryonic stem cell research."

John Cardinal O'Connor deliberately refused to invite democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton, then running for re-election, to the 1996 Al Smith dinner because Clinton refused to sign a bill banning partial birth abortions. He also declined to invite republican presidential candidate Bob Dole to avoid the appearance of favoritism. (Jack Kemp and Al Gore went to the dinner as vice-presidential candidates.)

Your list of moral issues on which Barrack Obama is at variance with constant Church teaching is incomplete and should have included Obama's endorsement of same sex "civil unions" with rights of marriage, homosexual adoption, opposition to a Federal Marriage Amendment, and support at the UN for decriminalization of homosexual behavior.

You attempt to make a distinction between honoring the president, as in awarding him a doctor of laws degree, and supporting his political views. But honor is the recognition with words and awards for someone who, in one or more aspects such as virtue, intelligence, integrity, etc., excels others. Such an award would be considered an act of justice. But there is no justice in granting a doctor of laws degree to one who wishes to place outside the protection and rule of law, an entire class of human beings who cannot defend themselves against unjust aggression.

In addition to Obama's support for the Freedom of Choice Act which would undo 35 years of court-tested state and federal laws which have saved lives, he favors civil and/or criminal sanctions against doctors, nurses, and medical personnel who would exercise their rights of conscience to refuse to participate in any manner in the unjust killing of a child before birth by abortion. This position alone should disqualify the president from receiving any honor from Notre Dame, let alone a doctor of laws degree.

The Catholic Catechism notes that anyone who promotes "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible to achieve” is guilty of scandal (Catechism of the Catholic Church #226).

You state another reason for your invitation is that President Obama is an inspiring leader … facing many challenges … he has addressed them with intelligence, courage and honesty.

During the 2008 campaign, Mr. Obama said that deciding when human life begins is above his “pay grade.” (Virginia third graders are required to learn this simple fact.) Yet, Obama wasted little time issuing an order authorizing the destruction of embryonic humans apparently without attempting to resolve whether they are indeed created human beings. Nor did he seek to establish whether scientific process, including that conducted at Notre Dame, has eliminated any justification for using embryonic humans for stem cell research.

Mr. Obama further accuses those who oppose human experimentation of ideological bias and politics as he authorizes tax monies for this lethal research, which has demonstrated NO cures, NO therapies and NO long range clinical benefits! This is neither an example of honesty nor courage, but merely blind ideology.

Most curiously for someone receiving a broad welcome from a college president such as yourself, President Obama is seeking tax law changes which would make charitable giving to our churches and institutions like Notre Dame much more difficult and costly.

You conclude that you “cannot change the world if you shun the people you want to persuade, and if you cannot persuade them … show respect for them and listen to them.”

We respect the person of the president since he is made in God’s image; we respect his high office which derives from our venerable Constitution. But it is precisely because we have listened to the words of this president that we reject his Culture of Death policies which are inimical to the individual and common good.

We oppose and reject actions which give the appearance of indifference to evil and that is why we reject President Obama’s appearance at Notre Dame University.

Lastly, your actions make it much more difficult for Catholic lawmakers like myself to garner support for legislation upholding a Culture of Life, and against policies which degrade our culture and foster disrespect for persons. I urge you to reconsider your invitation.

Sincerely,
Delegate Bob Marshall

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Theology of the Body Reflections - Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery


There are a lot of life issues going on right now. At least I won't have to worry about not having a topic to write about anytime soon. Despite all these current issues, I'd like to take the time to do another reflection on my readings on the Theology of the Body. The issue I'd like to discuss in my reflection today centers around the seventh commandment, thou shall not commit adultery. If you are following along with me, this reflection covers Chapter 2, Speeches 34 - 38.

JPII does a marvelous job explaining this section and I really don't have to do much interpretation, but more of just repeating what JPII said. Sometimes his words can be hard to follow because he was so knowledgeable and spoke in such intelligent language, but this section I found to be very clear. I had many thoughts as I read these speeches and I think I can make some good comparisons with what is going on in the world today. Some problems remain in society from age to age and sometimes new problems arise when old problems fade. We'll talk more about this shortly.

The topic is adultery. Adultery has been around a long, long time. It was a huge problem back in the time of Moses; this was reinforced when it was listed as one of the ten commandments Moses received from God. Adultery is still a problem today and it was a problem in the time of Jesus. As JPII often does, he takes a look at a couple of different passages from the bible to help explain the deeper meaning of adultery. Let's take a look at the passages JPII quoted.

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish but to fulfill" (Mt 5:17). This is one of the most important passages in the entire bible. In fact, it is the backbone of our Christian belief. We believe, as Jesus says here so clearly, that the New Testament fulfills the Old Testament. The Old Testament has many great writings and prophets, but much of the Old Testament teachings were (and continue to be) misinterpreted by people. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament. He came to speak the truth so that we might be able to understand the Old and New Testament. Jesus is the truth. What he says IS, so when he speaks all must listen. One of the teachings that was widely misunderstood during the time of Jesus (and still is today) was that of adultery.

"Because of the hardness of your heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so" (Mt 19:8). Once again we see Jesus appealing to the beginning. The beginning is how God intended things to be, not what they have become. Because God gave us the gift of free will, we chose sin and that sin has clouded our understanding of many things and led to the deformation of the Law. Divorce is something created by man not by God. God intended for man and woman to be joined as one flesh. Jesus says that "because of the hardness of your heart" did Moses allow divorce. Jesus explains how and by what means we can deform the law in our minds. He appeals to our hearts, not just our outside appearance or signs. Just as man deformed God's purpose for man and woman to become one flesh in marriage, so has man deformed the meaning and severity of the law against adultery.

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery'" (Mt 5:27). The Sermon on the Mount was directed toward listeners who were the Chosen People, people who had received the law from God. These people knew the law, but they did not really know the law. They knew the law as they came to understand the law, not as the law was intended by God. In the beginning, God made everything and it was good. God established the law from the beginning, and so the law created by the Divine Legislator, God, was all good. The law had been misinterpreted and Jesus points this out as we see in the following line spoken by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.

"But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Mt 5:28). Imagine what kind of reaction Jesus received when he spoke these words. He tells me that even a look is adulterous? This certainly wasn't the teaching they heard before concerning adultery. JPII explains how the Chosen People since the time of Abraham put into practice a "casuistic interpretation of the law". He continues, "The abandonment of monogamy… was dictated by the desire for offspring, for numerous offspring." Isn't this so ironic? It is to me. We are currently in a culture that looks down on people for having children. Instead of sinning out of a desire for children, we now see great sin in the form of preventing children through widespread usage of birth control, and we are even going so far as to killing the innocent child in the womb. The later issue is more disturbing if you ask me, but we'll tackle that issue several more times in later posts I'm sure. In Old Testament times, it was a widely accepted practice for husbands to have concubines who would give them children that his wife could not provide. Even the lives of some of the illustrious representatives of Israel after Moses such as David and Solomon attest to the practice of polygamy. Adultery was seen only as a man taking possession of another's wife, not the possession of other women in addition to their wife. So when Jesus speaks about adultery as being a sin committed in one's heart, it must have been a shock to many.

In the Old Testament, prophets used an analogy when explaining adultery. While the analogy is a good one; Israel was the adulterous bride when it worshiped false Idols and God was the groom, it was an analogy that helped one understand the seventh commandment but it failed to address the interpretation of adultery itself. An analogy is good, but it never fully explains that which it intends. For example, a common analogy for the Church is Body of Christ. While this is a good analogy, it does not fully explain the true meaning and role of the Church. The Chosen People of God understood the seventh commandment through good, but not complete, analogies. Jesus explained adultery by confronting adultery itself. This is hard for many people to accept or understand, but the truth is often hard for us to accept or understand. Jesus never said that following Him would be easy.

God knows what is in our heart, and truth does not change as man's interpretation of the law changes. Unfortunately, since the original sin of our first parents, man has always tried to interpret the truth instead of accepting the truth. Man can discover truths revealed by God, but man can not create a truth. This desire to interpret a truth to suit our wants and needs is in our sinful nature. We must resist this urge, because we can't outsmart God. This does not mean that we should not use our brain. We have a brain for a reason. We should use our brain to help us discover the truth and to continue to learn more about our faith. God knows what is in our hearts and in our minds. Although we may not recognize it as such, our heart and mind is more often the culprit of sin than any action. Adultery is more than just cheating on your wife. Unmarried men and women can commit adultery just as well as married men and women commit adultery. Adultery is a denial of the original meaning of the body. Adultery is selfishness. Adultery is lust. Adultery is denial of a chaste single life and a denial of a monogamous married life. Adultery is a denial of gift of self and gift to self. Adultery is a denial of the sacredness of our body and the sacredness of others. If we think about adultery in these terms, we can better understand the theology of the body and the complexity and great challenge God presents us with the seventh commandment; thou shall not commit adultery.

If you haven't done so already, don't forget to sign the petition at www.notredamescandal.com to protest Obama's scheduled commencement address at Notre Dame. Also don't forget about the Provider Conscience Clause. For more news on these issues and other pressing issues please visit the sites I have listed in my recommended links. I am forming some really exciting ideas on ways that I can do more to promote the culture of life. I am in the early planning stage, but I fully intend to make this idea become a reality. More about this is sure to come so stay attentive. I am at peace despite all of the negative news I've been reading, because I know God is in charge. I can not bear the weight of all the sins of this world and nor can any other individual. We must speak up when we see wrongdoing, we must act on our faith, we must pray continuously and the rest is out of our hands. God will see our efforts and maybe through the grace of God we might be able to convert others to the side of life. God bless!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Comments On Bishop D'Arcy's Actions

Below are comments from people responding to the Bishop's refusal to attend the Notre Dame graduation. You can see my response to their comments at the bottom (The one that says Mike - That's me!) These comments were found on a blog I visit occasionally here.

5 comments:

anne said...

From NCR:
"The invitation to President Obama to be our commencement speaker should not be taken as condoning or endorsing his positions on specific issues regarding the protection of human life, including abortion and embryonic stem-cell research," said Holy Cross Father John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame.
"Yet, we see his visit as a basis for further positive engagement," he said in a March 23 statement.

St Edwards Blog said...

My comment would be this... and I do fear repeating myself, but I will proceed.

Just how do we ever expect transformation if we don't continue to invite people to the table?

Isn't that what real metanoia is? Was Jesus conversing with sinners, eating with them an endorsement of their actions?

I do see all that is potentially wrong with this invite, but I also see what could potentially go right too.

*sigh*

Fran

Maeve said...

I do not understand how the cultivation of an atmosphere of hostility toward, and disrespect for, the President's views can in any way help to make him more open to the views of others. (I actually feel it may decrease what I think is the respect he now has for those views - even if he disagrees with them.) I also emphatically do not feel that an invitation by Fr. Jenkins to the President to speak implies an endorsement of all the President's positions. If Notre Dame had invited George W. Bush when he was President, would there have been Catholic objections? I think not, although I believe he holds some views that are not in agreement with Catholic teaching.

Concord Carpenter said...

All very good pointsand I too feel similar, but the bishop is obviously not sacraficing his principles and is clearly not afraid to be a leader...
he teaches not only by his words — but by his actions.

The statement "by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth." lends me wnating to hear more from Fr. Jenkins.

Mike said...

I fully support the bishop in this case. Those of you who have already commented are completely missing the point. There is a time and a place to engage in dialogue and this is not the time or place. Those of you who support this decision please tell me how this is an opportunity for further positive engagement. Is there going to be a question and answer session? How does this encourage Obama to change his radical anti-life/anti-marriage views? As Catholics we absolutely must stay true to our convictions and our faith. Whether ND agrees with all of Obama's positions or not is irrelevant. His very presence will be perceived by many, whether accurate or not, as the Catholic University's acceptance of Obama and his views. There are several other honorable men and women the university could have speak that would have views much more in line with what the University is supposed to be all about. Any "disrespect" shown to Obama in this case is tiny when compared with the disrespect Obama has shown toward the unborn. Every person deserves respect, but not every person deserves to be honored. I applaud the bishop for making his voice heard, standing up for what is right, and doing so in a very respectful and meaningful way. I pray that many more will follow his leadership. The pro-life community continues to pray for the conversion of our president, and that God bless and guide all our civil and religious leaders as they have so much influence on the lives of so many.

Notre Dame Chooses Prestige Over Truth

Critics Blast Obama's Scheduled Notre Dame Commencement Address

I urge you all to sign the petition protesting Obama's scheduled commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. You can sign the petition here. There is one man who has been in attendance for 25 years, but will not attend this year's ceremony and that man is the bishop of South Bend, John D'Arcy. I applaud Bishop D'Arcy for his voicing his opposition with Notre Dame's decision. Not only is Obama going to speak, but he is going to be receiving an honorary degree. Everyone deserves respect, but not everyone deserves to be honored. Several "name-only catholics" defend Notre Dame by saying that this doesn't mean Notre Dame endorses all of Obama's positions and that we can't transform people without bringing them to the table. My response to this first of all is that Notre Dame is endorsing Obama when they give him an honorary degree. Secondly, what kind of table are we sitting at when Obama is the one giving the speech. Who is inviting who to the table and what kind of transformation can take place in this setting. We can not convert or transform Obama, only God through the Holy Spirt can Obama have a change of heart. There are other platforms and opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue, but this is not the place or the time. I think Bishop D'Arcy explained the situation the best. Below are comments from Bishop D'Arcy. I continue to pray for our civil and religious leaders, that God my bless and guide them to teach the truth and work to preserve the dignity of every human person from conception to natural death. I pray that more will follow the leadership of Bishop D'Arcy and take an active role in promoting life and their Christain faith. Once again I encourage you to sign the petition in protest of Obama's scheduled commencement speach at Notre Dame. Thank you and God bless!
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On Friday, March 21, Father John Jenkins, CSC, phoned to inform me that President Obama had accepted his invitation to speak to the graduating class at Notre Dame and receive an honorary degree. We spoke shortly before the announcement was made public at the White House press briefing. It was the first time that I had been informed that Notre Dame had issued this invitation.

President Obama has recently reaffirmed, and has now placed in public policy, his long-stated unwillingness to hold human life as sacred. While claiming to separate politics from science, he has in fact separated science from ethics and has brought the American government, for the first time in history, into supporting direct destruction of innocent human life.

This will be the 25th Notre Dame graduation during my time as bishop. After much prayer, I have decided not to attend the graduation. I wish no disrespect to our president, I pray for him and wish him well. I have always revered the Office of the Presidency. But a bishop must teach the Catholic faith “in season and out of season,” and he teaches not only by his words — but by his actions.

My decision is not an attack on anyone, but is in defense of the truth about human life.

I have in mind also the statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops in 2004. “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.” Indeed, the measure of any Catholic institution is not only what it stands for, but also what it will not stand for.

I have spoken with Professor Mary Ann Glendon, who is to receive the Laetare Medal. I have known her for many years and hold her in high esteem. We are both teachers, but in different ways. I have encouraged her to accept this award and take the opportunity such an award gives her to teach.

Even as I continue to ponder in prayer these events, which many have found shocking, so must Notre Dame. Indeed, as a Catholic University, Notre Dame must ask itself, if by this decision it has chosen prestige over truth.

Tomorrow, we celebrate as Catholics the moment when our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, became a child in the womb of his most holy mother. Let us ask Our Lady to intercede for the university named in her honor, that it may recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige.

- Bishop D'Arcy

Saturday, March 21, 2009

40 Days for Life (Australia)

40 Days for Life is an international campaign. I encourage you to listen to this 8 minute audio clip from Australia.

Listen to the Audio Online (click arrow-shaped “Play” button to start):

Download MP3 (right-click to save file to your computer):

http://www.40daysforlife.com/blog/audio/brisbane.mp3

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Bathroom Bills

When I heard about this, it simply blew my mind. There are some very confused individuals in our country. So now it is discriminatory to have men go in one bathroom and women in another bathroom? Separate but equal bathroom is discriminatory to gays? If a man simply feels like a woman one day, he should be able to walk into a woman's bathroom without feeling shame? If you think it's a good idea to have men frequenting public bathrooms with women, raise your hand... Unbelievable. These are real issues people. I'm not making this up, I wish I was. You can see what happens when one evil or misguided idea leads to another. Please pray for our country. What is this world coming too?!? Does anyone have some postive news that might lift my spirits? It's draining and almost depressing work reading about all these laws and movements against a culture of life and Christian/family values. I feel overwhelmed. How can I make a difference? How can I change a culture that has lost it's mind? Dear God I ask you to give me strength and to not fear, for I trust in you and know that you will not abandon your people. I want to thank my loyal readers. During times like this when so much evil is around us, it brings me comfort to know that I am not alone. Thank you and God bless you all!

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Special Focus on the Family Action Alert for Georgia

Michael,

Who would have believed it? Men in women's bathrooms and women in men's bathrooms. Where will it all end? Right now, there are several key life, faith and family debates taking place across the country, including a host of "bathroom bills" and other anti-family proposals breaking out in state legislatures.

We've just recorded a special Focus Action Update that discussed some of the many state bills that will impact the family. Click here to watch our online video.

Forward to your friends
Please forward this message to your friends and family so they can keep abreast of important legislation that affects the family.

Finally, thank you so much for your partnership with Focus Action and for your prayers on behalf of our nation. These are certainly challenging times for those who are standing for faith and family. But with each challenge comes a new opportunity to stand for what is right and see what God will do! May God bless you!

Tom Minnery
Senior Vice President, Government & Public Policy

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Must Read Article

I was on google looking for some material to help me write a blog post and I stumbled upon an article that was OUTSTANDING. I simply have to share it with you. I will post the link to the article and the closing paragraph so you have an idea what the article is all about. The issue of life is much deeper than abortion. Abortion is a huge issue that is the result of a confused understanding of life and the value of life. Please, please, please take the time to read this article. The author of this article is extremely knowledgable and offers great insight into the deeper problems associated with abortion. I feel like we are in the middle of a culture war. In order to win this war and preserve the culture of life, we must be armed with knowledge. This is good knowledge we can all bring with us into battle. Abortion is a huge battle in this culture war, but we are faced with many battles. In order to win this battle, we must understand the enemy which is often times the misguided minds of others. We will win this battle. We will win this war. Life will defeat death. I believe these things because the truth is on our side.
I have a very strong gut feeling that I will be persecuted sometime in the future for my beliefs. I can't explain it, but I just have a very strong feeling about this. I was in Eucharistic adoration today and I simply asked God what he wants of me. I asked him to use me as an instrument of His love. I asked that God guide me and lead me to whatever it is He wants of me. I feel like I might be called to do more than I've done, more than what I'm doing. Maybe I am doing what God wills me to do. I remain open to His will. I trust in Him. I will do everything in my power to see that all human life is protected and respected, because I believe that God has a purpose for all of us. I will fight for life. Will you join me? Here is the link to the above mentioned article:

Why Do Animal Rights Advocates Support Abortion?


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A taste of what you'll read...

The pro-life cause was originally energized by Roe v. Wade and focused on the right to life of the unborn baby. It has since moved to recognize the needs of women in crisis pregnancy situations and emphasized that we love both the prenatal child and the woman who carries it. There has also been attention to abstinence or chastity as preventive measures. But it often seems these efforts have focused largely on young girls. Until we take a more holistic approach that considers the moral health of all of society -- to include males both young and old -- we are likely to continue to lose ground to the secular culture that worships sex as one of the false idols of Abortionism. I wrote "A Young Man's Pledge" as a step toward addressing this problem. It appeals to motivations and conscience as well as considering consequences.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Created A Group On Facebook!!!

St. Michael the Archangel Respect Life Committee (Woodstock, GA)

As I believe I've mentioned in a previous post, I am a member of the Respect Life Committee at my parish. The Committee began to take formation last October when I went to pray at Governor's Ridge where they do abortions. A member of our parish had been going out there monthly and I decided to join her on my 25th birthday. I think it was an inspiration for her and the other women there that I attended with them that day. The idea of a Respect Life Committee was brought up and the rest is history. I guess I can say I was one of the founders of this committee. After our meeting last month, I felt an urge to bring more to the table so to say. I emailed our Respect Life Committee leader with a list of 5 things that I thought that we could do to promote our mission. One of my ideas was to increase online presence. I mentioned my blog and how social networking sites like Facebook are growing rapidly in popularity. Facebook is a great place to spread the message of hope that our Respect Life Committee intends to spread. My message was greatly appreciated and well receipted. Because I spoke up and brought these ideas to the table, I was given the responsiblity to create a group on Facebook. I never really set up a group before, but it was pretty easy. Hopefully we will be able to spread the word, maybe have a mention in the bulletin, and our group will grow. The group is created for members of St. Michael the Archangel, but I would like to connect this group with other Respect Life Committee Group pages. Does anybody know if this is possible? Linking one group to another. Perhaps creating a fan group or following. I know most if not all of my current blog readers are not members of my parish, but if there was a way that you could support the group that would be awesome. Perhaps you can get involved in your parish and create a Respect Life Committee. If I've learned anything in the last several months is that if you do not take initiative and get involved, you can't expect to reach your goals. It takes a first step to finish a race. Take that first step. May God bless you and guide you!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Salvation


What is salvation? Why do we seek salvation? How can we receive salvation?

Salvation is the act of saving or protecting from destruction or harm. As Christians, we seek and find salvation in Jesus. He entered the world, died on a cross, and rose from the dead so that we might be saved. We seek this salvation because we strive to be closely united with Jesus in Heaven. It is unthinkable to us to be without God's eternal and unconditional love. We know what salvation is and why we seek salvation, but answering the question about how we become worthy of salvation is much harder to answer.


Salvation is, in my opinion, somewhat of a mystery. We humans here on earth can never fully know without question who is or is not worthy to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Only God truly knows, but we have been given a road map to help guide us toward our destination in heaven. Jesus is our road map, our guide to salvation. Because we do not know without question who is or isn't worthy of heaven, nor do we know the hour of our death, we must always be ready. How can we be ready?

As Catholic Christians, we believe that we can only reach Heaven through faith and good works. To me, this is just common sense. If we have faith in Jesus, but fail to do good works we should not expect to enter the kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, if we do good works but do not have faith in Jesus, we should not expect to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Honestly, faith and good works should go together no matter what. If we have faith in Jesus, would we not then be inclined to do good works? We should. If we do good works, what is our reason for doing such things? Most likely, good works is the result of a love of God and one another.


I was baptized Catholic as a baby. Had I died immediately after baptism, I could expect to enter the kingdom of Heaven because at that moment of baptism, my original sin was wiped clean. My parents spoke for me and confirmed their desire for me to become a member of the Catholic Church. It became their responsibility to raise me and teach me to come to know the faith. My parents are exceptional people and did an exceptional job raising me and all my siblings. Through their example, their dedication to God and to us, they have produced 8 good, holy and lovely Christian children (if I must say so myself).

My older brother, Mark, married a beautiful and loving wife who now have 2 children of their own. They are now responsible for raising their children to learn the faith and are doing a wonderful job. The Catholic family is growing. I also married a wonderful and beautiful young woman. She is the love of my life. She was raised in a good Baptist family and is the nicest, most loving girl I ever met. Her kindness and love reminds me of my own mother, who I also love so much. When I met my wife, I could see the love of Christ in her. It did not matter to me that she was not Catholic. I could see that she had the love of Christ in her. She comes from a great and loving family who did a wonderful job raising her and one in which I'm glad to also now be a part of with her.

My faith has always been important to me, very important. When I was looking for a girl to marry, my first concern was that this person was a person of faith. As Shelly and I dated, I wanted to get to know her better. I wanted to know who she was as a person. I came to love everything about her. I guess she liked me a little bit too. She noticed how important it was to me that I attend mass every week. I never pressured her in any way, but her interest in me led her to attend Catholic mass with me. It certainly was a shock for her at first. She had lots of questions and I had some answers. Those I didn't know at first, I learned so that I could explain to her. In this way, I found that I was learning much more about my faith. As she started coming to mass more and more often, she began to understand the mass better. She started to understand the Catholic faith and the great beauty and wonder of the church. She started mentioning to me a desire to become Catholic. Of course I was very happy to hear this, but I never pushed her to do this. The first couple times she told me this, I asked her why she wanted to do it. Did she want to because of me? I did not want her to feel pressured to make such a big decision simply because of me or to please me. She assured me that the reason was because she truly loved the Catholic Church, and she felt that it was where she was called to be. When she thanked me for leading her to the Catholic Church, my heart almost exploded with joy and I had to hold back tears. In a very real way, she has helped me to better love and understand the Catholic Church. Shelly is now entering the final stages before the Easter Vigil, when she will come into full communion of the Church. I ask that you keep her, and baby Julie, in your prayers.

Why did I share this long, personal story with you? I share this with you today because it helps me explain my understanding of salvation. I believe that salvation can only be found through faith and good works. The fact that I was baptized Catholic as a baby does not mean that I have a reservation in Heaven. My parents can't just say, well that's it, we did our part. No. There are several instances in the bible that suggest otherwise. Salvation is not a one time event. I can't point to one time in my life and say definitively that it was the day I was saved. Baptism and Confirmation brought me into the church and were significant sacraments I've received, but I must continue to do good works. I must live a good Christian life. I must constantly strive to become a better person. I must pray continually. I must constantly ask for forgiveness and be willing to forgive others constantly. By participating in the sacraments of church, I do not guarantee myself a spot in Heaven, but it sure doesn't hurt. I believe that the Catholic Church offers the best means of reaching our goal of Heaven. It is like taking a boat to get across a lake as opposed to trying to swim across the lake. I have a much better chance of getting across that lake if I'm on a boat than if I rely on swimming (especially since I'm a terrible swimmer). That does not mean that our church is the only means. If I had never met my wife and she was never introduced to the Catholic Church, I believe she and her family would be saved because of their faith in Jesus based on their understanding, and on their loving heart and good works. God knows our hearts. He knows and sees what others cannot. That is why it is not we but God who is judge. I also feel that those who grow up without ever being introduced to God, may also enter the kingdom of Heaven if they do good works and live a Christian life. Their lack of faith in God can be attributed to their lack of knowledge, but a desire to do good works shows that they understand the love of God whether they recognize it themselves or not. If however, one has the knowledge of good and evil, a knowledge of Jesus and truth, yet willfully rejects this truth, they should not expect to enter the kingdom of heaven. This person rejects God in his or her heart. If we come to know Jesus and the truth, we have a responsibility to live out our lives according to the truth. To do otherwise is gravely sinful.

Salvation is a mystery, but we have been given a road map. Jesus is the way to salvation. We all must follow Him. We all must continue to grow in our faith, lest we lose it. If we lose our faith, we should expect to lose our place in Heaven. It is so easy to lose faith if we do not constantly work on growing our faith. As we near a midway point during Lent, let us refocus on our Lenten promises and work as hard and as diligently as ever to grow in faith and in love of God. May God bless and guide you all!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

April 25th - The Updated Due Date

Shelly found out this week that the due date is actually April 25th. I'll stick with my original guess of Easter day, but that is looking less likely now. Shelly is feeling more uncomfortable these days. I hope the remaining weeks go by fast and Julie comes soon. Mommy and daddy are ready to see her!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Provider Conscience Clause

If you care about receiving good health care and don't want your tax dollars to go toward funding abortion and other procedures that go against a doctor's conscience, please take a minute to send a short email asking to keep the Provider Conscience Clause to proposedrescission@hhs.gov. You can read more about my thoughts on this in a previous blog post here. Thanks and God bless you all!
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Below is the email I sent.

Please Keep The Provider Conscience Clause

Dear Mr. or Ms.,

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my email. I am writing because I read that President Obama plans to rescind the Provider Conscience Clause. This news is very concerning to me for several reasons. I believe that forcing doctors to act against their conscience is not right and will greatly damage the quality of health care in America. Our tax money could be much better spent if used to fund pregnancy centers and charities that help innocent babies, young parents and parents-to-be. I ask that you consider they great harm this decision to rescind the Provider Conscience Clause would cause hundreds of thousands of babies, parents and the entire nation. Abortion effects all of us, and when I go to the doctor I want to know that he or she is working to heal me, work in my best interest, and believes in the work he or she is doing. If doctors don't believe in what they are doing, how can we expect them to do an adequate job? If doctors are forced to do operations that go against their conscience, many good doctors will retire or find a new profession, and many who would make great doctors will never even enter the profession. Not only will we lose doctors, but it would also likely lead to several hospitals closing. I ask that you and those in charge of making a decision about this issue keep these things in mind. Once again, thank you for your time and may God bless you and guide you.

For Life,

Mike

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An Administration of Death


Continuing with his pre-election promises to pass legislation that violates human rights, President Obama is forcing tax payers to fund embryonic stem cell research. Life News

Obama says they will make decisions regarding embryonic stem cell research based on “facts not ideology.” The problem is that Obama doesn’t know when life begins. Remember, that question was above his pay grade. In order to make a decision on embryonic stem cell research, you would think that the first thing you’d need to determine is whether or not you are dealing with a person. Since the Christian belief, which science proves correct, is that life begins at conception, using embryonic stem cells for research is a violation of a human person. I’d like to know what “facts” Obama is using to justify violating a human embryo. The Christian view is clear about when life begins and the dignity of every human life.

The issue of embryonic stem cell research can become more complicated, and as with every evil act this complication allows supporters of stem cell research to justify their actions. An evil action is evil no matter how much one tries to justify otherwise. When making judgments on half truths, or doing an evil act because an evil has already been committed prior to your evil act, does not make an action right. You know the phrase, two wrongs don't make a right.

One argument for embryonic stem cell research is that there are human embryos in labs that will just be thrown away if not “used”. Since these embryos are already available, they argue, why not test them and research on them. Possibly these embryos could provide treatment for injuries and sickness.

That argument may sound like a good one on the surface, until you consider that we are talking about human life. In an ideal world, the problem of embryonic stem cell research would never even surface, because in an ideal world we would not be treating human lives as subjects of scientific research. Embryonic stem cell research is the result of our culture’s acceptance of abortion and in vitro fertilization. In vitro fertilization is a process in which female egg cells are fertilized by sperm outside the womb. This process is so contrary to the Christian belief in marriage and sexuality. It is a dehumanizing practice that can easily lead to other moral issues such as human cloning. How far will we go in the name of "science"?

In RCIA class last weekend, we talked about moral teachings of the church. One of the key morals of the church is that we must never use evil means even if it results in a good. This moral teaching can apply to embryonic stem cell research and several other important issues of our time. People find or perceive a certain good that might come from an act, and they justify themselves in that way. For example, a thief might steal food to feed his hungry family. While we can all understand this person's desperation and good intention, to feed his family, the means he goes about feeding his family is wrong. Instead of stealing, he should be diligently looking for work so that he can provide for his family without stealing. As for embryonic stem cell research, there is a possibility that certain medicines could be found for some ailments, but in the process a human life is being violated. There are alternatives to embryonic stem cell research, such as adult stem cell research, that does not violate human life. A possible good, finding a treatment for an ailment, does not justify the evil means. A person can justify just about any action by imagining a possible good that might result in that action, and this can lead down a slippery slope. I believe that embryonic stem cell research is one of the results of a slippery slope that our culture is in the middle of and I don't think we've reached the bottom of that slope. Human cloning is not too far off and who knows what else might be on the horizon. It all starts with a misunderstanding of life, from the means of creation of life to the very meaning of life. As I so often state, if we don't get life right we will get so many other things wrong and this is exactly what is happening. Obama's attack on life issues seems to be constant and wide-ranging. Please continue to pray for his conversion on issues concerning life and for all our civil and religious leaders. We are entering a very troubled time, but we must remain faithful, hopeful and spiritual. God can bring good out of all things, even those things which seem to be the most terrible of things. Trust in God and practice your faith and you will be fulfilled. Voice your displeasure at being forced to fund embryonic stem cell research. If we don't, expect more attacks on life to continue.

Together for life and yours in Christ,

Mike

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Theology of the Body Reflections - The Creation Story

If we want to understand the meaning of life, and we all do, we must reflect on and come to understand the creation story. When Jesus was questioned about marriage and divorce, he appealed to the beginning. Throughout the course of human history, people have had different understandings about life. In order to truly understand life and the Christian perspective on life, I think the creation story itself must be a focus because we discover most of the answers concerning life in the very beginning. There is so much in the creation story that I don’t yet understand, and yet there are some very real and clear truths that I can understand and we all should understand because these truths are written on our hearts. If we don’t understand life, as it was originally brought into this world from our creator God, then we will have misguided thoughts on so many issues. It is essential then to go back to the beginning and analyze the meaning of the creation story.

Since there is so much information to be discovered in the creation story, I’d like to focus on just one or two elements of the creation story. I may decide to do a series of blog posts on the story of creation. These posts correlate to my reflections on the Theology of the Body, John Paul II spend a great deal of time discussing the creation stories, and should be read in relation to those reflections.

I think we need to start at the very beginning. I mean the VERY beginning. Before I get into the original innocence, sin, and solitude of man, I’d like to focus on the act of creation itself. The creation story is actually the creation mystery, because we will never fully understand the creation story. We can not fully understand the creation story because we as humans cannot fully understand God. We can grow closer to Him through acts of charity, fasting and prayer, observing nature, and though revelations given by God, but we can never fully understand Him. Although we can not know everything, we can know what God has revealed to us and he has revealed so much to us. We are not God. This is the first fact that we must all accept as Christians. Are you still with me so far? If you’re lost already, then we’re in some trouble.

We are not God, and while we are here on this earth we will never be able to fully understand Him. That is the first fact I take away from the story of creation. So why did God create us? Did he create this universe simply for his own entertainment? I don’t think so. As we read the creation stories, the creation of man is given special attention and special gifts. The very creation of man was the first and greatest gift from God. This concept of gift is a central theme in Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Let’s take a closer look at this great gift of creation and the idea of gift itself.

When God created man, he created us in the image and likeness of Himself. Our creation was a gift from God and life continues to be a gift from God. When a man and woman conceive a child, they are cooperating with God in creating the gift of a child. Every child is a blessing and a gift. When reflecting on the creation story and keeping in mind the idea of gift, we will see that the creation story is flooded with gifts. The first gift from God was the creation of man. A second gift from God was creating us in His likeness and image. He gave man dominion over all the animals and of the earth. He gave man gift of freedom. He gave man all these things and yet man had no suitable companion, so God gave man the gift of woman. In accepting this gift, man likewise became a gift to the woman. When man and woman give a gift of self to one another, they create another gift in conceiving a child. God created man and woman. He created man and woman as a gift to man and as a gift to one another. He created them so that they might become one flesh. Man and woman have been given the gift of procreation. The gift of child is the realization of man and woman's act of love and gift of self. Man, woman and child have all been created as a gift and together can be seen as an image of the Trinity. God created man, body and soul. He created us as a gift to be a gift to one another. Through this gift of self we discover love, which is the greatest of all virtues. God wants us to discover love and he yearns for us to share this love with others. He wants salvation for us, but He allows us to freely choose to love or not love. This freedom, this gift of life, this gift of love God has given to us so that we might better understand Him in his three Persons and so that we may be united with Him in glory when our time on earth has come to an end.

So life is a gift. It has always been a gift and it will always continue to be a gift. It is better to give than to receive, because to give is to love and to love is to know God because God IS LOVE. If we understand our life to be a great gift from God, every life is a gift from God, we will cherish and respect every human life. From the moment of conception, there is life. It takes man, woman and God to make a new human life. It is His will that life continue. It is our responsibility to remain open to life and to protect life at all stages. Remember always that life is a gift. God has given us many great gifts. Go out and share your gifts with others. In giving of yourself, you will discover love and you will be richly blessed. Praise God for the gift of life and may almighty God bless you all!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Guess Julie's Birthday

Shelly is 33 weeks pregnant today. The due date is April 23rd. I thought it might be fun to have everyone guess Julie's birthday. I guessed Easter day. Shelly guessed the day after Easter. We both think she's coming early, but we could be wrong. What do you think? Post your guess as a comment. It doesn't matter to me what day she comes as long as she's healthy. Tomorrow, I'll be down in Columbus, GA; my cousin Dan is graduating from Ranger School. I hear it's a grueling couple months. Hopefully I'll have some good pictures to post on here from my trip. Take care and God bless!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Congratulations Andrew!

My brother was a big hero today. Andrew plays on the St. Ambrose/St. Mary's elementary basketball team. He really enjoys playing basketball even though the team hadn't won any games this year and Andrew hadn't made a basket during a game. Today, that all changed and in a big way. The game was tied with less than a minute to go when my brother Andrew swished his first basket of the season. That proved to be the game winning basket. I'm sure Andrew is a happy boy today and I'm a proud brother.

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This is unrelated, but if you get Sirius or XM radio I stumbled into a channel that is worth listening to - The Catholic Channel. I know EWTN has a radio show too, but I don't believe it is on XM radio. I'm sure EWTN is excellent radio as well, but The Catholic Channel is excellent. It is based out of NY and has the blessing of the Pope and the new archbishop. I enjoy listening to Gus Llloyd in the morning. Gus usually discusses the daily readings and has a couple other regular segments. One segment that is particularly interesting is Hero of the Day. He talks to a person each day who is doing good work and I find it particularly interesting. The name of his show is called, Seize the Day and I think it's a great way to start the day - I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I also get chills when I listen to the theme song for his show. His show is from 6-8. I'm at work before 8, but at 8 there is daily mass. The evening show is done by Lino and Lou. This is a show that is unlike any other catholic media show I've heard or seen. I don't mean this as in insult to other catholic programs, but Lino's show is cool. It's hilarious. It should attract people of all ages. The best part about it is that it is a good clean show and Lino and friends do discuss relevant catholic teachings. I have not listened to this show long since I just found it, but I don't listen to anything else on my ride home now. It's great! I will say that he has a different style that not everyone will like, but his show is called the Catholic Guy and it's supposed to relate to the average catholic guy (girls should be able to relate too). Lino has discussed his troubled past, he did illegal stuff when he was younger, but I admire how he is so open to admitting his faults and weaknesses. He usually has a priest on the show with him and they joke around just like any normal buddies would. If you get XM or Sirius radio I encourage you to check out The Catholic Channel. It's channel 117 on XM and 159 for Sirius. Your ride to work in the morning just got a little more spiritual and your ride home just got a little more hilarious. God bless!

Interview with Archbishop Dolan - Gus Lloyd


Gus Lloyd Seize the Day with Gus Lloyd
Weekdays 6 am - 8 am ET & 8:30 am – 10 am ET
Gus Lloyd gets your day started with a prayer and a smile. "Seize the Day” and live in the joy of the Lord! Gus chats with newsmakers, personalities and callers to discuss what’s on their minds and in their hearts.

Tune in for The Vatican World News at 6 am ET.


Lino Rulli The Catholic Guy The Catholic Guy
Weekdays 4 pm - 7 pm ET
Lino Rulli is described by his friends as "The Catholic Guy" because that is exactly what he is… an everyday Catholic guy with a fresh, fun, and often off-beat take on living out the faith in the world today. Join Lino, "The Catholic Guy," for a look at the world unlike any you’ve heard before.

Monday, March 2, 2009

More Bad News From Obama

I try not to post negative articles all the time, but since Obama has taken office there has been plenty of bad news to report on the life front. I promise not to post depressing news every day, but I think it’s very important to be informed on what the president is doing in attempt to push an abortion initiative. If we, the pro-life faithful, ignore his attacks on life, than we are not being responsible citizens. So where is Obama’s latest attack on the dignity of life directed? Our doctor’s conscience. Lifenews

This is a VERY important issue that I think could have long term consequences. I think the health care system in our county is on the verge of disaster. This latest initiative by Obama could have a significant impact on the quality of OUR health care. OUR tax dollars will fund abortions and OUR doctor will be required to learn how to do an abortion regardless of his or her beliefs. This is a MAJOR conflict of interests and will severely damage the quality of our health care, because good doctors with a moral conscience will not comply with these guidelines. Nor would we want them to abide by them, but this will also discourage good, smart people from entering into the profession. I’m surprised that the current administration doesn’t have the foresight to see the great damage this will have on our country’s health care system. The reasons for implementing such a disastrous policy are weak at best. The Obama administration argues that under the current protections for doctors who refuse to do abortions because of their beliefs, the people seeking “health care” are confused and many don’t receive the health care they “need.” This talk is a bunch of garbage. If you fall for this kind of language, then shame on you. If you or anyone you know can explain to me how forcing ALL doctors to know how to do an abortion is a good policy, please post a comment to this blog post. You can’t defend this policy. What happened to giving everyone a “choice.” Isn’t that the word pro-abortion advocates use so often to defend their pro-abortion agenda? If these people are truly “pro-choice” why don’t they allow doctors to have a choice to choose whether or not to perform a procedure that the majority of Americans protest? The reason is because it doesn’t serve their agenda, their acceptance and promotion of a culture of death.


Who wants a solution to this problem? I think I have a pretty good solution. Allow doctors to follow their conscience and decide for themselves if they will or will not perform abortions. Just because a procedure is “legal” doesn’t mean that all people have the “right” to that procedure. Think about it. However, we all have a “right” to life. Or do we? It’s really a pretty simple concept that I’m proposing. I think that less government intervention in the health care system is best. Let individuals decide how they want to spend the money they earn. Instead of taxing all Americans and forcing us to fund abortions through a hidden umbrella of “health care,” give us the option to financially support or refrain from supporting doctors and facilities that perform abortions. If you want to avoid confusion, require doctors to make their services easily available to the public. If people think they “need” an abortion, they should be able to easily locate which doctors do and do not perform abortions. How is this confusing? Does Obama truly want to lower the number of abortions? If you look at his voting record and the policies he’s supported, the obvious answer is NO. The public does not support abortion, and that is why Obama has to push his agenda through hidden and unheralded policies. Let the public decide what kind of health care they want. If the public truly wants to support the abortion industry, allow the public to make that “choice” by choosing a doctor that fits them. If, on the other hand, the public chooses not to support the abortion industry, perhaps that industry should disappear. That is how capitalism and freedom is supposed to work. Until recently, we didn't just bail out businesses that didn't have good policies or practices. When we bail out bad systems, we are killing innovative thinking and encouraging bad practices or at least accepting them. We are turning our back on the very principals that make America great.

Just think for a moment about your career or job. If you are a student, think about your college or high school. If your boss or your teacher tried to force you to do or say something that you know is morally wrong, how would you feel? Conflicted, right? You know it is wrong, but because the person in some way or another has power over you it becomes difficult to hold fast to your beliefs. It may be hard, but Jesus taught us that we will be persecuted for following him and we must not compromise our salvation. If our core beliefs are challenged than it is a good sign that we should look for a new career or school. I pray for all doctors that they might have moral fortitude and withstand this attack on them. I pray for all those who are tested, that they find the courage to stay strong in their faith.

This policy of forcing doctors to perform abortions does not make economic sense either. If I learned anything in economics class, it was supply and demand. If there is not a demand for something, there should likewise be a low supply. Abortionists offer a "service" (in reality it is a great Disservice) to those seeking an abortion. If our goal is to limit the number of abortions, and the new policies are intended to limit abortions, why then do we spend so much money and time "educating" doctors how to perform abortions? If the demand is lower, why must every doctor know how do perform and abortion? Now, think about this. What would happen if we took all the money that is being sent to Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, and reallocated that money to go towards pregnancy centers, low income expectant parents, and charity organizations that specialized in helping troubled parents and young children? How much good could we accomplish? How many lives might be saved? How many doctors could go to sleep at night knowing that they served their patients in the best way that they could? We could focus on ways to save lives and help our community as opposed to finding ways to end lives and damage souls.

This article also mentions the possibility of radical pro-abortion supporter Kathleen Sebelius as Obama’s selection as new Secretary of Health. Guess what my friends; that is now a reality. Obama is surrounding himself with radical pro-abortion people and it hasn’t taken him long to start picking away at the pro-life laws President George W. Bush and the pro-life movement worked so hard to enact. We MUST speak up about these pro-abortion decisions and policies. We MUST contact our state representative early and often about our objection to these pro-abortion motives. Continue to keep our civil leaders in your prayers. Also keep our religious leaders in our prayers. Abortion is not a political or religious issue. It is not a “Catholic” issue or a “Republican” issue. This is a life and death issue. This is an issue that should be repulsive to all honest and good-willed people. Don’t sit quietly and watch as our politicians attempt to carry-on our present day holocaust. According to the article, there will be 30 days for people to comment on the proposed policy change. We MUST speak up. Lives are at stake. As I think about our current state, I can't help but feel concern for our country. I worry that we are headed down a terrible path, and yet I remain hopeful. In tough times, we find heros and saints. I know that although many bad things are happening in this world, there remains several good people who do many great works. With every challenge presents an opportunity. With these great challenges against the dignity of life, we have an opportunity to become great heros in the pro-life cause. We can grow closer to God and we can influence people. We can become great saints. Listen to God's call and act on His message of proclaiming the good news! Praise God in all that you do. God bless!