Sunday, August 30, 2009

More Julie Videos



Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blood Money

The following video can also be seen at:
http://guslloyd.com/blog/



For more information about this powerful new documentary, please visit the movie website. Link to the site is below.

http://www.bloodmoneyfilm.com/

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Trying To Do Too Much

I have too many interests and passions and not enough time to accomplish everything I desire. I often start things but never finish them because I find something else to occupy my time. Faith, family and sports are my greatest interests. Now I must discover how I can focus on all three things without neglecting any of the three. I don't know what this means for the future of this blog. I plan to take this to prayer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Awesome New Video

While President Obama prepares for a webcast with a handful of liberal leaning "faith-based" groups that are ready to support a health care bill as it stands now, some real faith-based and pro-life groups are banding together to stop the abortion mandate in the current health care proposal. They have made an awesome video which you can watch below. Please support these groups in any way that you can as they are in constant need of exposure, funds, prayers and volunteers. God bless!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Movie Commentary - Doubt (2008)



(Summary of plot - IMDB)

Engrossing drama set in 1964 at a Bronx parochial grammar school where the nun (Meryl Streep) who serves as principal suspects a popular priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of impropriety with a 12-year-old black student, and together with a young teacher (Amy Adams), sets out to confront him. Writer-director John Patrick Shanley has successfully adapted his Pulitzer Prize-winning stage hit, deftly recreating the Catholic milieu of the era, with outstanding performances, including that of Viola Davis as the distraught mother of the putative victim. Though sexual abuse is part of the story, it is the balance of doubt and certainty in society at large that forms the principal thematic subtext. Discreetly handled sexual abuse theme. A-III -- adults. (PG-13) 2008

My Commentary (SPOILER ALERT – WATCH MOVIE BEFORE READING)

Although “Doubt” revisits a dark chapter in our church’s recent history, it should resonate with the Catholic viewer. Although I wasn’t around in the 1960’s, the movie appears to be true to the way things were at that time based on what I have heard and read. The movie accurately captures mass rituals of the time just before the Second Vatican Council, something the average viewer probably wouldn’t know or notice, as well as accurate depictions of the convent, clothing and garments, the rectory etc. Although the sexual abuse of children has been much more widespread among teachers than it has been with clergy, the general public perception is that the abuse of children is primarily a concern with the clergy. No question it is always a grave sin whenever it occurs.

I believe “Doubt” accurately portrays a couple different attitudes about this dark chapter in church history that in a way helps explain how and why these scandals were not fully examined or known at the time. There are three main characters all of whom have different traits and thoughts. In my opinion, the attitudes and thinking of all three are sometimes admirable and sometimes flawed. None of the three can be considered ideal.

Father Flynn – Father Flynn appears to be a very caring man. He gives excellent homilies, he is very kind and popular with his congregation, and he is very friendly and compassionate to everyone, especially this young black kid who was bullied by other kids at school. Although the movie leaves some room for doubt in the viewer’s mind, the general conclusion of most viewers will be that the priest molested the young black boy. Obviously, this would be a VERY serious mortal sin. This insinuated weakness by the priest is always unacceptable, and despite his possible good intentions his actions can never be justified. It is not acceptable to simply be a "nice" person, if you are living in serious sin. The entire community may be deceived, but you can never deceive God.

Sister Beauvier - There is no evidence. There are no witnesses. But for one, there is no doubt. Sister Beauvier is the stern and strict nun and principal at the elementary school. She has an inclination that Father Flynn committed a grave sin, but can't prove anything. She is determined to discover the truth and goes to great lengths to discover the truth. Her character is not very likable, but her desire for truth and justice is respectable. Ideally one would yearn for justice and truth but do so charitably. We should not use black mail, deception, and lies to discover truth. Our purpose for discovering truth should not be anger driven. Sister Beauvier's focus on certain details sometimes causes her to miss the greater picture and her cold personality does not make her many friends. We should not live our lives with a hardened heart. Despite her personal flaws, her devotion to the teachings of the church and her desire for justice and truth is admirable. Ignorance of truth is not bliss. This is where the third character's attitude is flawed.

Sister James - Sister James is a very likable nun. She is kind and she has a good heart. It is clear that she really wants to do the right thing, but some situations are hard for her to know what is right because no matter which decision she makes it would lead to harm for someone. She is a little naïve, but her cautious approach is for the most part appropriate. She is more concerned about solving problems and not offending people than she is about finding the truth in certain situations. Sometimes it may be better to have this attitude, but when the matter is grievous we have an obligation to seek truth.

To be naïve of sin is not an excuse, and can actually be sinful itself if we consciously choose to be ignorant of the truth. The ideal society should not be one in which we all just get along and accept the failings of our neighbors, but one in which we are held accountable and take responsibility for our actions, humble ourselves by acknowledging our own sinfulness, seek forgiveness, and witness to others. We should not condemn others because of their sinfulness nor should we ignore their sinfulness, but we should respectfully bring awareness to others when they sin so that they might seek forgiveness. In doing this we are not condemning the person, but we are exhibiting great love because we care enough about them to let them know when they are living in sin so that they might seek the healing graces of reconciliation with God and with others. We should always be cautious when seeking truth that we do not jump to conclusions and make false accusations, but we must also not be naïve.

Although this movie addresses a dark chapter in the church's history, I greatly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Below is a link to the IMDB website.

Doubt

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Basketball Coach Rick Pitino Admits Infidelity and Paying For Abortion


This is a very sad story. I am hopeful that this story will become big news in the sports media. The sports fan often dismisses any story that does not directly relate to sports. Many sports fans think the only thing that matters when it comes to their coaches and their athletes is their results on the court or in the field. I disagree. These people are examples to many whether they like it or not. My hope is that with this story coming out, the abortion issue (and infidelity) will at least enter the minds of some who may not normally think about the issue. I pray for Rick Pitino on this day. I pray for his family and I pray for the child that was lost because of his senseless actions. I pray that this story will persuade even one couple if not many more to think about the damaging consequences before deciding to have an abortion as well as the damage caused by infidelity. No action is private. God sees all and no sin is private. Abortion does not cover up infidelity, but only multiplies the problem. I can't imagine the anguish Pitino has been in these last couple months. How tormented he must be and have been. Maybe now that the story is out, he can seek forgiveness and start a long process of healing. Sin has consequences and it greatly effects society. I hope that this story will dissuade people from abortion and infidelity. God can make good out of any situation, even a situation as bad and sad as this one.

Below is a link to the video of the story.

Pitino Admits Infidelity And Paying For Abortion

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Abortion: The Heart and Soul of Obama’s Health Care Plan

Don't be naive. It is imperitive that we let our voices be heard. We will not accept a "health care" agenda that forces taxpayer funding of abortion. Obama has made it clear that abortion will indeed be included as basic and essential health care. See the video of Obama talking to Planned Parenthood. You can sign a pre-written letter from AUL to President Obama voicing your concern about this issue HERE
Also, send a pre-written letter (or edit it to say it in your own words)to your senator and congressmen HERE

Real health care respects life. Obama is not proposing health care reform, but the destruction of health care in this country. Please do not sit by idly and watch this health care bill pass without a fight. Do what you can do and pray - millions of unborn children are counting on us. Thanks and God bless!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Social Networking Sites Have Some Dehumanizing Effects

I have copied an article found on www.catholicnewsagency.com in which Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster warns about the 'dehumanizing' effects of modern communication. While sites like Facebook and Myspace have advanced the ways we can communicate with others in some ways, it can also be a crutch. If we become obsessed with these sites, it can be dehumanizing and in fact destroy community and true relationships. He also mentions the constant and almost exclusive use of texting as a method of communication as troublesome. I agree 100% with him! Interpersonal interaction with people is necessary for a well rounded community. The spoken word is usually a better form of communication than the written word in that the written word can much more easily and often get misinterpreted. I fear that sites like facebook may not grow us closer together with people, but will often pull us even further apart. We should not be focused so much on the every action of others as we are about getting to truly know others and form true bonds and real friendships. Below is the article from CNA.

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Facebook and MySpace have ‘dehumanizing’ effects, Archbishop Nichols warns

Archbishop Vincent Nichols

London, England, Aug 4, 2009 / 06:08 am (CNA).- Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols has warned about the “dehumanizing” effects of modern communication, saying e-mails, text messages and social network sites alone cannot build “a rounded community.”

Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, he said an “excessive” or “almost exclusive” use of text and e-mails helps cause society to lose some of the ability to build the interpersonal communication necessary for living together and building a community.

"We're losing social skills, the human interaction skills, how to read a person's mood, to read their body language, how to be patient until the moment is right to make or press a point,” remarked Archbishop Nichols, the Catholic Primate of England and Wales.

"Too much exclusive use of electronic information dehumanizes what is a very, very important part of community life and living together."

"Facebook and MySpace might contribute towards communities, but I'm wary about it. It's not rounded communication so it won't build a rounded community," he told the Sunday Telegraph.

Community, defined as “a genuine growing together” and a “mutual sharing” in matters of some significance “needs more than Facebook," the archbishop commented.

The “trauma of transient relationships” is a key factor in some young people’s suicides, he argued. His words come just days after British high school student Megan Gillan killed herself after fellow students posted spiteful online messages about her appearance and clothing.

"They throw themselves into a friendship or network of friendships, then it collapses and they're desolate."

"It's an all or nothing syndrome that you have to have in an attempt to shore up an identity; a collection of friends about whom you can talk and even boast.

"But friendship is not a commodity, friendship is something that is hard work and enduring when it's right."

Archbishop Nichols also voiced concerns about the loss of loyalty and the rise of individualism in British society. These forces threatened to undermine communities, he told the Daily Telegraph.

Linking individualism to efforts to legalize assisted suicide, he warned that the practice “seriously weakens the fabric of mutual responsibility within society” and encourages the marginalization of those who need care.

In his interview Archbishop Nichols also called on the government to support the traditional family by offering tax breaks to married couples and by requiring a “cooling-off” period before a divorce.
Copyright @ CNA
(http://www.catholicnewsagency.com)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Death of a Pope

I bought a summer novel, Death of a Pope, a couple weeks ago. I finished the book in a couple days. It was good. It made me think about some things. I would recommend it to anyone. I'll try to get a review of the book up soon. I'm now reading Render Unto Ceaser - it's excellent and I'm half way through that book already. What am I going to do with all this knowledge? Reviews of both books as well as the movie Doubt will be coming soon. God bless!

FRC Poll

FRC Poll

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Daddy Cuts His Hair

Have Some Fun!

We are only on this earth for a short time. Be holy, be joyful, and have some fun. Did you know I used to be the star actor in a comedy documentary? It's true and I have a video to prove it. David and I had a blast. Maybe we can make another video one day. Let me know what you think of our video (only if you liked it of course, haha.) If the video is slow, you can watch it on you tube - it plays better over there for some reason.