Wednesday, March 31, 2010

George Weigel Addresses NY Times Most Recent Attack on Catholic Church

George Weigel is a well known Catholic writer who often contributes opinion pieces in the Washington Post. Below are two articles he wrote, one was co-written, addressing the NY Times recent attempt to tie Pope Benedict XVI to a sexual abuse scandal committed several years ago by a Wisconsin priest. Certainly sexual abuse is a serious sin and is never justified, but the NY Times article is trying to make accusations against the Catholic Church as a whole and the pope in particular that are very unfair and untrue. The timing of the news article is also very interesting considering we are in the holiest week of the year. Don't think for a second that the timing of this article is a coincidence. I think Weigel's defense of the Church explains it best. No question about it, our church is under severe attack. We must pray for our pope and all our bishops and religious leaders. Also please pray for those who have been involved in the evil of sexual abuse, especially those many victims. May we all join together in fighting this horrific global plague.

Scoundrel Times

Spreading the Big Lie

Defend Pope Benedict: Join the National Prayer Bouquet

Below is a message from The Cardinal Newman Society. The Cardinal Newman Society is dedicated to renewing and strengthening Catholic identity at America's 224 Catholic colleges and universities. The Society focuses its work on assisting students, alumni and school officials; urging fidelity to the Magisterium.

Dear Fellow Catholic (and other Christians and people of good will),
Urgently, we ask you TODAY to join Catholics nationwide in an Easter Prayer Campaign for Pope Benedict. . . and spread the word! Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, is suffering "some of the same unjust accusations, shouts of the mob, and scourging at the pillar as did Jesus"! Those are the words of Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, who on Palm Sunday urged prayers for Pope Benedict as he is viciously and unfairly attacked by the secular media and sadly even many dissident Catholics. Pope Benedict is being assaulted with “unrelenting insinuations,” said Archbishop Dolan, “. . .as certain sources seem frenzied to implicate the man who, perhaps more than anyone else, has been the leader in purification, reform and renewal that the Church so needs.” When he was installed as Pope five years ago, the Holy Father himself asked us to help him, saying: “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another.”Pope Benedict has never fled from the wolves, and he remains dedicated to renewing Christ’s Church built on a foundation of strong Catholic identity. It is by his example that The Cardinal Newman Society and so many others are struggling to renew Catholic life in America. We are assembling an Eastertide spiritual bouquet for the Holy Father and need your prayers for him today! Please pledge to pray for the Pope during the 50 days of Eastertide by joining our spiritual bouquet. Last year, thanks to your help, we collected more than 722,000 prayers for U.S. bishops, including 146,944 Rosaries and 28,862 days of fasting, as a token of appreciation for their strong stand for Catholic identity at Notre Dame. But now, “The father of our family, ‘il papa,’ needs our love, support, and prayers,” as Archbishop Dolan has pleaded. Catholics nationwide are praying for Pope Benedict, won’t you join us? Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle! And may God bless you and your family.
Yours in Christ,
The Cardinal Newman Society

USCCB Makes Official Statement on Executive Order in Health Care Bill

The USCCB has released an official statement restating it's objections to the health care bill that was recently passed and explains why the executive order to ban abortion funding does not correct the problems in the bill. The bishops' statement in entirety is found on their website which I have linked below.

USCCB Statement

Monday, March 29, 2010

Please Support the Ovarian Cancer Race For Awareness

A couple years ago, my aunt/Godmother was diagnosed with cancer. Today she is heroically continuing to fight the terrible disease. She has been taking new groundbreaking drugs that attempt to cut blood supply to the cancer cells. Her determination to fight the cancer and to promote groundbreaking cancer research is inspiring. She has been a big inspiration for me to start this blog, and I want to help spread her good work in supporting cancer research.

My aunt will be taking part in the Ovarian Cancer Race For Awareness - "A Teal Ribbon Event" - on June 5th. The Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA) is sponsoring the walk. Money raised will support their work. My aunt attends one of their support groups and describes these groups as excellent. She will be getting COCA's training so that she can teach medical students about ovarian cancer. She points out that although ovarian cancer is typically diagnosed at later stages, ovarian cancer is very treatable if caught early. For this reason education and awareness on this issue are so important. In order to support my aunt Mary, you can easily make a tax-deductible donation by visiting her Firstgiving page: You can donate online with a credit card. All donations are secure and sent directly to COLORADO OVARIAN CANCER ALLIANCE by Firstgiving, who will email you a printable record of your donation.

Thank you for supporting my aunt Mary and the very important mission of cancer research. God bless!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Stupak's Response to Critics is Very Revealing

After his decision to vote for the health care bill, Stupak has been villified by people from both sides of the abortion issue. Below are comments from Stupak addressing the pro-life groups as well as the USCCB's criticism of his decision to vote for the health care bill. My comments to Stupak's quotes are in BOLD.

Washington D.C., Mar 26, 2010 / 11:02 am (CNA).- The health care reform bill would have passed the House without the votes of Rep. Bart Stupak’s pro-life Democrats because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “always carries a number of votes in her pocket,” Stupak told CNA in a Thursday phone interview.

So what? How is this a defense for voting for the bill? Is your voting based on whether or not your vote is part of the winning side or is your vote based on principle? If Stupak and his pro-life democrats votes weren't needed, why did President Obama concede and offer Stupak a "compromise" by signing an executive order? Stupak and his pro-life democrats very well may have been the deciding votes in passing this pro-abortion legislation.

“The Speaker always carries a number of votes in her pocket,” he said, meaning that some members who voted ‘no’ would have voted ‘yes’ if needed. “I had a number of members who thanked us after because they could vote no.”

If that is truly the case, that decison is on those house members and should not influence Stupak's decison. This comment is very revealing about how corrupt the political process is in this county. These members of the house would be willing to vote against the will of the people and even their own conscience "if needed." Clearly they were under severe pressure from the liberal leadership of the democratic party, but this admission shows a clear lack of character and leadership by these congressmen.

The Michigan Democrat explained that by opting for the executive order, pro-life Democrats believe they ensured the legislation was “somewhat restrictive” towards abortion funding.

From everything I've read and how I understand it, the exectutive order has little to no legislative power. The wording of the bill will remain law and will be held up in courts. The very fact that he describes the exectutive order as "somewhat restrictive" acknowledges that there will be public funding of abortion.

The Congressman explained the political tactic in response to a question about how he would respond to pro-life advocates who felt betrayed by his vote for the legislation.
He suggested these advocates were “not aware of the legislative process,” explaining that there were only 45 “life votes” in the Senate.

Not aware of the legislative process? That is hardly the issue here. Several pro-life groups and the USCCB have experts available in the field of law and were well aware of the pro-abortion language in the health care bill. They also know that the executive order is little more than a symbolic act; something that even Planned Parenthood acknowledged. You know that if Planned Parenthood is happy with the legislation, it is very bad legislation. What does the number of pro-life votes in the Senate have to do with Stupak's vote? He is incinuating that if the health care bill had pro-life language holding up the law of the land against public funding for abortion then the bill would not pass the Senate. Well guess what congressman, we believe that the health care bill was fundamentally flawed and should have been voted against unless essential problems were fixed. Stupak's pro-life convictions clearly aren't as strong as his desire to pass any health care bill.

“The Speaker could have passed this bill without us, and then you would have a bill laden with federal government funding for abortion, especially federally funded health centers.
“So now we have a bill that is somewhat restrictive, not as much as we like. And we have an executive order that will enforce the Hyde provisions in this new law,” he continued, characterizing the order as an “ironclad commitment.”

Stupak's early dedication to insert the Stupak amendment to the house bill was admirable. However, he knows that the executive order has little to no power over the pro-abortion legislation. I understand that he has to try to defend his vote, but he's not going to win over many real pro-lifers with this argument.

In the course of the interview, CNA asked Rep. Stupak about remarks he reportedly made accusing the U.S. bishops and pro-life groups of hypocrisy. He told CNA he questioned whether some of the pro-life groups “were more interested in protecting the sanctity of life or defeating health care.” Since the time he made remarks questioning pro-life groups’ motives, he said, the U.S. bishops’ most recent statement has led him to believe they were still interested in passing health care. "National Right to Life, I don’t think they ever were. I think they were more interested in defeating the health care bill, no matter what it costs."

Mr. Stupak, it's not an eiter or question. The US bishops have ALWAYS been supportive of health care reform. However, they believe as do pro-life groups that certain fundamental issues must be addressed. The sanctity of life does trump passing a flawed health care bill. Stupak clearly places health care legislation over the sanctity of life. The problem is that he acts like the two are mutually exclusive. There is a way to pass real health care reform and still protect and respect the sanctity of life at all stages. This misunderstanding of how certain issues are more important than others is a big problem not just with Stupak but several Christians I'm afraid. He fails to make the connection that without the protection of life, we will see the negative effects of this bill spread.

“The reality is, in Senate you need 60 votes, we have 45 pro-life votes, as I’ve told both the Catholic bishops and Right to Life.
“Help me find 15 more votes, and we’ll pass your statutory language. Until that time, we cannot. Therefore we have to do all we can to protect the sanctity of life, and that is why the executive order, the colloquy, and the language of the bill will, to my mind, protect the sanctity of life.”

The only way to truly protect the sanctity of life was to insert statutory language. If the bill doesn't pass because of this language, then it was a bad bill and should not be passed. This is further proof that all Stupak was concerned about was passing a health care bill regardless of whether or not the sanctity of life was protected.

While there may be future opportunities to fix the legislation on abortion, he said, he did not indicate he saw flaws in the application of the abortion funding provisions.
The executive order has just gone into effect, he explained, saying he has not heard “any reports of any federal clinics or anyone performing abortions.”

Don't be naive Stupak. You know that the legislation on abortion needs to be fixed. Your demand for an executive order is confirmation of that. Stupak also charged that pro-life groups were disingenuous because he believed that they were more interested in protecting the sanctity of life than in passing health care reform. Again, I say that those two are not mutually exclusive. I believe Stupak is the one who was being disingenuous by claiming to protect the sanctity of life when in fact his decision to vote for this health care bill does the exact opposite. He may be able to justify his decision to himself, by his decision may very well have been the deciding factor in thousands more abortions not to mention all the other flaws of the bill.

Well, the health care bill passed. Pro-life groups and the average American did all we could to make our voices heard but ultimately they fell on deaf ears not all that unlike those voices of the unborn. While we lost this battle, we have not lost the war. We must elect people who truly pro-life and will vote based on principle and not on political whims. There is still hope that this bad legislation could be revised or repealed. Let us continue to pray for our country and our politcal and religious leaders. God bless!

CNA Article

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Stupak Sellout

Stupak could have been a heroic defender of life, but instead he chose to put his faith in a pro-abortion president’s executive order. Stupak and his group of pro-life democrats were the deciding votes in getting the health care passed on Sunday night. Pro-life unless it kills a health care bill that is. Below is a video of Stupak’s conference before the final vote in which he announced the deal he reached with President Obama on abortion funding.

This sounds good right? How could pro-life groups and the USCCB be against an executive order banning federal funds of abortions? I am not qualified to interpret the health care bill or the law, but I trust the people and resources available to several pro-life groups and they are clearly not satisfied with an executive order. Below is the response to the executive order from some of the most well known pro-life leaders.
“Today, Congress ignored the explicit wishes of the American people by voting to establish taxpayer-funded abortion," Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest told
"This reversal of long-standing federal policy will not stand. Furthermore, the assurance by the White House to address the problem of abortion funding in the health care bill through use of an executive order is an open acknowledgement that the bill just passed is pro-abortion legislation," she added.
Nevertheless, according to Richard Doerflinger, Stupak’s deal will be useless in defending life.
“The statutory mandate construed by the courts would override any executive order or regulation … Only a change in the law enacted by Congress, not an executive order, can begin to address this very serious problem in the legislation."
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser announced that the organization had been planning to honor Rep. Stupak at its third annual Campaign for Life Gala on Wednesday for “his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform.”
“We will no longer be doing so. By accepting this deal from the most pro-abortion President in American history, Stupak has not only failed to stand strong for unborn children, but also for his constituents and pro-life voters across the country,” Dannenfelser charged. “Courts could and have a history of trumping executive orders.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said that “by offering an executive order as a so-called solution, President Obama is finally admitting there is a problem with a bill that will force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions for the first time in over three decades. However, there is no way that an executive order will protect the unborn or prevent the greatest expansion of elective abortion since Roe v. Wade.”
"President Obama and the Democratic leadership know that such a plan, due to legal precedent, will be worth little in the long run. Court rulings in cases such as Commerce of U.S. v Reich and Hamdan v. Rumsfeld make it very clear that such an executive order likely wouldn't survive," Perkins added.
Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., added that pro-life Democrats should be alarmed by a promise coming from a politician with a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
"This puts the fate of the unborn in the hands of the most pro-abortion president in history," he said.
Richard Doerflinger, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared those concerns in a memo sent this morning to key Congressional members and staff.
"We've consulted with legal experts on the specific idea of resolving the abortion funding problems in the Senate bill through executive order. We know members have been looking into this in good faith, in the hope of limiting the damage done by abortion provisions in the bill," Doerflinger says.
"Unfortunately, this proposal does not begin to address the problem, which arises from decades of federal appellate rulings that apply the principles of Roe v. Wade to federal health legislation," Doerflinger explains.
"According to these rulings, such health legislation creates a statutory requirement for abortion funding, unless Congress clearly forbids such funding," Doerflinger continues. "That is why the Hyde amendment was needed in 1976, to stop Medicaid from funding 300,000 abortions a year."
I think those comments say it best, but I’d just like to reinforce a couple issues mentioned. First of all, you have to be highly skeptical of a president who has an extensive pro-abortion track record and has received a 100 percent rating from the very pro-abortion group NARAL. Obama has said for months that the senate health care bill did not publicly fund abortion, but if the senate health care bill wasn’t pro-abortion why would an executive order be necessary? I believe that the only reason he did this compromise was to get Stupak’s vote. He knew that the only way to pass the bill was to convince Stupak that abortion would not be funded, but he also didn’t want to upset his pro-abortion backers. He masterfully pulled off fooling Stupak, and although many pro-abortion groups are upset today about the executive order, they will ultimately be happy with this health care bill passage because the courts have a history of trumping executive orders; abortion will be funded because of this bill.
Stupak put his trust in a pro-abortion president’s executive order, one that pro-life groups say is a meaningless because it has no force of law, that abortion will not be funded in this bill. I do not trust that this executive order will overrule the language in the senate health care bill and I do not believe president Obama cares about the unborn children. I’m disappointed in Stupak because he had been such a strong pro-life democrat before this vote. Ironically, Stupak denied inserting his own pro-life language to the bill after Republicans sent the bill back to the committee to add an abortion funding ban. He did this because he valued the passage of this health care bill above the lives of the unborn. I believe that he planned on voting on the bill all along. He preferred pro-life language, but if he failed to get his language passed I think he would have voted yes regardless. Below are Stupak’s comments defending his decision to accept the president’s executive order and not pursue fixing the language in the bill. Stupak defended his decision on the executive order agreement saying it "the sanctity of life is protected," and that the motion was "nothing more than an opportunity to continue to deny 32 million Americans health care."
"For the Republicans to now claim that we send the bill back to committee under this guise of protecting life is disingenuous," Stupak said. "This motion is really to politicize life, not prioritize life."
I could be wrong about that, but below is a video from a couple months that might back up my claim.

Obama wasn’t the only one willing to pass this health care bill at any cost. As it turns out, pro-life Catholic Bart Stupak also wanted to pass this bill at any cost. Shame on you Mr. Stupak! God have mercy on our nation! Please continue to pray for our county and our country’s leaders. Let this be a reminder how important elections can be. Although those of us in the pro-life community are extremely disappointed and saddened today, we must remain hopeful. God can make good out of all situations, even situations as dark as we find ourselves in today. God bless!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

LDI Letter Writing Campaign: Chevron

As of March 16, 2010, Chevron is listed on Life Decision International's boycott list. To confirm that Chevron is still on the boycott list when you read this post, please visit LDI's website.
Below is contact information for the CEO of Chevron. I am writing him a letter to let him know that I will not support Chevron until LDI removes them from the boycott list. I encourage you to also send Mr. Watson a letter, explaining why you do not support Planned Parenthood or any company or organization that publicly supports Planned Parenthood. This letter writing campaign works. Just last month National Semiconductor (I wrote a letter to National Semiconductor in January) was taken off the boycott list. Praise God! Let's pray more companies to likewise. Thank you and God bless.
Mr. John S. Watson
Chairman & CEO
Chevron Corporation
6001 Bollinger Canyon Road
San Ramon, CA 94583

A Letter to CHA President Carol Keehan

Dear Ms. Keehan,

I was appalled and extremely disappointed when I read that the Catholic Health Association endorsed the Senate health care bill. I am disappointed because I had respected your organization and truly believed that CHA would follow the USCCB's lead to promote real health care reform that is affordable, includes conscience protections, and most importantly respects life. The Senate health care bill is seriously deficient in all of these areas. Most if not all people believe that some sort of health care reform is necessary, but this health care bill is not the answer and is in fact a serious step backwards. Don't take my word for it though, every credible pro-life group and the USCCB agrees that abortion will be federally funded in the Senate health care bill. In case you don't believe me, I suggest you take a look at the articles below.

USCCB March 4, 2010 Statement on Senate health care bill

Bishop Wenski: Serious flaws must be fixed before health care bill’s reconciliation

Archbishop Chaput: Health care bill doesn’t meet minimum moral standards

U.S. bishops oppose Senate health care bill, doubt promised fixes

Archbishop Dolan: Abortion funding in health care bill still a ‘grave concern’

Your justification for endorsing the Senate health care bill is at best ignorant and at worst deceitful and a flat out lie. Your endorsement has potentially serious moral consequences, and if this bill passes thousands of lives will be lost from abortion paid for by you and me against our moral judgement and free will. The majority of Americans will see their quality of health care decline. Catholics will stop entering the medical profession because they don't have conscience protections. Our children and our children's children will be forced to pay for a national debt that is already out of control but will be even worse if this bill is passed. The government will intrude on the doctor/patient relationship and rationing care will be commonplace. The Catholic Health Association can not claim to truly be pro-life when you support this health care bill. In addition, your understanding of Catholic teaching is seriously flawed. I don't know what Catholic Health Association gains by endorsing this bill, but whatever it is it pails in comparison to the negative effect it will have on the credibility of your organization as a truly Catholic organization. I ask that you pray about what the United States Catholic Bishops are saying about this health care bill and seriously consider withdrawing your support for this health care bill. You better do it soon, because a vote will be coming any day now. I hope and pray that this bill does NOT pass so that we all can work on real health care reform that won't destroy our health care system in America. Any real pro-life, Catholic organization would oppose this bill. If these associations are important to you, I recommend you do the right thing and oppose this bill.

Mike Duquaine (St. Michael the Archangel, Woodstock,GA Parishioner)
A Christian Perspective on Life

Monday, March 15, 2010

Senate Health Care Bill Does Not Meet Minimum Moral Standards

The Catholic Health Association is the latest Pro-Obama “Catholic” organization to endorse the Senate health care bill. In a March 15, 2010 statement, CHA president and CEO SR. Carol Keehan endorsed the bill. She says that life issues are a major concern but that the Senate health care bill does not federally fund abortion. This assumption is either ignorance or a flat out lie. The Senate health care bill will fund for abortions through a simple accounting scheme, one in which has been pointed out by every credible pro-life group. Her statement does not address the euthanasia encouraging language or the lack of conscience protections in the bill. Ironically, a statement made on March 9, 2010 from CHA Senior Vice President Michael Rodgers, which can be found on the front page of their website, encourages passage of the Senate health care bill with a second “corrections” bill to address the concerns over federal funding of abortion. If abortion wasn’t federally funded in the Senate health care bill, why would there need to be a second “corrections” bill to address the issue? You would think the President and Sr. Vice President of CHA would have talked about this before issuing conflicting statements. The fact of the matter is that abortion is funded in the Senate health care bill, and I have to believe that CHA knows this full well. I am extremely disappointed in CHA. Their support of the Senate health care bill has the possibility of misleading Catholics, but hopefully the faithful will listen to their bishops and not the leadership at CHA.

Thankfully the USCCB, who speaks for the teachings of the Catholic Church, reaffirmed their disapproval of the current Senate health care bill shortly after CHA announced it's endorsement, and the USCCB urged Catholics and all people of good will to oppose the bill. Bishop Wenski of Orlando and Archbishop Chaput of Denver made statements reemphasizing the position of the USCCB and discrediting the comments made by CHA and like minded groups. Below are some quotes from Chaput in which I believe best explains the reasons behind our opposition to the bill.


“As I write this column on March 14, the Senate bill remains gravely flawed. It does not meet minimum moral standards in at least three important areas: the exclusion of abortion funding and services; adequate conscience protections for health-care professionals and institutions; and the inclusion of immigrants,” Chaput writes.

In reference to pro-Obama Catholic organizations who have been claiming that the bill is “sufficiently” pro-life, the Archbishop of Denver argues that “groups, trade associations and publications describing themselves as ‘Catholic’ or ‘prolife’ that endorse the Senate version – whatever their intentions – are doing a serious disservice to the nation and to the Church, undermining the witness of the Catholic community; and ensuring the failure of genuine, ethical health-care reform.”
Such groups, Archbishop Chaput explains, “create confusion at exactly the moment Catholics need to think clearly about the remaining issues in the health-care debate. They also provide the illusion of moral cover for an unethical piece of legislation.”

Archbishop Chaput writes that the “most painful feature” in the last weeks of the debate, “has been those ‘Catholic’ groups that by their eagerness for some kind of deal undercut the witness of the Catholic community and help advance a bad bill into a bad law. Their flawed judgment could now have damaging consequences for all of us.”
The Archbishop of Denver reminds his readers that the bill “does not deserve, nor does it have, the support of the Catholic bishops in our country, who speak for the believing Catholic community.”
“Catholics and other persons of good will concerned about the foundations of human dignity should oppose it,” he says in closing.


Action Alert –
Since voting on the bill could take place this week, it is imperative that we make our voices heard loud and clear; TODAY. Do not wait. If you are like me and are upset that CHA would endorse this terrible health care bill, below are three recommended action items.

1. Email the president of CHA (Ironically, her email address and contact information for all CHA employees has been removed from their website. However, I happened to get her email before it was taken of the site. Obviously, several people have already been flooding her with emails!)
a. SR. Carol Keehan, President & CEO of CHA
(**Her extremely hard to find email - **)
In your email, let her know that you are disappointed to hear that CHA is supporting the Senate health care bill. Mention how you understand that our health care system is not perfect and that you desire health care reform. However you do not accept this health care bill because it does not meet minimum moral standards. Share comments made by the USCCB and especially the comments made by Archbishop Chaput. Let them know that you are pro-life and that any true pro-life American cannot support the bill.
2. Email your local bishop. If they have already made a public statement, thank them for their public witness. If you have not heard your bishop speak out about this health care bill, urge that they publicly go on record opposing the bill. Although the USCCB has released a statement, it can have a far larger impact on the parishioners of a diocese when they hear the message directly from their bishop.
3. Find out how your House representative plans on voting. If they are a firm no, contact them and thank them for their vote. Let them know that you appreciate their vote against this bill. You may also want to mention that you believe that health care is an important issue, and you hope that your representative will be able to work in a bipartisan way to develop real health care reform that is affordable, respects life, extends coverage to the uninsured, and maintains conscience protections for medical workers. If they plan to vote yes, let them know your disapproval. Let them know that if they vote for this bill, you will not vote to reelect them and you will actively campaign against them if they choose to run for reelection. If your representative is a maybe, it is imperative that they hear from you. Urge them to vote no. If they vote yes, you will not vote for them should they choose to run for reelection and you will actively campaign against them.

I can’t stress enough how important it is that you do these things. Time is running out. I ask you to please do what you can to prevent this terrible bill from passing. Know that I will do everything that I mentioned above and I ask that you do the same. In addition to these things, please pray. Pray, pray, pray. God hears our prayers. They can transform hearts and minds. God bless!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Enter the House of God

The last couple of weeks I've been reading "Quiet Strength" by former NFL head coach Tony Dungy. Dungy was a very successful NFL coach, but he views the impact he has on people, his Christian faith, and his family as his priority. He proved that you don't have to curse and yell to be a successful coach. His mild manor is well known and I for one am a huge fan. When Granny came up to stay with us last week, she picked up the book and began reading it and couldn't put it down. So I decided to start reading the next book on my list; "The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics."

I read the preface to what may be Lewis' greatest work, "Mere Christianity," and was immediately very intrigued. C.S. Lewis belonged to the Church of England, but his writings are loved by Catholics as well as Christians of all denominations and even non-Christians. In describing what he hoped to accomplish with "Mere Christianity" he brought up an interesting analogy. If there was a house that represented Christianity, he hoped to get people to enter the hall of that house. The rooms in the houses are where people lived and they represented different Christian denominations. His writings were not to debate the differences between the denominations but to rather focus on the similarities of all denominations. His goal was to evangelize to those who had little, incorrect, or no knowledge of Christianity. He did not desire those already in the rooms to leave there room to enter the hall because as he said the hall is not a place to live. It is better to live by the creed of your room than to stay in the hall, but it is better to be in the hall than outside the house entirely.

As I reflected on his words, I found in them profound wisdom. C.S. Lewis desired to bring people together toward Christ. He did not dwell on the differences but focused on the core beliefs that all Christians share. This was his mission and he has been wildly successful, and yet he acknowledges the necessity for others to focus on the differences between the rooms. He does not deny that these differences exist, but that it is not his mission to address them. He also says that just because he doesn't address these differences or certain controversial issues does not mean that they are unimportant or insignificant.

In my reflection on his wise words, I thought about my blog and what I hoped to accomplish. When I created this blog I thought long and hard about the title. I initially thought of naming the title "A Catholic Perspective on Life," because I am Catholic and my Catholic identity is very important to me. While this is true, I like C.S. Lewis hope to unite rather than divide and while there is nothing divisive about the word Catholic, which actually means universal, I wanted to reach out to a wider audience. While my views are from a Catholic perspective, they are also from a Christian perspective because to be Catholic is to be Christian.

I believe that the Catholic Church contains the fullness of the truth, and to live a life faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church is the surest way to heaven because it is the Church established by Jesus himself. It is because of this belief that I desire all to come to understand the Catholic faith because who wouldn't want the fullness of truth and the surest path to heaven? My desire for extended family and friends to consider the Catholic faith is, I believe, a selfless desire for them to receive the great gifts the Catholic Church offers. It is not to diminish their faith or their congregations. In fact, I see in them and in some of their churches many desirable characteristics. Many of my acquaintances have a great love of God and it is clearly visible in their actions. Many of these people are living a more "Catholic" life than many Catholics themselves. Every Easter several people enter the church as converts and often times these converts are so on fire for God and His teachings that they are an inspiration to the entire church. I see in them great joy when they first receive the Sacraments. These Sacraments of baptism, confession, Eucharist, confirmation, holy orders, marriage, and anointing of the sick strengthen our faith and heal us mind, body and soul. I often times take for granted how lucky I am to be a Catholic and have these Sacraments available to me on a regular basis. Thank God. I know the great graces God bestows upon us in these Sacraments and I desire for all to receive these graces.

My blog is for everyone. I, like C.S. Lewis, desire for all to come to know Christ and accept the Christian faith, however my goal is not to simply get people to enter the hall. My blog is more geared toward those already in the hall or in the rooms. I want to inspire Christians to challenge themselves. My goal is to motivate myself to become a better Christian. I want to lead by example. I will fall, but I must always repent and get back up because I do not want to be the hypocrite. Those who speak but do not act according to their words will not gain followers. Although my desire is not for others to follow me but to follow God, the reality is that my actions can influence or dissuade people toward or away from God. My hope is that more often than not I am leading others toward God.

If you are in the hall, I challenge you to find a room. If you are in a room, I challenge you to find the room that will most surely lead you to the roof not necessarily the room that is most comfortable. If you are in the room that has a door leading directly out to the roof, I challenge you to abide by the rules of the room and see to it that others in the room follow the rules. Do what you can to see that those in your room don't leave for a more comfortable room or leave the house entirely. I challenge you to invite others to join the room so that they might have easy access to the roof. The other rooms will also have access to the roof, but they may have to climb through a window to reach the roof. We are all one house. We are one body in Christ. Let us work together to accomplish a common goal.

Eternal Father, I thank you for this day and for the gift of life. I ask that you continue to bless me, my family, my friends, and all the readers of this blog. May your love shine through us and may this love be evident to everyone we meet and inspire them to yearn for You. All praise and honor is Yours for without you we are nothing. May our common goal of eternal life in heaven unite all Christians. Amen.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT. I would like to know your thoughts whether it be about this specific post, about my blog in general, or if there is a question you might have for me. Are there any changes you would like to see? What aspects of this blog to you enjoy? How can I make this blog more interactive? Because I very rarely get any feedback, I often wonder if anybody is even reading. Perhaps I am asking just to feed my ego, but I truly believe that the best way to evangelize to to have honest dialogue and communication is a two way street. If I don't get any feedback, I don't know what issues you'd like for me to discuss or answer any questions you might have. I really do appreciate you. Thank you for reading. Without your encouragement, I probably would not have lasted this long. I ask that you pray for me and know that I will also be praying for you. I also ask that you pray for a good alternative solution to the current health care proposal which will lead to the largest expansion of abortion since Roe vs. Wade and is not financially feasible. It is not only immoral based on the life issues of abortion, euthanasia and unacceptable conscience clause protections, but it is also immoral to place an unrealistic financial burden on our kids and grand kids. This is a good lesson that we must exercise our civic duty and vote based on those people who best reflect our values. As we have seen, elections have huge economic, moral, and social consequences. Goodnight, and God bless!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

LDI's Letter Writing Campaign Works

National Semiconductor is no longer listed on LDI's boycott list. In January, I sent a letter to the president and ceo of the company stressing my disappointment in their support of planned parenthood. After receiving several letters, he got the message and National Semiconductor has cut ties with Planned Parenthood. Praise God! It only takes 10 minutes to write a letter, but as you see here it can have a huge impact. This decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood will save lives. We must continue to inform people about the radical agenda of Planned Parenthood. Many people of good heart are just ignorant of what really goes on at Planned Parenthood. If more people knew what the organization is really about, they would be appalled! I felt compelled to write back and thank the president for his decision. I think it is important to let people know when they are in the wrong, but we should also take time to thank those who make good decisions. Below is the letter I wrote in response to this great news. I need to get back on track with my Letter Writing Campaign. When I write my next letter, I'll be sure to post the information here. God bless!
Mr. Donald Macleod
President & CEO
National Semiconductor Corporation
2900 Semiconductor Drive
Santa Clara, CA 95052-8090

Dear Mr. Macleod:

In January I mailed a letter to you addressing my concern about National Semiconductor’s support of Planned Parenthood. When I received my most recent news letter from Life Decisions International, I was delighted to see that your company is no longer listed on LDI’s boycott list. This decision to discontinue support for Planned Parenthood and their radical agenda will save lives. I want you to know that your actions have not gone unnoticed, and I believe that you and your company will be richly blessed by this decision. Once again I thank you, and take comfort in knowing that an unknown number of people neither one of us will ever meet thank you also for this decision to cut ties with Planned Parenthood. I pray God bless you and your family.


Michael J. Duquaine

Monday, March 1, 2010

G.R.A.C.E Offers Catholic Families Hope

If you are a Georgia resident who cares about the education of our young people, especially if you have young children yourself, you need to read this. If you are not a Georgia resident, you need to read this because you may have something similar in your state. If you don't have anything like G.R.A.C.E in your state, you need to contact your local bishop and state representatives and tell them about G.R.A.C.E. While word is starting to get out about G.R.A.C.E, I believe it is still relatively unknown to most people. I hope that this post will be news to at least one person. We need to get this message out because well education is important and this program is a no-brainer. So what exactly is G.R.A.C.E, and why am I so excited about it?

G.R.A.C.E stands for Georgia Residents Assisting Children's Education. In short, tax payers in the state of Georgia can elect to redirect tax dollars to fund scholarships for students whose families would like to send them to Catholic school. Donation limits are set at $2,500 for families that file jointly and $1,000 for individual filings and this money is a 100% tax credit. What does this mean? If you donate $1000 to fund G.R.A.C.E., your taxes will be reduced by $1000. When we pay taxes, a large portion of that goes to fund public schools. So you can either help families who are struggling financially but would like to send their kids to Catholic schools or you can fund public schools through your taxes. There is nothing wrong with funding public schools through taxes, but given the choice I'd much rather send my money to Catholic schools. I went to a Catholic elementary school and not only was it great formation as far as from a faith perspective, but Catholic schools are proven to be academically superior to public schools. I know this to be true from personal experience. I learned more in 5th grade at my Catholic elementary school than I did in all of middle school. In fact, I usually say that Middle School made me dumber. Georgia passed a law in 2008 to make G.R.A.C.E possible. Very few states have laws similar to Georgia's law. If your state does have a law similar to the one in Georgia, find out if you have a similar opportunity in your state. There is much more information about G.R.A.C.E at their website. I will post the site below. Please take some time to read more about G.R.A.C.E on the website and consider making a 100% tax deductable donation to help out Catholic youth realize their academic and faith growing potential. Please spread the word about this wonderful cause. Thank you and God bless!