Monday, December 19, 2011

Is Rick Santorum Catholic?

Some Ron Paul supporters are questioning the faith and pro-life credentials of Rick Santorum.  Here are just a few comments taken from Rick Santorum’s Facebook page.

1.) Sylvia  You sir, are no CATHOLIC. Shame on you!
2.) Sylvia  Pro life???????? You gotta be kidding. We are in so much trouble. Ron Paul help us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3.) Jonathan  he's anti god, anti love and he doesnt care if the old or poor has heating
4.) Scott  ‎@Michael Yeah he's a great catholic if youre an american. but if youre muslim, hide your family. He's become just as big of a disgrace to the faith on the right, as pelosi has become to the left.
Sorry, but it had to be said.

Where do I even begin?  First of all, I have nothing against Ron Paul personally.  I disagree with some of his political views, but he seems a like a decent human being.  However, some of his rabid followers and supporters are simply crazy.  I believe the above comments only further confirm this conclusion.  Let me address each of the comments above very briefly.

1.) Sylvia, who are you to say that Rick Santorum is not Catholic?  Was he not baptized into the Catholic faith?  Does he no longer attend mass or profess a belief in Catholicism?  Your statement is untrue.  Rick Santorum is a very faithful Catholic who frequently attends mass, and it is very evident that his faith is a very important part of his life.  It would be one thing to say that in your opinion a couple of his political policies may not be consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.  I would disagree with that assessment, but you would be free to your opinion.  However, to say that the man is not Catholic is both insulting and flat out wrong!  Shame on you, Sylvia, for your false accusation against of Rick Santorum. 

2.) Rick Santorum is pro-life.  I really shouldn’t even have to address this because he has been so clear and outspoken about pro-life issues, but for Sylvia’s sake I will say a few words.  In fact, Rick Santorum is the one presidential candidate that time and again brings up pro-life issues in debates, in town hall meetings, at crisis pregnancy centers, and virtually everywhere he goes.  He is a pro-life champion.  It really is ridiculous to question his pro-life credentials.  Even Rick Santorum’s greatest critics will acknowledge that the man is passionately pro-life.  The plea for Ron Paul to help us really sounds desperate.  It almost sounds like this lady worships Ron Paul.  I hear this a lot from Ron Paul supporters; Ron Paul is the most pro-life candidate because he delivered over 4000 babies.  I think it’s wonderful that he delivered so many babies, and I don’t question that Ron Paul is pro-life, but the fact that he delivered babies does not make him pro-life.  There are  abortion doctors that also deliver babies.  Does that make them pro-life?  Rick Santorum is a father of 7 children.  To me, that is the most clear indication that a man is pro-life.  What are the candidate's policies and how will those policies help protect life?  Ron Paul thinks these issues should be resolved by the state, but Rick Santorum believes that no state has the right to deny any person the right to life.  Which of those beliefs and policies is more pro-life?  Rick Santorum is clearly the most pro-life candidate in this Republican Presidential primary.  

3.) Ok, this one doesn’t even warrant a response.  Next.

4.) Scott is all over the place.  Let me try to respond to each of his points individually.  First, Scott suggests that Santorum is a great Catholic if you are American.  This comment makes absolutely no sense.  I guess I would say to Scott that I am an American, and I believe Santorum to be a good and faithful Catholic.  I am not sure that the fact that I am American has anything to do with it, but other than the fact that his comment makes no sense I don’t really have anything else to say.  Then Scott says that if you are a Muslim, hide your family.  This is just a ridiculous statement that once again makes no sense whatsoever.  Is he suggesting that you are either American or Muslim?  I don’t get it.  I happen to be a Christian living in America, but there are hundreds of thousands of Muslims that are also Americans.  Additionally, it is absolutely ridiculous to say that Muslim families must hide in fear of Rick Santorum.  He has no hatred or agenda against peaceful Muslims.  He is very concerned about the radical element of Islam, which is determined to do any and everything to destroy and kill us who they label as infidels.  The fact that Rick Santorum is aware of this threat and steadfast in protecting the citizens of the United States does not in any way suggest that he hates Muslims.  Rick Santorum believes in the freedom of all people to freely practice their religion.  Lastly, Scott attempts to compare the faith of Rick Santorum to Nancy Pelosi.  This comparison is so off base.  Rick Santorum does not defiantly, openly, and publicly state false beliefs and statements about Catholicism in direct conflict with the USCCB on the foundational teachings of the Catholic Church unlike Pelosi.  Pelosi actively promotes abortion, gay ‘marriage’, and other anti-Christian positions despite the very clear teachings of the Catholic Church against these fundamental issues.  She promotes these things while at the same time trying to justify her evil positions as ‘catholic’ positions.  Pelosi dangerously tries to mislead Catholics and all voters, and she misrepresents the teachings of the Catholic Church even on the most important issues such as abortion and marriage.  Rick Santorum does none of the above.  It is so refreshing to have a Catholic politician like Rick Santorum who actually believes in the essential teachings of the Catholic Church and strives to live a Catholic life both privately and publicly.
I have no problem with people who disagree about a candidate’s political positions.  However, it upsets me greatly when people make such false and completely ridiculous statements about a candidate’s faith.  I find it amusing that Rick Santorum, who is the most consistent and passionate pro-life social conservative, is being criticized by some as not being pro-life.  Rick Santorum is a faithful Catholic who actually believes in and promotes the essential teachings of the Catholic faith, unlike many politicians who tout their Catholic faith despite actively promoting agendas that are in direct conflict of essential teachings of the Catholic faith.  My prayers go out to Rick Santorum as he continues his candidacy for the President of the United States.  My God bless him and his family throughout this campaign.  Rick Santorum is a trustworthy, social conservative family man, and I am praying that if it is God’s will that he will be our next President.

God bless,


Monday, December 12, 2011

Political Endorsement: The Case for Rick Santorum

I have been paying very close attention to the Republican Presidential Primary nomination process over the past year.  I have watched virtually all of the presidential debates.  I have researched the history and positions of most of the candidates.  I take my civic duty of voting very seriously.  If you have read any of my previous political themed blog posts, you certainly know that I do NOT support the current President of the United States.  President Obama has led the country in a very bad and wrong direction.  I disagree most passionately and strongly on President Obama’s social agenda, but I also believe that his economic and foreign policies have been detrimental and even dangerous for our country.  That being said, I am hoping the American people elect one of the Republican candidates to become the next President of the United States in 2012.  So who do I endorse and support, and how did I come to that conclusion?

I am endorsing Rick Santorum for President of the United States!

Rick Santorum presidential announcement

Four years ago I supported Mike Huckabee, and I was hopeful that he would run again.  However, when he decided to stay at Fox News and continue his awesome show, Huckabee, I knew that I needed to take a serious look at the other candidates.  Fairly early in the process, I had a strong feeling that Rick Santorum would be my choice.  Why have I chosen to support Rick Santorum, and why do I encourage you to support Rick Santorum?  Let me list my top 10 reasons.

1) Rick Santorum is a man of character.
2) Rick Santorum is trustworthy.
3) Rick Santorum is a champion of pro-life and pro-family issues
      Outside of the candidate’s character and trustworthiness, the most important issues to me when deciding on which candidate to support are his positions on social issues; most notably on issues of life and family.  I believe that these are the most important issues, and I want a candidate that not only votes pro-life and pro-family, but someone who is a champion of these causes.  Rick Santorum does not only say that he is pro-life and pro-family, he actively and passionately works to uphold these most basic Christian values.  He lives these values.  He is constantly talking about these issues when many other candidates would rather talk about the economy.  For social conservatives such as me, no other candidate matches the passion and resolve of Rick Santorum.  He will fight for the rights of the unborn, children with special needs, the elderly, and everyone in between.  Below are a couple of powerful videos.  You will see that these issues are more than just issues that Rick Santorum checks off to get some votes.

Rick Santorum debates partial birth abortion bill in Senate in 1998

Rick Santorum talking about his special needs daughter, Bella

4) Rick Santorum is a proven leader
5) Rick Santorum is authentic. 
       Rick Santorum speaks the truth, whether it is politically correct or not; popular or not.  A rare trait these days, especially in politics!
6) Rick Santorum is concerned about the poor and less fortunate
      Conservatives are often accused of caring only about the rich and ignoring the needs of the poor.  In some cases and with some conservatives, this criticism is a valid.  However, Rick Santorum is concerned about the poor and his policies reflect that.  He is the only republican candidate talking about how to help people who do not have a college education and stressing the breakdown of the family as a significant cause of poverty.  His economic policy to zero out corporate tax on manufactures and his desire to bring good paying manufacturing jobs back home for unskilled workers is unique in this republican primary field.  He will also push for policies that promote the family, and encourage stability of families by promoting traditional marriage.
7)Rick Santorum is knowledgeable about the issues and has realistic solutions to the problems we face.
      Rick Santorum is well known for his depth of knowledge and passion on social issues.  However, he is also a very strong fiscal conservative who also has a great deal of knowledge about national security and the dangers we face from within and outside of our country. 
8) Rick Santorum is a consistent conservative
        Rick Santorum has been and continues to be consistent in his policy positions.  While I believe that a person will make mistakes, can learn from them, and can change their opinion on certain issues, a lack of consistency does bring into question the trustworthiness of the candidate and the motives for their stated positions.  Rick Santorum has not wavered in his conservative beliefs, and that consistency brings forth a sense of assurance and trustworthiness that not all of the other candidates possess.
9) Rick Santorum is a faithful Catholic 
       A politician’s faith may not be the most important deciding factor, but a candidate’s faithfulness to their religion and the way they live their lives says a lot about their character.  Rick Santorum is a faithful Catholic, who not only goes to church on Sundays but it is said he tries to make it to daily mass, who lives out his life as best he can according to the beliefs of the Catholic faith he professes and believes.  It is actually very rare these days to find Catholic politicians who actually believe and promote the teachings of the Catholic Church.  Have you seen some of the things that “catholic” Nancy Pelosi has said and the things she has tried to push?  Rick Santorum will fight for the values of faithful Christians, and that is important.    
10) Rick Santorum can beat Barak Obama
      Rick Santorum is a polar opposite of Barak Obama.  Rick Santorum offers ideas of real, positive change.  He can and will win if the people who share his values unite in support of Rick Santorum.  

The Iowa Caucuses are just a few short weeks away.  Rick Santorum is still fairly low in the polls.  If you base your vote on public opinion polls, you will likely not embrace Rick Santorum.  If however, you are like me and vote for the man or woman that best reflects your values and whom you believe the best qualified to be Commander in Chief, I believe that you will likely come to the same conclusion as I have that Rick Santorum is your candidate.  I am not sure that I believe in these polls anyway.  Who are they asking?  I know I’ve never been asked who I support in one of these polls.  These next few weeks are critical for Rick Santorum.  He has spent far more time and worked far harder than any other candidate in Iowa, and for him to have a realistic chance of winning the nomination he must do well in Iowa.  That is why I am asking you to go to to learn more about Rick Santorum and his policy positions.  It is common knowledge that he has not raised much money.  Unfortunately, to be successful in politics it requires money to get the message out to as many people as possible.  He is making a big push this week to raise $250,000, and if you can provide financial support that would be a huge boost to his campaign.  However, even if you are not able to support Rick Santorum financially there are several other ways to support him.  For volunteer opportunities, please visit  I like several candidates in the Republican Presidential Primary field, but I believe in Rick Santorum and trust that he is the best man for the highest office.  I hope you will join me in supporting Rick Santorum.  He is an underdog, but he is also a fighter.  Please don’t give up on Rick Santorum.  He will not give up on you and your values.  Let’s nominate the best candidate this election.  Let’s join together to help Rick Santorum become the next President of the United States!

God bless,


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Book Reflections: The Problem of Pain

C.S. Lewis continues his defense and explanation of Christianity in his book, "The Problem of Pain", by addressing a common difficulty all of us experience; pain and suffering. Many unbelievers point to pain and suffering in the world as proof that a loving God does not exist. Pain and suffering can even lead believers to start to question their belief in a loving God. On the surface it may appear to be contradictory that a loving God would allow suffering in the world, but this leads us to even deeper questions and contemplation. As a former atheist himself, C.S. Lewis understands the thought process of many unbelievers, and therefore he is very good at addressing common objections to Christianity in a very organized and thought-provoking way. We will probably never fully understand why there is so much pain and suffering in this world, but C.S. Lewis does a good job explaining how and why we experience pain, and how it actually is further proof that God does in fact exist.

When Lewis was an atheist, he pointed to all the evil, pain, and suffering in the world as proof that a loving God did not exist. The question he failed to ask himself was why if there is and has always been pain and suffering in the world would people since the beginning believe in a loving God? Could it just be that they are ignorant and unreasonable? Lewis explored this question and came to the conclusion that it would be an error to reply that our ancestors were ignorant. However, the reality still remains that pain exists. So what is the Christian's explanation for pain?

Christians believe in the omnipotence of God. This means that God has the power to do all things. If God could do anything and everything and he is all good, wouldn't he wish all his creatures to be perfectly happy? His creatures are not perfectly happy, so does this mean that God is not all good or not all powerful? It might seem this is a logical deduction, but upon further contemplation and reflection we discover a different conclusion. Perfect happiness and love requires free will. This gift of free will gives us the opportunity to love, but it also opens us up to the possibility of making bad choices and abuse of our free will. An all powerful God would have the power to correct abuses of free will, but such a world would deny our freedom to love by making evil an impossibility. So the fact that we are not perfectly happy here on earth does NOT deny the omnipotence of God, but is proof of his gift to us of freedom to choose to love or not to love. God has the power to deny us this great freedom, but has chosen not to do so that we might experience love.

If we have accepted that God is all powerful, is he then not all good? God is all good. You might ask how this can be? In one of the later chapters, Lewis talks about the fall of man; the story of Adam and Eve. Because of their disobedience to God, we are all stained with original sin; all of us except our Lord Jesus and his mother Mary. God made all things good. The free choice of Adam and Eve to question the goodness of God allowed evil to enter our world. Evil is not a creation of God, but a consequence of the free will of the first human beings to go against God's will.

Lewis goes into much more detail, but I would just like to state one more thought regarding pain and suffering. It would be wrong to suggest that pain and suffering are good in and of themselves, but it is without question that throughout history much good has come from pain and suffering. Pain and suffering presents us with an opportunity to better ourselves if we offer our suffering up to God. Many of the great conversions have been the result of the suffering of people. Jesus Christ himself suffered greatly. We are reminded every time we go to mass or any time we gaze at a crucifix of the great pain and suffering Christ endured for our salvation. Anytime we feel like our pain and suffering is too much to handle, we need only say a quick prayer and reflect on the passion of Christ and our pain will pale in comparison. Pain and suffering is a part of life, but if we respond to this pain with a loving heart we will be a better and stronger person.

I highly recommend "The Problem of Pain" for any person who struggles with the idea of suffering and for all believers who would like a greater understanding.

God bless,


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Media Review: Mass Confusion

I had been eagerly awaiting the premier of the pilot episode of Mass Confusion; Catholic TV's new sitcom starring a pair of Catholic couples and their children. The episode aired on Thanksgiving night, and is now available for viewing online. Below is the trailer for the pilot episode of Mass Confusion.

After seeing the preview, I was anxious and excited, but also a little hesitant to get my expectations up too high. Never before has Catholic TV attempted to produce a sitcom. Personally, I think it is a great idea! I think for far too long Catholics and Christians have been absent from the entertainment business. Being Catholic and being Christian is not about being a stick in the mud. As faithful Catholics and Christians we should be joyful, and our joy for life should be clear and frequently expressed for all to hear and see. We must engage the world and reach out to people where they are at, not hide from the world. We don't have to and we shouldn't evangelize in a monotone voice. Who wants to listen to boring radio or watch boring TV? Nobody! Unfortunately "Catholic" or "Christian" media has often been given the label, and often times rightly so, of boring or of poor quality. Just because a show has Christian values should not mean that the show lacks creativity, entertainment, or quality. It is possible to have an entertaining and funny show that at the same time promotes Christian values, but unfortunately the examples are few and far between. Why I remained hesitant about fully embracing this new show before seeing it is because I've never seen an entertaining and funny sitcom based on two Catholic families that faithfully practice their faith. It is a great idea and I want to support it, but the stars of the show are radio personalities, not professional actors, and they were basically working with no budget. Would this show look amateurish or would this look like a sitcom you might see on any given weekday night on NBC? I was anxious to find out.

I am happy to report that the pilot episode of Mass Confusion met and in many ways exceeded my expectations. I found it to be very entertaining and funny. The content was great and the plot was good. It didn't come off as a "Catholic" sitcom, but it was an entertaining sitcom that incorporated the Catholic life without coming off as preachy. The acting was actually much better than I anticipated for people who are not professional actors. The only critique that I had, and I mentioned this observation to one of the main actors Greg Willits, was that at times the audio wasn't the best; especially on a couple of dialogue scenes. Greg responded to me and acknowledged that there were some sound difficulties. Much of that had to do with the limited crew and lack of budget, but they did a very good job considering the limited resources. Despite the occasional audio problems, I saw enough in this episode to want more episodes. I think Mass Confusion is exactly the type of entertainment that families need. It is so hard to find quality family shows these days. I believe there is a big audience that wants this type of programming, but they have not ever been presented with a family friendly show that is actually entertaining and funny. I believe in this sitcom and I am confident if more people see it that they will want to see more too. However, it will not be a success without my and your help. Unless a great number of people watch this episode and contact the people at Catholic TV asking for more episodes, this sitcom will end after just one episode. Don't let that happen. I am asking each of my readers to do the following.

1) Watch the episode of Mass Confusion. Watch it multiple times if you love it like I do.
2) Share the link to the episode with all of your family and friends. If you are on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, those are great places to share. If you are not on those sites, old fashioned emails work just fine.
3) Contact Catholic TV and express to them how much you enjoyed the show and that you are really hoping for more episodes. This is the kind of television that you have been looking for and this is the type of programming that families yearn for and need.
4) Pray for the success of Mass Confusion and other Catholic and Christian media.

There is very little entertainment options for families these days, but we are all partially to blame for that. If we would stop watching all these silly reality shows and other garbage and actually support good family friendly entertainment when it is presented to us such as Mass Confusion, we can and should expect more of the same type of TV programming. So again I ask you to do the four simple steps listed above.

After you have watched the episode, I encourage you to come back to this site and leave your comments. What did you think about Mass Confusion? What were your favorite parts? Who is your favorite character? Does anything in the episode bring back memories or remind you of yourself? Did you notice the sound issues or any other problems? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks and God bless!

Watch the Mass Confusion Pilot episode here:

Contact Catholic TV:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Reflections: Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series

In case you were not already aware, I am a college football fanatic.  It is my favorite sport to watch.  Every fall weekend I am excited to watch college football.  I love virtually everything about college football.  There is one little problem with college football however, and that is the Bowl Championship Series or the BCS.  Fans from across the country argue every year over the BCS and what teams deserve to be in the BCS bowl games.  I agree that the BCS is not perfect, so I was very interested to read what these sports writers from Yahoo had to say.  What makes the BCS so bad and what playoff system would solve the problem so many fans have with the college football postseason?  I was hoping that this book would have all the answers.

Well, unfortunately this book does not have all the answers.  In fact, as far as I’m concerned it only brought up more questions.  I believe that the writers could have done a much better job making a case against the BCS and I found the tone of the book off-putting.  I guess I should have expected as much with the title, but it was clearly evident that the writers were angry; furious even at the BCS.  I got the clear impression that the BCS is one of the worst institutions in the world.  Worse and more corrupt even than the United Nations.  I understand the frustration, but I believe it hurt the credibility and effectiveness of the argument against the BCS.

I really wanted to love this book.  That’s the sad thing.  These writers were preaching to the crowd.  I wanted to support the destruction of the BCS and a move toward a playoff.  There are several things in this book that I found I was in agreement with the writers. 1) The BCS clearly discriminates against smaller schools.  It is virtually impossible for a school from a smaller conference to win the National Title and it is extremely difficult to even make it to one of the BCS Bowl games.  Teams from smaller schools have to go undefeated to even have a chance to play in a BCS bowl game.  2) I learned that most schools actually lose money when they go to a bowl game.  This is unacceptable.  Making it to a bowl game should be a reward, not a penalty.  Also, schools should not be required to sell a certain number of tickets to these bowl games or be forced to pay the tickets they are unable to sell.  This practice is ludicrous.  3) The authors endorse a 16 team playoff.  I like the idea, but believe it is highly unlikely.  I would be happy with an 8 team playoff, but I tend to agree that 16 would be the best solution.  I just have a feeling it won’t ever happen.  4) The writers made some fairly effective arguments to some of the common defenses that people in favor of the BCS use to justify not having a playoff.  Most of those who defend the current system have very weak positions that I’m not even sure they truly believe.  5) If it is truly just about the money, the writers make a fairly good argument that a playoff would bring in more money and arguably much more money.  Seems like a playoff is an obvious solution right?

I did find a couple of inconsistencies throughout the book.  I also was confused at times.  The writers were railing against bowl games in general and often used the absolute worst bowl games to defend their position.  Ok.  That has nothing to do with the BCS.  I thought they were really making a case against all bowls, but then in their proposal they suggested keeping the bowls in addition to the 16 team playoff.  So wait, let me get this straight.  You guys just finished telling me how awful the bowls are and that most of the bowls actually lose money, then you turn around and say that you support bowls in addition to the playoffs?  This contradiction I found very hard to look past.  It left me feeling like the writers did not fully think through their plan and that they were just so unhappy with the way things are now that they didn’t care if their plan contradicted much of what they just said was wrong.  I love the bowl games personally.  I might be one of the few, but I really enjoy seeing some of the smaller bowl games.  I do think that they have added too many bowls, but I enjoy the games.  I’d be happy to have bowl games in addition to a playoff, but it just seemed like a huge contradiction when the writers suggested this after basically ripping apart the bowl system.

I read this book as a college football fan.  I don’t care about the financial implications.  I don’t care about the bowl executives and who gets rich.  I don't care so much about TV contracts.  I don’t care so much about the politics in college football. I know that all this goes on behind the scenes and is what is truly running the decisions surrounding college football, but I don’ t care about all that.  I am a fan of college football.  I enjoy watching the game on the field.  I want a system that is fair to all FBS schools and gives all schools a chance at a National Title.  If not all schools are eligible, then why are they even playing at the FBS level?  I am a Ball State University alum and I follow the Ball State football team very closely.  99 out of 100 years Ball State will not have a team capable of beating the best teams in college football.  However, there is the possibility that a senior dominated team could shock the world and go on an amazing run.  This kind of Cinderella story where a team like Ball State could make the playoffs and make a run at the National Championship is missing in college football.  It would make for a much more exciting ending to the college football season and it would be a much more fair system for all schools.  It wouldn’t diminish the regular season and actually would probably make the regular season more interesting.  I support the 16 team playoff as a fan of college football.  Although I don’t necessarily like the approach of these writers and question the effectiveness of their arguments, we are in agreement that the BCS is not the best system.  College football fans deserve a better ending to the college football season.  I am hopeful that one day there will be a playoff in college football.  Until then, I will enjoy watching college football and argue with anyone who is willing to listen over who I think deserves to play in the National Championship and other BCS games every year.  I will continue to follow my Ball State Cardinals even though I know going into the season that our best hope is that we go to the Bowl.  God bless College Football.
Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Penn State Scandal

I listen to sports talk radio every weekday morning, so I am always aware of the top sports stories of the day.  However, the recent child sex abuse scandal at Penn State has been a national news story extending beyond the sports world.  I have heard a wide range of opinions.  There is no question that this is a very disgusting and sad story that brings out very intense and real emotions from people.  I have heard people call in to radio shows who had been abused as a child themselves.  I have heard Penn State alums call into radio shows with mixed emotions.  I have seen students riot in defense of their ex longtime coach Paterno.   Their anger is misguided.  While I don’t believe we should be vilifying Paterno, rioting in support of Paterno is just foolish and ignorant.  Paterno was fired as head football coach of Penn State this week; an action that when considering all the information in the Grand Jury Report had to be taken for the betterment of the University.  College kids often do dumb things that they later regret, so I hope that these students that have been rioting can step back and take a look at the bigger picture and realize that their actions are not justified.  There are far too many different areas that could be discussed regarding this Penn State scandal, but I want to focus on how we can process this story and take it as an opportunity to educate ourselves and others about the issue of child molestation, and how everyone can better react and respond when they have knowledge of such a situation.

What Happened?

In case you are unfamiliar with the Penn State Scandal, you can find the Grand Jury Report on the Sandusky case HERE.  One word of warning, the report is at times graphic and extremely disturbing.  There are 8 victims listed in the report, but there is reason to believe there may have been many more victims.  Most of the talk has been surrounding the story of victim #2, because witnessing the abuse was a Penn State Football grad assistant named McQueary.  McQueary was disturbed at the sight and called his dad.  His dad advised him to leave immediately and come home.  The next morning McQueary notified head football coach Joe Paterno.  Paterno passed the information on to his superior, the Athletic Director at Penn State.  Apparently the AD sat on the information and failed to report to the police this criminal activity.  Paterno failed to follow up on the situation.  There was known child sex abuse that failed to get reported to the police; therein lays the great controversy.

Where is the Compassion?

I think far too many people hearing and reading about this story are looking for as many people as possible to vilify.  There is no doubt that many people used very poor judgment at Penn State and those people should and are now being held accountable for their actions or inactions, but I am more interested in finding solutions to addressing the very serious problem of child molestation than I am in finding people to vilify.  I think that many look at this story with hatred in their heart.  I admit that the story is very frustrating and sad, and that it is natural for us to feel angry.  In fact, I believe we all should feel some sense of righteous anger, because there are so many innocent kids who are victims to a terrible crime, and there were adults with knowledge of the situation that could have done something to stop the abuse.  However, we must not harbor hatred in our heart for the people involved regardless of their actions or inactions.  I understand that this can sometimes be difficult, but harboring anger only makes the problem worse for everyone including ourselves.  We should have compassion first and foremost for the victims.  No child should have to be subjected to what these poor kids were subjected to, and we must not forget the victims in the story.  We should have compassion for the victims’ families.  We should have compassion for the players on the football team, who through no fault of their own have had to endure a torturous week of media scrutiny and have lost their football coach.  I also believe that we should have compassion for those at Penn State who displayed terrible moral judgment.  Their failure to report the incident to police seems unfathomable, but they still are human beings.  We also must pray for Mr. Sandusky who has very serious and sick problems.  No question that what he did was terrible.  Terrible!  It is one of the worst acts that any person can do, and it was not a single act but a series of acts.  No sane person can understand why he would do what he did.  However, he also is a human being and I do not believe it is productive for us to wish this man damned to Hell even if it appears to many that his actions warrant that justice.  In the end, God is the final judge.  We should pray for this man.  This in no way does or should diminish the compassion we have for the victims and their families.  We must also pray that the victims receive the support that they need from family, friends and the entire community.  With all this being said, I do think that there is some irony in the public’s reaction to this story. 

The Irony of the Public’s Reaction

I do not want to minimize the very real tragedy of this scandal or the severity of the allegations, and I want to emphasize that the victims in this case have my full support and deepest sympathies, but I contend that we accept child abuse every day in this country because we accept abortion, the killing of innocent children in the womb, as a legal “choice” for pregnant women.  Somehow the killing of a child is not nearly as disturbing to the majority of the public as the abuse of children who have been born.  I guess it is much easier to accept and understand an injustice when we can see a face and acknowledge the humanity of the victim.  Personally, I find both extremely disturbing.  Doctors who perform the abortions are seen by many as “compassionate” to the women who find themselves in difficult situations.  We can discuss the similarities between abortion and child abuse another day, but I did want to mention the irony in how we think of these two issues completely differently in our society. 

Lessons Learned

At the end of the day, there is no turning back the clock.  What has been done has been done.  However, the future is ahead of us, and we can learn from this tragically sad story.  We can let this story ignite hatred in our hearts, or we can look at this story with a compassionate heart.  We can see the terrible mismanagement of this situation as a chance to condemn people, or we can use it as an opportunity to educate ourselves on the appropriate response to sexual abuse of children and reflect on how we would react if we were in a similar situation.  It is easy to say now from the outside and after the fact that we would do the right thing to immediately stop the abuse, but are we absolutely certain that we would?   Sometimes the right thing to do is not always clear to us especially in the moment.  That is why it is so important that we property form our conscience.  Hopefully, with a properly formed conscience we will know what the right thing to do is when we encounter such situations.  We can become better people and a better society because of this story.  The only way we can accomplish this is if we look at this story with a compassionate heart and with a determined resolve to take the news of this story to motivate positive change in a messed up world.  My thoughts and prayers go out to all victims of child molestation, especially the victims in this case.  May God grant them peace.

God bless,


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mississippi’s Vote on Amendment 26 Could Be Historic

On Tuesday, November 8, voters in the state of Mississippi will have the opportunity to vote on Amendment 26.  So what is the Amendment 26 and what is the significance of this vote?

Amendment 26: What it Says

Amendment 26: What it Means

That all human persons, no matter what stage in their development or the circumstances of their conception, will be protected and respected equally.  For those concerned about the mention of cloning, please understand that this does not mean that cloning is endorsed or encouraged.  In fact, Amendment 26 would in  effect ban human cloning.  For an explanation of why the word cloning was included in the Amendment, read HERE.

Amendment 26: Why This Would be Historic

Mississippi would be the first state to adopt a Personhood Amendment.  Amendment 26 would effectively end the practice of abortion in Mississippi.  It may help to eventually lead to the overturning of Roe vs. Wade.  Mississippi was one of the last states to abolish slavery and give black skinned people the equal rights that they deserve.  Ironically, just a few decades after the civil rights movement, Mississippi is now widely considered one of the most pro-life states, and if Amendment 26 is passed, Mississippi would be leading the way to addressing the greatest civil rights issue of our current day; abortion.

Amendment 26: Answering the Critics

Of course when there is something as important as defining the term "person" and taking action to protect the most vulnerable children in the womb, there will be fierce criticism from opponents.  They know that this Amendment could have far reaching consequences.  Those who support abortion don't want to think about when life begins or at what moment a human life deserves rights.  The common tactic to dissuade voters on Amendment 26 is to use scare tactics.  They use the same scare tactics to try to dissuade pro life people to pray at abortion clinics.  I have bad news for the abortion supporters; pro-lifers are here to stay and we are procreating; we actually celebrate and welcome life.  Below are some of the arguments against Amendment 26 and the rebuttals to those baseless arguments.

For more information on this most important vote in Mississippi on Amendment 26, please visit this website: VOTE YES TO 26

If you or someone you know lives in the state of Mississippi, please educate them on this issue and urge them to vote YES on Amendment 26 on Tuesday.  Forward them a link to my blog.  Share this post on your Facebook or Twitter.  Please help me get the word out.  We can end abortion in this country.  Amendment 26 is a great start to accomplishing that goal.  Thank you for educating yourself on this most important issue. I will leave you with a video of an OBGYN in Mississippi who supports Amendment 26.

God bless,


Friday, October 28, 2011

Rick Santorum: A Family Man

Check out this powerful video.

Division Among Christians

Recently a friend of mine who video blogs at The Divine Science conducted an interview with a Baptist pastor of a small Christian church.  The topic centered on the division of Christians specifically over the issue of the “Occupy Wall Street” protests.  If you are interested in hearing the interview, you can find it HERE.  I thought the interview brought up some interesting points, but I would like to offer my perspective on the division among Christians in general and then address the division of Christians on political issues.

There is no question that there is division among Christians.  There are numerous reasons for this fact and there are many different forms of division.  Unfortunately, there will always be division among Christians because Christians are human beings.  The differences between different Christian denominations often center on theological beliefs.  However, differences also exist between Christians who profess the same creed and these differences can be deep and vast.  Although there will always be some division, I believe that we as Christians can and need to be much more united.  In this post I hope to first address some of the causes of division and also offer some possible solutions.

In order for Christians to effectively address this issue of division in the Church, we must first acknowledge there is a problem, identify the problem, understand the causes and roots of the problem, and then search for solutions.  We know that there is a problem with division among Christians.  The question is how did this division occur and why does it continue to occur?  For several centuries there was only one Christian Church; the Catholic Church.  Undoubtedly, the Catholic Church has always been made up of many different individuals who have unique perspectives and thoughts.  However, there was one Christian theology and one Church structure in place to help unite the faithful.  After the Protestant Reformation, the Church split and new Churches were formed with new beliefs and new theologies.  Then it split again, and again, and again.  Individuals who disagreed with any of the teachings of the Church simply created their own Church which better reflected their own personal beliefs.  This has led to the very dangerous idea of moral relativism which is pervasive today.  Today, thousands of new Churches are formed each year and in the United States alone there are over 200 different Christian denominations.  Within those 200+ different Christian denominations there are individuals who don’t even agree with some of the beliefs of the Church in which they are a member.

If we are to unite, we must have universal areas of agreement.  The following are issues in which Christians cannot disagree.  Let’s start at the very beginning.  There is a God.  If you do not believe that there is a God, you are not a Christian.  Secondly, God is the creator of all things.  If you do not believe this, you are not a Christian.  If we wish to be called Christian, we must acknowledge that there is a natural moral law or truth.  If you do not believe that Jesus was both God and man, and that he is our savior who died for our sins so that we might have eternal life, then you are not a Christian.  If you do not believe that The Bible is the eternal word of God, you are not a Christian.  I would also argue that if you do not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity, a description of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, then you are not Christian.  If you do not believe in Heaven and Hell, then you are not Christian.  These beliefs must form the foundation of all people to claim to be Christian.  Without a foundation of beliefs, there is no possibility of unity.  

I could write so much more on the division of Christians, but in attempt to keep this post somewhat short let me jump to the issue of division among Christians in politics.  The reason that there is division among Christians in political issues such as the role of government and the best way to serve the poor is because Jesus never endorsed specific political policy or form of government.  Jesus was not a socialist as many liberal Christians would like you to believe.  Jesus was also not a capitalist despite what many conservative Christians would like you to believe.  Jesus was not political.  When asked specific political policy issues such as taxes, Jesus remained vague in his response, “give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's.” It is perfectly acceptable for Christians to disagree on certain political issues so long as that the goal and intent remains the same; to better society.  Certain issues which have become political such as abortion, which is clearly against moral law, there can be no disagreement among Christians.  However, how best to serve the poor or what is the best tax policy are areas in politics where Christians in good conscience may disagree.
In regards to the recent protests against Wall Street and millionaires, how should Christians respond?  Should Christians support these protests or reject them?  I think that question is too broad.  Should Christian pastors encourage their faithful to take to the streets and support the political objectives of these protests?  I don’t think so, but I think Christians can support certain aspects of these protests without supporting the protests as a whole.  I also think Christians can speak out against much of what is going on at these protests and the problems they are causing.  In my opinion, these “Occupy Wall Street” protests are causing much more problems than they are good.  I personally don’t support most of the political objectives that these protests seek, but I don’t necessarily have a problem with some of the intentions of the protests, if these are genuine intentions, such as a concern for the poor.  I certainly support the people’s right to protest so long as they are lawful and peaceful which has not always been the case.  I just happen to disagree with these protestors on the solutions they are proposing to the problems facing our country. 

Your comments and thoughts are encouraged and welcome.  Simply click on the comment button below.  Please note that any comments that are profane or do not add to the discussion will be deleted.

God Bless,


Monday, October 10, 2011

RIP - Aunt Mary

I have sad news to report today.  Last night at 10:00 PM, I learned that my Aunt Mary, my Godmother, passed away.  She had been fighting ovarian cancer for 4 years.  The family knew that Mary's time on earth was coming to an end so this was not unexpected, but it is still a hard pill to swallow.  It is never to say goodbye to a loved one.  However, our faith keeps us from despair.  We believe in the afterlife, and have hope that through the mercy of God we will be together one day with our departed loved ones in Heaven.  I imagine that the loss of my Aunt Mary is especially hard on my Grandparents who have lost their oldest daughter and have spent the last several weeks with Aunt Mary as her health deteriorated.  Please keep my family in your prayers, but also keep my Aunt Mary in your prayers as well.  She was a wonderful woman, but like all of us she was not without faults; most notably her falling away from the Church.  Please pray for my Aunt Mary's soul, that God have mercy on her.  In memory of my Aunt Mary I am posting the latest picture I have of her.  I am also going to include a link below and on my sidebar for the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance.  This is an organization that Aunt Mary joined once she found out she had ovarian cancer.  If you feel so inclined, please visit their website and support this great cause.

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.  May her soul, and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Amen.

Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance

God bless,


Monday, October 3, 2011

Book Reflections: The Great Divorce

C.S. Lewis wrote “The Great Divorce” in response to William Blake’s book “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.”  This is a very quick read, but it is filled with spiritual content worthy of some serious reflection.  C.S. Lewis clearly states in his prologue that this is a story about the afterlife and should not be read as if it is a factual account of the afterlife, but that does not mean that there are not moral and theological truths in this book.  I think all people have a curiosity about the afterlife.   Christian denominations have different beliefs about the afterlife especially regarding the idea of Purgatory, and C.S. Lewis acknowledges this in his story but does not let it become a divisive issue.  Although C.S. Lewis himself was not Catholic, he seems to be very open to the Catholic teachings including the Catholic belief in Purgatory.  C.S. Lewis suggests in this story that the Grey city is either Hell or Purgatory depending on where one ends up.  The great lesson in this story is that in order to reach Heaven, we must reject Hell and all those earthly attachments that prevent us from completely loving God and reaching Heaven.  C.S. Lewis is a master at stimulating the readers’ imaginations and getting the reader to really reflect on Christian beliefs.  He does this through fictional story, but the spiritual lessons are not any less real.  He tries to avoid addressing the specific differences between Christian denominations but focuses on their similarities and I believe this is reason for his widespread popularity.  I highly recommend this book.  It is a quick read, it is thought provoking, and it is interesting.  Heaven or Hell?  Which do you choose?

For more information on the Catholic Church’s teaching on Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory please read:

God bless,


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Book Reflections: Sinner: The Catholic Guy's Funny, Feeble Attempts to Be a Faithful Catholic

About the Author:

Lino Rulli is the host of the popular radio show, The Catholic Guy, which can be heard on The Catholic Channel on Sirius/Xm.  If you have not had the pleasure of listening to Lino, do yourself a favor and tune in to his show.  A word of warning, it's not the typical Catholic radio show.  It's funny.  No seriously, Lino is hilarious.  He is going to talk about things you don't hear on other Catholic radio shows.  He is going to be honest, sometimes awkward and embarrassingly honest.  He can push the moral boundaries and occasionally may be borderline irreverent, but he speaks from the heart about issues that face most of us but most of us don't have the courage to speak about publicly.  Lino has no shame.  He airs out all his faults and failings for all the world to hear and often criticize.  He is a pioneer in Catholic radio.  I for one have great respect for this sinner named Lino Rulli.

About the Book:

Much like his radio show, Lino's book is a laugh from cover to cover, in a good way.  Like his radio show, this book is not filled with spiritual quotes and words of wisdom.  Lino prefers to evangelize in a more subtle way, by telling entertaining stories and being himself.  His comedic personality comes out in his book just like it does on the radio.  As Lino himself would probably say, this is not a Catholic book, it is not a Christian book, it's just a book.  It's a wildly entertaining book that isn't a sermon, but you don't have to look too hard to find spiritual lessons in this book.  Sometimes those lessons come from the mistakes Lino made.  As the title of the book suggests, he knows that he is a sinner.  However, he recognizes his sinfulness and frequently seeks forgiveness.  He has three chapters that I can think of dedicated to the Sacrament of Confession.  The refreshing thing about Lino is that from the very beginning he states that he believes in everything the Church teaches and believes (which is rare these days), he just struggles to live out his life as a Catholic.  We all can relate to this struggle to be holy.  All of us are sinners.  What makes Lino such an effective voice in Catholic media is that he knows how to reach the younger people.  The teen - 30s crowd.  This is not to say older folks can't learn something from Lino, but Lino's blunt honesty and down to earth approach is very attractive to younger people.  Sometimes I wish that Lino would address some of the more serious issues especially the pro-life issues of abortion and euthanasia, but I guess I can't really blame him.  How in the world do you make comedy out of abortion?  As a Respect Life Coordinator at my parish, I wish I could attract young people to the very important pro-life issues in a way that Lino attracts the youth.  Maybe he can give me some pointers one day.  There are too many great stories in this book to even begin to list.  I recommend this book to Catholics, non-Catholic Christians, and non-believers.  All people should be able to read and enjoy this book.  Don't believe me?  His book has been endorsed by the likes of Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, and the controversial radio personality Howard Stern.  I give this book the highest rating I can think of; 5 noses!  If you don't get that joke, start listening to Lino on the Catholic Channel.  Oh and one more thing, read this book!

Sinner: The Catholic Guy's Funny, Feeble Attempts to Be a Faithful Catholic


The Catholic Channel

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Reflections: The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II

The End and the Beginning: Pope John Paul II -- The Victory of Freedom, the Last Years, the Legacy is George Weigel's follow up to the biography on Pope John Paul II he wrote over a decade ago; Witness to Hope.  This book is over 500 pages, but that is half the size of Witness to Hope.  I think that this was a good read, but if you have already read Witness to Hope there is not much new in this book.  This book was written because new information had been obtained since the writing of Witness to Hope in regards to the Communists attempts to bring down Pope John Paul II.  I found some of these stories very interesting.  One thing I learned is that there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than most people realize.  The Pope has a very difficult and huge responsibility.  No matter how faithful a person is, someone will be quick to criticize any action or inaction even people within the Church.  Pope John Paul II is undoubtedly one of the great people of the 20th Century.  He inspired millions of people of all faiths.  This book can get a little tedious at times, and if you want a more complete biography of Pope John Paul II I would recommend that you first read Witness to Hope.  However, this book is a good supplement to Witness to Hope.  Just make sure you set aside plenty of time.  I wouldn't say it's a book you can't put down, but I would recommend to people who want to learn as much as they can about Pope John Paul II, and those who are interested in the inner workings of the Vatican.  

God Bless,


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Reflections: Bleeder: A Mystery

My dad once told me that he liked to read a novel in the summer.  Typically I read biographies, inspirational books, historical books, political books, or religious books.  I rarely find time to read novels.  Well I decided that I was going to read a novel on my vacation this past week.  It was a nice break from the routine.  I think I'll have to read novels more often.  I found it to be both fun and relaxing.  I didn't have to think too hard although I liked to try to solve the mystery in my head; I just read the book for enjoyment.  I chose this novel for a couple reasons.  I enjoy a good mystery and it sounded like it had a lot of Catholic themes.  This novel gives some insight on some Catholic teachings and traditions especially regarding saints, but it does so in the context of an interesting story and is not at all in your face preaching.  If you are looking for a good mystery novel to get away from the normal routine, I encourage you to check this book out.  I don't think you'll be disappointed... I must boast a little bit and say that I figured out at least half the mystery before it was fully revealed.  I'm proud of myself!  If you have a kindle and would like to read this book, send me a message and I will loan it to you for free.

Bleeder: A Mystery

God bless,


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Christian Perspective on the National Debt Crisis

The huge news of the day in this country is the national debt crisis.  No sane person can deny that the national debt is a serious problem in this country.  Our government is borrowing billions of dollars that we are unable to pay.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if this trend continues it will lead to financial disaster.  Financial disaster will lead to numerous other problems including most likely a moral decline of our society (some would say we are already experiencing this moral decline).  I would argue that the national debt is as much a moral issue as it is a financial one.  I believe that our country has finally accepted the fact that we have a problem.  The question facing the country is what we need to do about reversing this disturbing trend of increasing debt.  The answer to solving the national debt is obvious but not easy.  We have 3 options.  We can increase government revenue, cut government spending, or we can attempt to do both. Most conservatives contend that we do not have a revenue problem, but we have a spending problem and we need to make deep cuts in government spending.  Most liberals may be willing to accept some limited government spending cuts especially toward business and people considered rich or successful, but they contend that we must also raise government revenue (raise taxes).  Both sides are hesitant to suggest specific spending cuts due to political repercussions.  As soon as any spending cut proposals are offered, the other side is quick to attack.  So here we sit at a stalemate because both sides can’t agree on a solution.   The result is the American people continue to suffer the consequences.   I understand the difficulty in reaching an agreement, but I think I have some common sense thoughts and possibly even a couple solutions.

First of all, let’s take a look at why the increasing national debt is considered a crisis.  The national debt affects every citizen, but most especially the young people because they are most likely going to be forced to foot the bill.  This really irks me, because the people in government who have created this crisis will not be held responsible for their irresponsible actions.  Perhaps taxpayers aren’t completely absent of blame either; we should have been much more engaged and proactive in monitoring the spending habits of our government.  We have freedom of speech and the voting booth which provided us opportunity to make our voices heard.  We are at crisis level because we no longer have the money to pay off the debt.  

Just like the government, families must have to budget.  Responsible families do not spend money that they do not have.  As the father and head of my family, I am very conscience of our ability to pay off our debts.  Only in the most dire and extreme situations (ex. medical expenses) would I consider using my credit card if I knew we would not be able to pay the debt in full when we got the bill.  I follow this principal not because I want to be cheap, but because I want to be responsible and I know that if we start to accrue debt we will be in far worse trouble down the road.  We might get a short term benefit, but long term the family will suffer.  Sometimes there are things I would like to buy or things I would like to do, but I know that I don’t have the financial means to do so and it would hurt not just me but my entire family.  The government needs to look at the budget as families look at their budget.  They should look at taxpayers as if they were family.  If someone in your family gives you a $20 and asks you to mow their yard, would you spend that money on candy and then come back and ask for $200 so that you can buy a lawn mower?  This would be extremely insulting to the family member who gave you that money expecting you to use it to mow their yard.  Likewise, the government should not be spending taxpayer money on non-essential programs that taxpayers do not need or want, and then ask them to pay more taxes so that we can pay off the debt.  We pay taxes to the government so that they can protect our freedoms and provide security.  We are not authorizing the government a blank checkbook so that they can go on a spending spree and finance whatever special project they personally see fit.  It is not their money.  It is the taxpayer’s money and the taxpayer should decide how it is used.  There may be some well-intentioned programs that the government will have to cut.  This does not mean that these programs in and of themselves are bad, but we cannot afford to pay for all of the programs the government supports.  Not only that, but how many of these government run programs could be run more efficiently by local communities or small businesses?  The government is not the answer to all our problems, and in fact it is often the government that creates many of our problems.

We need some leaders; real leaders who are not afraid to do the right thing regardless of the political consequences.  Each side has their ideal solution, but the reality is that compromise on both sides will be necessary to reach an agreement.  What do I think we need to do to solve this national debt crisis?
1.       We need to pass a Balanced Budget Amendment.
a.       Those who oppose a balanced budget say it would be irresponsible.  I say that it is irresponsible to not have a structure in place to slow and eventually pay off the debt.  Those opposed are also concerned what a Balanced Budget Amendment would mean for programs that are not set from year to year such as unemployment benefits especially in a bad economy.  I say include rainy day funds in the budget to address these concerns.  The government does not HAVE to spend every penny they receive.
2.       Distinguish between essential and non-essential government programs. 
a.       This is probably the most difficult step to agree upon, but I think there are some criteria that can be used to help us distinguish what is essential.  Most important is the security of the citizens and the protection of our God given freedoms.  Also essential is education of our children and certain infrastructure projects.  There can be some debate about many of the other government programs, but we must prioritize where we spend money.
3.       Analyze the efficiency of all government funded programs starting with non-essential programs.
a.       The government might be well intentioned with some of the programs they fund, but some of these programs may not be efficiently run or mismanaged. 
4.       Make fair but significant cuts in government spending after careful review of all programs.
a.       We will not be able to tax our way out of this debt.  We will have to make some tough decisions, but we absolutely must make some spending cuts if we are going to have any chance of getting the debt under control.
5.       Review and reform tax laws to address any loop-holes or inconsistencies. 
a.       Some consideration should be given to eliminating some tax credits if it is determined the elimination of these credits would have minimal impact on the economy.  I would think things such as mortgage deductions on multiple homes would be an example of a credit that could be looked at as a possible elimination.

So those are my proposals.  It seems like common sense to me.  Don’t spend what you don’t have.  One thing I know for sure is that doing nothing is not an option.  My prayer is that the two sides can come together on this important issue and make some positive changes.  It is immoral to leave this huge financial burden for our children.  So what do you think?  Do you agree with me or do you have some other ideas?  Leave a comment with your thoughts.