Saturday, September 20, 2014

"[Cardinal Dolan] needs to be in a monastery under a vow of perpetual silence in reparation for the multiple public scandals that he has caused . . ."

The person who said the quote above also said, "how about his hosting Obama at the al smith dinner? his approval of giving pro abortion politicans communion? [sic"

The reason for this is because His Eminence has accepted the position of Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City.  And continues to say he will do so notwithstanding the decision by the organizers of the parade - the NYC Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization - to allow an LGBT group to march under its own banner.  Cardinal Dolan has written a blog post to explain his decision:
While a handful have been less than charitable in their reactions, I must admit that many of you have rather thoughtful reasons for criticizing the committee’s decision: you observe that the former policy was fair; you worry that this is but another example of a capitulation to an “aggressive Gay agenda,” which still will not appease their demands; and you wonder if this could make people think the Church no longer has a clear teaching on the nature of human sexuality. 
However, the most important question I had to ask myself was this: does the new policy violate Catholic faith or morals? If it does, then the Committee has compromised the integrity of the Parade, and I must object and refuse to participate or support it.
From my review, it does not. Catholic teaching is clear: “being Gay” is not a sin, nor contrary to God’s revealed morals. Homosexual actions are—as are any sexual relations outside of the lifelong, faithful, loving, lifegiving bond of a man and woman in marriage—a moral teaching grounded in the Bible, reflected in nature, and faithfully taught by the Church. 
So, while actions are immoral, identity is not! In fact, as the Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, people with same-sex attraction are God’s children, deserving dignity and respect, never to be treated with discrimination or injustice.
To the point: the committee’s decision allows a group to publicize its identity, not promote actions contrary to the values of the Church that are such an essential part of Irish culture. I have been assured that the new group marching is not promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching, but simply identifying themselves as “Gay people of Irish ancestry.” 
If the Parade Committee allowed a group to publicize its advocacy of any actions contrary to Church teaching, I’d object. As Cardinal John O’Connor remarked, we do not change the Creed—and I’d add, the Ten Commandments—to satisfy political correctness.
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. the person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense. 
2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.
Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible." This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values. 
2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"
In the group of marchers will be the following:  adulterers, pedophiles, substance abusers; gossips, homosexuals, vegans, Socialists, atheists, Blacks, children, unmarried mothers, bad cops, good cops, high school students, cutters, people with depression, people with eating disorders, thieves, women who have had an abortion, men who have taken their women to have an abortion, and whatnot.

By this same logic, marching as Grand Marshal will signal tacit approval of these people and create "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible."


Let me offer this:

Do I think the LGBT people seeking to march are trying to push some agenda?  Of course they are.  At their most benign, they want people to think that they are "just like everybody else."

However, if they have some hidden and nefarious agenda, that is, to see if they can usurp the parade or worse, have it end all together and eliminate the role of Catholicism in the holiday . . . are we to run scared and give in?

Copyright 2014 - Stephanie Richer Photography
Or is it better to have the presence of the Catholic Church there to counter any inappropriate behavior that may be displayed?

While it remains to be seen, for all we know, we will see gay people wearing a plethora of kitschy St. Paddy's Day souvenirs, from large green hats to plastic shillelaghs to "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" buttons to green feather boas.

In short . . . what everyone else will be wearing on the street that day.

But I do not think the Cardinal as Grand Marshal signals an approval of the lifestyle some people may live - no more than Jesus when He sat down to dine with tax collectors and prostitutes.  It is a civic parade, not a religious one.  If his role as Grand Marshal is enough for you to "make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible," may I suggest your faith is on very, very shaky ground.

That there are enemies of the Catholic Church who would like to see us removed entirely from the public square is true.  And that is all the more reason for us to remain in it, resolutely, and show the world that we are here.

And . . . to show charity.

Something some of my fellow Catholics seem to be lacking.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Medal of Honor comes to the Diocese of Knoxville

Today I received a great honor.

In my volunteer work for the Diocese of Knoxville, I was asked to videotape a very special event today, when Sacred Heart Cathedral School was visited by not just one, but two Medal of Honor recipients.

Please note:  one does not say a person "won" the Medal of Honor.  It is awarded, or rather, earned - literally, with blood, seat, and tears.

Ssgt. Ty Carter and MSgt, Leroy Petry arrived via helicopter, landing on the school's lawn.  As I said, I was shooting video but I also got some still shots, mostly of MSgt. Petry since I followed him into a classroom after a school assembly.  I admit, I wanted to because he is a retired Army Ranger and my Dad was one of the original Rangers.  What a sweetheart he was with the kids.

Man, I met two REAL heroes today!

Let me share some of my stills:

He can make that hand swivel 36 degrees - which really impressed a lot of kids.
Both guys were humble and outgoing.  What ab great thing it is for our kids to meet men like this.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What's in name? Why I say ISIS, not ISIL.

Because I don't want to give them a due they believe I owed.

ISIS is the acronym for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.  That is how thy started out.

ISIL is the acronym for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.  That is what they are calling themselves now in recognition of their "caliphate."  The Levant is the territory for the entire Mediterranean from Egypt, east to Iran and to Turkey.  They haven't established control there yet.  But they hope to.

The President uses ISIL to emphasize the group's goals.  I would prefer not to give them that honor.

Know your history for 9/11 . . . the 9/11 of 1683

Do you think the men who flew the planes into the buildings randomly chose 9/11 in 2001 to do so?

For Americans, it would be easy to think it was meant to be some perversion of our emergency code 9-1-1.  But it is not.

It is payback time.

Because in 1683, on September 11th, the Battle of Vienna began.

Led by the Polish king, Jan III Sobieski, the Ottoman Empire was repelled at Vienna.  The Muslims had begun a siege of the city in mid-July, but a local garrison held out until relief forces came from the other countries.  Vienna was considered a crucial point, with its access t the Danube River.

If the Muslims took it, all of Christianity in Europe would be at peril.

But they did not.  And the battle marked the end of the Ottoman Empire's attempt to conquer Europe.

And that is something we must understand about the jihadists.  We joke about how "backwards" their society is and how they are living in the 14th century.

Make that 17th century.  Time is of little importance to them since their cause is holy and righteous.  It is a day after 9/11/1683 and lost ground must be regained.  The battle has not stopped - they found a new tactic in gradually becoming the population of Europe, in consuming the resources of public relief, and in convincing progressive politicians that theirs is a religion of peace eve as they demonstrate with signs saying, "Kill the Jews" and "Behead the Infidels," because, after all, they got a permit to march and doesn't that show us they want to be part of our society?

Know your history.  It is time to relive ours.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hate is the new commodity . . .

Watch this video.

A new style Hitler Youth with a hip-hop beat.

"Be the shit, get a shirt?"

You know, maybe it's not the "Black sounding" name that is keeping your kids from being called back to a job interview, as is said in the video. Maybe it is because they are coming across as crass and uneducated with slogans like "FCKH8."

No, it's not about "selling out" if you "sound White" - it's about recognizing who your audience is and adapting your message appropriately.  We all have to do it.  It is what makes for a successful person.

And wow, I buy a shirt for $13 and $5 goes to charity?

I went to FCKH8's website and read that it is a "for-profit T-shirt company with an activist heart and a passionate social change mission: arming thousands of people with pro-LGBT equality, anti-racism and anti-sexism T-shirts that act as “mini-billboards” for change." It wants you to know that it has "shipped almost 200,000 equality tees, tanks and hoodies to supporters in over 100 countries." But keep reading - " has given over $250,000 to the equality cause through directly funded projects and donations to LGBT charities. In 2014 expanded it's anti-hate message with campaigns and tees focused on fighting sexism and racism and supporting those important causes. "

So the anti-racism stance is new - who knows, a cynic might even say that they are using Michael Brown's death and a platform for more sales. But prior to that? 200,000 t-shirts shipped and only $250,000 donated. Okay, their heart is not THAT activist.

Well, no - because if you read even further, the FCKH8 brand was recently purchased by Synergy Media Ltd., a "a boutique design, merchandising and marketing company dedicated to innovative brand building." In short, let's take advantage of trends, make t-shirts that support the liberal status quo that liberals can wear and feel they're being "brave" in doing so even though they know they have the moral high ground in today's society.  Because if you say, "Well, this is an issue that can't be resolved with a t-shirt" - you're the H8er.

This is the same mindset that thinks it's meaningful and "taking action" to have a State Department official tweet a smiling picture of herself with a sign saying "‪#‎BringBackOurGirls‬" in response to the kidnapping over 300 girls by the terrorist group Boko Haram.

Hey, where are those girls today? Oh, right . . . well, sorry, ladies, ‪#‎FCKH8‬ is trending now, you've had your moment in the sun as the cause du jour. Now, go back quietly to your systemic rape at the hands of your captors.

By the way, I would like to know the names of the children appearing in the video.  They are presumably from Ferguson, MO.  Or maybe not.  See, they're "#Ferguson Kids" - and sound nothing like this:

Synergy Media - making money off of societal ills and tragedy.


Martyrdom At the Hands of the Self-Righteous

In recent years, society has brought social and legislative approval to all types of sexual relationships that used to be considered “sinful.” Since the biblical vision of what it means to be human tells us that not every friendship or love can be expressed in sexual relations, the church’s teaching on these issues is now evidence of intolerance for what the civil law upholds and even imposes. What was once a request to live and let live has now become a demand for approval. The “ruling class,” those who shape public opinion in politics, in education, in communications, in entertainment, is using the civil law to impose its own form of morality on everyone. We are told that, even in marriage itself, there is no difference between men and women, although nature and our very bodies clearly evidence that men and women are not interchangeable at will in forming a family. Nevertheless, those who do not conform to the official religion, we are warned, place their citizenship in danger
When the recent case about religious objection to one provision of the Health Care Act was decided against the State religion, the Huffington Post (June 30, 2014) raised “concerns about the compatibility between being a Catholic and being a good citizen.” This is not the voice of the nativists who first fought against Catholic immigration in the 1830s. Nor is it the voice of those who burned convents and churches in Boston and Philadelphia a decade later. Neither is it the voice of the Know-Nothing Party of the 1840s and 1850s, nor of the Ku Klux Klan, which burned crosses before Catholic churches in the Midwest after the civil war. It is a voice more sophisticated than that of the American Protective Association, whose members promised never to vote for a Catholic for public office. This is, rather, the selfrighteous voice of some members of the American establishment today who regard themselves as “progressive” and “enlightened.” 
The inevitable result is a crisis of belief for many Catholics. Throughout history, when Catholics and other believers in revealed religion have been forced to choose between being taught by God or instructed by politicians, professors, editors of major newspapers and entertainers, many have opted to go along with the powers that be. This reduces a great tension in their lives, although it also brings with it the worship of a false god. It takes no moral courage to conform to government and social pressure. It takes a deep faith to “swim against the tide,” as Pope Francis recently encouraged young people to do at last summer’s World Youth Day. 
Swimming against the tide means limiting one’s access to positions of prestige and power in society. It means that those who choose to live by the Catholic faith will not be welcomed as political candidates to national office, will not sit on editorial boards of major newspapers, will not be at home on most university faculties, will not have successful careers as actors and entertainers. Nor will their children, who will also be suspect. Since all public institutions, no matter who owns or operates them, will be agents of the government and conform their activities to the demands of the official religion, the practice of medicine and law will become more difficult for faithful Catholics. It already means in some States that those who run businesses must conform their activities to the official religion or be fined, as Christians and Jews are fined for their religion in countries governed by Sharia law.
Francis Cardinal George writes bravely and truthfully in his column this week.  I urge you to read it.

I think he is being especially insightful when he compares the fines imposed on Christian owners of bakeries, photography studios, and B&B's to the jizya of Shariah law.  Except there is a difference; unlike the Islamists and even perhaps the once crude, now quaint mafiosi of the past who wanted such businesses to remain open so that they could be a source of shake down money, the militant members of the LGBT community want these business closed and, even more so, the lives of their proprietors ruined.  How can I make that last claim?  Research the hate mail received by these people by those not simply content with a court process, but wishing them them and their families harm, even death.

That there are two churches is true.  I recall a conversation with a priest in my own diocese, in which he lauded Planned Parenthood for their "educational programs."  I asked him if he did not find any truth in the encyclical Humanae Vitae and he answered, glibly, "Oh, well, I'm not going to say that there is no truth in church documents . . . but Paul VI was a defeated man after he wrote that and wished he hadn't."  He then tried to solicit an agreement on his statement from a seminarian sitting nearby, who refused to answer and just turned away.  I see that as representing the disconnect in our faith - no, it is more than "modernist" vs. "traditionalist," it is more about the difference of truth versus compromise.  Does Father want to "lead all souls to Heaven," as the Fatima prayer goes - or be liked?  The time is coming where Catholics will have to take a side, sadly.  I did and it cost me a friendship but hopefully the other person is better for it.  If not, well - I hope to see him in Heaven.

Do I support same-sex marriage?  I do not.  Do I wish unhappiness on gay people?  I do not.  I wish happiness for all people and my years have led me to conclude that (1) for a greater quotient of happiness, a strong society is needed, and what makes a society strong is not everything for everybody, but recognizing that the family - man, woman, child - is its basic unit and that must be protected, since from that comes the continuation of the species and from that comes things like art and commerce because there is a reassurance that there is a future for the society, and (2) not everyone will be happy or can be.

God bless this brave and holy Cardinal.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Thought o' the Ding Dong Day


Who else is happy to see football back?