Monday, June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby & Scotus

God is good!

Today the Supreme Court of the United States of America sided with conscience rights and freedom of religion!  Our prayers, especially the Fortnights for Freedom are producing their fruit!

The long case (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby) with arts and crafts store "Hobby Lobby" is finally over with the aforementioned celebrating a victory.  Five out of the nine justices have decided that the government cannot force employers et al to go against their religious beliefs by funding contraception and other things that go against faith and morals.  You can read on the decision here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-354_olp1.pdf

Companies can now opt-out of Obamacare’s contraception mandate which has been a thorn on the side of religious organizations and businesses run by religious employers.  Under the HHS Mandate, employers had to provide contraception coverage to employees.  This ruffled the feathers of the Catholic Church, other religious denominations and businesses who felt the government was overstepping its boundaries by forcing Americans to go against their conscience.  Obama tried to remedy the situation by claiming non-profit organizations and religious bodies are exempt; however, this did not go far enough.  Hobby Lobby owned by an Evangelical family sued and was joined by many other businesses.  Mother Angelica's EWTN also has filed suit against the Obama Administration because of this HHS Mandate.  

These companies and others can now breath a little easier now that the Supreme Court struck down the HHS Mandatae.  However, more needs to be done in order to get rid of the mandate once and for all.  Liberals and others immediately took to blogs, comment posts in order to voice their anger and frustration.  Immediately the "war on women" propaganda was taken out with accusations that the decision was made by five males and that the dissenting opinion came from the female justices basically insinuating a "man vs woman" thing.  What are we in elementary school?? 

Liberals can be extremely childish...  

This decision is not a "war on women" but a war on socialism and censorship of conscience rights and religious freedom.  The government has no right to force anyone to go against his/her conscience.  

Moreover, it does not have the right to tell religious bodies what to do.  Religious freedom is the first right guaranteed in America.  Our Founding Fathers were clear on this.  America exists because of Europeans who fled religious persecution and wanted to settle in a place where they can believe freely without oppression.  In reality, America was founded for religious purposes! 

Today, we have liberals and others trying to force religion out of America.  It is trying to control how people believe and how people act.  I'm glad that the Supreme Court decided in the way that it did and it gives me hope that America is still alive.  We will not let our religious freedom and conscience rights be trumped by those who are sexually irresponsible.  Contraception, abortion and the like are not healthcare.  They are means used to cover the irresponsibility of those who abuse the gift of sex and want to avoid the natural consequence: pregnancy.  Pregnancy is not a disease with contraception as the cure!    

Let us continue to pray for America especially as we approach the fourth of July.  May God keep this nation under Him and keep religious freedom a priority on the table of law makers.  May God give wisdom to liberals and feminists who do not understand the beauty of life and sexuality. Contraception objectifies women and men.




  

Source:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/30/supreme-court-unions-contraception_n_5543995.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/30/supreme-court-hobby-lobby_n_5521444.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/30/hobby-lobby-closely-held_n_5545064.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/30/hobby-lobby-viagra_n_5543916.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/06/30/the-49-page-supreme-court-hobby-lobby-ruling-mentioned-women-just-13-times/
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/30/after-hobby-lobby-these-77-corporations-will-drop-birth-control-coverage.html
http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/supreme-court-public-sector-unions
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/us/hobby-lobby-case-supreme-court-contraception.html
http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/06/30/3454501/hobby-lobby-bait-and-switch/
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/30/the-hobby-lobby-decision-is-bad-for-conservatives-and-religious-liberty.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-winkler/corporations-are-people-a_b_5543833.html
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2014/06/hobby-lobby-the-supreme-courts-narrow-decisions.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/30/ruth-bader-ginsburg-write_n_5544111.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/30/ruth-bader-ginsburg-write_n_5544111.html

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saints Peter & Paul

Today is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. These are the "two great Apostles."  They are called this because of their importance in building up the Catholic Church.

Both Peter and Paul worked zealously to spread the Good News throughout the known world at the time even at the cost of their own lives.  To them are entrusted the protection and guidance of the Catholic Church, especially the Roman Church or Latin Rite. Remember, the Catholic Church is a unity of many churches with different rites.  The Roman church presides over the others because it is the See of St. Peter the first Pope.

St. Peter was the first Pope and head of the Apostles.  Jesus changed his name from Simon to 'Peter' which means 'rock.' You can read more about this here: http://sacerdotvs.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-chair-of-peter.html

The Holy Apostle Peter was martyred during the reign of Emperor Nero on around AD 66 or 67.  He was crucified up-side-down on Vatican hill and buried there right under the Basilica of St. Peter's.  Till this day, his remains are present there under the main altar are are testament to the words of Christ that He would build the Church on Peter the Rock and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her.

St. Paul was originally Saul. See: Acts 9.  He persecuted Catholic Christians in the first years of the Church's existence.  However, he was called to conversion in a dramatic way.  Jesus appeared to him asking him why was he persecuting Him?  Here Jesus was making it clear that the Church is indeed His body (1 Corinthians 12:27).  When the Church is attacked, Jesus is attacked.  Paul took on this warning and became a Catholic Christian. Not only did he convert, but he became a "megaphone" for the faith spreading it around like if his life depended on it.  He was lit on fire by the Holy Spirit and preached the Gospel without fear, in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2).  St. Paul was beheaded on the spot where a Basilica bearing his name rests today.

On this day a plenary indulgence can be received by any Catholic who is blessed by a sacramental or relic of these holy men, who participate in Holy Mass and follow the other requirements, and recite the Apostle's creed in addition.

Also, the Pope has the investiture ceremony where he imposes the Pallium on new Archbishops showing their metropolitan status.

May the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul pray for the Catholic Church and all Catholics. May they pray for Christian unity and ask God to give all the grace of fortitude so that we can fight on in faith without giving in to the errors of today's world which are powerful.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

No Buffer

Eleanor McCullen, the plaintiff on the "bufffer zone"
Freedom of speech and assemble are rights we as Americans hold dear.  However, for quite some time, these principle ideas have been challenged.

Pro-Abortion advocates who run abortion clinics have taken Pro-Life people to court claiming they are harassing their clients and staff.  In reality, these Pro-Life people just stand outside, pray, offer counseling and other services with the intention of helping women make an educated choice.

This of course is threatening to those who support abortion. If they have no clients; if these Pro-Life counselors convince women not to abort, then they will lose money.  It's all about the money. In order to counter this, they have gotten activist judges to side with them in creating "buffer zones" meant to keep Pro-life advocates away - far away.  These "buffer zones" pretty much pushed people onto the streets making it nearly impossible to counsel women or even protest.  This of course is the intention of the zone.  

The issue went all the way to the Supreme Court with the case of McCullen v. Coakley.  The Court heard the case and decided UNANIMOUSLY that these "buffer zones" were unconstitutional and had to go.  Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, "The buffer zones burden substantially more speech than necessary to achieve the Commonwealth’s asserted interests.”  He is correct!  The space outside of any clinic, home or store is public domain. Anyone can stand on it, walk on it, protest, pray or whatever as long as he/she is not breaking quality of life laws. To force Pro-Life people to stand over 35 feet away is a violation of the First Amendment.

Once again the Supreme Court got it right, but the decision is not perfect.  Nevertheless, now Americans can exercise their freedom of speech and assembly in front of abortion clinics in order to save women and children from the evil that masquerades as "healthcare" - abortion.


For the official text of the decision, visit: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-1168_6k47.pdf 
The "Buffer Zone" extends right onto the street!





Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/27/opinion/a-unanimous-supreme-court-abortion-rights-lose-a-buffer.html?_r=0

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/09/abortion-clinic-buffer-zo_n_5571516.html

http://www.pressherald.com/2014/07/11/anti-abortion-protest-resumes-in-portland-without-a-buffer-zone/

http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-buffer-zone-laws-struck-down-20140707-story.html

http://www.thenation.com/article/180474/supreme-court-decision-abortion-clinic-buffer-zones-opens-door-further-challenges

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/supreme-court-strikes-down-abortion-clinic-buffer-zone-law


Monday, June 23, 2014

Fortnight For Freedom 2014





The Catholic Church in America has begun its third annual Fortnight for Freedom calling on Catholics to pray and fight for freedom, especially religious freedom.   The event will begin on June 21 and end on July 4.  See the link below or contact your parish/diocese to learn more on activities planned for this Fortnight for Freedom 2014.




Source:
http://www.usccb.org/news/2014/14-069.cfm

Thursday, June 19, 2014

March For Marriage

Today, "NOM" or the National Organization for Marriage had its second March for Marriage.  Its purpose is to defend marriage between a man and woman, or commonly described as "Traditional Marriage."

The theme this year was "Every Child Deserves a Mom & Dad" echoing the many studies that clearly state that children need a father and mother in order to develop well.

The march was not without controversy.  Minority leader of the Democratic party Nancy Pelosi petitioned Archbishop Cordileone not to participate in the march.  Other politicians and activatists also wrote to the Archbishop.  Despite the calls from these liberals, Archbishop followed his conscience and participated in the march.  Others joined him including state senator Ruben Diaz who is an Evangelical leader in the Bronx and fought hard to prevent the passing of "same sex marriage" in New York State.  The Senate leaders tried to silence him.  Diaz even offered free rides on buses for those interested in participating in the march.

Immediately, LGBT activists and other liberals jumped to the attack.  They began harassing people on Twitter and other social networks who supported the March for Marriage.  Author and bigot Dan Savage quickly used his Twitter account to call on LGBT activists and others to mock the March of Marriage and spam the hashtag #March4Marriage:



Others jumped in even equating the March for Marriage with marches in the past in favor of Segregation:


If that is not crazy enough, other organizations began mocking the March for Marriage claiming it had poor attendance:








You can see more nonsense and hate against Christians and others defending marriage here:






I don't even know where to begin...


First, Pelosi has no right to tell an Archbishop what to do.  Archbishop Cordileone has an obligation
to uphold the truth of God in which marriage is a part of.  The Church cannot remain idle as the powers that be attempt to warp an important institution in humanity.

I really do not understand why this lady and others who hold her views are not excommunicated.  They are mocking God in the name of misguided compassion masquerading as charity and virtue.

Defending marriage does not equate to bigotry or hatred.  If we are to adopt this fallacious reasoning, then defending minorities from discrimination would equate to hating the majority (Caucasians).  Can you see how this is so illogical?

Second, the March of Marriage is a good idea but still needs a lot of work.  While watching the beginning of it, I noticed some Evangelical Spanish songs that put down the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph being sung.  In a march where different Christians unite for one cause, it is important that organizers prevent proselytism.  The march should not become a platform for sects to attack Catholicism or promote their doctrines.  Defending marriage should be the only focus.

Third, more promotion for this march must be made.  Many parishes were not aware of this march and could not hire a bus in time to take parishioners to the march.  Bishops, priests and ministers of other faiths were silent at the pulpit.  More awareness must be made in order to increase attendance.  Anti-marriage advocates were mocking the march for its attendance.  While they used photos of people showing up early in the morning to make the mockery, the march could have had more participants if more promotion was given to it.  Any movement at the grassroots level starts out slow.

Fourth, Catholics and others must be more vocal on social media.  Dan Savage tweeted a call to arms against the march by asking LGBT people to take over the hashtag and post their perverse photos.  In many instances, they succeeded.  Only a few Catholics and others tweeted on the hashtag and became targets themselves.  Where were the rest?  Why were they silent?  We have billions of members and can do so much to change this world.  As the saying goes, "when good is silent, evil thrives."  It is saddening to know Catholics and others shy away from these events and do not support them with their presence or via financial means.

Blogger Thomas Peters was one who bravely tweeted and was attacked by mobs of liberals, anti-Catholics and LGBT people.  Some even made fun of his injury:












Look at the replies he got here:  https://twitter.com/AmericanPapist/status/479681050184916992



In closing, the march was a success but still needs more work, especially more promotion. Catholics and others must not remain silent and must come out to defend marriage and the family either in marches, votes or online.  Christ will judge each one of us.  Those who are lukewarm He will spit out (Revelation 3:16).  We cannot be Catholic only by name.  This is a way of life, not something we do on certain days.  The family and marriage are under attack.  Satan is running out of time and is hitting humanity at its core.  When the family and marriage go, humanity will follow.  


  


Source:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/katie-yoder/2014/06/20/surprise-liberal-media-bash-march-marriage

https://www.marriagemarch.org/

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cosmos Finale


The Cosmos finale just aired entitled "Unafraid of the Dark," and I have some issues with it. The program was well made in regards to the science, graphics and the call to learn more at the epilogue.

However, during the show, Dr. Tyson made some comments which were obviously directed towards religion.  He said that there are some who believe the universe was made for us (human beings) and called for humility in this regard.  Moreover, he also placed science on the pedestal as the source of "truth" while others claim to know it all or have all the answers.  These comments were clearly indirect remarks towards religion.

Religion has provided answers to why we are here using religious ideas, Scriptures, revelation and creation stories.  However, these answers are not meant to explain in detail the natural processes that brought about our existence and the existence of the entire universe.  They were meant to show that all originates from the Creator - God.  While we understand the the stories of creation have religious symbolism and prose from writers of the past, this does not disqualify them.  The reason why I say this is because science only gives us the how things work, not why and the when is not precise.

Towards the end of the show, Dr. Tyson gave a "sermon" in support of science telling viewers to:

-Question authority 
-Think for yourself 
-Admit your ignorance 
-Don't confuse belief with reality 
-Test & Observe
-Be humble   

Again, these were said as an indirect attack against religion fueling the atheist erroneous propaganda that religious people do not engage in the things listed above.  I do not get tired of reminding people that the Catholic Church gave us science as we know it today.  From the scientific method, to the "big bang theory," it was the Catholic Church that funded science.  Many of her own clergy members were pioneers in science and proposed many theories which are still in the works today hundreds of years later. Islam as well has produced scientific minds that have provided knowledge to the world.  In tonight's episode, Monsignor George Lemaitre was not even mentioned in regards to the "big bang theory."  

The show closed with the sound bit of the late Carl Sagan who was the original host of "Cosmos" in the early 1980's.  His "poem" of the "Pale Blue Dot" was heard using modern graphics.  Here is the poem:






The remake of "Cosmos" was good in that it provided scientific facts and did present science as an
"ongoing process."  "We don't know it all, and that's okay" as Tyson stated.  I agree 100% with this and this should inspire us to learn more and seek more knowledge.  However, this does not mean that religion is not part of this quest.  Religion is not meant to explain the natural processes of the world, but to bring us to the one who made them and make us moral people.

The whole notion that religion freezes the thoughts of its followers is ridiculous and offensive. Why would God give us a mind that can reason if He did not intend us to question and learn?  If we are just a speck of "star stuff" created by chance, then why do we even have the ability to reason; the ability to be self aware?

The suggestion by Dr. Tyson and the show's producers that the universe was not made for us is a logical fallacy called special pleading.  The observance of natural processes does not automatically suggest that the universe was not made for us or that it has no Creator.

The original host of "Cosmos" put it well:


No atheist, no agnostic can truly claim on fact that there is no God or that the universe was not made for life.  Making these claims would be falling into the same arrogance atheists believe religions have in regards to their answers to life's questions.  This eventually presents itself as "Scientism." Scientism is the view that only science provides knowledge, answers and truth.  Those who subscribe to this idea often disregard religion, and even philosophy as pseudo sources of knowledge.  Dr. Tyson subscribes to this idea and has ran into conflict with my former professor, Massimo Pigluicci who called him out on his attack against philosophy.  See his post:  http://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/neil-degrasse-tyson-and-the-value-of-philosophy/ 

As a graduate of the sciences myself, I am extremely fond of science.  However, I do not believe science is perfect or the well of wisdom.  We need other fields of study in order to paint the entire picture of life and the universe.  Science can go only as far as the equations, microscope, telescope or collider can take it.  Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for Dr. Tyson and did enjoy the remake of "Cosmos."  However, I do not appreciate the misinformation regarding religion, history and the special pleading the writers presented in insinuating that God is not an explanation for the origin of everything or that the universe was not made for life.

I won't even go into the commercial with Ronald Reagan's son asking for money for "Freedom From religion...

Nevertheless, the closing of the episode was indeed moving and should make us think that we live on a "Pale Blue Dot" in darkness.  We must stop fighting with one another, stop killing each other; stop destroying our home and unite to learn more about this glorious creation of God we call the universe.    

Listen to my radio broadcast tomorrow at 11:00 PM as I give my review of "Cosmos."








Source:

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