Fatima 100

Fatima 100
Easter Season: Christ has Risen! Alleluia Alleluia! Our Lady of Fatima 100th Anniversary: Saints Jacinta & Francisco, pray for us!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Discount For Atheism Is Stupid Book



My recently released book 'Atheism Is Stupid' has been a success.  Some of my former professors will be using it in their courses, as a matter of fact.  In light of this, I am offering a discount to students.  As a student myself, I know how tough getting books can be.  Moreover, I am also extending the discount to those who are having financial difficulty and are not at liberty to freely buy books due to budget restraints.



STUDENTS:
Provide proof that you are student, i.e. validated college ID card, bursar/registrar receipt, course syllabus with semester and professor/instructor information.


OTHERS:
Provide proof of financial trouble, i.e. budget of expenses and income to indicate deficits or lack of liquid assets after expenses along with proof of salary: pay stub etc.  

After I confirm these, I will provide a discount coupon code that you can use at the link here:


Please contact me with the information at: http://www.sacerdotus.com/p/contact.html

Friday, December 25, 2015

Pope Francis' Urbi Et Orbi 2015



The Holy Father Pope Francis has given his Urbi Et Orbi message.  Here is the text:


***

Dear brothers and sisters, Happy Christmas!

Christ is born for us, let us rejoice in the day of our salvation!

Let us open our hearts to receive the grace of this day, which is Christ himself. Jesus is the radiant “day” which has dawned on the horizon of humanity. A day of mercy, in which God our Father has revealed his great tenderness to the entire world. A day of light, which dispels the darkness of fear and anxiety. A day of peace, which makes for encounter, dialogue and, above all, reconciliation. A day of joy: a “great joy” for the poor, the lowly and for all the people (cf. Lk 2:10).

On this day, Jesus, the Saviour is born of the Virgin Mary. The Crib makes us see the “sign” which God has given us: “a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Lk 2:12). Like the shepherds of Bethlehem, may we too set out to see this sign, this event which is renewed yearly in the Church. Christmas is an event which is renewed in every family, parish and community which receives the love of God made incarnate in Jesus Christ. Like Mary, the Church shows to everyone the “sign” of God: the Child whom she bore in her womb and to whom she gave birth, yet who is the Son of the Most High, since he “is of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 1:20). He is truly the Saviour, for he is the Lamb of God who takes upon himself the sin of the world (cf. Jn 1:29). With the shepherds, let us bow down before the Lamb, let us worship God’s goodness made flesh, and let us allow tears of repentance to fill our eyes and cleanse our hearts. This is something we all need!

He alone, he alone can save us. Only God’s mercy can free humanity from the many forms of evil, at times monstrous evil, which selfishness spawns in our midst. The grace of God can convert hearts and offer mankind a way out of humanly insoluble situations.

Where God is born, hope is born. He brings hope. Where God is born, peace is born. And where peace is born, there is no longer room for hatred and for war. Yet precisely where the incarnate Son of God came into the world, tensions and violence persist, and peace remains a gift to be implored and built. May Israelis and Palestinians resume direct dialogue and reach an agreement which will enable the two peoples to live together in harmony, ending a conflict which has long set them at odds, with grave repercussions for the entire region.



We pray to the Lord that the agreement reached in the United Nations may succeed in halting as quickly as possible the clash of arms in Syria and in remedying the extremely grave humanitarian situation of its suffering people. It is likewise urgent that the agreement on Libya be supported by all, so as to overcome the grave divisions and violence afflicting the country. May the attention of the international community be unanimously directed to ending the atrocities which in those countries, as well as in Iraq, Libya, Yemen and sub-Saharan Africa, even now reap numerous victims, cause immense suffering and do not even spare the historical and cultural patrimony of entire peoples. My thoughts also turn to those affected by brutal acts of terrorism, particularly the recent massacres which took place in Egyptian airspace, in Beirut, Paris, Bamako and Tunis.

To our brothers and sisters who in many parts of the world are being persecuted for their faith, may the Child Jesus grant consolation and strength. They are our martyrs of today.

We also pray for peace and concord among the peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and South Sudan, that dialogue may lead to a strengthened common commitment to the building of civil societies animated by a sincere spirit of reconciliation and of mutual understanding.

May Christmas also bring true peace to Ukraine, offer comfort to those suffering from the effects of the conflict, and inspire willingness to carry out the agreements made to restore concord in the entire country.

May the joy of this day illumine the efforts of the Colombian people so that, inspired by hope, they may continue their commitment to working for the desired peace.

Where God is born, hope is born; and where hope is born, persons regain their dignity. Yet even today great numbers of men and woman are deprived of their human dignity and, like the child Jesus, suffer cold, poverty, and rejection. May our closeness today be felt by those who are most vulnerable, especially child soldiers, women who suffer violence, and the victims of human trafficking and the drug trade.

Nor may our encouragement be lacking to all those fleeing extreme poverty or war, travelling all too often in inhumane conditions and not infrequently at the risk of their lives. May God repay all those, both individuals and states, who generously work to provide assistance and welcome to the numerous migrants and refugees, helping them to build a dignified future for themselves and for their dear ones, and to be integrated in the societies which receive them.

On this festal day may the Lord grant renewed hope to all those who lack employment – and they are so many!; may he sustain the commitment of those with public responsibilities in political and economic life, that they may work to pursue the common good and to protect the dignity of every human life.

Where God is born, mercy flourishes. Mercy is the most precious gift which God gives us, especially during this Jubilee year in which we are called to discover that tender love of our heavenly Father for each of us. May the Lord enable prisoners in particular to experience his merciful love, which heals wounds and triumphs over evil.

Today, then, let us together rejoice in the day of our salvation. As we contemplate the Crib, let us gaze on the open arms of Jesus, which show us the merciful embrace of God, as we hear the cries of the Child who whispers to us: “for my brethren and companions’ sake, I will say: Peace be within you” (Ps 121[122]:8).


***


Sources:

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/12/25/pope-franciss-christmas-message-full-text/?utm_content=buffer2a8b2&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://abc7.com/religion/pope-francis-urges-christmas-prayers-for-syria-libya-peace/1136063/

http://www.aol.com/article/2015/12/25/pope-calls-in-christmas-message-for-unity-against-militant-atroc/21288215/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D-1216719363

http://news.yahoo.com/pope-christmas-urges-return-essential-values-212921842.html


Monday, December 21, 2015

Atheism = A-Fraud V

Many atheists today believe strongly in free speech and expression. They complain when displays mocking religion are removed from museums or when Muslims protest cartoons of their alleged prophet. When some atheists are arrested and tortured in Arab nations for blogging, atheists will cry out 'foul!' The irony is that they only believe in free speech and expression when it pertains to their silly ideas.  If theists of any faith join their groups online or post on their blogs, atheists who run the aforementioned will do anything possible to censor them.

What are they afraid of if they supposedly have the 'truth?'

I myself have been kicked out of Google + communities and Facebook groups run by pusillanimous atheists who are afraid to debate me directly. At first, they are welcoming but then they become Nazis.  This shows the fraud perpetuated by atheists today.  They believe and promote freedom of speech and expression, but stifle speech and expression that threatens them.

While I understand moderation is necessary to weed out bad comments and personalities, not everything that counter's an atheist view should be viewed as something that needs to be 'weeded out' if a community or group truly celebrates free speech and expression.  When I started my own site, I allowed anyone to post comments.  However, when I noticed spam bots posting comments with virus links and when some trolls came on to post vulgarity and what not, that is when I decided to moderate my site.  I now only allow comments that are relevant to the post and are free from ad hominem and vulgarity. I feel this is fair and keeps the site clean and flowing.  However, atheists only favor their own and censor the speech of others only become it is different. They are not fair or honest.


Let me identify a few examples.

Here is Dan Eastman who moderates the Atheism community on Google +. The rules of this community allow for the posting of links that bring about discussion related to atheism. Atheists post their links without issue.  However, once I posted my links related to atheism, he had issue with it.  When I questioned his unfairness and quoted the community's own rules which allows me to post links related to the community, he removed me from the group.   Clearly he is biased and is not interested in honest discourse, only what conforms to his limited scope of thinking.  See the group and the rules below.
https://plus.google.com/communities/111179822253566656576
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IIAQASblupMS0y54FeWGlf3qIdCxIzGv_5who6yvFOc/edit








Here we have Alan Lee on the left and M. Walter Saranetz  in black and white below Alan.  Alan is the owner of a Facebook group on Deism, Atheism and Theism. He has M. Walter Saranetz and other atheists as moderators. Notice he does not make it fair and have theists as moderators as well.  Anyhow, I was invited to this group by a Protestant youth. The group calls for members to introduce themselves and I did.  For the most part, members were polite except one individual who took to issue the mentioning of my academic credentials. He seemed envious and presented a sort of test to see if I knew about what I studied.  I messaged Alan and Walter about this individual and he did nothing at all. The group's rules call for the notification of bad members to the group's moderators, yet Alan took no action.  Anyhow, I showed this individual that his question made no sense because he misunderstood the concept he was asking me about.  Another individual also corrected him. After this, I seldom posted as the group looked boring and what not. Some people messaged me on it and I replied the best I could, others messaged me privately. Well, when my book was put on sale I posted the link in the group.  Immediately, these people came out attacking me.  The same people who were polite at first with the exception of that one guy who wanted to test me began to show their claws, so to speak.  After this, I noticed that this group was just full of trolls pretending to be atheist. I posted in the group making it clear that I do not want to waste time on trolls. This clearly got under the skin of many and the attacks continued.  M. Walter Saranetz even participated in the personal attack which completely makes him incapable of being a fair moderator.  This continued until he removed me from the group.  My removal shows the lack of integrity of both Alan Lee and M. Walter Saranetz; not to mention the cowardice of atheists who cannot handle an opposing view and just try to shut it out by force just like Islamists who use violence to shut down those who they disagree with.  Here below is my post saying who I take seriously and who I do not.  Notice Walter's libelous comment which is a personal attack and notice the rules prohibit personal attacks.




So Walter removes me just for trying to get people to be civil and adult in the group, go figure.   The owner, Alan Lee allowed it and never took action against the person who first attacked me when I joined the group nor against Walter who engaged in personal attacks which go against Alan's own rules.  Both violate the group's rules showing these men have a lack of integrity.  Only deranged dictators break their own rules. We can conclude that both Alan and Walter are dishonest, biased and frauds just like Dan Eastman.  

Next we have two of several trolls in the Atheist vs Theist community on Google + who immediately rushed to my book Amazon page to post false reviews.  Their reviews attack me and my book out of envy and spitefulness.  Neither of them own the book because the reviews were posted within hours after the book was released.  Amazon clearly states that processing takes 2 days, not to mention the shipping time.  There is no way anyone who ordered my book could receive it in hours and read it in that time to post an honest review.  Those who ordered my book informed me that their copy will be delivered around the 23rd of December which correlates with the processing time Amazon mentions on the page.   These trolls pretend to be atheist and post nonsensical posts while harassing Christians and took the opportunity to abuse Amazon's open review system.  Here are Robert Pratt and Canon:


fake reviews posted out of spitefulness and envy

Atheists today who push atheism as a form of free speech and expression while claiming religion is a controlling Fascist system are delusional.  They demonstrate that atheism is a fraud.  It is a sham that contradicts itself by pretending to be for free speech while being intolerant of speech that is contrary.  My advice to people who identify as theist (Christian etc) is to leave groups and communities like this.  You will not be treated fairly.  Those who run these groups and communities are insecure individuals who are afraid of contrary points of view that threaten their narrow scope of thinking.

Report these groups so Facebook and Google will remove them as these are havens of religious hate and discrimination.  If you are a lawyer reading this, please email me.  


Visit these groups and report them to Facebook and Google.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/religion.philosophydiscussion/

https://plus.google.com/communities/111179822253566656576












Sunday, December 20, 2015

Fourth Sunday of Advent: God Comes to Us

Jesus is almost here!  We will commemorate His birth in a few days!

The first reading reminds us of the ancient prophecies telling of the coming of the Messiah, aka Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6). God says that Bethlehem-Ephrathah which was too small and insignificant to be part of the tribes of Judah would be the place where the ruler of Israel would come from. This statement tells us of Christ's humility and how God chooses the weakest and smallest to do great things, in this case, Bethlehem (1 Corinthians 1:27). Christ could have come as a billionaire or Roman emperor.  This would surely have made it easier to bring more people back to God. However, He chose a humble state, being born in a humble small town (Philippians 2:7-8).  We are told that His "origin is from old, from ancient times."  What does this mean?  Well, it means that Christ existed before space, time and matter (John 1:1). He is God. The second person of the Blessed Trinity. He would come as a human, being born of a Virgin. This Virgin is of course the Blessed Mother Mary who was chosen before she even was conceived. This is why she is the Immaculate Conception. She was prepared beforehand to bear the Son of God. Once born, he would be the firm shepherd of the flock. Ancient peoples, including the Israelites relied on their imagination and signs in order to 'see' God, so to speak. The Israelites used imagery such as clouds, whispers, pillars of fire to describe God. Meanwhile, the Pagans used statues or idols to describe what they thought God was.  We Catholics have it easy.  We have Jesus, God in the flesh to look upon.  Now we must ask the Lord to turn us to Him, to seek His face as the Psalm of today tells us.

As stated, we have Jesus, God in the flesh. He is the Lord who existed before all things we know to exist, existed. Upon the cherubim and the high orders of the angelic choirs does His thrown or power rest.  He is above us but walked among us, caring for His "vine" (Leviticus 26:12). We must turn and look to Him; seek His face (Psalm 27:8). Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament throughout the world. We can see His face prepare to be saved if we do His will. This Sacrament reminds us of the sacrifice on the Cross which replaced those sin offerings offered on altars as the second reading tells us.

No longer are sin offerings needed.  God took no delight in them.  Jesus came to do the Father's will which was to redeem the world and open the doors to salvation in Jesus' person (John 6:38, Acts 4:12). The body of Jesus Christ; His soul, divinity and blood were offered for all of us. This sacrifice was done once and for all (Romans 6:10).  Its efficacy does not wear out. As Christmas approaches, we must remember the importance of Christ coming in the flesh.

In the Gospel, we read of Mary going out to the town of Judah. She visited her cousin Elizabeth.  Elizabeth was pregnant with John the Baptist during this time. As Mary greeted her, John leaped for joy in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She stated the words found in the "Hail Mary" prayer, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb." Many Protestants clearly have an issue with Catholics praying to Mary; however, I have always found this odd since the words "Blessed are you among woman etc" came from the Holy Spirit!  It was the Holy Spirit who brought Elizabeth to pronounce those words to Mary. As Christmas approaches, we too much leap for joy and say, "how does this happen to me" as we recall how Mary and Jesus come to us.  We must ask ourselves why God would do this. Why would God become a human being born of Virgin for each one of us?  The answer is LOVE. God is LOVE (1 John 4:8). This love is perfect and calls out to us in mercy.  In this year of Mercy, let us meditate on God's love for us that He would become a human for us; suffer and die for each one of us so that we can be redeemed and saved. God's Divine Mercy has no bounds. Let us await the birth of Christ and ask Christ to be born in our hearts.  Let us be open to Christ just like Our Blessed Lady Mary was.  Come Lord come!



Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/122015.cfm  

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Third Democratic Debate



Tonight, ABC News hosted the third Democratic debate with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley.  The majority of the debate was focused on foreign policy. Each candidate took on different positions but each were united in criticisim their Republican counterparts. However, both O'Malley and Sanders attacke Clinton for her openess on the change of regimes in the Middle East. They argued that this opened the doors to instablity and the rise of ISIS.

 Sanders did a much better job in this debate in regards to foreign policy; however, Clinton showed that she does have a strong hold on it.  Each of the candidate attacked Trump and his suggestion that Muslims be banned from entering the United States.  O'Malley seemed upset and interjected several times claiming he was not getting enough time.  Each candidate differed on medicare and taxes. At one point, Hillary attacked Sanders' plans for medicare saying it will give too much control to Republican governors.





Source:


http://www.npr.org/2015/12/19/460429831/democratic-debate-liveblog-foreign-policy-is-focus-but-data-breach-looms-large


http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/19/politics/democratic-debate-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-updates/

Friday, December 18, 2015

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

I just came out from the movies after watching Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip with my nephew. He wanted to see it in place of Star Wars. Anyhow, we all remember the anthropomorphic chipmunks from our youth.  These chipmunks can talk and sing.  This movie is the fourth in a series of movies by the singing chipmunks. The movie begins with the chipmunks hosting a house party. This party is of course the idea of Alvin, who is usually the trouble maker of the trio. Everyone at the party is having a grand time until David Seville or 'Dave' comes on the scene shouting his famous "Alllviinnnnn" phrase.  He begins to kick everyone out and scolds the chipmunks who are presented as his "sons." Meanwhile, the Chipettes or the female chipmunks go away to host American Idol as its judges.

The chipmunks plead for Dave not to ground them, but Dave is in a different mood.  He is dating a woman named Samantha. We meet her in the next scene where Dave and the chipmunks are in a golf course. While there, they encounter a teen boy named Miles who bullies them. He stops Theodore's golf ball from entering the hole as a hole-in-1. Afterwards, he bullies Theodore and hangs him on a windmill on the kiddie golf course. Alvin defends his brother, but clearly the chipmunks are no match for this teen boy who is clearly massive compared to their pint size. At this moment, Dave comes with Samantha and introduces her to the chipmunks along with Miles.  Alvin and the other brothers are shocked that the teen boy who was bullying them was Samantha's son. This is when they begin to worry about Dave's relationship with this lady.

Samantha then advises Dave to let Miles and the chipmunks hangout to get to know each other.  The chipmunks clearly are reluctant, but have no choice. While hangout out, Miles continues his abuse of the chipmunks.  At one point, he even sells Theodore to a chubby kid for 20 dollars. The other chipmunks then have to use their allowance to re-purchase their brother.  Back home, the Alvin notices that Dave has a diamond engagement ring and becomes concerned.  Dave plans a trip to Miami, Florida and picks Samantha to accompany him. Alvin beings to think that Dave is going to propose to Samantha. He fears that Dave wants a new family and wants to get rid of him and his brothers.  Moreover, he begins to worry that Miles will move in and harass them even more making their lives a living hell, so to speak.

He informs the other brothers and then makes a plan to steal the ring.  During the night as Dave slept, the brothers go into Dave's room and try to steal the ring but realize that it is not there. They become stressed and do not know what to do.  To make things worse, the next day, Miles and Samantha come.  Samantha leaves Miles with the chipmunks while she and Dave go to the airport. The chipmunks are in panic mode by this time and try to make peace with Miles who keeps them locked up like pets. They tell him about what Dave and Samantha.  Miles becomes concern and says he does not want them to marry.  He tells the chipmunks of his dad who died and he never got to know him.  However, based on Miles' body language, this story may not be accurate.

The four boys (chipmunks, Miles) devise a plan to stop Dave and Samantha from marrying.  They get squirrels to pose as the chipmunks. This was to distract a nosy neighbor who Dave told to check up on the boys while he was away. The plan works. Miles and the chipmunks manage to leave the house and head to the airport as the neighbor looks through the window and see the squirrels dresses at the chipmunks sleeping.  They are sleeping because Miles drugs them with cough syrup. While at the airport, Miles tries to sneak the chipmunks past airport security but is stopped when a TSA agent notices Alvin's skeleton in the x-ray machine. Miles explains that Alvin is really a toy and tries to prove it by manipulating Alvin's small body with his huge hands causing Alvin pain and discomfort.  The agent is convinced, but then asks for a wand scan. This causes more anxiety since Simon is hidden in Miles' clothing. Simon becomes nervous and urinates. The urine pours out the leg of the jeans Miles is worried causing disgust to both the agent who thinks  Miles urinated and Miles who does not find being urinated on pleasant. The agent looks at Miles in dismay and then notices a brown chocolate shaped object come out the bottom of the leg of the jeans. This is of course the result of Simon defecating.  The agent has enough and lets Miles get on board.  While on board,

Alvin goes to first class to get food and is caught. The flight attendant goes after him and then a US Marshal stands up and joins in the pursuit.  Theodore did not go through security at the airport and got on board via the animal compartment. While there, he inadvertently releases the pets from their holding containers. These animals make their way to the seats of the plane causing havoc.  The plane is the diverted and we see the US Marshal with Miles and Chipmunk at his office. He warns the four that what they did was illegal while embellishing his job as a Marshal.  This Marshal is Agent Suggs. He is presented as being overly confident, clumsy and authoritarian.  While trying to be tough, he gets his tie dirty and goes to wash it.  When he returns, he finds that the boys have fled in a taxi.  He goes after them.

The chipmunks and Miles make their way to Texas from their home in California and stop at a bar. At first, the bar own refuses to let them in due to age but Alvin tells them that they can sing for his audience since a contracted group of musicians failed to show up.  The boys perform and wow the crowd.  Miles even  plays guitar.  However, outside, agent Suggs appears from a taxi.  He refuses to pay the fare showing his badge, but the driver is not having it and demands payment.  Suggs tells him that he will get it inside the bar.  When he enters, he sees the chipmunks and Miles and becomes tries to go after them but the chipmunks escape. Alvin enters the beards of a large heavy set man.  Suggs tries to get him and pushes the big man causing the man to stand up in an intimidating stance. All hell breaks lose as a bar fight takes place.  The chipmunks and Miles use this diversion to make an escape.

They enter the taxi where Suggs came out from and promise to  pay double what Suggs was going to pay.  The driver agrees and leaves.  Suggs tries to go after them, but fails. However, the taxi driver leaves the boys stranded after they fail to pay the amount they had promised.  The four spend the night outside and begin to bond. Miles then reveals that his father had left.  This departure affected him greatly. As the morning came, the four begin their journey to Miami on foot.  The chipmunks are exhausted while Miles is wondering why they are slowing down.  Simon explains that they got tired because they have shorter legs and with each stride it takes longer for them to cover the distance Miles can cover whose legs are much longer and have longer strides. Miles then invites them to climb on him so he can take them. They reach a bus station and depart for New Orleans.  When they reach there, they sing and perform on the street in order to make money.  However, Suggs manages to reach them. As he is about to arrest them, Simon and Alvin launch Theodore onto Sugg's private area causing him extreme pain. They make and escape but are caught in the festivals of New Orleans.  Suggs himself after recovering from the 'low-blow' hit is caught in the festivals and is given moonshine to drink.  He becomes drunk and forgets that he is chasing the chipmunks.  Everyone then breaks out in a dance. Dave then appears calling the neighbor who was supposed to watch the chipmunks. She tells them that the chipmunks are destroying his home.  This neighbor has not realized that these were squirrels, not the chipmunks. Anyhow, Dave is upset and once again shouts "alllvinnnn!"  

Alvin hears it somehow and asks the others, "did you hear that?"  The chipmunks once again use the diversion to escape and leave for florida.  In the meantime, Suggs is drunk and wakes up in a motel room half dressed. He has a lack of memory of what went on the night before but returns to going after the chipmunks and Miles.  The chipmunks and Miles reach Miami and try to avoid Dave because they are supposed to be home in california. Suggs then rents a funny looking yellow van and goes after them.  He reaches Miami as well and encounters the chipmunks in an elevator.  However, the chipmunks cause the elevator to get stuck as they made their escape.

Eventually, Dave sees the chipmunks and Miles and encounters them. He tells them that he will deal with them after having dinner with Samantha.  Once again, he gets a young girl to babysit them. The chipmunks are worried because they made the trip for nothing. However, Alvin announces that he took the ring from Dave without him noticing so the engagement he thought was going to happen would not happen.  He is happy that Samantha and Dave will not be together.  This upsets Miles.  The chipmunks then realize that Miles bonded with them and did not think his mom marrying Dave was not such a bad idea after all.  Alvin tries to explain, but Miles leaves upset with headphones on.  He crosses the street without realizing that a car was approaching and was about to hit him.  The chipmunks realize this and once again launch Theodore at him causing him to fall onto the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street.  However, in the process, Theodore is hit by the car and is briefly on conscious.  He wakes up after Miles and his two brothers are scared that he was killed.

Miles realizes that the chipmunks do care about him and they begin a new mission of trying to get the ring back to Dave.  They go to the restaurant where Samantha and Dave were going to have dinner despite Dave's command not to leave the hotel room. They try to discreetly return the ring, but Alvin ends up on Dave's table.  Alvin explains why he has the ring as Dave laughs and tells him that he was not going to propose to Samantha.  He explains that the ring was supposed to be for a friend named Barry who was there and about to propose to his girl friend. The whole thing was a misunderstanding on Alvin's part. He feels embarrassed, but it is too late. We see Barry trying to propose with an empty box which triggers and angry response from his girl friend who walks out embarrassed.

Everyone heads back to the hotel to pack up to go back home. However, Dave realizes that the chipmunks and Miles were put on the no flight list, so they have to find another way to travel.  Dave, Samantha, the Chipmunks and Miles are then in a concert.  The latter perform a special song for Dave in order to make up for all that happened. Before this, the Chipmunks explain to Barry and his girlfriend what happened. He re-proposes to her and she accepts.  At the end, they go home and Dave sees the mess the squirrels did and is once again angry at the chipmunks but then calms down.  He even goes to the court to adopt legally so that they will not feel that they are not wanted.

This movie was very funny and had the audience laughing constantly. Certain scenes were based on toilet humor, but nothing too disgusting or inappropriate for kids. The movie conveys a strong message of the importance of the family and how families exist in many ways in today's American culture. We see Miles go from a bully, to a big brother of sort to the chipmunks. This movie is good to start a discussion on the importance of the family, love and trust.

The Chipmunks themselves even 'favorited' my Tweet. :-)





My Book 'Atheism Is Stupid' On Sale


My book, 'Atheism Is Stupid' is on sale now on Amazon and other locations. It will be available in your local bookstores in about 6-8 weeks, please request it with your local merchant to expedite the process.  As many of you know, I was an atheist most of my life and am now a Catholic.  In this book, I critique Atheism and many of the most common arguments and ideas that atheists hold and propagate on and offline.  This book is meant to show how 'stupid' the concept of atheism really is using my fields of study, the sciences, philosophy, theology as well as other fields of academia which I referenced.  

This book is not meant to disparage atheists, only criticize atheism and refute it.  The book itself is part of a popular blog series.  Many more volumes will follow as there is much to cover on the topic of atheism which would have been too much for just one book. Therefore, expect more books to come in the near future. Hopefully, I will be able to get this current book translated into other languages.  This book will be an asset for theists of any faith in regards to helping them defend God against atheism.  It will also force those atheists who are objective to question their own atheistic beliefs.  This book is a must have for apologists, philosophers, scientists and the avid reader.  

To purchase go to any of the links below:


  
Barnes and Noble: Atheism Is Stupid

Atheism Is Stupid - Createspace

Amazon: Atheism Is Stupid

Kindle Version: Atheism Is Stupid

BookCulture

Walmart










Pope Approves Miracle - Bl. Teresa of Calcutta to be Canonized


News reports are flooding the internet stating that Pope Francis has approved a second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a beloved nun who dedicated her life to the 'poorest of the poor.' This should be suffice to canonize her, making her officially a canonized saint.

These reports are claiming that the Vatican has approved her canonization for September of 2016.  I have yet to confirm this and we have heard the same thing in March of 2015 and nothing happened.  I will keep following the reports until I can confirm if the canonization part of the story is factual.  Stay tuned!



UPDATE:

It is official.  Blessed Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized.  No date has been set, but some believe it will be on or around the day of her death: Sept 4 or 5 2016.  A Brazilian man suffering from abscesses in the brain experienced a miracle via the intercession of the holy nun.  His condition vanished after asking for her intercession.





Source:

http://news.yahoo.com/report-pope-oks-miracle-mother-teresas-canonization-084415600.html

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/mother-teresa-be-sainted-after-2nd-miracle-declared-vatican-n482281

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35129463

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/its-official-mother-teresa-is-going-to-be-canonized-26320/

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/is-this-the-miracle-that-could-canonize-mother-teresa-17371/



Thursday, December 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Pope Francis!



Happy Birthday Pope Francis!
Born: December 17, 1936
Jorge Mario Bergoglio




Let us congratulate and pray for our Holy Father on his 79th birthday.  He has won the hearts of many throughout the world.  Unfortunately, he has upset some in the Church who have a pharisaic view of Catholicism. The Pope asked us to pray for him on the night he was elected. Let us continue to pray for him and show our support to Christ's Vicar and Successor of Peter.  





Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2nd CNN GOP Debate

The last GOP debate on CNN for 2015 just took place.  In the first round, lower rated candidate took the podium.  Santorum, Graham, Huckabee and Pataki were those in this debate.  The debate took on the topic of national security.  Each candidate differed on the approach he would take on national security. Huckabee, Santorum and Pataki did take a strong stance on the surveillance of Muslims. Linsey Graham seemed emotional and came to the defense of Muslims even apologizing for Trump's remarks. Santorum became the target of Pataki and Twitter users after he stated his disagreement with having women in the front lines during battle.  In this debate, Graham clearly won.

The second debate was very active. Bush was more energized in this debate and even make Trump look out to be a cry baby. Trump complained about Bush's remarks, interruptions and CNN's insistence on wording questions around him.  Bush responded that if Trump could not handle this then what makes him think he would handle the presidency and all that it entails. Trump was visibly upset, turning red and holding back. Bush as well seemed to be holding back. Rand Paul also attacked Trump claiming that America needs a president that follows the Constitution in reference to Trump's remarks about banning Muslims.  Chris Christie did pretty well and once again tried to be the peace maker as other candidates were attacking each other.  However, he messed up with the name of the King of Jordan. Rubio and Cruz went at it over their immigration records. Kasick showed he is knowledgeable but hardly participated in the debate when compared to the others.  Carly Fiorina was also not questioned as much as the others, nor did she get caught up in any back and forth with the other candidates. Trump spoke toughly and did not recant on his recent statements.  This debate seemed to have been his weakest so far. Carson did much better in regards to foreign policy but was booed when he was asked if he would bomb innocent children in Raqqa and he did not say that he would not.





Source:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/republican-presidential-debate-las-vegas/420657/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/15/politics/lindsey-graham-best-lines-gop-debate/

https://www.yahoo.com/politics/jeb-bush-takes-on-trump-youre-not-going-to-be-035557322.html

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/trump-triumphs-newsmax-poll-gop-debate/2015/12/15/id/705961/

http://www.redstate.com/2015/12/15/winners-losers-tonights-cnnsalem-debate/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/12/15/winners-and-losers-from-the-5th-republican-presidential-debate/

Sunday, December 13, 2015

3rd Sunday of Advent: Rejoice, The Lord is Near!

We are in the third Sunday of Advent and the celebrant of today's Mass will light the third pink candle.  The pink is for the third Sunday or Gaudete Sunday which means “Sunday of Joy.”   We are joyous because we are getting closer to Christ’s birth.  As each week goes, we light the candle that corresponds to that week.

Shout for joy!  This is how the first reading begins. We are joyous!  We sing joyfully and exult in our hearts (Psalm 30:12).  Jesus is about to be born on Christmas.  Not only are we joyous about His first coming, but also His second one.  "The Lord has removed the judgment against you," God's mercy is rampant especially in this year of Mercy (Deuteronomy 4:31).  Our King is in our midst in the Blessed Sacrament (Zephaniah 3:17).  Our King is present in every Catholic Church around the world; in every tabernacle, monstrance, ciboria, and pyx.  He makes Himself available to each one of us who prepare to receive Him (Colossians 2:6).  We must not fear nor become discouraged as the reading tells us (Isaiah 41:10).  Joy must be in our hearts always (Psalm 4:7).  We must cry out with this joy because the great and Holy One is among us as the Psalm for today reminds us.

Our Savior is among us.  God is our savior (Psalm 68:19).  We are unafraid and are confident in Him.  He is our strength and is always with us (Psalm 28:7). God never parts from us (Deuteronomy 31:6). In return, we must praise His name and tell all nations or all peoples of the world the good things He has done for each one of us (Mark 16:15).  We do this by the way we live our lives in the joy of Christ and by evangelizing (1 Peter 2:12). Pope Francis has said many times that we should not have "funeral faces." We must smile, greet others, demonstrate kindness, compassion and mercy.  This is how we show our joy to the world because the Great One is in our midst.

In the second reading, we are once again reminded to rejoice and be glad; the Lord is near!  Because the Lord is near, we should not be anxious. Instead, we must pray and thank God without end (Luke 18:1).  It is in prayer that we unite with God (Matthew 18:19). We begin to absorb the peace of God within our minds and hearts when we pray. The problems that phase us from this world will disappear as we learn to trust in God and rest in Christ Jesus.

Finally in the Gospel, John the Baptist reminds the people that they must help others, especially the less fortunate. If one has enough, one must share with others who do not (Proverbs 19:17). Last week, we read about preparing the way of the Lord.  This is one way in which we prepare ourselves to receive the Lord by helping others and not being attached to material things (Matthew 6:19).  Owning things is not bad. Having money is not bad. We are material (physical) beings with needs and live in societies that have built economies that keep us dependent on money and other things.  That is not our fault. We have to live in the system, so to speak.  However, when we do have enough that just giving some of it will not have any big effect on our well-being, then we should make every effort to help others who do not have enough. If I have ten sandwiches and they will eventually go bad, why should I keep them stored in my refrigerator?  I only need one sandwich, the rest I can give away to whoever has nothing to eat.

Some fanatical right wing political supporters may call this 'Communism,' but it is not.  Caring for others is not 'Communism.' Communism keeps people down.  It does not let people gather wealth or improve themselves.  John the Baptist, Jesus and the Catholic Church do not support this. What they call for is helping those in need (Luke 6:38).  This does not mean that we have to get rid of all of our things just to be equal with everyone else if we are wealthy.  What this means is that if we have enough, then we should help others with it and not store it up as if we are going to live forever to enjoy every cent and every atom in material goods. Doing good works, especially those of mercy are a preparation to receive the Lord (Matthew 25:31-46). These works is what put our faith into action (James 2:18).  They present the Sacramental grace we received at Baptism to the world. This grace fills us with God's presence which is like a fire that cleanses the impurities of precious metals (Isaiah 48:10,1 Peter 1:7).  Jesus brings us this fire via the Holy Spirit.  We must prepare to receive the Lord and His fire that sanctifies us.

In this year of mercy, what will you do to spread this joy?  Will you help others or ignore them?  Will you hold grudges or forgive?  Will you just go to Mass and then go home to watch the sports on television or will you go out and evangelize  family, friends and strangers?  Rejoice always in the Lord. Spread the joy you have in the Lord to all you come in contact with.  Become that pink candle on the Advent wreath lighting up those around you with the joy of Christ.  Maranatha! Come Lord come!







Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/121315.cfm





Friday, December 11, 2015

Gracie West- Girl Whose Wish Was To Meet Pope: Cancer Free



Good news!  According to CBS, the young 11 year old girl, Gracie West with cancer whose wish was to meet the Pope is now cancer free.  Other kids ask to meet movie stars, Spiderman or someone like that, but young Gracie wanted to meet the Pope.  Her wish was granted by the Make a Wish Foundation last year. This is another case where someone with cancer who has been blessed by the Pope has been cured of the disease.  God is good!  













Source:

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/12/13/gracie-west-cancer-remission/

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cancer-patient-gracie-west-gets-wish-granted-meets-pope-francis/

http://www.inquisitr.com/1691961/pope-francis-meets-gracie-west-after-11-year-old-cancer-patient-grants-wish/

50 Shades of Pray - Priest, Hunk, Dolan.. Oh My!

A big scandal is brewing in New York City.  St. Frances de Chantal in the Bronx is in the news regarding a priest who is being accused of living a double life and who is stealing from the parish to support it. Father Peter Miqueli was installed as pastor in 2012 at the well known parish in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx.

He along with Cardinal Dolan and a male prostitute are being sued by parishioners.  The lawsuit claims that Miqueli stole over 1 million dollars from the parish by channeling money from an account for a pipe organ, the thrift shop, collection plate and even stipends for altar servers.

The money allegedly went to fund a gay lifestyle with a male prostitute named Keith Crist. This money was used to purchase a home and pay the rent of the muscular prostitute. Parishioners in the lawsuit claim that the archdiocese of New York was informed of this priest's lifestyle and that the aforementioned did nothing. They claim that Miqueli is rude and arrogant; dismantled the parish council and slanders parishioners that he does not get along with. A doctor and trustee of the parish is said to have provided Miqueli with drugs and accepted a down payment for the home bought. Moreover, workers at the parish claim that they saw stacks of money inside the room of the priest. Apparently, Crist's ex girlfriend, Tatyana Gudin was the whistle blower.  She claims that Crist hurt his knee while he and Miqueli were having gay sex in a tub.

Both Crist and Miqueli are said to have engaged in S&M type activities including muscle worship.  Miqueli is alleged to have drunken the urine of Crist who was his 'master.'

Parishioners have set up a petition, website and Facebook calling on the removal of this priest.  You can see the links in the 'sources' below this post for more information.

I will continue to follow up on this case and will ask friends of mine in the archdiocese of New York to see what I learn.  From reading the website, petition and lawsuit papers, some things do not sound 'kosher,' so to speak. The website, petition and petition seem to be focused on the character of Miqueli. It paints him as a rude, nasty and vindictive person. The details in the lawsuit itself seem a bit strange.  For example, why would a doctor/trustee of the parish help Miqueli get a house and drugs?  Why was he not named in the lawsuit?  Also, stacks of money in a priest's room is not something out of the ordinary. I myself used to help priests count money. They used to organize them in stacks prior to putting them in a money bag to deposit. These priests invited trusted people so that witnesses can be present to show that no money was stolen and the donations were accounted for.  Lastly, many of the details seem to paint the parishioners as disgruntled.  It may be the case that they do not like this priest and are trying to tarnish his image.  We cannot know for sure thought until the facts are in and evidence is presented.  So far, I have seen no evidence. No deeds showing that the priest and his alleged hunky boyfriend own the home have been presented. I have seen no evidence that there was any money being laundered.  The archdiocese is apparently doing an audit now of the parish so we may have to wait to see if they find any discrepancies.  There are many questions I have that I have not found answers to so I will reserve judgment on this until I learn more.


Home bought by Miqueli where he and Keith lived


UPDATE  December 11, 2015

Here is a photo of the rent agreement signed by Miqueli.



UPDATE  Dec 13, 2015:

Priest resigns.  He claims he is innocent of the accusations but will resign so as not to distract from Christmas.  The archdiocese is still investigating the charges.  No word yet on what they have found. However, Joseph Zwilling, spokemans for the archdiocese of NY said that they have found no evidence to substantiate the claims.  They asked for evidence and have only gotten allegations.  He did acknowledge that the parish was mismanaged.  Some parishioners, in particular a trustee named Chirino, say the priest is being framed and that this is all the work of parishioners with an ax to grind.

http://archny.org/news/flocknote-on-st-frances-de-chantal-news-story



(Source:  http://bronx.news12.com/news/priest-accused-of-stealing-funds-resigns-1.11223309http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/priest-fired-sex-embezzlement-rumors-true-article-1.2463726http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/parishioners-react-priest-resignation-s-m-scandal-article-1.2464482)










Source:

http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2015/12/rev-peter-miqueli-bronx-priest-steal-1m-male-sex-master-boyfriend/

https://www.change.org/p/timothy-cardinal-dolan-remove-fr-peter-miqueli-as-pastor-of-st-frances-de-chantal

https://www.facebook.com/Remove-Fr-Peter-Miqueli-as-Pastor-of-St-Frances-de-Chantal-213413205520342/timeline/

http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/archdiocese-of-ny-and-cdl.-dolan-sued-over-homosexual-priest-stealing-milli#.VmpRzDWWNyc.twitter

http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/money-bags

http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/whos-protecting-judas-priest

http://nypost.com/2015/12/10/priest-paid-his-male-sex-master-from-collection-plate-lawsuit/

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx-priest-sued-allegedly-stealing-1m-churches-article-1.2462101

http://helpsfdchantal.weebly.com/

https://docs.google.com/document/d/12yp-3ZDvMecdw_bjz4_Oa4VhfI59Ww-V2noaZhT_SWI/edit?pli=1

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ego- The Greatest Obstacle to Grace & Truth

I will be starting a new reflection series on the ego and how it stifles grace and truth.  Here is my first post.

Psychology pioneer and atheist Sigmund Freud developed the idea of the psychic apparatus. He posited that human beings have an Id, ego and super-ego.  The Id is the 'animal' part of the mind.  Ego is the self that monitors the Id and super-ego.  The super-ego is the higher levels of cognitive function in regards to thinking, discrimination and morality. Freud argued that these three must work together otherwise the individual would be mentally ill or act and think erratically.

Today, we are seeing a big problem related to the ego. Each individual wants to know better than the other even when evidence sides only with one side. It never ceases to amazing me how many times I have gotten insulted, blocked or unfollowed on social media just for thinking differently than others. Some of those doing this are Catholics themselves; people who are supposed to be 'on my side' in regards to religious faith. This is unfortunate indeed and feeds the atheist stereotype of religious people that they are afraid of countering views and put up shields.

Recently, I have been receiving some heat from Catholics who got offended after I found nothing wrong with the light show at the Vatican. I find that this anger stems from their political persuasions.  Pope Francis has addressed this problem numerous times. Some people in religion tend to identify more with the views of their political parties than that of the Church's teaching.  This is why we see Catholics and Protestant Christians call the Pope a socialist just because he wants the poor to have their fair share of the world's wealth.  The same happens in regards to climate change or 'global warming.' The science has proven that the Earth is warming. Levels of co2 are rising at an extraordinary rate since the industrial revolution. Despite the hard evidence for this, some Catholics and Protestant Christians will turn blue in the face claiming all of this is a hoax. The same was said of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s as well I might add. Back then there were people denying that this virus existed and that it was all part of a government conspiracy.  Even today, a few still believe this.

In the remake of the 1950's classic, "The Day the Earth Stood Still," a physicist meets with Klaatu played by actor Keanu Reeves known for his role in The Matrix trilogy. The movie is about an extraterrestrial who comes to Earth with a Robot.  He states that humanity is a violent race and is taking its drama to space.  Other extraterrestrial species are concerned and decide to send Klaatu to warn Earthlings. The Earthlings do what they do best, war. They attack him which causes the robot to destroy the aggressive troops. Klaatu becomes convinced that humanity is just a savage race that just loves to fight and kill, so he programs the robot to destroy Earth. A woman tries to convince him to change his mind but he does not. He came in peace, tried to reason but human beings just wanted to annihilate the threat (him). This woman takes him to a renown physicist, Professor Barnhardt hoping he will convince Klaatu to change his mind and allow Earth to exist.  He tells him something very important which is true about the human species:

"But it's only on the brink that people find the will to change. Only at the precipice do we evolve."

This rings true of humanity. It is only when humanity is in 'hot water,' so to speak, that it changes. Humans wait until terrorists attack until they take action to secure their nations.  They wait until diseases spread before looking for a cure. Now, they are waiting till the Earth's climate changes and wipes out cities and wildlife until they take action. This is unfortunate because at this precipice it may be too late.

The human ego is the problem. Those Catholics and others who get upset with me, insult me, block me do so because they are so wrapped around in their own world that any countering view is seen as a threat. When I or others unwrapped their 'safety blanket' that soothes their cognitive bias, this leaves them vulnerable.  When the human mind is vulnerable, the Id takes over.  The animal in the human become defensive and either flees or fights. This is just how human beings are hard wired.  I speak more about this in my upcoming book, "Atheism Is Stupid" in a context related to atheists who too get caught up in their cognitive bias and refuse to accept any truth.

In the book of Genesis, we see this human ego getting in the way of God's will.  God tells Adam & Eve not to eat of the tree of life of good and evil. They disobey thinking they know better than God and eat of it. Throughout Sacred Scripture we see the human ego stifling the grace of God and pushing aside truth.  When Jesus reveals that He is the "bread of life" and tells the people to "eat His flesh," all of them leave Him thinking He is crazy. Here we see the human ego once again. People do not like anything that challenges their cognitive status quo.

As a former atheist and graduate of the sciences and philosophy, I am in a different position than so-called 'cradle Catholics.'  Religious people who are actively religious since early formative years are more receptive to beliefs, even if those beliefs are not supported by evidence. A recent study showed children in Catholic school have trouble distinguishing fiction from non-fiction compared to children who go to secular schools. I consider it a fortune that I was born in an atheist environment where my mind formed to be skeptical and not just believe things. This allows me more freedom of inquiry and questioning. Some Catholics do not understand this and attack me for it.  Others have thought of me as being arrogant or trying to win every argument. This shows to me their state of mind. They seek combat. Everything to them is a combat. That is not how I see it.  When I get into discussions with fellow Catholics or even atheists, it is not a battle to me. I am not trying to be right and prove them wrong. I discuss with them to the point that hopefully they will see if they are wrong or not based on how the discussion goes and how facts are applied.

Moreover, science was my first 'religion,' so to speak.  It was science that brought me to God.  The Catholic Church's role in science brought me to the Catholic Church. I was not converted by a priest like Corapi, or EWTN; nor was I converted by following some visionaries who claim to see Mary.  It was science that did the trick.  That being said, I am extremely fond of science. If a Catholic or anyone is going to come to me and deny evolution, global warming etc, then he or she must show me hard and strong evidence that is equal to or greater than its contrary. Telling me that "I am wrong" does not convince me. Linking me to sites with the rhetoric of journalists or other Catholics is not evidence to me. I respect their views and will read them, but if I do not see evidence, science and math in it, and if they are present but are not strong, then I will not be convinced.

Now this stance has been interpreted as arrogance by some when in reality it is not. My stance is to show me proof.  My position changes when I see strong evidence. To date, I see no convincing evidence that proves that global warming is a hoax.  One can even do test it oneself with precipitation.  If someone refuses to believe scientists or the evidence, then one can do an experiment right at home and find out for themselves.  They can take snow or rain and use one as a control to measure against.  Next, they continue to collect samples each time there is precipitation. They can do this for 6 months of more.  The longer the better because there will be more data to see any trends.  When the period of the collection of samples is done, they can test for co2 levels.  If each consecutive precipitation sample shows an increase of co2 level, then the person basically proved that global warming is real. It is as simple as that.  Moreover, if one has time and money, one can travel to different locations and collect samples from different regions and do the experiment.

There is no denying that we have a problem.  Now, is the Earth going to flood?  Is Florida going to sink when the next storm hits? No, not at all. No science states this.  What science states is that the Earth is warming due to co2 levels.  Co2 traps UV rays in the atmosphere causing it to warm faster. The atmosphere is the engine for climate.  It is here when the water cycle takes hold. If the Earth warms more, more water will evaporate and will go back up to the atmosphere.  There will be more energy there which will create these super storms we have been seeing lately. They will also create heatwaves like we have seen in Europe, droughts like we have seen in the west coast of the United States.  Moreover, since the Earth is getting warmer, oceans will increase in temperature.  This will disturb the natural balance.  Sea creatures that can only exist in a certain temperature will start to die.  Usually natural selection balances this out, but this takes millions of years and if the Earth is warming every year, then this does not give organisms in the seas enough time to adapt and evolve to the new temperatures.  On Earth we have a food chain.  Smaller animals are meals for bigger ones.  The warmer water affects the smaller animals more so these begin to die.  As they die, larger animals begin to starve because they have no food. This causes a chain reaction of extinction which will eventually wipe out all life on Earth since we are all depended on one another.  Unless God comes and has manna fall from the sky again, humanity will suffer greatly do to the disruption of the food chain. There are nearly 7 billion people on Earth.  Those are a lot of mouths to feed, so you do the math.

We must be honest about this.  Those who claim global warming is a hoax are doing a disservice to the virtue of truth.  Unfortunately, these people get their information from conspirators who are not experts in the field and explain global warming erroneously. They often confuse climate with weather which are not the same thing.  Weather is what happens each day, climate is a set norm for a region or place.  Weather changes every second while climate takes hundreds or more years to change gradually.  We must not wait to be at the precipice to take action now.

The Vatican recently had a light show calling attention to endangered species, global warming and poverty.  They allowed this because they found that it fit the message of Laudato Si.  Those who are out there calling it some Illuminati New Age Paganism thing are just being ridiculous. There is absolutely no evidence for this.  This is why I wrote my post yesterday criticizing Father Z's post.  Many people have messaged me about it congratulating me, some others even had some bad things to say of him which I disapproved of, a few attacked me saying my post was 'uncharitable.'  I understand all points of view and respect them.  However, as stated before, I am a man of science, not superstition. I need evidence.  Drumming up tall tales about New Age conspiracies is just nonsense to me.  If I told you that the the White House is hiding aliens, will you believe me right then and there?  Put yourself in my shoes.  I found Father Z's post extremely uneducated and unbecoming of an educated cleric.  That is my opinion and apparently the opinion of many who messaged me privately. I like his posts on liturgy, but this one post was clearly done without thinking on his part.

I am not being arrogant by sharing my knowledge.  Science does not have all the answers, neither does the Church.  We must be realistic.  We must work together to care for our world.  If you want to block or unfollow me, fine.  I am not here to win a popularity contest.  This is not about me.  I know some people immaturely use unfollowing as daggers, but that does not register with me.  My mind works on a rational level, not emotional. Either way, I will not stop from telling the truth whether Catholic or scientific.  I am not conservative or liberal.  I go by the facts that are supported by evidence.

We must not let our ego get in the way.  This is not about being conservative or liberal, but about truth.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Father 'Zany,' Vatican Lights and other Catholic Ignorance



I usually do not like to publicly criticize fellow Catholics, especially priests; however, I felt compelled to after the nonsense I have been seeing online.

"Father Z" as he calls himself online is a so-called 'traditionalist' priest who blogs on Wordpress. I do not know much about him but apparently he has bounced from diocese to diocese for whatever reason. He is often the 'go-to' man for rubrics and other things liturgical for some Catholics who enjoy his blog. However, this one post he wrote was sent to me by a Catholic Twitter user who later blocked me after years of following me for the sole reason that I disagreed with her.  Anyhow, I found her critique and that of other Catholics absurd regarding the 'light show' entitled "Fiat Lux: Illuminating Our Common Home" at the Vatican. The display is sponsored by the World Bank.  They called it 'profane' and 'sacrilegious.'  Father Z also shared the same sentiment in a reactionary manner and it is clear that not once did he ponder about what he is writing.  I will show why his post rings of ignorance.

He writes:

"I am trying to imagine what St. Peter would think about this.
Based on his anger toward priests who misused sacred vessels and did not provide for the dignity of the sacred mysteries, I am trying to what St. Francis of Assisi would express at the use of the basilica housing the tomb of Peter this way.
As I watch, there are different images of animals, bugs, lizards, birds with the corresponding critter noises, punctuated by sound effects, new age zings and zoongs.  It’s like the LSD psycho tunnel at the Detroit airport.   But… it’s St. Peter’s."


I think St. Peter and St. Francis of Assisi would not mind since both followed Christ and this light show was about saving endangered species and helping the poor which are things Christ would definitely advocate. What saint would protest this?  Nowhere did Christ say that His Apostles had to ignore God's creation. We are stewards of the Earth.  Moreover, we have an obligation to care for the poor around world. I am confident that the Vatican understood well the intention of this light show and approved it.  This light show was intended to bring more emphasis on the Pope's recent encyclical "Laudato Si."

Father Z then goes on to make a ridiculous statement regarding an image of a lion that was part of the light show display, he quotes from the book of Peter:

"When they came to this, with the obligatory roar, I didn’t think of the inscription on the base of the obelisk at the center of the piazza, but rather:
Sobrii estote vigilate quia adversarius vester diabolus tamquam leo rugiens circuit quaerens quem devoret cui resistite fortes fide scientes eadem passionum ei quae in mundo est vestrae fraternitati fieri… Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls, your brethren who are in the world."



Here he implies that this image of the lion is 'demonic.' The lion to him is somehow representative of the "roaring lion" mentioned in Peter's epistle.  Seriously father??  You studied theology.  C'mon now... Have you not heard of the "Lion of Judah" which is a reference to Jesus?  (See:Revelation 5:5)  Why must you see this image of God's beautiful creature (lion) as Satan?  This light show highlighted the many endangered species around the world. It was not meant to be a religious message.  Father Z with his statement comes across as a fanatical fundamentalist preacher who pinpoints apocalyptic 'cues' in society.  My abnormal psychology professor would describe his comments are delusional and paranoid.  That is unfortunate indeed. In an apparently tone of paranoia, Father Z even claims that this is 'irreverent use' of the facade of the Vatican basilica. He writes:


"The Vatican basilica is a consecrated building.  This is a non-sacred use – in fact it is an irreverent use – of a consecrated building.
St. Peter’s is, without question, a sacred place and object (a very large one, too!).  It is, without question, dedicated by the Church to sacred purposes.  The use of this sacred building and place (where St. Peter was martyred and buried, a pilgrimage place, etc. etc. etc.) as a projection screen for mere secular purposes is irreverent treatment.
From The Catholic Dictonary:
Sacrilege: “The irreverent treatment of sacred things, persons or places, i.e., those dedicated by God or the Church to sacred purposes.  It is a sin against the virtue of religion, of its nature grave, but admitting smallness of matter. Sacrilege may be either personal, as when violence is done to a cleric or religious; local, as when certain crimes are committed or actions done in a church; real, as by the abuse of sacraments, the theft of sacred objects or their irreverent misuse and the sin of simony. These varieties of the sin differ specifically from one another.”


Nothing in the Catholic dictionary states that projections cannot be placed on a facade of a church building. Moreover, Father Z has not established that this display is 'irreverent.' From what I remember, God's creatures were created by Him and called "good" (Genesis 1:25).  Someone needs to remind Father Z that thinking of creation as 'irrelevant' is the heresy of Gnosticism which see all created matter as evil.  There is nothing irreverent about posting images of God's beautiful creatures which are endangered in order to covey the message of the encyclical Laudato Si.  A real irreverent act is when bishops and dioceses have their appeals and have pastors play videos during Mass in order to get parishioners to fork over their hard earned cash to fund them.  I find that irreverent, a misuse of sacred space, simony and sacrilegious. I think Jesus said, "You have made my house a den of thieves" if my memory serves me well (John 2:13-17).  Why Father Z does not mention this as irreverent is beyond me.  Then again, who pays his salary apart from the donations he receives from blog readers?


You can read more of Father Z's embarassing nonsensical uneducated rant here if you wish: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/12/turning-st-peters-basilica-into-a-projection-screen-for-climate-change-panic-propaganda/



 Father Z was not the only one.  Pete Baklinski of LifeSite also wrote an article where he conflates the display of animals to paganism. He writes:

"Along with images of the world and its endangered animals, including lions, birds, apes, and whales, appeared New Age symbolism associated with ancient pagan deities."

I am embarrassed for Pete and Father Z for their lack of academic astuteness.  The conflation of the depiction of endangered species with 'New Age symbolism' is ridiculous. Can someone tell Pete that the idea of a 'church building' or 'temple' is of Pagan origin?  Moreover, so are statues!  Emperor Constantine after his conversion handed over the Pagan temples such as the Pantheon to the Catholic Church.

Guess what, we are using symbols and buildings from "ancient pagan deities."  Ever see those shell images behind statues or shells used to baptize?  Yes, those are of Pagan origin too.  What about halos around saints?  Yes, that too was borrowed from Pagans.

Mind you, the obelisk in front of the basilica is also Pagan.  The obelisk was built by Egyptians to honor the sun god Ra.  Yes, Ra was a bird and man hybrid.

Why no mention of these things from Pete and Father Z?  Why pick on the Vatican and Pope?


Run!  The Vatican has an obelisk which was made to honor the Pagan god Ra!  The Vatican is worshiping false idols!  Give me a break Father Z, Pete and so-called 'traditionalist' reactionaries ...  :-)




The ignorance is just astounding.  There was a point in time long ago where priests were leaders in academia and science.  What happened?  Are today's clergy and lay people now scientifically illiterate superstitious naysayers?  Seems Father Z is another one of those climate change deniers too... mama mia!  Is the 'Z' in Father Z for Father Zany?  God help us all.  

Here are some interesting and ill-informed tweets I received from Catholics who value right-wing fanatical nonsense more than truth.

 

 
























I see nothing wrong with this light show.  What would really bother me if the light show was done inside of the basilica or if the Vatican put Rainbow Pride colors...










Sources:


http://grist.org/climate-energy/crazy-vatican-light-show-illuminates-the-popes-climate-message/

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/national-international/St-Peters-Basilica-Vatican-Animal-Light-Show-360993021.html

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/vatican-light-show-calls-attention-to-climate-change-582431811948

http://www.cbsnews.com/live/video/vaticans-climate-change-light-show/

https://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/vatican-light-show-to-focus-on-climate-change

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/sacrilege-catholic-leaders-react-to-vaticans-climate-change-light-show

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2015/12/turning-st-peters-basilica-into-a-projection-screen-for-climate-change-panic-propaganda/

Labels

Catholic Church (442) God (305) Atheism (230) Jesus Christ (211) Jesus (207) Bible (170) Pope Francis (163) Atheist (140) LGBT (127) Science (110) Liturgy of the Word (103) Christianity (83) Rosa Rubicondior (75) Pope Benedict XVI (73) Abortion (71) Gay (64) President Obama (55) Prayer (54) Vatican (38) Christian (36) Physics (35) Philosophy (33) Blessed Virgin Mary (32) New York City (32) Christmas (31) Psychology (30) Women (29) Politics (28) Biology (26) Liturgy (26) Baseball (24) Religious Freedom (23) Pope John Paul II (21) Space (21) Holy Eucharist (19) Pro Abortion (19) priests (19) Evil (18) NYPD (18) Supreme Court (18) Child Abuse (17) Pro Choice (17) Evangelization (16) First Amendment (16) Protestant (16) Police (15) Donald Trump (14) Christ (12) Death (12) Health (12) Priesthood (12) Astrophysics (11) Blog (11) Marriage (11) Pedophilia (11) Poverty (10) Racism (10) Theology (9) Vatican II (9) Divine Mercy (8) Human Rights (8) Illegal Immigrants (8) Muslims (8) Personhood (8) September 11 (8) Autism (7) Condoms (7) David Viviano (7) Easter Sunday (7) Ellif_dwulfe (7) Evidence (7) Gender Theory (7) Gospel (7) academia (7) Apologetics (6) Barack Obama (6) Big Bang Theory (6) Humanism (6) Jewish (6) Morality (6) Pentecostals (6) Traditionalists (6) Babies (5) Cognitive Psychology (5) Cyber Bullying (5) NY Yankees (5) Spiritual Life (5) The Walking Dead (5) Angels (4) CUNY (4) Donations (4) Ephebophilia (4) Eucharist (4) Gender Dysphoria Disorder (4) Holy Trinity (4) Podcast (4) Pope Pius XII (4) Evangelicals (3) Hispanics (3) Pluto (3) Pope John XXIII (3) Sacraments (3) Baby Jesus (2) Dan Arel (2) Death penalty (2) Encyclical (2) Founding Fathers (2) Freeatheism (2) Hell (2) Massimo Pigliucci (2) Oxfam (2) Penn Jillette (2) Pew Research Center (2) Plenary Indulgence (2) Catholic Bloggers (1) Cursillo (1) Dan Savage (1) Divine Providence (1) Eastern Orthodox (1) Fear The Walking Dead (1) Pentecostales (1) Pope Paul VI (1)