Thursday, February 22, 2018

Atheist Lawrence Krauss Accused of Sexual Misconduct

The Bible says that pride comes before the fall in Proverbs 16:18. How true are these words! I have just learned that atheist physicist, Lawrence Krauss is being accused of sexual misconduct by women. Krauss is known for his sarcasm, ridicule of religious beliefs and an untamed arrogance. He seems to think that he knows more than everyone else, especially those "stupid religious people." Well, now he is on the spotlight.

Several women have accused him for decades. Melody Hensley, 28 was a makeup artist who joined the Center for Inquiry. This is a nonprofit group that pushes separation of Church and state and a intolerant form of secularism. Hensley aspired to be a leader in the so-called "skeptics" movement. During a CFI event that took place in November of 2006, she was approached by Krauss who asked for her card. What happened next was creepy. Krauss asked her if she was "of age." This question obviously had to do with the legality of consensual sexual activity. Hensley, a fan of the atheist scientist did not think much of the comment. She was obviously "star-struck." However, Krauss invited her to dinner in a email later on. Hensley told BuzzFeed News,

“I didn’t care if he flirted with me, I just wanted to be around somebody important, and I also wanted to get a job in this field. I thought I could handle myself.”

Krauss then invited her to come to his hotel room. He then flirted with her, commented on her eye makeup and violated her personal space. Afterwards, he forced himself on her by forcing her onto the bed underneath him and began to kiss her without her consent and even tried to remove her tights. Krauss then got a condom. As he did this, Hensley ran out saying "I have to go." Krauss claims that the encounter was consentual. Hensley informed her boyfriend who contacted CFI about what happened.

According to Buzzfeed News, this is not the first accusation against Krauss. He has alledgedly groped women, made sexist jokes, has been accused of ogling undergrads and even told an employee at his place of employment Arizona State University that he would purchase her birth control so that she ould not inconvenience him with any maternity leave. Case Western Reserve University and Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics have both banned him from their campuses.

Krauss denies the allegations despite numerous complaints, documents, emails and interviews with over 50 people. The majority of accusers have asked to remain anonymous due to fears of retaliation. They fear Krauss will attack them with legal retaliation or his male fans will target them. The atheist movement is made up of mostly rich white males who have displayed misogynistic tendencies. They have often smeared women who have spoken out against other alleged skeptics.

In 2007, an accuser named Nora (middle name) was studying at Case Western Reserve as an undergraduate student. She approached Krauss regarding how hard it was to be one of the few female physics major students. He then made an inappropriate comment saying that there must be many guys who ask her out on dates. On another occasion, she asked to do an interview him for a newspaper and he just closed the door of his office, made sexual jokes and invited her to dinner. She even wrote about this in the college's newspaper:

“There was even one particular creep of a professor who once told me he thought differently of me compared to other students and asked me to dinner: a situation so disturbing that it left me upset for weeks afterward.”

Despite not mentioning him by name, the dean of the school knew who she was referring to and told her to file a complaint. She followed through with his suggestion. The dean apparently knew of Krauss' predatory behavior.

There are many more allegations detailed in the BuzzFeed link in the sources. The news is disturbing and shows what happens when one lacks a moral compass. Krauss is one who claims that morality can be determined via the scientific method. He has dismissed philosophy and ethics int he past and has even debated one of my former professors, Dr. Massimo Pigliucci who is a stern advocate for philosophy.

Ironically, Krauss has tweeted about the "MeToo" movement and spoke out against sexual harassment. In hindsight, his comments show his hypocrisy.








I invite all women and men to report any inappropriate sexual harassment or physical contact to the authorities. The atheist movement has a sexual harassment problem which it refuses to acknowledge. It is a movement run by white males who are misogynistic and who protect predators. They contradict their alleged concern for liberal ideas regarding feminism.  These men never fail at bringing up predatory priests while ignoring the filth among their ranks.  Atheists should not let another's celebrity get in the way of protecting women and any men who are targeted by sexual predators among the atheism movement.


I invite all to contact CFI and Arizona State and demand that Krauss and other sexual predators be fired and publicly condemned.

Center For Inquiry
P.O. Box 741, Amherst, NY 14226
info@centerforinquiry.net
http://www.centerforinquiry.net

CFI Executive Office
1012 14th Street, NW, Suite 205
Washington, DC 20005


Arizona State University
Tempe AZ 85281
480-965-2100
https://contact.asu.edu







Source:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/peteraldhous/lawrence-krauss-sexual-harassment-allegations?utm_term=.sk4PRqGGxr#.ih0P6MQQag

https://www.buzzfeed.com/markoppenheimer/will-misogyny-bring-down-the-atheist-movement?utm_term=.pmmdD5kkqM#.dfzjyVrrGQ

https://web.archive.org/web/20111018190820/http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blogs/entry/women_in_secularism/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2018/02/22/lawrence-krauss-faces-sexual-misconduct-allegations-from-multiple-women/

https://www.pedestrian.tv/news/lawrence-krauss-sexual-misconduct-report/

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday 2018

Today is Ash Wednesday the beginning of the season of Lent. Many reflections come to my mind, in particular, the humility we should aspire to live by.  It is also St. Valentine's day, a day hijacked by secularism to reflect relationships.  More on this later.

During Ash Wednesday, we receive the ashes as a sign of repentance, humility, and reminder of our finite existence on Earth. The use of ashes is not new and can be found in Sacred Scripture: Esther 4:1Job 42:6 and Daniel 9:3.

The ashes remind us of our state of this world.  "We are dust and to dust, we shall return" which comes from Genesis 3:19.  It is a reminder that we are not an end in ourselves.  Our lives, our successes, our education, in a word; our entire being returns to dust and ashes after death.  All that we were or could have been is reduced to a pile of ashes.  The whole thought is humbling.  The very word 'humbling' comes from 'humility.'  The word 'humility' comes from 'humus' which means 'dirt, soil or ashes from the Earth.'  The ashes placed on us should remind us of humility.  It should remind us that eventually, we will die and that life should be well spent, so to speak.  

We do not have all the time in the world so we must make good use of it in order to try our best to follow God's will.  As Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 states:  
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;"
God will call each one of us in due time. We will face judgment immediately after death as Hebrews 9:27 tells us, and there is no attorney nor can we make use of any alibi.  It is important that we try to do God's will and not waste our lives on sin and other vices that give the illusion of happiness or joy.  Like the quote from the classic movie, "A Bronx Tale" written by Chazz Palminteri states: "The saddest thing in life is wasted talent."  We all have the talents necessary along with God's grace in order to live a virtuous life and grow spiritually.  Ash Wednesday and Lent should remind us of this.

The ashes remind us of our finite state in this world.  The fasting and abstaining from meat remind us that we can give up anything in order to grow spiritually, even sustenance.  This shouldn't be a burden for 'man does not live by bread alone, but by the Word of God." (Matthew 4:4)  

As an atheist, existentialism was part of my frame of mind which states that all rests on the individual - we are an end in ourselves.  Ash Wednesday added to my way of thinking.  It reminded me that I am not an end in myself.  My intellectual reasoning ability, my knowledge, my talents etc eventually will dissipate as I take my last breath.  This allowed me to consider that there has to be more to life, this couldn't be it on Earth.  However, this is a topic for another blog post.

Unfortunately, some Catholics rely on the external aspect of days like Ash Wednesday.  The "A&P Catholics" come to church on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday out of 'duty' or false piety and not a genuine search for God and discipline to grow more in Him.  Like the Pharisees, they do not internalize the symbolism behind the sacramentals given on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday. Faith cannot become a mere "duty" or "obligation."  It must be a way of life.  The ashes on Ash Wednesday must not become a pagan ritual, if you will.  There is nothing magical about the use of ashes. It does not have any powers.  They are just holy reminders of our mortality.   

I hope you attending Ash Wednesday Mass today or if you receive ashes during a service that you remind yourself that we must be humble.  We must remember that we are indeed 'dust and to dust, we shall return.'  Nothing will change this.  No advancements in science or medicine will make death a thing of the past.  The ashes should remind us that the hourglass is slowly emptying and that we must make every effort to use every precious second to grow spiritual in God's grace.  We will fall along the way, but God will help us get back up.

The first reading reminds us that we have to return to the Lord.  Our fasting, the ashes we receive, our abstaining from meat much have an internal meaning, the rending of our hearts.  God is merciful and gracious.  He waits for us to return to Him.  In this season of Lent, we must do our best to return to God. None of us are perfect.  We all sin. However, sin is not the end of the story.  Sin is the villain in our story that we have to defeat.  We can only do this by living a holy life of prayer and reception of the Sacraments. These bring about a greater representation of Christ in the world. We begin to love God and our neighbor more and more.  We start to gain courage to face all trials.  Lent is a special time in the Church. We walk with Jesus in the desert, face temptation and walk out victorious with Christ Jesus.  The first readingreminds us the need to ask God for mercy; to spare His people!  We receive the ashes as a reminder of our mortality. Humans are just dust and to dust they shall return.  Scientifically speaking, we are carbon based lifeforms who are made of "star dust," as the late Carl Sagan famously stated. Our accomplishments, our intelligence, our capacity to reason should not make us feel pride as if we are gods on earth; we are not!  The ashes remind us of this.

We need mercy from God for we have sinned, as the responsorial Psalm says.  God is indeed mercy. There is no sin He will not forgive unless it is the sin against the Holy Spirit, or the sin of not trusting in God's mercy and avoiding it. Only God can cleanse us of our sins and guilt. Only God can create a pure heart in us and a steadfast spirit. We must take this time during Lent to call on God to have mercy on us so that we can proclaim His praise.  The second reading tells us that we are ambassadors for Christ.  We represent Christ in our state in life to others.  Therefore, we must be holy and humble.  We must be full of love and mercy.  This can only be done if we ar reconciled with God.  Jesus became the image of sin (human) but did not sin so that He could rescue us from sin.  We must not be ingrates and receive God's grace with humility and not vain. Ashes on our foreheads are not a trophy to show off to others.  They are a reminder that we aremere dust.  They give witnesses that we are nothing but dust before God and therefore must rely on Him and His mercy.

The Gospel today reminds us that our righteous deeds are not supposed to be for self-glorification or promotion. We must not "blow a trumpet" before ourselves in order to be looked upon as if we are religious celebrities. Instead, we must pray in private, do things in private whether it is giving to the poor or helping others.  In other words, we must not make a spectacle of our actions as if we need to be praised by others because we did good.  Praying and doing good must be directed towards God, not self-glorification. During Lent, we fast and abstain from meat. This may be hard for some of us. However, we must not walk around with gloomy faces so that others can see and focus on our misery as if we fast and abstain in order to feel pity from others or garner attention.  God will reward us for suffering in silence.  As mentioned previously, many in America and around the world also celebrate Valentine's day.  On this day, couples give each other chocolates, roses, cards and what not.  The fact that both days collided this year is interesting and can be used as a reflection.  Ash Wednesday is a reminder of our mortality and that we must repent.  We can repent and change because God wants us to and allows us to.  This is because He loves us.  God is love. God is the ultimate love.  Love finds its definition in God.  What a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine's day by repenting and accepting the Love of all Loves: Jesus Christ. 

Take this time during Lent to refocus your attention to God. Do things for His honor and glory, not your own.  Wear the ashes as a witness to your mortality and as a witness to your conversion to Christ. Do not wear them in order to show off as if the ashes cry out "Hey!, I am a Catholic."  This is not what Ash Wednesday is about. Remember to be humble. We are just dust, not gods. May Jesus Christ be praised!


Readings:  http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/021418.cfm





Monday, February 5, 2018

Father Z: Not Sinful to Pray for Pope's Death/End of Pontificate

An article written by Joseph Bernstein from BuzzFeed has placed the spotlight on internet personality priest who blogs as "Father Z."  His full name is John Zuhlsdorf and he claims to be a former Lutheran who converted to Catholicism. 

He is incardinated in an Italian diocese, but lives in Wisconsin.  No one really knows where or if he is attached to a parish. Usually when priests who are incardinated in other dioceses and are not working, this may mean that he is problematic.

Years ago in New York City we had a priest visit us from Italy who was ultraconservative.  I will not post his name to respect his privacy.  He was a nice guy, but seemed to have some unhealthy ideas about women and their function in the Liturgy.  He seemed to see females as an aversive thing.  At one point, he prevented women with lipstick from receiving Holy Communion.  He also embarrassed an extraordinary minister during Mass because he felt her clothing was not modest. She became upset and began to cry.  This caused problems as you can imagine. He was immediately asked to leave. I lost track of him and eventually saw him again at another parish I worked at. He helped at Spanish Masses and then disappeared again. Last I heard, he was staying with a parishioner from another parish and eventually became homeless.  No parish wanted to give him work because of his behavior and ultraconservative ideas. He was always in a cassock and critical of how parishes held their Masses despite these parishes doing what is allowed by the diocese and the Vatican.  It seems Father Z may be one of these characters.

When a priest's views are too extreme or his behavior is anti-social, bishops avoid him.  These priests become rogue priests wandering around without solid work at a parish. This makes sense due to the fact that Father Z relies on donations to earn a living. His blog is his wage producer. This may be illegal in the Church according to Canon Law. Priests are supposed to earn their living within a diocese and from the diocese, not on their own.  Bishops are responsible for their priests and must provide for them.  Canon Law 286 prohibits the clergy from engaging in business in order to gain profit.

Can. 286 Clerics are prohibited from conducting business or trade personally or through others, for their own advantage or that of others, except with the permission of legitimate ecclesiastical authority.


In light of this, Father Z may be breaking canon law by using a blog as a business means to earn a salary. This income is not tax-exempt and is unaccounted for. I found this odd when I first learned of this priest-blogger.  When I tried to join his blog to comment and inquire, he did not allow me to join because I used my ministry's name "Sacerdotus." I found this odd since he uses his own moninker "Father Z" to post online and did not know that Blessed Solanus Casey was a "Sacerdotus." Moreover, his tone in the email came across as arrogant and condescending.



When he wrote a post attacking the Vatican for displaying a light show on the facade of St. Peter's Basilica, I wrote a post pointing out the nonsensical rant in his post and why they made him look foolish, see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2015/12/father-zany-vatican-lights-and-other.html.  His science illiteracy and lack of knowledge regarding previous Vatican light-shows was clear in his post.

It seems that many others have had problems with Father Z as well. Some of my followers have told me that they were turned off by the constant "showing off" of his lavish meals and travels. These are possibly at the expense of those who donate to him of course. While most of his content is not too bad; apart from the Vatican light show one, a post he wrote where he responded to a reader is extremely troubling.  In the post, he encourages the reader to pray for the death of a pope or the end of a pontificate. He claims that this is not sinful.

The reader, an apparent Pope Francis hater asked:

"Given the rate things are going for this current pontificate, would it be sinful to pray that, if it be God’s will, that the pope either abdicates or dies and a new pope of a more conservative leaning is elected?"

Father Z replied on 27 January:

"I get this often.
No.  It is not necessarily sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another.
However, it depends on why and on your attitude.  I urge people not to have hate in their hearts for the person of the Holy Father.  He deserves our prayers.  That doesn’t mean that we have to like him or what he does.  We do NOT worship the Pope.  Popes come and go.  In our prayers, we can, without sinning, discuss with God about His time table."

Do you see the problem?  He tells the person that it is not "sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another." He is endorsing the idea that the reader mentioned in the question who asked, "...would it be sinful to pray, that if it be God's will, that the pope either abdicates or dies...?"  Note how he never corrected the reader by stating clearly that we cannot pray for anyone to die, pope or not.  Instead, he says that it is not "sinful to pray for the end of a pontificate, one way or another."  To be fair, he did excuse himself later on after readers criticized him, see: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2017/02/wherein-fr-z-apologizes-and-explains-a-response-to-a-readers-question/.  However, his mea culpa fell short of erasing his error.  He writes:

"Since I posted that, I’ve heard that some people thought – from what admittedly I wrote – either that it is okay to pray that the Pope should die (without any further qualification) or that they ought to pray that the Pope should die.
That was certainly NOT my intention.  I’m sorry if by my poor wording I gave that impression.
I tried to answer that question – which I have received quite a few times – in way that put questioners at ease, but also counseled care and judgment about their own attitude, their own motives.  It appears that I didn’t do that very well."

This is a poor attempt at backpedaling.  Father Z knew exactly what he meant and why he worded his words the way he did. Anyone with or without a theology degree knows that it is a sin against charity and one's neighbor to pray for the ill or the fall of another. This would be what St. Thomas Aquinas calls a maledictio. A true Catholic Christian prays for the grace to deal with others, not to get rid of them (1 Corinthians 13:7). Father Z's reply is simply empty of moral theology. There is never any justification for praying for the end of someone's life, ministry or position in life. Instead, we must pray for that person to convert if he or she is doing evil and must pray for the grace to deal with the person or circumstance. This would have been the best reply to give to the reader.  Praying for a pontificate to end is a maledictio whereupon the person is demanding God bring an end to a person or his or her position in life.  This is evil and sinful.  God guides His Catholic Church.  The pope who is in power is so because God wills it. Who are we to whine and ask for a forced removal? 

Father Z has also encouraged readers to attack Father James Martin SJ causing some of his events to be cancelled. While the intention may be to prevent Fr. Martin from spreading his twisted ideas on homosexuality, this intention may be abusive against Fr. Martin. He has freedom of speech and bishops are responsible for whom they allow to speak and work within their territories, not mass protesters. It is scandalous for a priest to publicly attack a brother priest. If I were Father Z, I would reach out to Fr. Martin privately and not create an online militia that seeks to become its own organization of inquisitors.  The BuzzFeed article goes more at length as to why Father Z is a problematic figure in the Catholic Church. 

My advice to my readers is to be careful with Father Z. Just because one is ordained does not mean he or she is a good representative of the Catholic faith. Take note that this priest is not functioning within the Church in a normal manner. While there are priests and nuns who blog, they do not live for blogging like Father Z does. These individuals have their respective full-time ministries and ways of life which provide an income for them. I would be wary of a rogue diocesan priest who seems to be a pariah among dioceses and who relies on a blog to earn a living which is contrary to Canon law.  Pray for him.


 






Source:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/meet-the-blogger-priest-firing-red-pills-at-the-vatican?utm_term=.lwykz9qqVR#.spaJN077D5

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG1104/_PY.HTM

https://novusordowatch.org/2014/01/sad-case-zuhlsdorf/

http://www.thericatholic.com/stories/special-events-listings-022218,9617

https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/more-idiocy-zuhlsdorf

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3076.htm#article1

https://onemadmomblog.wordpress.com/tag/fr-zuhlsdorf/

https://priestshavebecomecesspoolsofimpurity.blogspot.com/2017/06/maybe-pistol-packin-world-traveler-fr.html

https://international.la-croix.com/news/catholic-cyber-militias-and-the-new-censorship/5923

http://www.dcdiocese.org/news/commentary/2459-solanus-casey-1870-1957





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