7 Quick Takes Friday (set #159)

This week: Some last minute shopping advice. A vocations video on religious life. Another short video promoting chapel veils. The biggest dog in Britain (really, a canine not a person). A look at the tireless work of Al Sharpton. A peek into Obamacare and how it was passed. Is radical Islam a stain upon the “true” religion of peace?

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Say Merry Christmas

Just 6 more days until Christmas! Do you have just a few more gifts to buy? Who will you support with your hard-earned cash? If it is not clear what season they mean when giving you their greetings or the holiday to which they refer when they wish you a happy one, then perhaps they hope to hide the true reason for the season. It is not like they don’t know. Let’s not support the deny Christ movement.

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St. Basil said “In this privileged state (religious life) there is a happy and wonderful exchange; for goods of this world are given up and in their place the goods of Heaven are received. Treasures that will pass away are surrendered in exchange for treasures that last forever. Articles of no value are swapped for articles of priceless value.”

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This is the second (first here) promotional video from St. Anne’s in San Diego (a Catholic FSSP parish) on the chapel veil:

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I like dogs, but big ones bring many special challenges. This is a very big one:

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Al Sharpton, champion of justice. Selfless leader of the oppressed. Shining the light of truth upon those who would mislead. A peacemaker, bringing understanding and unity wherever he travels. Yup, none of that is very close to reality!

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Jonathan Gruber (a very highly paid consultant to the Obama administration) has explained how Obamacare was passed.

  • “It’s really a tax on people.”
  • “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO (Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes the bill dies.”
  • “The healthy people will pay in, the sick people will get money.”
  • “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage.”
  • “Call it the stupidity of the American people or whatever…[lack of transparency] was really critical to get it to pass.”

The most honest, transparent presidency in history — well, maybe not so much. No better refutation of that exists than Obamacare. Passed when the president’s party controlled both houses of congress, yet engineered through dishonesty to its core:

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There are so many examples of “radical Islam,” that many might believe that is representative of the entire religion of peace. Is moderate Islam a myth?

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

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Elsewhere: homosexual chastity

Jean Lloyd wrote an interesting piece for The Witherspoon Institute on being a same-sex attracted person. It is a good exploration of 1 person’s struggle, in a culture which encourages or even demands that same-sex attracted people be anything but chaste.

Jean notes that true love is not one in affirming these desires, but one of sharing truth. That is far more difficult and rarely well received. Encouraging people with same-sex attraction to yield to their passions or even being affirming in the name of tolerance is not to have their best interests at heart. Jean says “If unmarried heterosexuals are called to celibacy and are presumed in Christ to have the power to live out His commands, then so should I be. To treat me according to a different standard is to lower my dignity before God. I too am called to be holy.”

You will enjoy this thoughtful and honest piece.

May I make two requests? Love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it.

Over thirty years have passed since same-sex attraction rushed up from deep within my twelve-year-old frame. This attraction was unbidden and unwanted, yet simultaneously forceful and compelling.

As a Christian, the conflict between my sexuality and my faith would become the deepest and most intense of my life. Now in my forties, I’ve gone from being closeted to openly lesbian to celibate to heterosexually married. The fact that I need to qualify my marital union as a heterosexual one reveals how much the cultural landscape has changed in that time—just as much as my own personal landscape has, though in very different ways.

During my upbringing, I heard a few fiery sermons on homosexuality. These days, I hear declarations of love instead. They make me shout for joy. Amen! It always should have been so! At the same time, however, many pastors have begun accompanying this love with an eschewal of Biblical sexual morality as oppressive, unreasonable, or unkind. Hence, loving homosexual persons also comes to entail affirming and encouraging them in same-sex sexual relationships and behaviors.

Although I appreciate the desire to act in love, this isn’t the genuine love that people like me need. Love me better than that! Thomas Aquinas scholar Josef Pieper put it this way:

love is not synonymous with undifferentiated approval of everything the beloved person thinks and does in real life. . . . [nor is it] the wish for the beloved to feel good always and in every situation and for him to be spared experiencing pain or grief in all circumstances. “Mere ‘kindness’ which tolerates anything except [the beloved’s] suffering” has nothing to do with real love. . . . No lover can look on easily when he sees the one he loves preferring convenience to the good.

Loving me with this kind of love is neither quick nor easy. But knowledge and truth can help us both stand against the growing tide of moral capitulation. In light of this, here are seven things I wish you knew about homosexuality.

1. I wish you knew that just because I didn’t choose this orientation, it doesn’t follow that I was “born this way” or that “God created me gay.” While genetics influences these traits, there is not a fixed predetermination. It is not hardwired like eye or skin color.[1] I can look back and understand where it came from in my own life. Of course, others” experiences may be different from mine. But ultimately, the etiology doesn’t matter. Same-sex sexual activity is outside the design and will of the good plan of God. To claim otherwise requires ignoring Scripture, historical Christian authority, and natural law. So I need help in living chastely, regardless of how my same-sex desires came to be.

2. I wish you knew a better way to help me honor my body by living in accord with the Creator’s design. I was born this way: female. God did create me a woman. Please don’t fall into the gnostic dualism that divides my spiritual life from the life I now live in my body. Christ became incarnate; my very body is now part of His body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. To act against its design in same-sex sexual action harms the dignity of my body. For my homosexually attracted brothers, same-sex sex harms their bodies even more because of their physiological design and the physical effects of going against that design. These bodies will be raised again. They matter.

3. I wish you knew that you aren’t helping me follow Jesus either by demanding that my attractions change or by not allowing them to change. No one can promise me that my attractions will change. Jesus certainly didn’t. But don’t deny me that possibility either. (Especially if I’m an adolescent!) Both secular science and human experience attest to sexual fluidity and the potential for change.

The piece continues with 4 more points and some concluding thoughts. Read the entire post: Seven Things I Wish My Pastor Knew About My Homosexuality.

A good related piece on this topic is Msgr. Charles Pope’s Some with Same Sex Attraction Choose Celibacy. He reflects on a recent Washington Post article and a post he wrote last year in which he asked “What does the Catholic Church offer for those with same-sex attraction? The answer is ‘the truth’.” Yes, the same as she offers everyone else!

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7 Quick Takes Friday (set #158)

This week: The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly awaits your perusal with over 100 faithful Catholic contributing authors! Spirit Juice Studios has released a new vocations video. A promotional video from a FSSP parish on chapel veils is offered. A Jeff Harris cartoon, as usual, hits the “nail on the head.” An NFL star who sees a bigger picture. Tim Hawkins ponders what an “atheist camp” might be like. Snow, the final frontier for drone automation?

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New Evangelists Monthly

Issue #24, December 2014, of New Evangelists Monthly is ready for your enjoyment! Scores of faithful Catholic bloggers have contributed their very best pieces from November. By “scores” I mean over 100 Catholic bloggers, including a dozen clergy and religious!

Contributing authors this month include: Niki Chris, Adam Crawford, David Torkington, Celeste Ciarallo, Melanie Jean Juneau, Ellen Gable Hrkach, Debbie Gaudino, Fr. Ben Hadrich, Ellen Kolb, John Schroeder, Jamie Jo, Chris Capolino, Christian LeBlanc, Sarah Therese, Lisa Laverty, Rick Becker, Laura Pearl, Michael Seagriff, Anthony Layne, David Wong, Tony Agnesi, Adam Shaivitz, Timothy McCormick, Dn. Scott Dodge, Cindy Hurla, Brantly Millegan, Anabelle Hazard, George Sipe, Margaret Felice, Nancy Shuman, Virginia Lieto, Vinny Carr, Rich Maffeo, Karee Santos, Devin Rose, Sr. Margaret Obrovac, Brian Gill, Rebecca Royse, Michele Chronister, Ruth Ann Pilney, Shannon Vandaveer, Nancy Ward, Michael Brandon, De Maria, Bartimaeus Timeo, Fr. Gerald Souza, Barbara Schoeneberger, Kathryn Cooper, Fr. Adrian Danker, Elizabeth Reardon, Sr. Maresa Lilley, Zoe Jumonville, Laura Christine, Mallory Hoffman, Tom Perna, Blythe Kaufman, Fr. Chori Jonathin Seraiah, Susan Fox, Fr. John Paul Shea, Stephen Korsman, Rose O’Donnell, Christina Sawchuk, Reese Cumming, Roxane Salonen, Dianna Kennedy, Elizabeth Kabacinski, Birgit Jones, Benny Trovato, Jennifer Hansen, Joyce, Lara Patangan, Dn. Jim Knipper, Rita Buettner, Ann C, Jeff Walker, Philip Kosloski, Bonnie Way, Emily Hartung, Fr. Errol Fernandes, Paul Fry, Larry T, Matthew Plese, Bethanie Ryan, Ashley Woleben, Julian Barkin, Nanette Carey, Billie Jo Stoltz, Dennis McGeehan, Leslie Klinger, John Donaghy, Barbara Hosbach, Lisa Ponchak, Ishmael Alighieri, Heidi Knofczynski, Steve Smith, Msgr. Charles Pope, Paul Smith, Tracy Smith, Fr. Ian Hellyer, Justin Soutar and Jenn Tatum.

This monthly “meta-magazine” showcases faithful Catholicism from theology to family life and “everything in between.” Enjoy it now at NewEvangelists.org.

Read Now

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Spirit Juice Studios has just released this new vocations video on religious life:

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St. Anne’s in San Diego (a Catholic FSSP parish) has put together this brief promotional video on chapel veils:

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Jeff Harris at Sword of Peter has asks a good question:

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This is a wonderful video about an NFL star who re-thought his life. Meet Jason Brown:

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I find Tim Hawkins to be quite funny – and insightful. Here he proposes what atheist camp songs might be like:

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Soon, snow will be upon many of us (probably not me here in Atlanta). Most of you who deal with it will proceed, like every other year, to clear it the hard way. Not this dude:

Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was begun by Jennifer Fulwiler and is now continued by Kelly Mantoan. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Kelly for hosting this project!

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New Evangelists Monthly – December 2014, Issue #24

This is the December 2014 issue of New Evangelists Monthly. With this announcement, participating Catholic bloggers link their best stories from last month right here at NewEvangelists.org. Revisit anytime to see up-to-the-minute posts in this dynamic format!

Contributor links are accepted beginning at noon (ET). Most contributions are received in a day or two. To see this new issue of New Evangelists Monthly, click below:

Preview Now

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7 Quick Takes Friday (set #157)

This week: In this first week of Advent, we continue to remember Christ the King while we await His arrival (videos from Chris Stefanick and Igniter Media). Thanksgiving, now just a memory, memorializes a fictional history…   a video correcting the record. Another great trailer from the upcoming Convinced movie, this time on the “Mary […]

The Spirit Within

Guest contributor:   Ed Trego “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” Throughout the history of the Church, the Holy Spirit has strengthened the faithful. The apostles were […]

Happy Thanksgiving

A psalm of thanksgiving. Shout joyfully to the LORD, all you lands; serve the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful song. Know that the LORD is God, he made us, we belong to him, we are his people, the flock he shepherds. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise. Give thanks […]

Elsewhere: complacency

Most of us have grown-up in homes and neighborhoods where the notion of this being a “Christian country” was assumed, even by non-Christians. In God we trust, one nation under God. Expressing Christian beliefs was nothing out of the ordinary, just a check with truth. Those happier times are long gone. Far fewer people identify […]