Thursday, October 20, 2016 A.D. Leave a Comment
I have been looking at this, trying to understand it, and collecting my thoughts on it for months. You probably have been too. I am speaking of “the election.” Even writing “the election” brings me a strong sense of repulsion.
I remember a time when just a slight history of impropriety would torpedo a presidential candidate’s chances. In more recent decades we would lament how bad our choices were and resign ourselves to choosing the “lesser of 2 evils” while hoping and praying, in the future, it would get better. False hope that. It got worse, then worse again, and now…
Any objective observer would agree we have two of the worst choices ever. The history of each and the numerous revelations which have come out about each should completely disqualify both of them. Not only do they both have a long string of serious issues, from all appearances they are also completely unrepentant.
Regardless, one will be our next president.
If you happen to think that one is morally superior to the other, you are woefully uninformed or highly misinformed. On that later point, the always biased news sources have pulled out “all the stops” to manipulate your vote.
Recalling our grade school civics classes, you and I do not get to directly make governmental decisions. We do that only indirectly through our elected officials. In effect, we give our proxy to someone else. Choosing where to invest our 1 vote is choosing the overall outcome we hope to attain with it.
Whoever the president is, they are themselves a proxy for a bundle of policies they represent. For the most part, we are not choosing a person of high moral caliber to make decisions for us as unforeseen events unfold. Rather, we are choosing a proxy to implement a vision. You can count on that regardless of who is elected. This is key.
I am AMAZED at how many people fall for this (although I understand it as an emotional reaction). People completely ignore issues as big as a mountain and focus on candidate personalities the size of a rock in long-term importance. How often have you heard “I would never vote for her…” or “I would never vote for him…”? They are rejecting her/his character and history, which they should — but that is not what our vote is about. We are not choosing a prom king or queen. Using our vote in that way is missing the forest for the trees.
Speaking for myself, I could not endorse either candidate as a good, moral person. All indications are they are both far, far from that. Despicable is a word that often occurs to me. I would not hold either as a role model. I would not like to personally meet either candidate. I could not be friends with either. I want nothing to do with either. Neither is worthy of my vote… or yours.
Regardless, one will be our next president.
Elections have Consequences
I have heard all manner of tortured explanations why one or the other will be a better “leader.” Neither will ever be my leader. He or she will however greatly advance policies which at this point are very well known and will not significantly change. Each has a base they depend on for power and will not deviate much from those positions.
Our vote is a POLICY decision. It is not a personal endorsement. POLICY.
Long, long after the next president is gone, our country and society will be greatly impacted by their legacy. It is NOT reversible (except, maybe, over decades). It will outlive the candidates and very probably us.
Choosing a Policy Bundle
Which policy bundle should we choose? Of course, they will each have at least some pros and some cons. Do they balance out?
If you are a faithful Catholic, not even close.
We might be tired of hearing it, but the one issue that should not and can not go away is abortion. There are over 1 million surgical abortions PER YEAR in the US. Many more if you include abortifacients such as “Plan B” and various contraceptives (and you should count them, BTW). No political relabeling changes the fact that a created person, scientifically a human being, with their own DNA and completely innocent is killed. A human heart is forever stilled when its human body is violently ripped apart. Our Church calls this an “intrinsic evil” because the taking of this life can not possibly be justified under any circumstance.
Some would like to balance that against a presumption that one party or the other is more war prone. That is an assumption completely contrary to historical facts. For the sake of argument, let’s assume it is true. 1.3 million Americans have died TOTAL in all the wars we have ever been in. 1.1 million of those in the Civil War and WWII (so 200,000 outside of those sad periods). While this is terrible of itself, it pales compared to the ongoing abortion of the innocents just in the US.
One candidate is enthusiastically committed to abortion, to overturning all restrictions, to using your taxpayer money to fund it, to support it worldwide. They have a perfect NARAL rating (a bad thing) and the unqualified support of Planned Parenthood (the abortion giant).
This candidate is also strongly opposed to religious freedom as we have historically enjoyed in America. They are committed to suppression of religious liberties of constitutional “freedom of religion” to a far lesser novelty they call “freedom of worship.” That is a huge difference. In essence, freedom of worship is the concept that you can worship in private as you wish but may not bring your beliefs into the public square. If you attempt to do that, you will be harshly persecuted. There are numerous examples demonstrating this erosion of our basic liberties already. It can and will get much worse if this candidate’s policies are realized.
The other candidate, similarly deplorable in their acts as a person, has very opposite positions on these crucial matters. This is not only about the laws these candidates will propose, but the Supreme Court justices they will nominate. Like it or not, future Supreme Court decisions will be 100% different on matters the Church has the highest interest in based on the 3 people the next president will very likely choose. That is, you will choose via your proxy of that next president. To be clear, YOU are predestining now the outcome of those future Supreme Court decisions for or against life and for or against the Church.
Choosing Based on 1 or 2 Issues?
Issues are not of similar weight. Issues of life itself and religious freedom are non-negotiable. All faithful Catholics must hold this. Most other issues are ones of prudential judgment in which we can differ in good conscience. Those are issues of security, healthcare, immigration, economics, and so on. Life itself and the freedom to live that life in good conscience must first be secure.
Clear Catholic Teaching
I considered giving you a raft of links, quotes, videos, etc. but respect your limited time (and tolerance to read further). You are probably also repulsed by this overall topic as am I. So instead I offer you only this recent video from Monsignor John Lankeit (Diocese of Phoenix). Please spend a few minutes to view and reflect on it.
Friday, October 7, 2016 A.D. Leave a Comment
This week: The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly awaits your perusal. God draws us to Himself in many ways, even through beauty. Bishop Barron unveils his new project on Catholicism’s “pivotal players.” The Catholic stamps of approval. Planned Parenthood’s bogus 3% claim. A real journalist (Pulitzer Prize winner) explains the loss of objective journalism. Regressive liberalism, an extreme and non-thinking liberalism, seems to be growing — can you spot it?
Issue #46, October 2016, of New Evangelists Monthly is ready for your enjoyment! Scores of faithful Catholic bloggers have contributed their very best pieces from September. Contributing authors this month include: Virginia Lieto, Stephen Korsman, Blythe Kaufman, Birgit Jones, Chris Capolino, Barbara Szyszkiewicz, Matthew Plese, Ellen Gable Hrkach, Erin Cupp, Dave Wanat, Melody Marie, Susan Stabile, Kirby Hoberg, Kathleen Laplante, Claire McGarry, Dn. Scott Dodge, Tucker Cordani, Fr. Stephen Morris, Celeste Behe, Christina Sawchuk, Ellen Kolb, Michael Seagriff, Vijaya Bodach, Eric Johnston, Laura Pearl, Elizabeth Reardon, Kim Padan, Larry Peterson, Alicia, Nancy Shuman, Carolyn Astfalk, Rick Becker, Margaret Felice, Denise Hunnell, De Maria, Sr. Maresa Lilley, Karee Santos, Frank Rega, Christina Nagy, Vinny Carr, Chibuzor Ogamba, Fr. Errol Fernandes, Carol Bannon, Fr. Adrian Danker, Robert Collins, Rich Maffeo, Emily Borman, Joseph Shaw, Melanie Jean Juneau, Julian Barkin, John Schroeder, Brian Gill, Debbie Gaudino, Jennifer Elia, Leslie Klinger, Fr. Richard DeLillio, Emily Davis, Rakhi McCormick, Larry T, John Russell, Bonnie Way, Barbara Hosbach, Thomas and Deborah Richard, David Torkington, Rick Rice, Bartimaeus Timeo, Rita Buettner, Lyn Mettler, Matthew Coffin, Mary Haseltine, Shannon, Ruth Ann Pilney, Jamie Jo, Tony Agnesi, Carissa Douglas, Roxane Salonen, Tracy Smith, Lianna Mueller, Anita Moore and Dennis Justison.
This monthly “meta-magazine” showcases faithful Catholicism from theology to family life and “everything in between.” Enjoy it now at NewEvangelists.org.
Sometimes God reaches a hard heart simply by the beauty of His creation. Natalie Stefanick (Christopher Stefanick’s wife and mother of their 6 children) tells her all too common story:
Bishop Robert Barron has a new film, in the tradition of his highly acclaimed Catholicism series. The new project is called Catholicism: The Pivotal Players and looks at the impact of key people who shaped the life of the Church.
We Catholics have “stamps of approval” known as an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat. They don’t work for most online content, but work well for printed materials. This video explains:
Planned Parenthood is all about abortion, yet they claim it is only 3% of what they do. That is, of course, a fairly bold lie.
Every observant person realizes the media is strongly biased. In this piece, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Judith Miller explains how it got this way. I recommend EWTN for news reporting (online, video, Arroyo, CNA, blog, etc).
Can you spot a regressive liberal? They are significantly different than people who simply lean left. This video is quite good, for the most part (there are a few “facts” I would quibble with):
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!
Saturday, October 1, 2016 A.D. Leave a Comment
This is the October 2016 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:
[Contributors: All faithful Catholic bloggers are invited to link 1 post from last month (ref: more info).]
[Contributors: Please join us again next month! More info: here.]
Thursday, September 29, 2016 A.D. Leave a Comment
This Saturday is time for New Evangelists Monthly to begin a new edition. Today, I would like to bring to your attention 3 original, brief essays that you may have missed. If you don’t have time to read all three, I especially recommend the first one — Loss of innocence. After 5 years, it remains as relevant and sadly disturbing.
The Boy Scouts, like the Catholic Church, has taken a lot of flak for standing firm (comparatively speaking) against a secular, relativistic society. Shockingly, the Girl Scouts have not. In fact, they have every intention to embrace the toxic sexual perversions of the secular world (if you think that is over-the-top, continue reading).
…read it all: Loss of innocence
Our souls are unique and so is our body. Both are a gift from God. In our mortal state, each body has unique, lifelong DNA from the moment of conception. It is intertwined with and tightly united to our soul. It is the physical temple of the Holy Spirit, belonging to Christ and not our own to use or abuse however we please. Amen! That simple response says a great deal when we present ourselves to receive the Holy Eucharist. The priest holds our Lord’s most holy body or most precious blood and says to us “the Body of Christ” or “the Blood of Christ.” Our response affirms many things, all expressed humbly and fully by “Amen.”
…read it all: The body The Body of Christ
In understanding the sacraments, we also see that certain requirements must be met for validity. That is, to receive the intended graces, the sacrament must meet certain requirements. Various causes may render a sacrament invalid such as some defect in the matter, form, minister or recipient. One very interesting requirement is intent. If the intent is absent then the sacrament is not received.
…read it all: Sacramental validity
Friday, September 9, 2016 A.D.
This week: The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly awaits your perusal. Ad orientem worship making a comeback (I hope so)? Fr. Mike urges us to let “God take his time.” Faithful Catholic video skits are a family project at the Catholic Conundrum. Black lives matter? (Not so much to the organization of that name.) […]
Saturday, September 3, 2016 A.D.
Enjoy this month’s edition of New Evangelists Monthly – an informal, dynamic, crowd-sourced “meta-magazine” showcasing the best posts faithful Catholic bloggers. In this and every issue, you will find many different, but faithfully Catholic viewpoints, insights and perspectives.
Friday, August 19, 2016 A.D.
I have stayed out of commenting on particular political candidates this round. That is not changing. Our choices are truly horrid. They are not much better in congressional and other races. Horrid. Yet, at the end of the “process,” the presidency and every one of these offices will be filled by people acting in our […]
Friday, August 12, 2016 A.D.
This week: The latest issue of New Evangelists Monthly awaits your perusal. Grassroots Films is releasing a wonderful new film on the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. One 90 year old man has been single-handedly building a cathedral for the last 53 years. Lutheran Satire pokes fun at the absurdity of radical feminism. Video snap-shots […]