Archives for March 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #59)

This week: Rallies across America for religious freedom. A groom speaks from his heart about marriage and chastity. A cute 3 year-old discerns the priesthood. Kathleen Sebelius unveils the ObamaCare cost containment plan. Discounting the intelligence of American women. Obama, master of foreign affairs and international diplomacy. Borat, ditto.

— 1 —

Last Friday more than 60,000 citizens gathered together in over 140 American cities to protest Obama’s unprecedented attack on religious freedom. The Stand-up for Religious Freedom rallies shine light on his HHS mandate to force Catholics and others to act against their conscience. We will not accept this and we will not forget it.


— 2 —

30 minutes before his wedding, this groom explained why he and his soon-to-be wife waited:

Spotted by Marcel

Contrast this story of genuine love and marriage with this one of a North Dakota yoga intructor.

— 3 —

It is never too early to early for a young man to begin discerning the priesthood. Here, 3 year-old Isaiah practices the Mass:

Spotted by Brandon Vogt

— 4 —

ObamaCare was touted as being “budget neutral.” People, ignoring all credible evidence to the contrary, believed that on faith. Most of them know better by now. What hope then is there to pay for this black hole? The HHS Secretary accidentally “let the cat out of the bag”:

(This video is no longer available.)

The plan? Reduce the number of people, starting with fewer children (abortion, contraception). Catholic Lane has the story: Sebelius and Paying for ObamaCare Through Death and Nonexistence.

— 5 —

Our president must discount the intelligence of American women and believe that they are easily manipulated. There really is no other explanation for a video like his new love letter to Planned Parenthood. Instead of just calling them and telling them of his undying love (which they already know), he waxes poetically of their supposed dedication to women’s health services in order to manipulate you. NEWS FLASH: there are thousands and thousands of clinics who provide women’s health services without the devastation abortion brings to women and their children. Everywhere there is a PP, non-abortion focused providers are readily available (often many). Providing women’s health services is a COVER for PP’s main profit center.

Note that Obama forgot to mention abortion. Conservatively it took him an hour to edit, practice and shoot this 2 minute travesty. In that time, about 100 babies died in the evil hands of Planned Parenthood. Their “services” to pregnant women result in the death of a human being 98% of the time. Tom Peters put together these graphics from Planned Parenthood’s own data which tell the real story:

Planned Parenthood services to pregnant women Planned Parenthood services to pregnant women

If you are pregnant and walk through the doors of Planned Parenthood, what do you think the result will be?

Elizabeth Scalia (a/k/a The Anchoress) has a good piece that presents Obama’s commitment to PP: Who loves abortion more than Obama and Sebelius?. Not disgusted enough…   see Obama Admin OKs Using Aborted Babies’ Brains in Lab Tests.

— 6 —

I have been told that regardless of some domestic issues (HHS mandate, crippling debt spending, abortion promotion, etc.), one of our president’s key strengths is foreign affairs. I don’t see it and I doubt our allies think much of him either (starting with Israel). Here is how he plays on Danish news:

Spotted by CMR’s Patrick Archbold

— 7 —

Oops. Maria Dmitrienko, a member of Kazakhstan’s shooting team, took the podium to receive her gold medal in Kuwait. The Kazakhstan national anthem was proudly played in her honor. Except it wasn’t. What the Kuwaiti officials actually played was the fake Kazakhstan anthem from Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

In place of “Sky of golden sun, Steppe of golden seed, Legend of courage – Take a look at my country!” the lyrics played extol Kazakhstan’s prostitutes as the cleanest in the region, insults other countries (e.g. calling Israel “Jewtown”), discusses testes and is prideful of an 80% effective waste filtration system.


Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

Elsewhere: brought back to life

St. Peter’s List published an interesting piece on Sunday by Father John Higgins. It fit well with that day’s RCIA scrutinies gospel reading on the raising of Lazarus (John 11). It is a story of death and life, of miracles and in this case, a “bit part” for a brown scapular.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good BBQ with friends? When I was asked to a young couple’s home for a Young Adult Ministry Home Mass and BBQ I packed my Mass kit and off I went. I arrived about 6:00 pm with a hearty appetite and was greeted by about 15 young people. Then the phone rang and everything changed. I had to drive about 10 miles to a hospital where there was an emergency call.

I drove quickly, thinking that the nurse in charge of the ER, Anne, would be waiting for me. I knew her and her husband and children from the parish. When I walked in I could see paramedics at the foot of the only occupied gurney there, so I hurried and walked in. “Sorry, Fr. John, you’re too late. He’s gone.” Anne said, smiling. She had a lot of compassion, but also understood that I’d come as fast as I could. They were removing wires from an older man. I noticed that he was wearing a Brown Scapular, one of the old cloth ones. I reached and said “He’s wearing an old fashioned Scapular.” When I touched it there was a beep from a monitor, then another. The nurse, Anne, said “What did you do?” I said “Nothing!” She and another nurse jumped to work, reconnecting wires and calling for help. The Paramedics stood with their jaws dropped. The patient opened his eyes and said (in an Irish accent) “Oh, good, Father. I’ve been waiting for you. I want to go to Confession.” I nearly fell over. I’d done nothing but seen and touched his Scapular. The next thing I knew they were working on him. He didn’t get to go to Confession, but I gave him an emergency absolution as they worked. One of the Paramedics asked if I was OK and sat me in a chair.

A couple of weeks later the man came to me for Confession and told me that the doctor couldn’t figure out what happened and had to tear up the Death Certificate he’d already started to fill out. The Paramedics had come to see him in the hospital and shown him their notes. At the bottom of the page they’d written the time and place of his death and then in big bold letters had added “BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE BY GOD.”

Miracles still happen. And no, I didn’t do it. It just happened according to God’s will. Why does He intervene in some cases and not in others? I really don’t know. I haven’t figured that out yet. But I do know that God has worked miracles in my life, the most important for me not being what He did for someone else, but what He has done over and over to bring me back from sin and death, through the Sacraments into His Covenant Relationship.

That man still had to die a natural death to be raised from the dead into eternal life. The resurrection Jesus offers all of us is eternal too. And that’s what we look forward to at Easter.

This man, like Lazarus, will one day die and not be brought back to continue this life. Like Lazarus, it was not God’s will that it be on the day Fr. Higgins was called. When that day and hour comes for him and for all of us, eternal life through the resurrection of our Lord is ours – if we accept it now.

7 Quick Takes Friday (set #58)

This week: October Baby opens today. Ben & Jerry: cheerleaders for “gay marriage.” Some great comments from a panel of women challenging Obama’s HHS mandate. A bishop lists “five wounds” against the liturgy. Another good video overview on religious freedom. Elizabeth Scalia talks about how liberalism has morphed into totalitarianism. Glenn Beck: “we are all Catholics now.”

— 1 —

October Baby opens in theaters today. From all that I have heard so far, including interviews with the producers and actors, it sounds really good. The movie was inspired by the real life story of Gianna Jessen – a rare abortion survivor. This is a powerful and touching movie at a time when our government is doing everything in its power (and beyond) to coerce or force the abortion agenda upon everyone.

— 2 —

Ben & Jerry’s continues to throw their enthusiastic support behind unnatural unions and against the family. In honor of the UK’s (unpopular) rush to “gay marriage”, Ben & Jerry’s has renamed their products in support. Marcel has the story.

There are many other fine brands of ice cream, at lower cost, without a corporate determination to promote immorality. Remember Ben & Jerry’s when you shop for ice cream and avoid them.

— 3 —

Gloria Purvis, offers particularly lucid comments on a panel discussing “Women Challenging the HHS Mandate”:

More excerpts can be found here.

— 4 —

Kazakhstan Bishop Athanasius Schneider identified in a recent speech “five wounds” against the liturgy. These are all changes to the Mass made “in the spirit” (i.e. not actually called for) of Vatican II. They are:

  1. Mass versus populum.
  2. Communion in the hand.
  3. The Novus Ordo Offertory prayers.
  4. Disappearance of Latin in the Ordinary Form.
  5. Liturgical services of lector and acolyte by women and ministers in lay clothing.

The need to “reform the reform” continues. I wrote about this general topic last year (see part 1 and part 2). My personal list is a bit longer. This story is via Father Z (many good comments too, as always).

— 5 —

Yet another good video explaining the problem with the Obama’s HHS mandate:

— 6 —

Elizabeth Scalia (a/k/a The Anchoress) has a good piece on how the true meaning of liberalism has morphed into a totalitarian mindset. It is a good read for those of you who remain Democrats out of habit. See Ban the Divine Comedy? Really?.

— 7 —

Glenn Beck recently discussed Obama’s attack on religion. “Call me crazy. Anybody who stands with the Catholic Church – it is imperative you understand what is going on now. Please pray for these leaders all around the world. We are all Catholics…   we are all Jews…   we are all Protestants…   and we must all hang together or as Ben Franklin said we will surely hang separately.”


Some random thoughts or bits of information are worthy of sharing but don’t warrant their own full post. This idea was started by Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary to address this blogging need. So, some Fridays I too participate when I have accumulated 7 worthy items. Thank you Jen for hosting this project!

Resources: Catholic radio

One of the great, often overlooked, resources for learning our faith and increasing personal holiness is Catholic Radio. It is an ideal source of information while “multi-tasking.” Listen while you are driving to work, preparing dinner, cleaning the garage, exercising or doing other tasks. Depending on the particular show, radio can also play a role in your prayer life such as at bedtime, waking-up or at some other specific time.

The variety of content is huge and far from boring. You will find shows that are engaging, interesting and relevant to you. If you are a radio listener now, you will find Catholic content to be a refreshing change from secular news, talk radio and music stations.

Catholic Radio Networks

There are innumerable Catholic radio stations across the country and the world. They typically feature a mix of their own content plus content from other sources. Local stations are usually part of a network of stations. Each network also produces their own content. Some of the larger English language networks are:

Content Giants

Many of the Catholic radio networks include content from two powerhouses: EWTN and Catholic Answers.

EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) is the largest religious media network in the world. Their content is original including both television and radio, via every media format imaginable and in many languages. Wikipedia has an overview. A good book on EWTN’s founder is Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles.

Catholic Answers is another original content producer carried by many networks. They are focused on English language apologetics and evangelization in the US. I wrote about them last year.

Two other content producers in this category are noteworthy, although not currently radio oriented. Catholic TV is an original video network and the Newman Connection offers instructional videos. I was delighted recently to discover that EWTN, Catholic TV and the Newman connection are all available as free “channels” on the Roku.

On the Internet too

Most areas of the country have an AM or FM station on at least one of these. Oddly, there are 2 large metropolitan areas that do not – New York City and Atlanta. No problem! Almost all of the networks also provide their content free of charge over the Internet. It is not as accessible or portable as simply tuning in your radio, but it is widely available and the sound quality is often better than broadcast.

One way to access content is via the websites linked above, but an easier way is via a free web service known as tunein. They make finding all available internet radio content very easy. You can also create your own “presets” list of favorite stations and more. Smart phone and tablet users can also download their free app (Android or Apple) which offers many features and syncs presets with your (free) account. Recommended.

Online Recording Service

In many cases, the scheduled network shows are archived on their websites for access at your convenience. Some might not be, but when they are you may have several favorites and prefer not to visit multiple websites to access them. What you need is a TiVo-like DVR to record your favorite radio shows. That is exactly what DAR.fm provides. They also have apps for your smart phone or tablet (Android or Apple).

Satellite Radio

One other way technology comes to the rescue is via satellite radio. SiriusXM Radio offers quality Catholic content on their “Catholic Channel” (#129) and EWTN (#130). It is a good solution for those who would like to receive Catholic radio on the go but lack local sources. I particularly recommend Greg and Jennifer Willits show The Catholics Next Door (also available here).

Podcasts

Speaking of your portable devices, podcasts are also available for download in many cases. Be sure to check the network website, the Android Marketplace and the iTunes store.

Some of My Favorite Shows

I occasionally listen to many shows, but there are a few that I seek out and listen to fairly often:

  • Son Rise Morning Show
  • At Home with Jim and Joy Pinto
  • Catholic Answers Live
  • Marcus Grodi’s The Journey Home
  • Reflections with Father Leo Clifford (broadcast daily)
  • Mother Angelica’s Holy Rosary (broadcast daily)
  • Trish Short’s Divine Mercy Chaplet (broadcast daily)
  • Obama’s war on religion (update #4)

    Obama’s brazen assault on religious liberty remains intransigent. His political calculus has apparently determined that faithful Christian voters are not part of his base. Yet, this issue is so much broader than one demographic. This is yet another extralegal step, disregarding the Constitution of the United States and his oath of office. It certainly is not the first one (e.g. refusing to enforce laws he personally disagress with like the Defense of Marriage Act).

    Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    US Constitution, Article II, Section 1

    The possible resolutions are:

    • Obama reverses course and either drops this mandate or provides at least minimal conscience protections that he has promised again and again.
    • This administrative action is overridden by a law, with a veto proof majority. This has already been tried but failed in the Democrat controlled senate.
    • The courts rule against it. This seems very probable, but will take a long time.
    • Obama is not reelected. It is a certainty that a different administration will correct this.

    This issue is too important not to cover, but I also want to keep my normal publishing schedule of Tuesday and Friday open for my regular content. Therefore, beginning today this update (and any future ones on this topic) will be published on Sundays as needed.

    My last summary was 2.5 weeks ago. This is the latest update. To see the whole series, click here.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    First Amendment to the United States Constitution

    Further Reading

    Here is a good sampling of the zillion new articles written on this topic in the last two and a half weeks:

    1. “The HHS Mandate is Demeaning to Women.” And Women Are Speaking Out
    2. “Well, basically, we’re not looking to the Constitution on that aspect of it”
    3. ‘Decrease in Human Beings Will Cover Cost of Contraception Mandate,’ Claims Sebelius
    4. ‘Unified, focused’ bishops pledge to continue religious liberty defense
    5. ‘We Are Crossing the Rubicon’: House Tackles HHS Mandate Threat
    6. A sermon explaining what Pres. Obama is doing.
    7. Abominations Will Be Forced On Us By The Government
    8. Administration ‘Taking another Mulligan’
    9. Americans Strongly Oppose Obama Mandate, New Poll Shows
    10. Amish, Ok. Catholics, No.
    11. An Embarrassing History Lesson
    12. And Upon This Poll I Will Build My Church
    13. Becket Fund on Bill O’Reilly: Misconceptions and New Polls
    14. Biden: We “Screwed Up” Conscience Issues in the Mandate
    15. Bishop tells committee about ‘absurd’ effects of contraceptive mandate
    16. Bishops Call Day of Prayer, Fasting, Abstinence for Religious Liberty
    17. Bogus Birth Control Controversy
    18. Bp. Lori responds for USCCB to America Magazine’s cave in on Pres. Obama’s HHS attack
    19. CL: Lefty ‘catholics’ shilling for Pres. Obama
    20. Cardinal Dolan Implies That Obama Lied To Him
    21. Cardinal Dolan’s Update on the HHS Mandate Fight
    22. Cardinal Dolan: religious liberty concerns ‘off the table’ for White House
    23. Cardinal George: All Catholic Hospitals Will Close in Two Years Under HHS Mandate
    24. Cardinal George: All Catholic hospitals will close in two years under HHS mandate
    25. Catholic laity urged to bring faith-based convictions to public square
    26. Church plans to redouble effort for law to protect religious conscience
    27. Church’s Alliance with Government Comes Crashing Down
    28. Contraception Not as Important as Abortion to Obama
    29. Contraception hurts minorities, says African American leader
    30. Contraception, Against Conscience
    31. Controlling Language in the “Contraceptive” Debate
    32. Debunking Obama’s Myths About Catholics and Contraception
    33. Diverse panel testifies against contraception mandate
    34. Does the ObamaCare individual mandate make contracts unenforceable?
    35. Don’t Claim to Speak for All Women
    36. Driving The Narrative
    37. Ethics group says babies are not “actual persons”, and killing them is fine.
    38. Executive Overreach: The HHS Mandate Versus Religious Liberty
    39. First They Came for the Catholics: Obama’s Contraceptive Mandate
    40. Forcing A Kosher Deli To Sell Ham Is Akin To Forcing A Catholic to Pay For Contraception
    41. Free Beer Mandate
    42. Freedom of Worship?
    43. HHS Issues New Rule on ObamaCare Scheme to Fund Abortion Insurance
    44. HHS Mandate Creates Absurd Results, Bishop Lori Tells House Judiciary Committee
    45. HHS Resources
    46. Have Laws Been Replaced by Decrees?
    47. Holder: First Amendment Allows Us to Force Catholics to Buy Contraception
    48. House Judiciary Hearing Raises Concerns of Government Intrusion Into Family Life
    49. HuffPo: We Must Regulate Fertility Industry
    50. In defense of the Catholic Church
    51. Interesting Glen Beck video
    52. Joe Klein Shocker: Requiring Insurers to Cover Birth Control ‘Major Overstepping of the State’s Role’
    53. Laughable Hypcorisy from Obama
    54. Leaving the Democrats
    55. Legion Of Evil (Senate) Kills Blunt Amendment
    56. Lutheran leader sides with Catholics on contraceptives issue in fiery testimony
    57. Missouri Synod President tells House Committee: LCMS ‘religiously opposed to supporting abortion-causing drugs’
    58. National rallies seek religious freedom restoration on March 23
    59. New Poll Shows How Strongly Americans Oppose the HHS Mandate
    60. Non possumus! We Cannot!
    61. Not about Catholics or Contraception
    62. Now is Not the Time For Silence or Compromise
    63. Obama Abandoning Pro-Life Embryo Adoption Program
    64. Obama Admin Cuts Off Birth Control Funding for Low-Income Women in Texas
    65. Obama Admin lectures Card. Dolan and USCCB. Dolan responds
    66. Obama Admin’s HHS kills Texas women’s health program because State prohibits money to help Planned Parenthood
    67. Obama Administration Takes Another Pass on Defending HHS Mandate
    68. Obama Mandate Could Fine Religious Groups $2,000 Per Employee
    69. Obama Risks $100 Billion If Catholic Hospitals Close
    70. Obama VS. Religious Freedom – Don’t Let the Point Get Lost!
    71. Obama gives Amish complete exemption. Catholics? Talk to the hand! Why? Why do you think?
    72. Obama’s Remaking of America
    73. Obamacare Regs 2.5X As Long as the Bible
    74. Pa. bishops respond to HHS mandate with day of fasting and prayer
    75. President Obama: Render Unto God the Things that Are God’s
    76. Pretending Contraception is the Crisis
    77. Religious Freedom: It’s not just Pakistan and China
    78. Senate Dems stop “conscience exemption” to Obama birth control coverage policy
    79. Sleeping Giant-A Parody of All Along the Watchtower Concerning the HHS Debacle
    80. Speaking Loudly About Human Liberty
    81. Spoon-feeding partisan talking points
    82. Stand Up For Religious Freedom on March 23
    83. Tell your Senator: Stop HHS Mandate!
    84. The Bogus Birth Control Debate
    85. The Evolution Of A Right
    86. The Forgotten Birth Control Battle
    87. The Mandate Controversy and the Bishops’ Response
    88. The Senate Betrays the People
    89. The Suppositions Behind Obama’s Contraception Coverage
    90. The right to conscientious objection
    91. U.S. Senate Defeats Amendment to Protect Religious Liberty
    92. Umbrellas in a Tornado
    93. United for Religious Freedom
    94. WH to Dolan: We’re not listening but you should!
    95. We don’t need no stinking Bishops!
    96. What if Catholic bishops aren’t bluffing?
    97. What the heck does that have to do with our freedom of religion?
    98. What’s Going On?
    99. White House Tells US Bishops’ Staff How To Interpret Catholic Teaching
    100. Why the State Must Respect Your Conscience
    101. Women’s voices you don’t hear in the mainstream media
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