Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bishop Margot Kässmann.

Bishop Margot Kässmann has quite a few "firsts" under her belt.

In 2007 she became the first German bishop to file for divorce.

On October 28, 2009, she was elected Chair of the Council, the first woman in that position. This put her as the head of the Protestant church in Germany .... leading Germany's 25 million Protestants.

On 20 February 2010, Käßmann was pulled over for driving through a red light. Tests showed her blood alcohol level was at 1.54 per mil. (The legal limit is 0.5 per mil in Germany.)

While she may .... or may not.... be the first German Bishop arrested for drunk driving, she has become the first high ranking divorced female Bishop in Germany to resign from from her office as leader of the Evangelical Church as a result of a DUI conviction.

The fact that she she prays especially well while jogging doesn't seem to have been taken into consideration.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Saint Josemaría on YouTube.


The Opus Dei Office of Information has created the Saint Josemaría channel to make the founder's life and teachings better known.

It offers many hours of videos of Saint Josemaría Escrivá. People from all over the world have the opportunity to listen to someone who is now in heaven speaking about God.

Benedict XVI recently expressed the hope that the Internet and sites such as YouTube would be used as a meeting place for “Christians from all over the world and for believers from all religions and cultures. And also for those who do not believe in God, but who harbor in their heart a hunger for eternity, for truths that are lasting” (Benedict XVI, 24 January 2010).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Elton John Calls Jesus Homosexual.

In a recent interview in Parade magazine, Elton John had this comment;
"I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. On the cross, he forgave the people who crucified him. Jesus wanted us to be loving and forgiving. I don't know what makes people so cruel. Try being a gay woman in the Middle East -- you're as good as dead."

Is there really anything we can say about such a ludicrous statement?
We could try by pointing out that there is absolutely no evidence to back up what Elton John believes about Jesus being homosexual. I doubt, however, that he uses logic, common sense or evidence to make his decisions.

As Catholic League president Bill Donohue points out in his short statement regarding Elton John's comments, it would be pointless to ask for an apology.

The Parade magazine piece also carries a link to The top 10 most outrageous photos of Elton John. Believe me, it wasn't easy picking the number one outrageous photo to accompany this blog post, but I think this one would rank high on anyone's list.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Joe Biden's Ashes.

Searching the Internet, it isn't difficult finding images of Vice President Joe Biden with ashes on his forehead which he, presumably received during an Ash Wednesday service.

But, as Sean O'Donnell asks in this article, is VP Joe Biden even Catholic?

O'Donnell lists a number of Biden’s political positions and compares them with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The issues include abortion,embryonic stem cell research & human cloning,same-sex "marriage",voluntary prayer in public schools, the death penalty and the Iraq War.

On each of these issues, Biden is in opposition to Catholic teaching.

Having ashes on his forehead may impress some that he is Catholic, but he will be judged on his other actions as well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Hell Freezes Over.

The Evangelists for the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming seem to have an answer for anything and everything that would appear to contradict their belief system.

When the eastern portions of the United States were covered with record snows, we were told that this is because warm air holds more moisture.

So, I'm sure these same folks will have an explanation as to why Lake Erie's surface is virtually frozen over for the first time in about 14 years. They will, somehow, explain away the lake's freezing. Some way or other, they'll explain how warm air causes ice.

We've been told for years that global warming will cause the glaciers to melt, raising the sea level to dangerous levels. But, if in the bizzaro world of the Church of Anthropogenic Global Warming, global warming causes Lake Erie to freeze over, then surely, we have little to worry about melting glaciers.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Civics Test to Vote?

At the recent Tea Party Convention in Nashville, former House member Tom Tancredo stirred up a hornet's nest by saying people in this country should be required to pass a civics test before being allowed to vote.

Naturally, Liberals went ballistic, calling Tancredo's idea a racist idea straight from the days of Jim Crow. [Tom Tancredo and the right-wing mind and What fuels the grass-roots rage] Such tests had been used in the past to prevent African Americans from voting. []
"As used by the states, the literacy test gained infamy as a means for denying suffrage to African-Americans. Adopted by a number of southern states, the literacy test was applied in a patently unfair manner, as it was used to disfranchise many literate blacks while allowing many illiterate whites to vote. The literacy test, combined with other discriminatory requirements, effectively disfranchised the vast majority of African-Americans in the South from the 1890s until the 1960s."

Although literacy tests were used in the past to discriminate, it doesn't necessarily follow that a civics test is completely without merit. As Jonah Goldberg pointed out in a opinion piece in the LA Times in 2007, far too many American are completely clueless regarding politics and how our political system works. Far too many Americans cannot tell you the number of Senators allocated each State, who their particular Senators are or name all three branches of government.

It should be pointed out that immigrants wishing to become American citizens are required to pass a civics test. The study guide for this test lists 100 questions.The civics test is an oral test and the USCIS Officer will ask the applicant up to 10 of the 100 civics questions. An applicant must answer 6 out of 10 questions correctly to pass the civics portion of the naturalization test.

So then, is the test given applicants for citizenship racist? If a naturalized citizen is expected to know basic American civics and history, then why not require a native born citizen to know the answers to the same questions before granting them the priviledge to vote?

Here is a small sampling of questions the applicant is expected to answer:

#1. What is the supreme law of the land?

#3. The idea of self-government is in the first three words of the Constitution. What are these words?

#8. What did the Declaration of Independence do?

#14. What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?

#59. Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived?

#60. What group of people was taken to America and sold as slaves?

#69. Who is the “Father of Our Country”?

#89. What ocean is on the West Coast of the United States?

#94. What is the capital of the United States?

#100. Name two national U.S. holidays.

I've listed ten questions....picked at random. If you cannot answer 6 out of the 10 I have a final question for you.

Will you vote for Obama again (like you did the first time)?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Comparing Catholics and Protestants. Part Two.

This is the second part of a series where I compare Catholicism and Protestantism. Anyone needing to be brought up to speed can start with this post: Comparing Catholics and Protestants. Part One.

In a comparison chart sent to me by Amanda of steelingspoons, the second difference between the two religious groups is listed as Bible. According to the website, the differences are given as Catholic:Includes apocrypha and Protestants:Excludes apocrypha.

Immediately, a Catholic would see a bit of bias in listing the differences this way. When putting together their versus of the Bible, the Protestants left out a number of scriptural texts from the Old Testament which they call The Apocryha - these scriptural texts are referred to as The Deuterocanonical books by Catholics. The Deuterocanonical books are as follows:

* Tobit
* Judith
* Additions to Esther (Vulgate Esther 10:4-16:24[9])
* Wisdom
* Sirach, also called Ecclesiasticus
* Baruch, including the Letter of Jeremiah (Additions to Jeremiah in the Septuagint[10])
* Additions to Daniel:
o Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children (Vulgate Daniel 3:24-90)
o Susanna (Vulgate Daniel 13, Septuagint prologue)
o Bel and the Dragon (Vulgate Daniel 14, Septuagint epilogue)
* 1 Maccabees
* 2 Maccabees

The Deuterocanonical books are also considered canonical by the Orthodox Church.

The Protestants exclude these books because, they say, these books are not included in the Hebrew Bible as we know it today. The Jews exclude these books from their canon because, although these books were widely used by Greek speaking Jews, there are no surviving texts written in Hebrew. These books were, however, widely used by early Christians who were, for the most part, Greek speaking.

Many contend that these books were used by the Jews during the time of Christ and there are several allusions to the book of Sirach in the New Testament.

On an odd note, the story behind the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah can only be found in 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabbees - books accepted by Catholics and Orthodox Christians, but not Jews or Protestants.

New American Bible - Online.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Comparing Catholics and Protestants. Part One.

In an earlier post [Pagan Worship at the Air Force Acadamy] I wrote that I considered Protestantism to be a dangerous belief system. I say this because I believe the belief system goes against the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

As might be expected, this statement did not sit well with everyone. One anonymous poster called me a "legalist" by following "rules" and thereby missing Christ's message. Amanda of steelingspoons left an url in the comment section which leads to a site that compares the differences between Catholic & Protestant beliefs. She asked for my thoughts on the comparison.

The comparison chart lists fifteen areas where there are disagreements between the two groups. These areas of disagreement range from Authority - Bible - Divine Grace - up to Prayer to saints , to name just four. Naturally, I could not write on all fifteen in the comment section; it would be difficult to include all fifteen areas of disagreement in one blog post. So, I'm going to take this one bit at a time.

I'm not a Catholic scholar and I'm sure there are areas where I may not be able to put forth the proper Catholic teaching on a particular subject. I'm hoping some of my Catholic readers, who are more knowledgeable than I, will correct me when I make a mistake.

The first area I want to discuss is what the chart lists as Authority . The site states the Catholic position as Scripture and tradition and the Protestant view as Sola Scriptura - Scripture alone. To be completely accurate, the Catholic position should be rightly listed as Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium but I'll work with what's given to me.

While here, Christ told his apostles to go forth through out the world, spreading the "good news". Obviously, Christ would have wanted His teachings presented as He had given these teachings to His disciples while He was on Earth. The New Testament as we know it was not written until many years after Christ's Ascension.....put together by the Church. Christ said, "You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18)." It was left up to the Magisterium, following the Traditions, to maintain Christ's teachings. I find it difficult to believe that Christ would leave us without an authoritative Church to present His true teachings, but this is what the Protestants would have us believe.

Following the Scriptures alone (Sola Scriptura) hasn't stood the test of time. Look at the number of Protestant denominations in the United States alone; each one claiming to have a proper interpretation of Scripture. One example of this is in nearby Bartow county, Georgia where two different "snake handler churches" call home. These two churches interpret Mark 16:17-20 differently than the Baptists, Methodists and the Presbyterians who do not "view snake handling as a literal sign of God's power to the believer and unbeliever".
It doesn't take a degree in theology to see that, not only do the Protestants disagree with the Catholics on many issues, but the various Protestant denominations can't even agree among themselves......and these are the groups that claim the Bible as the final authority.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nanci Griffith .....another Air-headed Folky.

Taking at look at the Facebook page of one of my Liberal friends .....yes, I do have one or two ...... I discovered that he had become a fan of folk musician Nanci Griffith.

I had never heard of her, but being curious about her music, I followed the links from her Facebook page to her website - There are examples of her music with accompanying videos. From what I gather, The Loving Kind is her latest "hit".

Musically speaking, the song isn't dreadful - though it is done with an overdone 1950's country sound. If you've heard the tune once, you've heard it a gazillion times. Her wikipedia bio says that she's toured with the likes of John Prine and Iris DeMent. I can see why.

The song is a telling of the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, the bi-racial couple whose marriage brought about the Supreme Court case that put an end to the "anti miscegenation" laws in the United States. I've written of the Lovings before. [ Mildred Loving dies at 68 - Happy Loving Day and It's the Biology, Stupid. ] Although the music is trite and the singing a bit twangy, I can understand why a Liberal folk artist would write a song in tribute to the couple; theirs is, after all, an important story.

I have to point out my objections to the video for The Loving Kind. The video expresses the Liberal, Progressive air-headed idea that the laws against "same sex marriage" are no different than the racist, anti miscegenation laws of the past. My thoughts on that have already been covered in an earlier post. As I wrote then;

"The race-based restrictions on marriage were based on erroneous beliefs concerning the "racial superiority" of Caucasians over "non-whites". The ban on interracial marriages was based on the racist idea that children born of such a marriage would pollute the "white race".
Of course, we all know now that no race is superior or inferior to any other race. The children that come from interracial marriages are equal in every way to children coming from "same race" unions.

There never has been any legitimate reason to prohibit marriage between a man and woman of different races.

The same cannot be said about "marriages" between two men or two women. As much as some would wish it were otherwise, the ultimate biological and evolutionary purpose of sex is to reproduce the species. I know it isn't fashionable to say this, but sex is not about self expression. In this day of contraceptives and abortion-on-demand, people seem to have forgotten this basic biological fact."

Liberals want to tell everyone that the prohibition on "same sex marriage" is a product of fear or hate. No, this is not about hatred. Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered; a distortion of God's creation. The only fear and hatred involved is the fear and hatred Progressives have towards children who are the natural result of sexual intercourse.

Pagan Worship at the Air Force Acadamy.

In a recent guest article for the Washington Post, [Air Force's pagan mistake] Robert Jeffress,
Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas uses a bit of "logic" that I find a bit difficult to follow.

Jeffress claims to have ".... denounced televangelist Pat Robertson for claiming the Haitian earthquake was the result of God's judgment ....." yet, he then turns around and says that a decision of the Air Force Academy to allow an outdoor worship area for followers of Earth-centered (Pagan) religions will bring down God's wrath upon the United States. No, according to Jeffress, God did not punish the people of Haiti for any pact with the Devil or their use of Voodoo, but He will punish us because the Air Force is permitting Druids, Wiccans and an assortment of other neopagans to worship "idols" on Air Force Academy property.

In a piece for [Air Force Academy Recognizes Paganism:] contributor Michael Terheyden also criticizes the decision. Terheyden writes that the Air Force is wrong to put paganism and other Earth based religions on an equal footing with Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism.

The argument put forward by the Air Force is that our Constitution allows freedom of religion for all of us. Earth-centered worship falls within the definition of religion as defined in the United States Air Force. ( See Instruction 36-2706.)

I admit that, in my view, Earth-centered religions are not equal to the teachings of the Catholic Church. But, then again, neither are Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and the thousands of Protestant denominations recognized by the Air Force. I consider Protestantism to be a dangerous belief system. It may not be politically correct to say this, but, if we are to recognize the Protestants, then, by all means, allow the Pagans their worship areas too.

Oh, by the way; the photo to the left is of Tech. Sgt. Brandon Longcrier "consecrating" the pagans' worship circle with white sage and not a ginormous doobie.

other links:
Earth religions get worship area at AF Academy.
Academy chapel to add outdoor circle to worship areas.
Cross Placed at Air Force Pagan Circle Prompts Probe.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Moral Vacuum of Secular Humanism. Part Two.

Not being a follower of "celebrities", until I read a disturbing article about him at, I had never heard of Ricky Gervais.

The wikipedia article on him describes him as an "English comedian". Maybe....but there was nothing funny in the article:
"Ricky Gervais is also a eugenicist. He promotes mandatory sterilization. This was evident in an interview he gave to the London Sunday Times over the weekend. He called for the mandatory sterilization of those whom he called *irresponsible parents* ".

I didn't locate the original London Sunday Times interview, but I was able to find more on the story from

"There are too many unwanted children, too many people who are poor and struggling," said the millionaire comic.
"If they all had a good quality of life, no one would complain. What there is, is too many useless people who shouldn't have children."
Asked how he would impose the limitation, Gervais replied, "Based on stupid, fat faces. If there's a woman in leggings, eating chips with a fag in her mouth, sterilise
[sic] her. I described an irresponsible parent."

It should not come as a surprise that Gervais is an atheist and Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. So much for the secularist argument that "..... the basic components of effective morality are universally recognized."

Although Gervais advocates forced sterilization and eugenics - and abortion too, I assume - he is, reportedly, a strong supporter of animal rights. I guess Gervais' love for the Canadian black bears is another attempt by a humanist secularist to convince us that atheists aren't assholes.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Moral Vacuum of Secular Humanism.

In an earlier post, I wrote of the attempts of some ..... uh ... freethinkers to show that non believers can be compassionate towards their fellow humans, that "you don't need God to be good" and atheists aren't assholes.

I tried, in my small way, to show that the atheists' views on "being good" are not based in logic.

"Atheists may think they can be good without God, but if you take their atheism to its logical conclusion, there is absolutely no reason to treat your fellow human any differently than you would an insect." and

"Atheists cannot justify their belief that any particular action is right or wrong using their own belief system and logic."

Of course, they have tried.

From the Council for Secular Humanism website:

"Secular humanists see themselves as undesigned, unintended beings who arose through evolution, possessing unique attributes of self-awareness and moral agency."

We humans have a unique attribute of "moral agency"?
The idea that we humans can develop our own morality because of some attribute of moral agency certainly isn't based on a scientific observation of the facts. We may be capable of incredible acts of altruism but we are also quite capable of horrendous acts of violence.

Also from the site,
"Indeed, say secular humanists, the basic components of effective morality are universally recognized."

Universally recognized? Like our universal agreement on abortion and the value of human life?

The secular humanist says,
"Ethical principles should be evaluated by their consequences for people, not by how well they conform to preconceived ideas of right and wrong."

If anything, in trying to base our society on the values of the secular humanist, we have ignored the consequences. One example of this is the liberal secular humanist's insistence that distribution of condoms is the solution to the problem of HIV/AIDS in Africa, in spite of the scientifically observable fact that living a moral life of faithful monogamy is far more effective.

If we are, as they believe, "undesigned, unintended beings who arose through evolution" then the idea that "secular humanism goes further, challenging humans to develop their own values" contradicts the earlier statement that "the basic components of effective morality are universally recognized."

A cartoon from the same website tries to poke fun at the idea that we who believe in God have a "patent" on values. The easily dissected ideas of the secular humanists show that we, indeed do.