Thursday, June 28, 2012

Archbishop Timothy Dolan's New e-book.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan's new e-book [True Freedom: On Protecting Human Dignity and Religious Liberty] is the one book I wish all my "un-churched" friends would read.

I can't recommend it highly enough. However, I am like someone who had commented on the e-book in an article for National Catholic Register. The e-book is only 5000 words; why not just post it as a letter and publish on the Archdiocese website?

Of course, I know why, now.

Also included with the Archbishop's text is an excerpt from John Allen's book on the Archbishop, A People of Hope.

I am not a fan of Mr. Allen and frankly, they could have left it out as far as I'm concerned.

The e-book costs only 99¢. That's a fair enough price. I realize the Allen excerpt is just attempt by the publisher to sell more copies of his book, but it won't work, in my case.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

3 1/2 Time-Outs Tuesday.....the Space-Cadets Edition.

It's time again for another installment of 3 1/2 Time-Outs Tuesday.

President Obama - AKA Jimmy Carter the 2nd - said recently,

“You know, it’s fashionable right now for people to be cynical. We go in cycles like this and right now a lot of people are saying, ‘Oh, America is doing terribly’ and ‘What are we going to do?’”

Was he referring to Jimmy Carter number one, who says,
the U.S. is guilty of widespread human rights abuses?

Astrophysicist Alex Filippenko stated that the universe could have come into existence 13.7 billion years ago without any need of God. The laws of physics are all it takes.

He goes on to say that stating that the universe could have started with a God is not the same as saying that God doesn't exist.

"The question, then, is, 'Why are there laws of physics?'" he said. "And you could say, 'Well, that required a divine creator, who created these laws of physics and the spark that led from the laws of physics to these universes, maybe more than one.'"

"I don't think you can use science to either prove or disprove the existence of God," Filippenko said.

I have to ask, then, what's the point of article?


"A Dutch company aims to land humans on Mars by 2023 as the first step toward establishing a permanent colony on the Red Planet.

The project, called Mars One, plans to drop four astronauts on Mars in April 2023. New members of the nascent colony will arrive every two years after that, and none of the Red Planet pioneers will ever return to Earth.

To pay for all of this, Mars One says it will stage a media spectacle the likes of which the world has never seen — a sort of interplanetary reality show a la "Big Brother."

In a panel discussion at SETI Con II, the director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute, Doug Vakoch said that the discovering of alien life probably wouldn't destroy religious faith or threaten organized religion.

"My own hunch is they're probably not going to be as severe as we might initially think," he said.

Why would anyone suppose otherwise?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kmiec Predicts Obamacare Victory.

In a piece for America Magazine, Douglas Kmiec predicts that the Supreme Court will vote in favor of Obamacare this week.

The Supreme Court decision is expected to be announced this week. We'll see just how well Kmiec does in reading the minds of the justices - particularly Justice Kennedy. The ever obsequious Kmiec calls Kennedy a "literate, level-headed, fair-minded man" so, naturally, in Kmeic's view, Kennedy will cast the deciding vote in support of the President's handiwork.

Kmiec's love of Obama is well known. I,for one, have serious reservations concerning Kmiec's judgement. If I had any doubts before how the Supreme Court would rule on Obamacare, my doubts were removed having learned of Kmeic's prediction.

The Court will crush Obamacare.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Recent Visit to Blood Assurance.

Two weeks ago, the good folks at Blood Assurance called and asked if I could come in and donate platelets. A young girl, who has the same blood type as I, is undergoing treatments and would need platelets Monday,Wednesday and Friday of last week and this week as well.

I was only too happy to help. I scheduled an appointment for this morning at 10:00 o'clock. I dropped off J.P. at vacation Bible school just before nine and went ahead and drove over to the Blood Assurance location on the chance that I might be able to get in early.

After going over the questionnaire prior to the donation, I discovered that my surgery for prostate cancer in March precludes me from donating either whole blood on platelets until one year after the doctor's release. Since the doctor released me to return to work the first week of May, we calculated that I should be able to donate again in May of 2013.

Oh, well.............

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

3 1/2 Time-Outs Tuesday.....the Zombie Edition.

After not participating at all this month, I've returned to LarryD's 3 1/2 Time-Outs Tuesday group. I'm calling this one the Zombie Edition because, not only haven't I done a 3 1/2 T.O.T. since May 29, but I haven't posted anything for nearly two weeks; it's like returning from the dead.

I don't really have any excuse for my having been such a slacker. It's not like I haven't been on the Internet. And it isn't like I haven't had anything I wanted to write about.

Last week I came across a copy of the Dalton Daily Citizen newspaper. The story that caught my attention was about a young couple from Dalton who now find themselves stranded in Mexico.
The young woman, 24 year old Gicela Angelica Carranza had originally entered the United States illegally at age 5 - brought here by her parents. To make a long story short, Carranza has lived in this country nearly all her life; after graduating High School, she earned an associate degree in accounting at the local technical college and eventually married a U.S. citizen, Ramon Gonzalez.

Fearing deportation, the couple went to Mexico at the end of April, hoping to get a visa for Carranza as the spouse of an American citizen. They've been stranded ever since.

The day after I read this article, El Presidente Obama announced that illegals who entered with their parents (prior to age 16) will be permitted to remain in this country, under certain conditions. Had the couple remained in the U.S. everything might have been OK with them, but now that they're in Mexico, I'm not sure how easy it will be for them to return.

I wish them the best - they are in my prayers.

Last December, I read, for the first time, Uncle Tom's Cabin on my Kindle and was highly impressed. After reading the novel, I read a bit about Harriet Beecher Stowe and learned that the publication of her book brought out quite a few literary responses from the pro-slavery folks.

One of the more successful of these books was Aunt Phillis's Cabin; or, Southern Life As It Is by Mary Henderson Eastman. I had downloaded a copy of the book from Project Gutenberg and recently read it.

I knew I was about to read one tremendous load of horse manure (propaganda) but I was surprised at the twisted lengths Eastman went to in order to convince that Christianity did not prohibit the owning of slaves.

Eastman, of course, makes mention of a curse being placed on Noah's son Ham, whereby all his descendants would forever be held in bondage. Eastman goes on to claim that neither Jesus nor his Apostles condemned slavery.

In modern times, the character of Beecher's Uncle Tom, has been looked upon by some as being far too obsequious but, one doesn't truly know the meaning of the word until you see how Eastman portrays slaves in her work.

I don't see how Eastman could actually consider herself a good Christian.

A few days, I came across a recording of Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons singing Boudleaux Bryant's Love Hurts.
I had to listen to several versions of the song, from, of course, the rock band Nazareth, to the Everly Brothers to Roy Orbison....even a version from Rod Stewert and another by Cher.
I haven't been able to get the song out of my head for days.

After Simcha Fischer mentioned Kristin Lavransdatter in one of her posts, I purchased the trilogy from I've only just started reading the first volume.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lent 4.5 ....... Fail.

During Lent, 2011, I came upon a website for a program called Lent 4.5. On March 6, 2011 I write a post for this blog regarding my thoughts on the program and website - ( Lent 4.5)

The basic premise behind the program is that a formula has been developed to determine how many acres of land is used to maintain your current lifestyle. The example the group gives for those of us living in the USA, is that, on average, it takes 22.3 acres of land to maintain our standard of living. If you take the land mass of the Earth - divided by the 6.5 billion folks said to inhabit the planet - then we are only entitled to use 4.5 acres of land to support ourselves. Obviously, according to the group, we are using far more than our fair share.

In my post, I had used quotes from the Lent 4.5 website - and provided a link, I was critical of the group and I believed it would be only fair to present their argument as they themselves presented it.

Using the figures the site provided, even Mexico was nearly double their "fair share" by using 8 acres of land per person to support the Mexican lifestyle. I know that consumption in the US is, by far, in excess of what it should be, but I do not realistically see the average America living a standard below what is currently the standard of living in Mexico.

The biggest program I had with their idea was their tying their proposal to Lent. Far too often, in their zeal to protect the planet, many of these sorts of groups stray dangerously close to paganism in their love and worship of "Mother Earth". We are asked to fast during Lent in ordered to affect the well being of the planet when the true purpose of fasting during that season is to help the soul turn back to God through a conversion of the heart. At one point we're asked to give "contemporary meaning and value into fasting". It's like saying, "Hey, not only does Fasting provide spiritual benefits, but it'll help you fit into that swimsuit this summer".

The folks pushing Lent 4.5 may have good intentions, but we all know what road that can lead us down.

I would not have brought any of this up if it had not been for a comment left on that post by Mary Mattingly, the National Coordinator for Lent 4.5:

It has come to our attention that you have posted material copyrighted to Lent 4.5 and the Passionist Earth and Spirit Center on your blog. We respectfully ask that you remove the content.

When I received that comment, I felt that my use of the material from their site fell within the area of Fair Use. It is quite common for blogs to use quotes from a site being criticized in order to get ones point across. However, the law regarding Fair Use is vague; I'm not going to get into a legal battle over this. I have to wonder whether these folks would have pushed the issue had my post contained lavish words of praise for their idea? Personally, I suspect the group cannot accept even the mildest of criticism.

In an email from Ms Mattingly, she stated that they "were merely advised by our board of directors that we need to protect our copyright".

The folks running Lent 4.5 say we have huge global problems.

They also say we Christians in affluent countries have a faith problem. They believe our "observance of prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Lent can become a direct response to global poverty". I don't see how lowering my standard of living to below Third World levels can raise the standard of living of someone living in poverty. Like far too many people, the people at Lent 4.5 see inequities between the "haves and the have-nots" and rather than bring the less fortunate up to a higher level, they want us to lower our standards to theirs.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

NCR Bashes CDF.....What Else is New?

Following their modus operandi of supporting anyone who goes against Catholic teaching and/or the Magisterium, the National Catholic Reporter has criticized the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) for criticizing Mercy Sr. Margaret Farley's book on "sexual ethics", Just Love.

The CDF concluded that, "Among the many errors and ambiguities in this book are its positions on masturbation, homosexual acts, homosexual unions, the indissolubility of marriage and the problem of divorce and remarriage".

Even Sr. Farley admits," responses to some particular sexual ethical questions do depart from some traditional Christian responses.......".

Never the less, the National Catholic Reporter hasn't missed an opportunity to bash the Vatican. They note that, "In 2008 she received the prestigious Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion for the book." (The award is actually referred to as Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion). NCR also makes mention of the Rev. Paul Cadetz, an ordained Presbyterian minister and professor of historical theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities in New Brighton, Minn. as an endorsement of Farley's supporters.

The, so-called, National Catholic Reporter, using Presbyterian accolades to support an apostate over the Magisterium.

In another hit piece against the CDF the NCR opines, "That's a loss for the hierarchy, who would benefit greatly from a close reading of Farley's framework for sexual ethics. But their loss is the Catholic laity's gain, particularly those who have not yet been exposed to Farley's work." Having been exposed to Farlwy's work hasn't driven me into the NCR's camp. On the contrary, it further exposes the NCR as, not the National Catholic Reporter but, as referred to by LarryD, the National Catholic Distorter.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Democrats Support Sex-Selection-Abortion.

No doubt about it; Obama and his fellow Democrats - slash- Leftists - love abortion so much, they will not agree to outlaw abortions based on gender selection.

From Catholic Online:

"The Prenatal Discrimination Act (PRENDA) was defeated before a committee of the US House of Representatives on Thursday, May 31, 2012. Given the procedural means by which the vote was called, passage required a 2/3 majority. The final vote tally was 246 for making the killing of children in the womb based on their gender illegal. The number of those who support the intentional killing of children in the womb based on gender as some kind of protected "right" was 168 representatives. "

Proof that abortion based on the fetus' gender doesn't bother Obama and the Democrats can be found at these sources.

1)The administration's statement to Jake Tapper.

2)Ms Magazine.


4)Think Progress.

The list goes on and on.

Those who believe that PRENDA is simply a Republican trick can and should read the bill which can be found here.