Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's Already Started.

The Archbold brothers (Pat and Matt ) predicted it would happen.

Left of center non-Catholics would take Pope Francis' recent comment on homosexuals and the Church, misinterpret said comment and run with it.

The comment.........

"When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them? They shouldn't be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem ... they're our brothers."

As the Archbolds pointed out, this idea isn't anything new - it follows what the Church has always taught. It does not mean, as some will suggest, that Pope Francis accepts the idea of homosexual priests or same-sex "marriage".

One group called Freedom to Marry, posted this photo on their Facebook page.

Of course, many same-sex "marriage" supporters knew this photo was a manipulation of what the Pope really  meant, as evidenced by some of the comments of Facebook.

"The church has always said they should not judge the sinner. You can bet 'who seek The Lord' does not include their sin. Seek The Lord, but leave the sin behind. It is not like they'd accept the actual love or acts of love between gays. This is just smoke being blown, and my ass isn't having it."

"This has been the Catholic Church's official stance for a long time. Nothing new. They still want you to be celibate for the rest of your life."

"This statement is completely out of context. The pope stated he would not judge gay priests meaning he would be ok if a man denounced his homosexuality to serve God in the priesthood, not that he wouldn't judge gays in totality. Please lets not forget this is the same pope who stated that any child raised in a gay household is a victim of child abuse!"

"What you have written in your post is NOT what the Pope said. He has not changed what the Catholic Church has said about being Gay at all, but is definitely taking a more gentle and kinder tone. Nothing has chaned about what that Church teaches on these points; 1: All priests are expected to be celibate- no mater their orientation. 2: Having a "homosexual" orientation is not considered "sinful". 3: ACTING on said orientation IS considered "sinful". I am not defending these teachings, so hang on to those rocks and rotten tomatoes, please, but only correcting some very sloppy and imprecise writing on your post. Be careful! Facebook can be terribly misleading."

Contrary what many would have us think, Pope Francis is not about to turn the Catholic Church into the Episcopal church.

No same-sex "marriage". No women priests.

Is the Pope Catholic?

You bet.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sinched, Singed and Unhinged.

Thanks to LarryD @ Acts of the Apostasy  for his recent post, Houston Woman Sells Gov. Perry “Voodoo Dolls” To Benefit PP.

 Larry tells of a Houston, Texas area woman - Michelle Sinched - who has created voodoo dolls representing Texas Governor Rick Perry. These voodoo dolls come with "....tampon pins to act out your anger and or hexes upon his person".

All profits from the voodoo dolls will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

From the Houston Press:

"Each Perry voodoo doll is handmade by Sinched from materials left over from her many other projects. You can purchase a casual Perry doll in a anti-abortion coat hanger T-shirt for $25, or a suited version for $30. They are also available as a pair for $50, and each comes with a blank sign so you may write the pro-life slogan or Perry gaffe of your choice. The clothes are removable."

Not knowing Ms. "Sinched" or her husband Kenny Arocha, I can't speculate as to whether or not she believes in voodoo. While she might not actually believe in the powers of voodoo, it's telling that an abortion supporter would use demonic imagery to spread the message.

This isn't Ms.Sinched's first foray into - how shall I put this ? - the counter cultural netherworld.

In 2010 Ms.Sinched, AKA Michelle Betenbaugh, and her husband, with the help of the Texas ACLU, sued the school district in Needville, Texas to force the school to go against it's long standing grooming policy and allow their then five year old son to attend the school with long, braided hair. According to the suit, the son, in keeping with his Native American religious beliefs, has never cut his hair, which he has kept in one and two braids.

Of course, I'm a firm supporter of religious freedom and if wearing long hair is an authentic tenet of the Arocha's religion, then taking this to court was the right move; but I have to wonder - was this a religious statement or a fashion statement ? Was it really necessary to involve the United States Court of Appeals so Adriel Arocha could sport braided hair ?

By the way, photos posted on the Lipan Apache website (Adriel and Kenny Arocha's tribe) show most of the male members of the tribe wear short hair.

Just sayin'.

See Judge Rules Needville ISD Violated Native American Boy’s Constitutional Rights

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Christians Aren't Republicans.............

.........or Democrats, or Libertarians, or Socialists or any other political party.

In his piece for the Huffington Post, Bob Burnett puts forth the argument that Republicans Aren't Christians. Burnett argues that Republican  Party philosophy stems from the ideas of John Calvin and that Calvinism isn't Christianity.

I can't disagree with him on that. But, although for many, the Democrats may (or may not) appear to be more "Christ-like" in their views on immigration or the poor, the Democrat Party's views on abortion and same-sex "marriage" disqualify them from the label of  "Christian" as well.

It would be foolish to look to either Party for salvation and neither Party will ever be successful in transforming this country into any sort of Utopian Paradise.

As neither Party is an exact match with Catholic teaching, the best hope we might have, politically, is to try and transform one of the Parties into a more Christian position.

On the whole, I think it might be far easier to convince the Republicans to support a more Christian attitude towards immigration or capital punishment for example, than it would be convincing Democrats to abandon their support for abortion on demand.

In most cases, we Catholics have to hold our noses when we vote. Most of the time, it a choice of which Party stinks less.

See also, this video.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Thoughts on the Living Wage.

In a piece for National Catholic Reporter entitled Wal-Mart & Catholic Social Teaching, in which he discusses the City Council for the District of Columbia passing a new 'living wage' law that "applies specifically to large scale businesses like Wal-Mart, writer Michael Sean Winters opens with a quote from Pope Leo XIII's encyclical, Rerum Novarum:

"There is a dictate of nature more imperious and more ancient than any bargain between man and man, that the remuneration must be enough to support the wage-earner in reasonable and frugal comfort. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil, the workingman accepts harder conditions because an employer or contractor will give him no better, he is the victim of force and injustice."

Winters contends that while hardly - if ever - sympathetic to Catholic concerns, the DC City Council did the right thing in mandating that Walmart be required to pay employees no less than $12.50 an hour.

Parenthetically, this is the same City Council which recently passed a bill allowing "transgender and intersex residents to amend their birth certificates to reflect their correct personal information, such as gender and name, and obtain unmarked, updated copies of the certificates".

Winter's discussion of a "living wage" lead me to reread Rerum Novarum and to look further into the idea.

The Living Wage Action Coalition defines a living wage this way:

 "A living wage is a decent wage. It affords the earner and her or his family the most basic costs of living without need for government support or poverty programs. With a living wage an individual can take pride in her work and enjoy the decency of a life beyond poverty, beyond an endless cycle of working and sleeping, beyond the ditch of poverty wages."

According to one so-called "living wage calculator", an individual living in my area, while supporting a household consisting of 2 adults and one child, should earn at least $16.26 an hour.

As a Catholic, I agree with the notion that everyone should be paid a decent wage, but nowhere in Rerum Novarum is it written that it is up to the State to enforce this ideal on businesses.

Obviously, should Walmart be forced to pay workers in Rome, GA. either the minimum wage of $12.50 an hour, or the living wage of $16.26, the company would be forced to shut it's doors. The prices Walmart would be forced to charge it's customers would make their products unaffordable. $16.26 would no longer be the "living wage" in this area. It's called inflation.

If the State wanted the workers to earn a living wage, it should encourage the workers to live frugally and soberly, and further their education. Instead, the State encourages materialism, gambling, substance abuse and sexual immorality.

Rather than expect government to force businesses to pay $16 or $17 or $18 an hour, one should concentrate on making oneself worth higher wages.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Bye Bye Samuel Adams.

I have to admit, first off, that I'm far from the beer drinker I once was. Back in the day, it was more quantity over quality. "Volume" was the guiding principle

Things have changed. Now I hardly ever drink beer, but when I do, it's strictly,good, American made beer.

After learning of Boston Beer Company's decision to omit “by their Creator” from an Independence Day ad featuring the Declaration of Independence, I've decided that Samuel Adams was one American beer that would not find a home in my refrigerator.

I know, the company won't go bankrupt because of my decision; I don't buy enough beer to keep any company in business, but it's the principle, right?

Here's the ad in question.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Monday, July 8, 2013

Plants vs Zombies.

Being an old fart who was never much of a gamer, I'm not on the cutting edge of the video game universe, but thanks to my 7 year old son, I've been introduced to Plants vs. Zombies.

I watched him play the free online version while we were in Sibulan and I told him when would download the game to my PC when we returned home.

Doing a Google search, I located a site selling the game for $2.99, which I almost bought, until I read the fine print. I would have been charged a subscription fee of $6.99 a month. Always read the fine print.

I found the game on CD at Walmart for 10 bucks and some change.(That's coming out of J.P.'s allowance). It's installed on my PC now, and my son has actually let me play it a bit.

This is just what I need....... a further excuse to spend more time on my PC. At least it keeps me away from the Internet.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Madonna's New Look.


In an attempt to be controversial, Madonna has posted a photo from her photoshoot with Harper’s Bazaar magazine on Instagram and Facebook. In the photo, she is wearing what some have called a "chainmail niqab".

The Independent thinks she may have gone too far, although the article states that her message is unclear.

On Facebook, Things Liberals Hate believe Muslims will view Madonna's act as punishable by death.

I doubt it. Unlike her blatant anti-Catholic outfits, I don't think this photo criticizes Islam. It doesn't go far enough, in my opinion.

No, I think some in the West will be shocked by this, but she probably won't receive flack from the Muslim world.

We'll see.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day

OK; Maybe it's just one of my pet peeves, but now one says "Happy December 25th" or "Happy 4th Thursday in November" or "Happy March 17th". They say "Merry Christmas" or "Thanksgiving" or "St Patrick's Day".

We're celebrating Independence Day, not July 4th.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Abortion in Sign Language.

I first came across this gif a few days ago. In it, a woman is demonstrating the word "abortion" in American sign language.

I didn't post the gif  at the time for, actually, a pretty stupid reason. I thought everyone had already seen it. Well, obviously, not everyone has.

When I came across a post on LarryD's blog, linking to the image, I decided that this needs to have more exposure.

This "sign" does a pretty good job describing abortion.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Moving to Philippines.

We've taken the first steps on path towards moving to the Philippines. We've got a long way to go ......we can't be finished fast enough to please my wife. It'll take time.

I've sent an email to the Philippine immigration dept regarding the necessary visas. Normally, one can get a 21 day visa when you enter the country, but obviously, that won't do. There is also a, so-called "balikbayan visa" for family members of returning Filipinos, but that visa is only good for one year.

I've also sent an email to a local realtor to help us sell our house. I should hear something from him when I get off work this afternoon.

The next item on the agenda is the disposal of whatever we can't take with us.......that's going to be difficult. We can send some items that we may want to keep by way of balikbayan boxes, but most of this stuff will need to be sold, or given away. I see a number of yard sales in our future.

We may already have a potential buyer for the house so we'll need to start right away on the packing of the balikbayan boxes and the yard sales. Wish us luck.