Inter-religious dialogue is like communism and blood-letting, it is sure to work if you just give it a little more time.

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Imperfect Baby Born, Mother Still Inexplicably Loves

Baby Eli Thompson was born last month perfectly healthy except for not having a nose. Somehow someway the child's mother still loves him and thinks he's adorable.

We live in a weird time where this is countercultural.

The boy's mother has called him a "miracle baby."

"He's an extremely happy baby and does cute stuff all the time," she said. "There's a reason aside from his health issue and not having a nose as to why we call him our miracle baby. He just tugs on people's heart strings. It's his demeanor."

"I don't think my son will ever have an idea of how much he's impacted people," she said. "He's definitely started something and has got a big purpose in life. He's going to have one hell of a testimony to tell people one day."

Seems to me the child is loved. I pity the child who is not loved.


The 33 Trailer

This looks interesting, the story of the 33 Chilean miners. I know what an important role faith played for those trapped men. It will be interesting to see if that shows up in the movie.

*subhead*Chilean Miners.*subhead*

The Truth About Harry & The Truth About Us

As you may have heard, Senate Minority leader Harry Reid who recently announced he will not seek reelection gave an interview to CNN in which he was asked about his bold face lie on the Senate floor that Romney didn't pay his taxes. In answer he smirked and said "Romney didn't win, did he."

And that is it in a nutshell. Truth doesn't matter. Winning matters. Only winning matters.

This is where we are now. The highest ranking Democrat in Congress looks at the camera with his one good eye and says, "Sure I lied. What are you going to do about it?" And. Nobody. Cares. This is hardly a story. We don't even demand that our lying politicians lie about their lying anymore.

Harry Reid is devilishly defiant in admitting to his lie with the basest of justifications. The end justifies any means. And. Nobody. Cares.

People consider me pessimistic because I am convinced that the country as we knew it is gone and is likely gone forever.

I hope that one day this great land will have an honorable, moral, and limited government to serve its honorable and moral people. But an honorable and moral people is the prerequisite and that is not us anymore. We have the government we deserve, a smirking immoral lying government that dares you to do something about it.  Instead, let's go tar and feather some Christian bakers in Indiana.

*subhead*We deserve each other.*subhead*

Picture of Mother Teresa as a Teenager

This picture is believed to have been taken when Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu was in her teens, obviously before she became Mother Teresa. Such a different way to see her.


Kinda' Fun. Ryan Anderson Speaks Truth About Religious Freedom. Get's Mic Cut

Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation was on the Ed Show on MSNBC (is that still on?) and this is kinda' fun because Ed has no answer other than name calling in response to the truth bombs from Anderson. So he just cuts his mic. It would be infuriating if it mattered but it's MSNBC so it doesn't.

The thing that gets me about this religious freedom debate we're having is that we're not having a debate at all. It's just demagoguery and hyperbole. Nobody's talking about diners having segregated counters for gays. Nobody, that is , except liberals who are trying to win public opinion rather than get to truth. But that's what they do. I don't know if it's always been like that but I remember as a young man seeing James Carville on television shows arguing for Bill Clinton's innocence in some scandal. The thing is, he'd never actually argue Clinton's innocence. He would argue either that everyone else does it too and/or the Republicans were mean spirited Nazis on a witch hunt. And guess what, on television, most people came away thinking along with Carville. It used to drive me crazy.

It doesn't drive me crazy anymore because I've just accepted it, I guess. It's not that people are stupid, it's just that they're not really paying all that close attention to these things. They've got a lot going on in their own lives so the time they devote to these issues is about the time they watch Carville on television. And then they see all the talking heads agreeing with Carville and they come away thinking that is a good indication of public opinion. And that's how public opinion is swayed just enough so they win.

We think we're having a religious freedom debate. The other side can only have an anti-gay debate. They literally can not let it be anything else. So what do we get? Demagoguery. Hyperbole. And mic's getting cut.

So sometimes I'm happy to see guys like Ryan Anderson out there dropping some knowledge out there but other times I just feel like it's tossing deck chairs off the Titanic, you know.


A Big Thank You

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the outpouring of support I have recieved after getting the sack at the Register. It speaks well of all of you. Thanks so much.

But as much as we can all intuit what led me to this end, I am not a victim and you won't hear me complain (much) about my treatment. The truth is, while nobody likes getting canned, it has no material impact on my life. I see every day what real people deal with, brave and faithful people like Ray McConnell or Rebecca Frech, and my little problem is inconsequential. It simply isn't worth fussing over and so I won't.

But since some people are understandably asking me why? I thought I should st least say something. I will not impugn the motives of anyone or bore you with the gory details. Suffice it to say this:

I got to write for the Register for five years and now I don't anymore. It was never gonna be a lifetime appointment. Any money I receive from writing is essentially inconsequential to my family as I have always had another primary career. I got into writing because I love my faith and the Church. It is that simple. I always just wanted to write what I thought about what was happening in the culture and in the Church and I wanted to say it the way I wanted to say it.

For a while that was understood, accepted, and even appreciated by the Register. For the past 2 years, that has increasingly not been the case. That shouldn't be a surprise to many. There was no sense in me changing since my reasons and need for writing had not changed. But obviously some things changed, as we all know. I knew what I was doing and I understood well the current mood. I didn't change because I didn't want to. But it is their newspaper and they get to choose what they want to pay for and publish. That obviously was no longer my writing.

In a strange way, I am relieved. It feels more honest now. No more me jumping through hoops and worrying about every word or topic choice. And I am sure some folks who had to deal with me during an increasingly tense process are equally glad to be rid of me.

I will continue to write here and elsewhere because I didn't get into this to write for the Register, as much as I enjoyed most of my time there. I am blessed with more writing opportunities than I deserve or can handle.

Thanks for your continued support.

At this point I just want to get back to beating up on those red-caped commies who are trying to ruin everything in October.

Exit line:

*subhead*These things happen.*subhead*

Pro-Choice Episcopal Bishop Says Climate Denial is a Moral Issue

Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal church, who is pro-choice on the issue of life, says climate change denial is a "moral issue."

“Episcopalians understand the life of the mind is a gift of God and to deny the best of current knowledge is not using the gifts God has given you,” she reportedly said. “In that sense, yes, it could be understood as a moral issue.”

She continued by saying, “I think it is a very blind position. I think it is a refusal to use the best of human knowledge, which is ultimately a gift of God.”

Wow. Seems like a hard line, huh? Well Jefferts Schori takes a rather more...nuanced view on other issues such as life.

Please continue reading at The National Catholic Register>>>


Saying Goodbye To The National Catholic Register

It is with some regret that I must inform you that my employment as a contributing blogger at the National Catholic Register has been terminated.

Yup, they fired me.

I am grateful for the five years I spent as a contributor to the Register, the online presence of which has grown immensely during my tenure and that of the other original group of contributors. There is a lot to be proud of there. I stuck with them in hard times even when they were completely broke and it looked like they would blink out of existence, only to be saved at the last minute. Alas and alack, our time together has come to an end.

There are many things I could say about why this happened and how and maybe one day I will say more. But for now, suffice it to say that my particular contributions have not been well received over the last year or so and that has lead to increasing tension. I suppose that is plain to anyone with eyes to see. I will note that upon my departure, among the top 10 posts for the last 3 weeks, you will find three of my contributions.

I am proud of my writing at the Register. I feel I have been consistent in my approach to writing and the topics I cover. I think I brought a viewpoint to the Register that is otherwise not well represented among their stable of good writers. The Church has been going through some tough times and as a consequence I have sometimes tried to tackle some tough issues. I have always tried to do so fairly and as a loyal son of the Church. I will leave it to others to decide whether the Register is better off without my writing or viewpoint.

Most of all, I want to thank all of you that supported my writing there over the years by clicking on links from CMR. I will forever grateful for it and I hope you will continue to support my brother Matthew as he continues as a contributor there.

*subhead*Yup, fired.*subhead*

Doubling Down On Stupid

I have no way of knowing whether the highly specific and alarming accusations against recently appointed Juan Barros Bishop of Osorno, in Chile, are true. But I can say with certainty that his appointment over the objections of so many is an unforced error. This appointment sends the message that concerns over abuse are secondary at best.

And now the Vatican is doubling down, backing the appointment.
The Vatican has said that it is confident the correct decision has been made in appointing Juan Barros Bishop of Osorno, in Chile.

A statement on the controversial Chilean bishop was released by the Vatican earlier today. “The Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment,” it said.
Even Pope Francis' own Child Protection Commission thinks this is the wrong thing.
Commission member and abuse survivor Marie Collins said she could not understand how Pope Francis could have appointed Bishop Barros given the concerns about his connection to Fr Karadima.
“It goes completely against what [Francis] has said in the past about those who protect abusers. The voice of the survivors is being ignored,” she said.

Archbishop Chaput: 'Current White House May Be Least Friendly to Religious Concerns in Our History’

CNS News reports that Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia told a number of seminarians that "the current White House may be the least friendly to religious concerns in our history.”

But the problem isn't just this administration. He also said: “We need to remember two simple facts. In practice, no law and no constitution can protect religious freedom unless people actually believe and live their faith – not just at home or in church, but in their public lives. But it’s also true that no one can finally take our freedom unless we give it away.”

Abp. Chaput said that while many Americans still identify as Christian, he suspects that religious practice is dwindling. "More young people are disaffiliated from religion now than at any time in our country’s past. More stay away as they age. And many have no sense of the role that religious freedom has played in our nation’s life and culture."

Hmmm. I wonder why that could be. Perhaps it's that many of our educators and the media have been busy in an active sliming campaign against religion for decades. What did we think would happen when secularists took over the media, the government, and the education establishment?

Archbishop Chaput said he expects more anti-religion laws.

We’ll see it in the courts and in so-called “anti-discrimination” laws. We’ll see it in “anti-bullying” policies that turn public schools into indoctrination centers on matters of human sexuality; centers that teach that there’s no permanent truth involved in words like “male” and “female.” And we’ll see it in restrictions on public funding, revocation of tax exemptions and expanding government regulations. We too easily forget that every good service the government provides comes with a growth in its regulatory power. And that power can be used in ways nobody imagined in the past.
And he talked about the importance of words and how when we expand their meaning, we destroy them.

We don't even agree on the simple words like "marriage" and "family" anymore. Never mind "baby" or "life." Abp. Chaput adds to that list misconstrued terms like "justice, rights, freedom and dignity."

We speak the same language, but the words don’t mean the same thing. Our public discourse never gets down to what’s true and what isn’t, because it can’t. Our most important debates boil out to who can deploy the best words in the best way to get power. Words like “justice” have emotional throw-weight, so people use them as weapons. And it can’t be otherwise, because the religious vision and convictions that once animated American life are no longer welcome at the table. After all, what can “human rights” mean if science sees nothing transcendent in the human species? Or if science imagines a trans-humanist future? Or if science doubts that a uniquely human “nature” even exists? If there’s no inherent human nature, there can be no inherent natural rights--and then the grounding of our whole political system is a group of empty syllables.

Liberal democracy doesn’t have the resources to sustain its own purpose. Democracy depends for its meaning on the existence of some higher authority outside itself. The Western idea of natural rights comes not just from the philosophers of the Enlightenment, but even earlier from the medieval Church. Our Western legal tradition has its origins not in the Enlightenment, but in the 11th and 12th century papal revolution in canon law. The Enlightenment itself could never have happened outside the Christian world from which it emerged. In the words of Oxford scholar Larry Siedentop--and in contrast to ancient pagan society--“Christianity changed the ground of human identity” by developing and uniquely stressing the idea of the individual person with an eternal destiny. In doing that, “Christian moral beliefs emerge as the ultimate source of the social revolution that has made the West what it is.” Modern pluralist democracy has plenty of room for every religious faith and no religious faith.

But we’re lying to ourselves if we think we can keep our freedoms without revering the biblical vision--the uniquely Jewish and Christian vision--of who and what man is. Human dignity has only one source. And only one guarantee. We’re made in the image and likeness of God. And if there is no God, then human dignity is just elegant words.
In the end, however, he ended with the spirit of hope that comes with conversion.

In the end, there’s too much evidence that God loves us, with a passion that is totally unreasonable and completely redemptive, to ever stop trusting in God’s purpose for the world, and for our lives.

The Second Vatican Council began and ended in the aftermath of the Holocaust and the worst war in human history. If there’s an argument to be made against the worthiness of humanity, we’ve made that argument ourselves, again and again down the centuries, but especially in the modern age. Yet every one of the Council documents is alive with confidence in God and in the dignity of man. And there’s a reason. God makes greatness, not failures. He makes free men and women, not cowards. The early Church father Irenaeus said that “the glory of God is man fully alive.” I believe that’s true. And I’d add that the glory of men and women is their ability, with God’s grace, to love as God loves.

And when that miracle happens, even in just one of us, the world begins to change.
God bless Archbishop Chaput. And pray for conversions. Many.