If you don't behave as you believe, you will end by believing as you behave.” Fulton J. Sheen

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The Most Dangerous Sign in the World

An Easter message on a public school sign. Insert secularist freakout here.

A local news affiliate actually did a story on the sign. Can you believe it? Of course, they located some outraged people.

“You’re talking [about] a public school where you have many religions and many faiths and many cultures and many who don’t even believe in God,” one person told the station. “So that would be very controversial.”

“It’s not a Catholic school. It’s not a Christian school,” another said. “You don’t mix that.”

“I don’t feel that it’s right,” someone else noted to KCBS. “I would have been offended if it was Jewish or Islam.”

Turns out that a teacher at Darby Avenue in charge of changing out the marquee visited the school during the quiet of Saturday night, spelled out the Easter Sunday message, then took it down Sunday night.
If the government were truly neutral on religion, this wouldn't be an issue at all. A school could put up a religious message or a secular one. It would be up to the school. But now, you've got Californians bleaching their eyes to unsee the unsolicited mention of Christ.

It sounds like a teacher changed the sign, according to the Blaze. Something tells me that teacher will be looking for work sometimes very soon. I won't expect the union to have their back.


Down Syndrome Discovery Has Implications for Human Genetic Engineering

*subhead*Small changes, big effects*subhead*
The 21st human chromosome is the smallest of all our chromosomes. It contains a few hundred genes and is only 1% of our total DNA. As most people know, an extra chromosome 21 causes Down Syndrome. What most people did not know, until research published this week, is that tiny chromosome has an effect across the whole human genome.

Instead of simply being an extra copy of each of the genes on chromosome 21, trisomy 21 has an effect on the expression of genes on other chromosomes. The Scientist has the story of the fascinating research that lead to this discovery:
The deleterious effects of trisomy 21—the extra chromosome behind Down’s syndrome—can be seen across the entire genome, according to a study published today (April 16) in Nature. While studying a pair of monozygotic twins in which only one person had Down’s syndrome, a team led by Stylianos Antonarakis of the University of Geneva Medical School in Switzerland discovered that trisomy 21 can affect other chromosomes.

This rare twin pair allowed the researchers to compare the effects of Down’s syndrome on gene expression in two otherwise genetically identical individuals. The researchers found that in the twin with Down’s syndrome, genes in territories along the chromosomes that are highly expressed in people without the disorder showed reduced expression, while genes in territories that are normally suppressed were more highly expressed.

“The fact that they’ve got these really nice domain structures genome-wide further implicates the rising perception of the Down’s syndrome response as being more of a systems-level response, rather than . . . just the simplified perspective that we’ve had for a long time”—that the extra chromosome 21 is alone responsible for the symptoms of Down’s syndrome, said Robin Dowell of the University of Colorado at Boulder, who was not involved in the work.
Understanding how the extra genetic material in those with Down Syndrome affects the rest of the DNA in the cell is a critical step toward effective gene therapy, so this is a major breakthrough.

This discovery also reinforces what we are beginning to understand: genetics and gene expression are a lot more complex than just a sequence of DNA. There is a symphony of influences that affect how genes are expressed and even a tiny piece of DNA can alter the music. This quote really stood out to me:
“The mere addition of a small piece of DNA—about 30 megabases, or 1 percent of the genome—can disturb the entire transcriptome, all the genes of the genome. And not only disturb them, but disturb them in a specific and programmed way,” said Antonarakis
In other words, when it comes to genetics, small changes can have big effects.

Which makes me wonder about the wisdom of creating children with three-genetic parents. The mitochondrial DNA outside the nucleus that is "switched out" for donor DNA in this process may seem so small as to be insignificant, but is it? Will that tiny piece of DNA have much larger effects than expected? This new understanding about the effect of our tiniest chromosome suggests that to proceed with the genetic engineering of children to have three genetic parents is really a reckless shot in the dark.

Also, there are the transhumanist dreams of radical genetic modification of humans. How does this discovery speak to the idea of genetically engineering otherwise healthy human beings with artificial chromosomes for enhancement purposes? Transhumanist George Dvorsky thinks an extra artificial human chromosome (AHC) is not a bad idea:
But adding extra chromosomes artificially won’t necessarily be a bad thing. And in fact, they could be quite advantageous. When inserted during the in vitro fertilization (IVF) stage, they could serve as remarkable and flexible platform for the insertion of genetics.

“The main attraction of creating an artificial human chromosome is that they can be passed down from generation to generation,” says Stock. “There’s all sorts of mechanisms and structures in place that would allow for the division and faithful reproduction of those chromosomes.”

...AHCs could also give humans new capacities altogether. Stock speculates about a range of futuristic enhancements, including the ability to see ultraviolet light, or navigation in the dark by a system of sonar similar to that employed by bats.
This new research suggests that AHCs may have serious unintended consequences, and, if done as Dvorsky explains above, these would plague generation after generation.

This is why the Church teaches that any genetic intervention must be for therapeutic reasons where the intent is restoring natural development and the risk is balanced with the opportunity for healing. As this passage from the Charter for Health Care Workers states:
"In moral evaluation a distinction must be made between strictly <therapeutic> manipulation, which aims to cure illnesses caused by genetic or chromosome anomalies (genetic therapy), from manipulation <altering> the human genetic patrimony. A curative intervention, which is also called "genetic surgery," "will be considered desirable in principle. provided its purpose is the real promotion of the personal well-being of the individual, without damaging his integrity or worsening his condition of life.

On the other hand, interventions which are not directly curative, the purpose of which is 'the production of human beings selected according to sex or other predetermined qualities,' which change the genotype of the individual and of the human species, 'are contrary to the personal dignity of the human being, to his integrity and to his identity. Therefore they can be in no way justified on the pretext that they will produce some beneficial results for humanity in the future,' 'no social or scientific usefulness and no ideological purpose could ever justify an intervention on the human genome unless it be therapeutic, that is its finality must be the natural development of the human being."
Rebecca Taylor blogs at Mary Meets Dolly

I'm Not Offended

Who'd have thought that that a little thing like the internet could transform the greatest country in the history of the world into an army of 24-7 perpetual rage monkeys? Well, it has. Everyone's offended. All the time.

I think maybe the reason people like being offended is because they think it gives them carte blanche to say ridiculous things like "carte blanche" or just to act like complete morons and blame you for it. It doesn't matter if you give offense, they're taking it. No givebacks.

Maybe "I'm offended" is the 21st century equivalent of holding your hand to your chest and gasping, "Well, I never." Except now there's usually lawyers involved or at least two representatives of your Human Resources department because they never come alone (because lawyers told them not to.) And then the person who did the offending needs to hire a very expensive publicist to write up a non-apology apology which nobody will actually believe.

Or maybe "I'm offended" simply means "shut up or I'll sue" or "stop talking now or I'll get you fired."

Continue reading at The National Catholic Register>>>


Jezebel: Scalia's Wife is Pro-Life So He Should Recuse Himself or Something

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's wife has been involved with crisis pregnancy centers and should therefore recuse himself from ruling on buffer zones around abortion clinics. That's the argument being offered by Jezebel, the pro-abortion website.

A reliable voice against abortion, contraception, and really anything that doesn't directly promote the welfare of white Christian landowners, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is a talk radio absorbing lunatic who thinks Satan is, like, a real guy. He's also married to a woman who once sat on the board of a so-called Crisis Pregnancy Center and may currently work as a "sidewalk counselor" (let's be real: "abortion clinic protester"). So why is Justice Scalia allowed to weigh in on a Supreme Court Cases that might directly affect his family?
So essentially the piece by the pro-abortion site seems to argue that if you're a pro-life judge you can't rule on anything related to abortion.

But clearly, Elena Kagan could rule on all things Obamacare. Yeah, that's perfectly fine.


Disney Doesn't Allow Mention of God?

During an interview with NPR host Terry Gross, Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez who wrote songs for Disney's Frozen said you're allowed to put all sorts of things and ideas into a Disney movie but don't you dare mention God.

The Blaze reports:

“It’s funny,” she said. “One of the only places you have to draw the line at Disney is with religious things, the word God.”

Gross then asked, “You can’t say the word God?,” with Lopez subsequently clarifying his wife’s remarks.

“There was even a — well, you can say it in Disney but you can’t put it in the movie,” he added.

Anderson-Lopez agreed: “You can’t put it in the movies.”
I know that Walt Disney didn't put overt religion in his films so this might not be a radical change. But when you look at how hard Disney seems to push a leftist agenda, this seems of a piece with that.


Atheist Group Sues to Remove "Under God" from Pledge

An atheist family is suing a New Jersey school district to have the words "Under God" removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. On its face, the suit which was filed by the American Humanist Association seems silly in that the individual district didn't write the pledge nor did they write the state law requiring the pledge of allegiance be made daily at school.

It seems so ridiculous that even the school's attorney David Rubin. "All we are doing is abiding by requirements of state law, we and approximately 590 other school districts in the state," he reportedly said. "If the group who's brought this lawsuit questions the wisdom of that policy or the legality of it, we believe their arguments are much better directed to the state Legislature who's imposed this requirement on us, rather than suing an individual school district on this matter."

Rubin's right. So why go after the district?

Two reasons. One, the family might just get an individual school district to back down from the lawsuit and pull the pledge to avoid paying Mr. Rubin's fees throughout an elongated litigation. Secondly, the family knows that there's no way to lobby the state legislature to reverse the law. Think about it, what legislator is going to make this their cause when there's other important legislation like legalizing pot on the agenda.

So the family goes to the courts where they just need one stupid judge (and if you're keeping score at home, New Jersey is packed with stupid judges) to overturn the law requiring schools to have the pledge made or maybe even have the words "Under God" be found unconstitutional if you find a wacky enough judge.

Hey, secularists have definitely learned that what you can't get done through votes, just have a judge toss the votes. (See Prop 8)

Of course, I'd suspect the American Humanist Association is taking this on to get attention and to raise money. You know, those green rectangles with the words "In God We Trust" on them. I'd bet they're not turning those away.

HT USA Today.

*subhead*Put Your Blurb Here.*subhead*

Prayer at Mass for Persecuted Christians

The National Catholic Register has a report about a campaign to add Prayer at the end of Mass for Persecuted Christians. I am all for it! In fact, I will go one step further. I think that this prayer should be added to the Leonine Prayers and the entire set of prayers added to the end of mass.

A concerted effort is under way in Rome and in dioceses around the world to have Pope Francis introduce a prayer for the poor, persecuted and oppressed at the end of every Sunday Mass. 
The Register has learned that Church officials at the highest levels are “extremely interested” in having such a prayer inserted into all celebrations of Sunday Mass in accordance with the liturgical norms of the Missale Romanum 2002, the Missale Romanum 1962 and the liturgical customs and norms of the Eastern Churches.
The initiative is being taken not only because of the increasing persecution of Christians, but also in view of the many victims of abortion, human trafficking, poverty and oppression around the world. 
It follows regular appeals from Pope Francis, who has urged people to speak out against persecution of Christians, whom he has likened to the Church’s first martyrs. Cardinal Timothy Dolan also made a point of bringing it to people’s attention. In his final speech as president of the U.S. bishops’ conference last November, he called on his brother bishops to champion the cause of people persecuted for their faith and to fight to protect religious freedom.
“Our Christian brothers and sisters [are] experiencing lethal persecution on a scale that defies belief,” he told the USCCB general assembly in Baltimore.

The Leonine Prayers...

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
(Said 3 times)

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee to we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mouring and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
O God, our refuge and our strength, look down with mercy upon the people who cry to Thee; and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of Saint Joseph her spouse, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, in Thy mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the liberty and exaltation of the Holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray: and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on us.

You Mean, There are Christians in this Country?

A couple of rather interesting points from the culture. The Charlton Heston movie "The Ten Commandments" won in the ratings on Easter Sunday night.

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League points out what the old movie beat:

On Easter Sunday night, more Americans watched “The Ten Commandments” on ABC than any other show, even allowing for the fact that the audience was not as big as last year’s. What was most telling was how it creamed the religious fare shown on the Travel Channel and the Science Channel.

The Travel Channel gave us “Greatest Mysteries: Holy Land,” a one-hour presentation that took the viewer on a rambling ride through hidden rooms and caves looking for the Holy Grail; a guest appearance by Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi SS, rounded out the first segment. The Shroud of Turin was featured in the second segment: the audience was asked to consider whether the cloth’s impression was the face of Leonardo da Vinci. Another segment speculated on whether there is a hidden code and cipher in the Torah. Finally, we learned that Judas, who betrayed Jesus, was actually his best buddy.
Now, it's also rather refreshing to note that the movie "Heaven is for Real" shocked pretty much the entire entertainment industry by being the #1 new movie of the week beating out Rio 2 and others. Only Captain America made more.

It's pretty remarkable. You'd almost start thinking that people in America were hungry for Christian-friendly entertainment. I'm sure Hollywood will think of a new reason not to make Christian-friendly entertainment.


CBS Sunday Morning Interviews The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles

This is just wonderful. Really. It's pretty rare that I'll send you over to a mainstream media news broadcast. This is the exception.

The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, a secluded group of nuns living in the farmlands north of Kansas City, have become the unlikely rock stars of traditional classical music.

Check out this video from CBS. The sheer joy of their faces and voices is wonderful.


Recently Discovered Vid: Margaret Sanger Calls for "No More Babies"

No More babies. Sheesh, you'd almost think the founder of the abortion giant, Planned Parenthood didn't like babies or something.

HT Weasel Zippers