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Wait. Is It a Selfie If You Don't Take It?

It's being reported pretty much everywhere that Pope Francis just posed for the first selfie. Here it is:

But is it a "selfie" if you don't take it yourself? The Urban Dictionary states that a "selfie" is "A picture taken of yourself that is planned to be uploaded to Facebook, Myspace or any other sort of social networking website. You can usually see the person's arm holding out the camera..."

Not go get all technical but this clearly doesn't qualify. You might be able to argue that this young woman took a selfie with the pope in it but I don't think you can argue that this is a papal selfie.

And besides he wasn't even pursing his lips.

I think the world will still have to wait for the first official papal selfie.


I'll Take These Singing Nuns Over These


Not so much.



This story makes me sad.

Church progressives and the liberal press using a 100 year old nun to push for female ordination.
A Chicago nun is celebrating her 100th birthday today — but there’s something missing.

Ever since she was 10 years old, Sister Vivian Ivantic has wanted to become a Catholic priest.

Ivantic joined the Benedictines when she was 20 years old and since then, she’s been hoping for a change in the Catholic Church’s policy toward female ordination.

"We need women in church offices," Ivantic told The Chicago Tribune. "It won't come in my lifetime, but it will come."

Ivantic argues that women have held important roles in the Church for a long time, as teachers, nurses and social workers. In her own lifetime, she’s seen women gain footholds in politics and in the workplace. She thinks it is time for a change in the Church, as well.

“I think the American church is outstanding," Ivantic said. "But I'm waiting for women's ordination.”
I can't think of anything sadder than after 100 yrs with a Church that bears gift of the miraculous kind, the Church that introduced you to Christ, which provided you the sacraments, and directed you on the path to eternal salvation, still owes you something.


The Smallest Catholic Church in the World and the Amazing Story Behind It

Built in the early 1900's by a poor sugar farmer named Anthony Gullo after he prayed to the Virgin Mary for the successful recovery of his eldest son, mass is held in the Madonna Chapel just once a year on August 15 to celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Mother.

Watch this video (I changed the video because the other one was an annoying autoplay one):

Ht Real Clear Religion


The Beard!

I have had some facial hair for probably 60% of my adult life. Most of the time my beard has been a trimmed van dyke (goatee).

Every once in a while I grow a full beard, but still keep it fairly trimmed. However, at the end of last year I just kind of let my beard grow for a month and it got fairly long.

It intrigued me. What would I look like with a totally full man beard? The intrigue compounds in that, while my hair only has a smidgen of gray, most of my beard is full on white. White.

So this year I have decided to really commit to the beard and see what happens. I am a week or so into it and I have decided not to shave until the new year.

Like grief, there are stages to growing a beard. You start with the Lazy bum faze and then move into the Homeless faze.

After that, there are stages of beard growth.

SO that's it, I am going to grown a big white beard. Given my current girth, comparison to Santa are inevitable. But like Saint Nick, I am not averse to punching people.


Ugh. Iowa Dems Pray for Abortion Rights on Video

Iowa Democrat gubernatorial candidates join abortion activists in prayer for increased abortion access. "We pray for women who've been made afraid of their own power by their paternalistic religion."

They pray for the "blessing of choice."

This is truly sick.


How Dads Show Love

My wife and I just had our 16th wedding anniversary. My kids were making fun of me about how often I underwhelm on these big days. The card and the flowers aren't all that impressive, I guess. But my wife told them that love isn't just seen in cards and flowers. Dads, she said, show their love sometimes in different ways.

When there's a noise in the night and Dad gets up and searches the house and checks all the windows and doors while everyone else sleeps because he can't sleep knowing that he didn't do everything they could to protect you. That's how he shows his love.

Dads come running when they hear the squeal from wives or daughters (and yes, sometimes sons) when they encounter a large bug. Yes, sometimes love means squishing bugs and cleaning up bug guts...

Continue reading at The National Catholic Register>>>


Whoa! 96 Year Old Widower Enters Song about Wife Into Contest. Tears Ensue

This is just amazing. A 96-year-old widower named Fred saw a songwriting contest being advertised in the local newspaper and so he wrote some lyrics about his wife who'd just passed away.

The studio which was receiving all sorts of songs via cd received this big envelope with the lyrics inside because Fred can't sing and doesn't play an instrument.

The studio was so moved by it they recorded it. You can watch as they play it for him.

This is a Hallmark movie waiting to happen folks. I'm thinking Abe Vigoda's agent will be getting a call in the very near future.

HT 22 Words


School Says Cheerleader Outfits too Skimpy for Class

A number of schools in Florida are banning their own cheerleader uniforms from class, because the outfits are too skimpy and don't live up to the schools' dress codes, according to The Daily Caller.

At Gibbs (High School), cheerleaders have to wear t-shirts under their tops while they are at school. They can’t wear their skirts at all in class.

“It’s appropriate for them when doing that activity, but a school has another purpose, and that’s academics,” Gibbs principal Stephanie Adkinson told the Times.

At St. Petersburg, the cheerleaders have a few different skirts. This year, they are only allowed to wear a longer skirt during class. They must also wear a jacket.

Some parents are unhappy with the new rules.
It's the last line that drives me crazy. The parents are unhappy with the rules? What? How about the parents should be unhappy that their daughters are being issued uniforms that would make Miley Cyrus blush?

The school is right to ban the uniforms from class but they're crazy for making them the uniforms in the first place. Shouldn't the school be issuing uniforms that are appropriate enough to wear in class?

*subhead*Unhappy parents.*subhead*

Our Foregin Policy In a Nutshell

Statement of Foreign Policy.

Dear Tyrant,
Please stick to approved methods of slaughtering your people. If you use unapproved methods of slaughtering your people, we will conduct telegraphed brief and limited military action that will NOT be targeted at the following:

  • We will not target your unapproved slaughter capabilities.
  • We will not target you, tyrant.
  • We will not try to destabilize your regime even though we have called for regime change for 2 years ever since we stopped calling you a model of rational leadership in the middle east.

Instead, we will briefly and in a limited way target runways and military bases so as to:
  • Preserve my credibility after making a foolish line in the sand threat.
  • Preserve my belief in my own peace aura.
  • All while not angering the other Islamo-nazi groups that I currently back.

That about sum it up?

*subhead*Summing it up.*subhead*

Worst Video Game About Abortion Ever: Choice: Texas

How does a video game sound where you attempt to procure an abortion in Texas? Yeah, me too.

In the proposed video game "Choice: Texas" players will choose a character from varying socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds and attempt to navigate the laws in Texas on their way to get an abortion.

Yay! It's like Zelda. But different.

It's being developed by a self described poet and a cultural historian. What could possibly go wrong? Listen to their plea for funding as the describe the game and plead for money in that way that poets and cultural historians only can. And by that I mean it's boring and self righteous.

And they're very very serious. In fact, they're so serious that one the fundraising website they use the word "serious" three times in one paragraph. Check it out:

We are billing Choice: Texas as “a very serious game,” and we mean that. While the game is intended to be engaging, the issues it addresses are very serious. Women’s access to reproductive healthcare in Texas is significantly limited, a state of affairs that is especially true for women who are working class or poor, or who live in rural areas. One of the great strengths of games is that they can invite players to explore other people’s experiences; Choice: Texas is such a game, and asks players to seriously consider the plight of Texas women.
So I'm thinking they're serious.

If you donate ten dollars you receive a postcard from the game designers and two stickers!!!! Seriously.

*subhead*Put Your Blurb Here.*subhead*

Good News for Fans of STD's

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, the great comedy team from the 60's is back and better than ever. Hilarity ensues. And rashes. And pain too. Lots and lots of pain.

CBS reports:

Sacramento County’s health department will begin distributing a take-home STD test for women that won’t cost users a penny.

The city has one of the highest rates of STDs in the state, and it keeps going up every year. Now a new online program will hopefully get more people to get tested.

“We definitely need all the help we can get,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye.

The division of public health says STDs are spreading like wildfire in Sacramento, with chlamydia and gonorrhea considered an epidemic.
The interesting thing here is that while the Health Department is saying these terrible diseases are spreading like wildfire, they're not even suggesting that maybe you shouldn't jump into the sack with anyone and everyone. They just are setting up free tests.

Wouldn't you think if there's an "epidemic" which is "spreading like wildfire" the Health department would tell people to stop doing the things that causes it?

When people smoke cigarettes, did the government simply set up CT scans for people or did they inform them of the dangers of smoking? I seem to remember the government being pretty strenuous in telling people not to smoke.


Univ. of San Francisco Sponsors T-Shirts for Marchers in Homosexual Parade

This is pretty bad. Several official departments at the University of San Francisco not only encouraged students to take part in the city’s LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) Pride Parade on June 30 but also provided free t-shirts to students and their guests who signed up to march.

According to the Pride Parade site, the University of San Francisco LGBTQ Caucus for Faculty/Staff marched behind Planned Parenthood and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

Continue reading at Catholic Education Daily.


The Muslim World Needs Conversion, Not Understanding

The world burns because nobody wants to burn for it.

The world is on fire. This you know. But the one thing that could douse the flames is the one thing of which we Catholics are afraid to speak.

Look at particularly the middle east, the Muslim world. That part of the world is on fire. Riots in the streets, civil war, mass murders, Christian pogroms, political unrest, WMDs, and rampant terrorism are all parts of our daily news for at least as long as it takes to turn the channel or close the page.

As Catholics, what are we to do?

Well, if we listen to many Church leaders, we hear that we should seek to understand them better. We should encourage countries to send foreign aid to their corrupt governments in futile attempts to eliminate the unrest. And of course, we should seek to dialogue with them. Dialogue, dialogue solves everything.


Christ did not commission His Church to dialogue with over a billion people whose lives are dictated by a false religion and a false ideology, an ideology that threatens to burn the world. Christ did not ask us to understand them better.

In all the lofty statements of prominent Church leaders on the myriad problems in that part of the world, the one thing you are guaranteed not hear are calls for conversion.

Conversion, that is what the Muslim world needs. Why are we so darn afraid to say it?

Please read the rest at The National Catholic Register.

As always, I appreciate your support over there.


Inspiring Vid: Nick Vujicic Speaks on Abortion

Nick was born without arms or legs. He thanks God that his parents didn't know that when he was still in the womb.


Consequences of the Unintended Kind

This is not good news.

Missile strikes against Syria could be launched “as early as Thursday” senior U.S. officials said Tuesday as the White House intensified efforts toward an international response to the suspected use of chemical weapons.

The “three days” of strikes would be limited in scope, and aimed at sending a message to the regime of Syria president Bashar Assad , U.S. officials told NBC News.

It followed another round of telephone diplomacy by President Barack Obama, who held discussions with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and French President Francois Hollande on Monday to lay the groundwork for potential military action.
We should all pray and pray hard.

*subhead*Syria Bombs ready to fall.*subhead*

Catholic Answers Needs Help

This great apostolate is in need of saving. If you can give, please do so.

HT Pewsitter


HuffPo Frets 50 Abortuaries Shut Down Since 2010

Over 50 abortion clinics have closed down in the past three years, according to a new study from The Huffington Post.

At least 54 abortion providers across 27 states have shut down or ended their abortion services in the past three years, and several more clinics are only still open because judges have temporarily blocked legislation that would make it difficult for them to continue to operate.
This is good news.

And on top of that, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported that in 2012, there was a 4.4% decrease in Wisconsin abortions.

Keep up the good work. There's much to celebrate. Much to do but there's no harm in taking stock and acknowledging that maybe just maybe the tide has turned.

*subhead*Turning tide.*subhead*

Mostly Dead Patients Are Not In Fact Dead

Hey, you know all those people who've been declared to be in a vegetative state and then starved to death. Well, it turns out that they may not have...uhm...technically...been in what some might label a...uhm...vegetative state. Sorry about that guys. It seems that many of them might have actually been pretty aware of what was going on.

BioEdge reports:

Canadian neuroscientists have detected conscious activity in a patient who has been in a “vegetative state” for 12 years using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Writing in the latest issue of JAMA Neurology, they claim that “in this study we establish for the first time that some entirely behaviorally nonresponsive patients can use selective attention to communicate”.

Lorina Naci and Adrian M. Owen of Western University, in Ontario, examined three patients who were believed to be completely unresponsive after severe brain injuries, two of them in a minimally conscious state and one in a vegetative state. They were able to “respond” by focusing their attention in a way which could be picked up with the fMRI scanner. Two of them communicated repeatedly and accurately. Many bedside assessments had completely missed their capacity for willed behaviour.

“These results suggest,” they write, “that some patients who are presumed to mostly or entirely lack cognitive abilities can have coherent thoughts about the environment that surrounds them.”

The plight of patients in so-called vegetative state can be awful. Research has shown that up to 40% are misdiagnosed and actually have some degree of awareness.
So maybe, just maybe, we should stop killing them. Or are we just calling grown people in bed very big blobs of tissue and saying it's ok to terminate them.

We can't call them "potential humans" like they call the unborn. How about we label them "humans past their expiration date."

*subhead*Big blobs of tissue.*subhead*

Pastor: No Weaves in Church

When the Bible says "even the very hairs of your head are all numbered" I don't think wigs and weaves were included.

My first instinct was to make fun of this story. I mean, come on. He's from Waco, Texas and he's asking women not to wear hair weaves in Church. But after I read it I sorta' thought this Texas pastor had a point. It may not be the best way to go about it but he's got a point.

CBS in Houston reports that Pastor A.J. Aamir, a former Muslim turned Christian pastor, is asking women not to wear weaves in church. The story states that he says women who wear weaves "presents a false image of themselves."

Now, he says that and I'm thinking we've got a bit of a nutjob on our hands, right? But then the story goes on.

His church is made up of a congregation of members that are dealing with financial hardships, but he notices they will go out and buy $300 weaves.

“I lead a church where our members are struggling financially. I mean really struggling,” Aamir told America Preachers. “Yet, a 26-year-old mother in my church has a $300 weave on her head. No, I will not be quiet about this.”
Hmmm. That seems like a pretty valid point, doesn't it? I think we could probably say the same thing about IPhones, cable television, fancy cars and many other things.


The Red Line of Death

It is increasingly clear that the Syrian government did indeed use chemical weapons against it own people. This is a crime against humanity that cries out for justice.

The only remaining question is whether it is up to us to bring it.

Leaving the use of chemical weapons aside, Syria engages in longstanding civil war pitting really bad against worse. There are no good guys in this war, only bad. To pick a side is to help the bad guys win. This is something we should not do. Every fight is not our fight.

One year ago the President, through a combination of hubris, machismo, and naivete declared the use of chemical weapons as a 'red line' that would force the U.S. into this conflict. So now as I write our navy approaches Syria and there is talk of bombing.

I fear that the President's comic book foreign policy is going to drag us into a war in the middle east in which there are no winners, only losers with potential consequences way beyond the body count of this horrific chemical weapons attack.

One would think that if the last two years have taught the administration anything, it would be that they cannot tell friend from foe in the middle east. This is principally due to the fact that they actually think there are friends there. We have no friends among the Muslim nations, only degrees of enemy.

When the Arab spring began, we saw this kind of naivete. A few of us warned of the dire consequences of taking sides and trusting, only to be drowned out is a chorus of "the sun will come out tomorrow"

Again I warn. Don't take sides in a civil war of bad vs worse.


Bishop: Homophobia is a Mental Illness

In an videotaped interview, Bishop Raúl Vera López, a Mexican friar of the Dominican Order and bishop of the Diocese of Saltillo, gave a scathing interview which he said "homophobia" is a mental illness.

He seems to be saying that homosexuality comes from a situation where a person's hormones are not lined up with their anatomy. I'm not really sure what he means by that at all. But he seems to think it's all well and good.

He recounts a story about a mother who was worried about her son hanging out with homosexuals. He blamed her. Yup. That's what he said, at least according to the translation on the video. "Blame yourself for it because that's the way your son developed in your womb."

"Why would I immediately think a gay or lesbian person is perverse or depraved the moment they approach me?," he said. "That's how people who are homophobic react. It's a mental illness in which you see gays as depraved and promiscuous. You have to be sick in the head for that."

According to New Ways Ministry, a pro-LGBT website, Bishop Lopez was summoned to the Vatican in the past to discuss his views on issues relating to homosexuals but no sanctions were forthcoming.


Treating Those We Love Like Strangers

I was at the bookstore recently with my kids. The little ones were checking out the Legos while the older girls were lounging like hippies on beanbag chairs reading books we hadn’t bought.

I noticed a mother was sitting nearby in the crowded café with her daughter, who seemed about thirteen or fourteen years old. The mother seemed a bit upset and after an intensely whispered conversation the girl walked off past me to go find a book she needed for school, obviously upset.

Continue reading at The National Catholic Register.


Joseph Bottum - Fool and Tool

Joseph Bottum, former editor of First Things, has pathetically come out in favor of gay marriage in an article at Commonweal. It fails any test as argument, but rather indicates that Mr. Bottum has become un-moored and is too lazy to swim back to shore.

Matthew Frank, at Bottum's former haunt First Things sums better than I possibly could.

At one point in this bloated, interminable essay, meandering hither and yon, Bottum allows as how the authors of the Manhattan Declaration were chiefly thinkers and not writers. Never was it more obvious that the reverse is true of Bottum.


At Which School Is Your Child Safer?

If you're dropping your child off at school, at which one do you think your child would be safer?

Yeah, me too. The second one is at a Christian school in Arkansas.

HT College Insurrection


N.M. Supreme Court: Photographers Can't Refuse Gay Weddings

Quick! Somebody alert Bob Schieffer before he misses this story too.

In a closely watched case on gay rights, religious freedom, artistic freedom, the speech rights of businesses, and a host of other legal hot button issues, the New Mexico Supreme Court today ruled that wedding photographers could not refuse to shoot gay ceremonies.

"When Elane Photography refused to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony, it violated the [New Mexico Human Rights Act, or NMHRA] in the same way as if it had refused to photograph a wedding between people of different races," the court said in a unanimous verdict.

The court rejected each of photographer's Elaine Huguenin's arguments, particularly one in which Huguenin had argued that her refusal did not discriminate against same-sex customers. Huguenin had argued that she happily photograph gay customers, but not in a context that seemed to endorse same-sex marriage. Likewise, she said, she wouldn't shoot heterosexuals in a context that endorsed same-sex marriage.

The court rejected any legal differentiation between homosexuality and homosexual conduct.
You must comply is the new tolerance.

This is what it comes down to and with more and more legal recognition of SSA, the impetus to force faithful Christians to comply grows every day.

This is a great battle of our day.

*subhead*Of course.*subhead*

WH Spokesperson Has a Little Fun with Christians Being Killed in Egypt

Seriously? I don't remember any quips about Trayvon.

The Daily Caller reports:

The White House’s deputy press secretary today downplayed Muslim attacks on Christians in Egypt, joking about the savagery that has left at least six Christians dead.

Press secretary Josh Earnest was asked by Fox News’ correspondent, Ed Henry, if President Barack Obama has a “red line” beyond which he would act against Muslim attacks on Egyptian Christians.

“Well, I didn’t bring my red pen out with me today,” Earnest joked.
Note to Christians: If the White House is comfortable making jokes about your deaths, please be assured help is most certainly not on the way.


Personhood Amendment is Like the Star Wars Missile Defense

Planned Parenthood in Colorado recently announced that they were closing two clinics. Why? Because Planned Parenthood is going broke fighting off these personhood amendments that pro-lifers in Colorado keep trying to get passed.

Here's the thing. I know pro-lifers are all sorts of split on whether we should push personhood or not. But Planned Parenthood knows that if they lose that battle it's game over so they go hog wild to defeat it. According to WND, Planned Parenthood outspent pro-lifers on that issue 10-1.

This reminds me of Ronald Reagan talking up the missile defense program that scared the bejeezus out of the USSR. So the Russians spent billions on more weapons and ended up going broke. Yes, to stave off annihilation they went broke and annihilated themselves. Good strategy.

So even though the personhood amendment never really had a chance of passing, the results of even picking the fight have been beneficial.

Let's make them keep fighting on every level. Keep fighting efforts to defund them. Keep fighting personhood amendments. Keep fighting in court. Making them fear losing money will make them spend money and go broke. Works for me.


Poll: Catholics Cool with Former Abortion Clinic Owner as PA Governor

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, a former abortion clinic owner, may well be the next governor of Pennsylvania, according to a poll obtained by PoliticsPA. The worst part is that, according to the poll, Catholics approve.

The most interesting aspect of the poll was that it dealt directly with Schwartz’s past work at a Philadelphia health clinic that provided abortions.

“A lot of people have said, variations on the theme, that they think that Allyson Schwartz is going to have difficulty winning the general election because of her work with the Blackwell Center,” said pollster Pete Brodnitz.

He said that when the campaign has the chance to push back against the initial stigma, they win. Of the two issue descriptions below, respondents chose the pro-Schwartz response 51% to 33%. They broke out white Catholics, who supported the Schwartz position by 56% to 29%.

Here are the competing questions the pollster asked.

1) Supporters of Tom Corbett say prior to running for Congress, Schwartz ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia. In Congress and the State Senate, she has pushed a pro-abortion agenda, including opposing parental notification, supporting partial birth abortions, and voting against the Religious Freedom Act.

2) Supporters of Allyson Schwartz say she helped found the non-profit Elizabeth Blackwell Health Center to provide access to quality, affordable health care. While the center did provide legal abortion services, Schwartz’s goal was to reduce the number of abortions by helping women get access to better health care and contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
Firstly, what a crock. She ran an abortion clinic to reduce the number of abortions? What?!

I know that polls run by campaigns can be questionable but the thing is that the district she's won four times has an awful lot of Catholics in it and they keep voting her in. Schwartz has an abysmal record on abortion and abortion legislation.


AG: If Hospital Delivers Babies They've Got to Kill Them Too

The state of Washington's attorney general just said the darnedest thing. In response to questions about a Catholic hospital merging with another hospital, state Attorney General Robert Ferguson seems to have said that if a hospital received taxpayer funding and has a maternity ward it must also abort babies or refer to abortion clinics.

I'm serious. Here's how the Seattle Times reported it.

Washington hospital districts that receive tax funding and provide maternity services or information to women must also provide equivalent services or information about contraceptives and abortion, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a legal opinion released Wednesday.
You know what gets me here. The word "equivalent." There's nothing "equivalent" about giving birth and killing the unborn. In fact, it's the opposite of "equivalent."

Mind you, this AG's word is not law. Not yet. But he's still an AG, which is a pretty powerful post. It's not like nothing will come of it. But what does this say for Catholic hospitals in Washington? Will they be forced to perform abortions or refer for abortions because they have a maternity ward?

This makes no sense. Since they also feed patients should hospitals also starve people. Oh wait, a lot of them do that now anyway.

The ACLU has its pom-poms out for Ferguson calling his decision "an important step forward" with implications for "reproductive services, end of life care and LGBT services.



If I Hated Women I Would...

If I hated women and I had the power, there are things I would do that would engulf the world in darkness.

Please go to the Register and see all the things I would do if I truly hated women.

As always, I ask for and appreciate your support over there.

*subhead*engulf the world in darkness.*subhead*

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI: God Told Me to Resign

A visitor to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said that he told him he resigned after a "mystical experience" in which God told him to resign.

Who knows if it's true. You know the media. But it's worth passing on. I mean, it's not like I thought that Pope Benedict made that decision all willy-nilly like. I was pretty certain a lot of prayer went into it.

Reuters reports:

Former Pope Benedict has said he resigned after "God told me to" during what he called a "mystical experience", a Catholic news agency reported.

Benedict, whose formal title is now Pope Emeritus, announced his shock resignation on February 11 and on February 28 became the first pontiff to step down in 600 years.

"God told me to do it," the Zenith agency quoted Benedict as saying to a visitor to the convent in the Vatican gardens where he is living out his retirement in near isolation.

According to the agency, Benedict told his visitor, who asked to remain anonymous, that God did not speak to him in a vision but in what the former pope called "a mystical experience".

*subhead*Put Your Blurb Here.*subhead*

Abortion Group Initiates 3 Day "Blog Carnival," Asks for Positive Stories About Abortion Experiences

A pro-abortion group is calling on women to share their positive experiences with abortion as part of a three day "blog carnival" whatever that means. The babies could not be reached for comment on their perspective.

The Christian Post reports:

Pro-abortion groups are calling on women who've had abortions to share their positive stories about the experience by writing a 500 to 1,000 word essay that will be shared with the public on the #AbortionMatters blog.

Feminist Majority Foundation and its Choices Campus Leadership Program, which claims to be the world's largest pro-choice student network, has launched the #AbortionMatters "blog carnival" to allow for pro-abortion organizations and advocates to share their essays and policy pieces in support of abortion, and to "destigmatize abortion, encourage wider education on the procedure, and normalize the conversation."
Hmmmm. Smells like desperation?


Woman Forcibly Extracts Sperm from Comatose Boyfriend for IVF, Authorities Yawn

This is progress? Modernity?

The boyfriend of a UK woman in her early 40's had a heart attack and dropped into a coma. Sad, right? But it's about to get worse. Even though he was dying and comatose, she decided she wanted his sperm so as she could have his baby. Problem is, according to the law they're not married and she doesn't have any indication of consent from the dying man.

But the court says that take the man's sperm anyway. Mind you, this isn't a pleasurable process. Now, you know those guys who've woken up from comas and said they heard everything for the past twenty years and felt everything. Well, let's just say we should all pray this guy wasn't feeling what they did to him to get his sperm out of him. There were surgeons involved. And cutting. Yeah, I know, right.

Imagine lying there, preparing yourself for your trip to the great beyond and then a team of surgeons walk in and start going to town on your business with sharp instruments. Poor guy. You might think that the law should protect the dying from this type of exploitation. But no. This is modern science. If we can do it, we will do it.

Now, according to BioEdge "she took the sperm out of Britain to an overseas IVF clinic, perhaps to Romania or Cyprus, where it is legal to use sperm without proof of consent."

And she's had IVF performed with the man's sperm. No word yet on whether she's pregnant. But surely, this kind of thing shouldn't be happening. They weren't legally married. She offered no proof of consent. And it's a pretty darn painful experience for the guy.

Look, I know that this woman probably loved the heck out the guy and she's going through a really bad time right now and she's not thinking too clearly but shouldn't there be laws about this kind of thing? And if there are laws, shouldn't they be enforced?

I mean, where are we with the dying now? We can stop feeding them if we want to. We can ignore them to death. Or we can forcibly extract their sperm. Just because a human being is dying doesn't mean they become means to other people's ends.


Duck Dynasty Patriarch Sounds off on Abortion and God Given Rights

At the risk of making this a Duck Dynasty blog 24/7, I'm putting this up. Hey, it's not often that we get television stars on our side so when we do I'm gonna' highlight it. Anyway it's pretty awesome. The head of the Duck Dynasty family Phil Roberton speaks out about the right to life and why he stands with George Washington.


Urgent Prayer Request for Seminarian

I just received this email and hope that you will all say a little prayer for a seminarian in Kansas.

Javier, a seminarian for the Diocese of Salina, KS, is in desperate need of prayers. He is critically ill with pneumonia and, barring a miracle, it does not appear as if he will make it. If you could please ask your readers to pray for him through the intercession of Fr. Emil Kaupan (also from Kansas ). http://www.frkapaun.org/

Thank you so much and please pass on the message to others.
Father Emil Kapaun gave glory to God by following his call to the priesthood and thus serving the people of Kansas and those in the military.

Father Kapaun, I ask your intercession not only for these needs which I mention now. . .but that I too may follow your example of service to God and my neighbor.

For the gifts of courage in battle and perseverance of faith, we give you thanks O Lord.

Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.


Mery Christmas, Jack!

Cool. Uncle Si (For those of you living under a rock - Silas Robertson of Duck Dynasty) is the narrator in the upcoming Veggie Tales Christmas DVD.

*subhead*Veggie Dynasty.*subhead*

The 8 Year old Thinks the 6 Year Old Has It Good

Every generation thinks that younger people have it easier. Case in point, a conversation my eight year old boy had with his six year old sister.

8: You are so lucky.

6: I know.

8: You wanna' know why?

6: Why?

8: Because you've never lived in a world that didn't have LEGO Batman video games. As long as you can remember we've had LEGO Batman.

6: Wow. I am lucky.

8: When I was a kid I didn't have LEGO Batman. I was stuck with all Dad's stinkin' video games.

6: Wow.

8: I know.


Family of Boy with Autism Receive Ghastly Letter

I guess we shouldn't be shocked by this. A neighbor sent a letter to a family of a boy with autism recommending they euthanize him.

HT HuffPo
*subhead*Oh my.*subhead*

Are You Or Have You Ever Been a Christian?

This is wild. Dartmouth College hired and now fired an Episcopal bishop a dean of a foundation at the college because he once said homosexual behavior was a sin. Hilariously, Bishop James Tengatenga of Malawi was bending over backwards to say he didn't believe that anymore but it was too late. He'd been seen as a Christian at some point and Christians (past or present) need not apply on college campuses.

This snippet from Reuters really tells it all. It's just priceless:

“The issue is that he has championed the church’s official position against homosexuality,” Dartmouth junior Andrew Longhi wrote in a blog post on The Huffington Post website. “The tendency to discriminate against (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people is so diametrically opposed to how I understand faith and religion that selecting a ‘social conservative’ to this post baffles me.”

Tengatenga said in a statement following the appointment, but before his hiring was blocked, that his views on homosexuality had changed.

“Let me state unequivocally and categorically that I consider all people equal regardless of their sexual orientation,” he wrote. “As is the case with many people, my ideas about homosexuality have evolved over time.”

On Thursday, he reacted to Dartmouth’s decision.

“I am disappointed,” he said by e-mail. “It’s a sad for the liberalism they claim. It is what it is. Life goes on.”
I've got to wonder if these same people are this mad at Barack Obama, whose position supposedly evolved over time. Until just two years ago, Obama was supposedly against gay marriage. But we all knew that was a sham. He was just waiting for the political winds to change.

But the thing is, they through Tengatenga actually believed that Christian oogedy boogedy crazy talk. And that can not be tolerated. Because tolerance means not tolerating other people's points of view, right?

*subhead*Need not apply.*subhead*

Gov. Christie: Homosexuality Not A Sin

Separation of Church & State!

I am still waiting for the actual quote that will be part of a signing statement by the Governor when he signs a bill outlawing any therapy that attempts to alter sexual orientation in minors.

Of course (and I am tired of having to say this every time) the inclination is not sinful but the acts are. Either way, whether inclination or act, homosexuality is intrinsically disordered. NJ and Governor Christie are outlawing any treatment for those with intrinsic disorders and making declarations on the the sinfulness of this or that. Separation of Church and state indeed.

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie plans to sign a bill Monday barring licensed therapists from trying to make gay minors straight.

New Jersey will be the second state to ban so-called conversion therapy, along with California.

The bill passed both houses of the Legislature with bipartisan support in June.

Gay activists pushing the ban were uncertain what Christie would do.

In a signing note accompanying the bill obtained by The Associated Press that will be made public Monday, Christie says he believes people are born gay and homosexuality is not a sin. That view is inconsistent with his Catholic faith.

*subhead*Separation of Church & State! .*subhead*

Great News. Squishy Massachusetts Republican Wants to Run for Prez

Hey, you know who conservatives really need to run for President? A Massachusetts Republican. No, this is not a flashback.

Former Senator Scott Brown is considering running for president. Just what we need. A Republicans who is pro-abortion rights and believes gay marriage in his home state is "settled law" and won't say another word about it no matter how you phrase the question.

The Daily Caller reports:

Brown appeared at the Iowa State Fair Sunday. With refreshing disregard for political custom, Brown made it clear why he was visiting Iowa.

“I want to get an indication of whether there’s even an interest, in Massachusetts and throughout the country, if there’s room for a bipartisan problem solver,” Brown told the Boston Herald Sunday. “It’s 2013, I think it’s premature, but I am curious. There’s a lot of good name recognition in the Dakotas and here – that’s pretty good.”
Chances of this happening are way past slim and closer to none. But be prepared for the media to use Brown's possible candidacy as a cudgel to browbeat pro-lifers and defenders of traditional marriage. Often.

Hopefully, Republicans won't allow themselves to be cudgeled by the media into supporting a candidate in the primary who just should not be taken seriously.

I think you lose the right to be taken seriously once you pose like that.


Third Gender Official in Germany

It's now ok to deny reality in Germany.

Spiegel reports:

Germany is set to become the first country in Europe to introduce a third, "indeterminate" gender designation on birth certificates. The European Union, which is attempting to coordinate anti-discrimination efforts across member states, is lagging behind on the issue...

Under the new law, individuals can also opt to remain outside the gender binary altogether.
The baby is a boy or a girl. It doesn't matter what the parent wants or thinks the baby should be. Some things just are. Imagine that, some things in the world don't need your agreement. They just are.

I guess this should come as no surprise since a baby's sex isn't the only thing which depends on the parent's whim. In fact, whether the baby is a baby at all or just a blob of tissue depends on the whims of the baby's parents.


Why I Bowhunt

I think this video comes as close to explaining why I bowhunt as anything I could write.

*subhead*What God put here for us.*subhead*

Vid: Armed Gunmen Rob Two Priests in Front of Church

How low can you go? Sounds to me like somebody's in need of confession.

The robber ordered the priests down to the ground. One of them refused and simply said, "Shoot me."

*subhead*Oh my.*subhead*

One Armed B-ball Player Offered to Play at University of Florida

Zach Hodskins, a one-handed high school basketball star guard with an awesome touch from 3-point range, has excelled without any part of his left arm below the elbow, a birth defect. Now, the University of Florida has offered him a spot on the team.

Think about all the times in this kid's life where he must have despaired that he couldn't do it. And yet he went out there and worked and worked on his game. And now he has an opportunity to play on one of the best collegiate basketball teams in the country. Amazing.

Check out his crazy skills.

*subhead*Friday inspiration.*subhead*

My Favorite Catholic Church Hating Video...Ever!!!

CatholicChurchReform.com's video is just too awesome not to share.

1) It's clear everyone just memorized their lines about three minutes before. It's easy because it's all about threatening to become Episcopalian and making the Church a democracy.

2) Then. Oh boy. Then comes the song. I'm serious. They have a song. And it's just too cheesy for words.

3) The comes about a minute of pure blank screen. I mean...just nothing. And then in the last few seconds up pops an unedited few seconds where the person behind the camera is practically yelling at the poor guy that he needs to "project, project, project!" And it's all supposed to look like off the cuff man-on-the-street interviews. Hilarious. Love it.

*subhead*Love it.*subhead*

This Coexist Poster is Much Better

Yeah, I like this one better.

This makes me think for a moment. I would wonder what percentage of people who have the bumper sticker below might be willing to put something up like the above poster.
I would be there'd be very little crossover on that. Very little.

I would actually get the pro-life co-exist to carry with me on The March for Life but I'm too busy holding kids' hands. And here's the real problem. My kids accept all the posters that people are handing out and then about three steps into the March I'm left holding five posters. Poor me, I know.


Maybe if Egypt Agrees US Aid Won't Go Towards Killing People

The United States federal government is continuing to send over a billion dollars in aid to Egypt even as the government kills its own people. That aid reportedly includes jet fighters.

Some are concerned that U.S. money is going towards killing innocent civilians. Not me.

There's an easy way out of this. I can't believe people didn't see it earlier.

Check out my solution at The National Catholic Register.


Swtizerland Ditching God from National Anthem

Switzerland is challenging its people to write a new national anthem because the old anthem had icky religious words in them. They want a national anthem with less words like "God" and more words like "solidarity." Really. I'm not actually kidding. I mean, what the heck rhymes with "solidarity?"

Whatever currency the Swiss use, the winner gets 10,000 of them for coming up with the best replacement. I have no idea if that's a lot. If it is, feel free to enter. Come on, you really think I'm going to look up the Swiss currency? OK. I just did. It's the Swiss Frank. But I'm not about to look up the exchange rate for you. You've got to take some initiative yourself, you know.

The guy in charge of the competition told the BBC what the problem is with the country's anthem: “The real problem is above all the text...Officially the anthem is a psalm, a prayer, but of course we have an open society, religiously neutral....We have atheists, no single god, so this anthem is a difficulty”.

Yes, God can be quite the difficulty, can't He?

Christian.org has some of the old verses in their report:

“When the morning skies grow red / And o’er their radiance shed / Thou, O Lord, appeareth in their light.

“When the Alps glow bright with splendour, Pray to God, to Him surrender,

“For you feel and understand, For you feel and understand / That he dwelleth in this land. That he dwelleth in this land.”
All you need to know is that at least some of the judges will be from the yodeling community. 'Nuff said.

This guy is kinda' yodeling so here you go.


California: Embrace Gay Agenda or Lose Tax Exempt Status

The California legislature is considering punishing youth groups who don't embrace the gay agenda. Earlier this week, the Committee on Revenue and Taxation voted 6 to 3 to move the bill to the full judiciary committee.

The openly gay State Sen. Ricardo Larahas proposed the bill that would strip non-profit youth organizations of their sales tax exemption for food and other items if they discriminate "on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or religious affiliation."

The bill literally names 25 organizations that must embrace the gay agenda or suffer the consequences including the Boy Scouts, Young Men's Christian Association and Little League. It is unclear what "discriminate" means, however. And I wonder if Catholic schools would eventually be included as a non-profit youth organization as well. In fact, I don't wonder at all. I'm positive they would be eventually...as soon as the legislature thought they could get away with it.

Keep a close eye on this legislation.


$375,000 Grant to Planned Parenthood to Boost Obamacare Enrollment

Washington, D.C.’s health insurance exchange awarded a $375,000 grant to Planned Parenthood to help enroll participants in Obamacare. This is just another example of the Democrat Party making it rain taxpayer money to the tune of $6.4 million.

One of the biggest cash gifts for party loyalty went to Planned Parenthood in D.C. The press release from the Health exchange states that they'll "focus on helping the uninsured and hard-to-reach populations."

One can argue that Planned Parenthood reaches a population of women in crisis. But if they were interested in reaching hard-to-reach populations, why not say a crisis pregnancy center like Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center. Wouldn't that reach the same population?

President Obama asked God to bless Planned Parenthood. In lieu of that, cash will do.

HT Washington Examiner

*subhead*Makin' it rain.*subhead*

Pope Calls Man Who Lost Sister to Violence

Wow. This is amazing.

The Telegraph reports:

Michele Ferri is the brother of 51-year-old Andrea, a petrol station manager who was allegedly gunned down by two men including one young employee he treated like a son.

The death shocked the north-eastern town of Pesaro.

Michele Ferri wrote a letter to the Pope telling him of his inability to forgive the killers and was shocked when he picked up the telephone on Wednesday evening to hear: "Ciao Michele, it's Pope Francis."

At first Mr Ferri thought it was a joke but said he was overcome with emotion when he realised it was really Francis on the line from the Vatican.

"He told me he cried when he read the letter I wrote to him," Mr Ferri said.

The Pope also asked to speak to Mr Ferri's mother to express his personal sympathy.
I don't really have anything to add. But this is truly "pastoral."


Sherry Antonetti is a Fantastic Writer. Buy "The Book of Helen."

I just finished The Book of Helen by Sherry Antonetti. It’s wonderful.

Yup. CMR buddy Sherry Antonetti just published a book and I just read it. I know. You don’t know which is more amazing. Sherry, a mother of ten and prolific blogger, wrote a book or that I’m able to read one, right?

The Book of Helen is sort of historical fiction but not about anyone who ever existed.

The book follows Helen of Troy as she ages. It's like chick-lit meets Game of Thrones. Her husband Menelaus is dead and the knives are coming out for Helen. As you might imagine, being the face that launched all those ships and started a war caused a little resentment.

I’m a reader of fiction. It’s the genre I enjoy most. One thing Sherry does remarkably well is she puts you in the moment. Big things are happenings. There’s plot upon plot and sides being taken and switched but none of it seems unwieldy because Sherry Antonetti keeps you so solidly in the moment.

The book really focuses on Helen’s strength as well as her vulnerability. In The Illiad we mostly know what effect she had on men but Sherry also focuses on how that effect affects Helen. To be certain she uses her charms but will it be enough to save her from revenge?

I’ve always known she was a great blogger but it turns out that Sherry Antonetti is a fantastic writer.

You can buy Sherry’s book by clicking here. It’s absolutely worth a read.

*subhead*Read it.*subhead*

Priest Attacks Church at LGBT Festival

The Wild Goose festival is a gathering of liberal Christians to affirm each other in their liberalism. This year there were transgender workshops and a lecture from Catholic priest Fr. James Alison, who self identifies as gay, attacking the Catholic Church.

Juicy Ecumenism reports:

Alison was dismissive of Catholic opposition to homosexuality, comparing church leaders with Italian traffic cops: well-dressed figures who occasionally feel the need to emerge from their booths and direct traffic, causing more problems.

“They should be ignored,” Alison declared.

Catholic teaching about the “intrinsic evil” of homosexual acts was inconsistent, Alison argued, with the understanding that the attractions themselves were not sinful.

“Most Catholic bishops know being gay is a regularly occurring non-pathological variant condition,” Alison asserted, equating homosexuality with being left-handed. The evil, Alison maintained, is how the left hand is used, not the using of the left hand itself. Listing group rape and pagan orgies resulting in self-castration, Alison suggested that these were in fact what scripture warned against when forbidding homosexual practice.

The Brazil-based priest also waved off religious liberty concerns as bishops “rabbiting on” about fortnight for freedom. Catholicism, Alison suggested, issued rules for a Mediterranean culture with a relaxed view about church authority. American Catholics were in the unfortunate situation of hearing those rules amidst a “Protestant conscience” forcing them to obey.

Fielding questions from the audience, Alison sympathized with a married lesbian from the Archdiocese of Detroit who was struggling with “new, young conservative leadership.” Some Catholics, Alison assessed, were in the unfortunate situation of being in a diocese where “pharisaical” leadership had taken over.
Treating the Church's views on sexuality with such derision does terrible damage.

I don't know why it always seems to be the case that those who openly espouse teachings antithetical to the Church do not only ignore the Church but attack it. It's not enough for them to be surrounded by those willing to ignore the Church, they must tear at it and rip it down.


A Remarkable Story of Violence and Forgiveness

This is horrible and yet wonderful. Christianity specializes in that, doesn't it?


Study: No Evidence Abortion is Safer Than Childbirth

Hey, you know how we're told that abortion is safer than childbirth (not for the baby so much but they mean the mother)? Well, it turns out it's not true. I know, right? Who saw that coming?

Personhood Education has the results of a study:

A new medical study refutes the recently reported claim that “The risk of death associated with childbirth is approximately 14 times higher than with abortion.” The study, published in the peer-reviewed Linacre Quarterly, concluded that the dubious claim is “unsupported by the literature and there is no credible scientific basis to support it.”

Dr. Byron Calhoun, vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at West Virginia University-Charleston, reviewed the data from abortion-related mortality in the United States and determined that “valid scientific assessment of abortion mortality [is] extremely difficult.” This stems from the fact that:
1.Abortion is underreported by a factor of up to 50% when complications arise, making data unreliable.
2.Abortion-related mortality is demonstrably underestimated. Additionally, “indirect abortion-associated deaths,” such as “substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and suicide” arising from abortion, ”are likely to be many times higher than those deaths directly caused by obstetric complications.”
3.Serious health complications arising from abortion which threaten the life of the woman are usually handled by hospital emergency rooms, not the abortion provider. Despite being the result of physical complications of the abortion procedure, these abortion-related deaths are reported as maternal deaths.

Abortion-related mortality is vastly underreported “due to poor quality reporting and definitional issues”. Dr. Calhoun’s research shows that ”maternal deaths,” “late maternal deaths,” “pregnancy-related deaths,” and “pregnancy-associated deaths” are being defined to include, but not identify, “abortion-related deaths.”
It's amazing how that works out, isn't it? They not only cover up injuries and deaths related to abortion but then they count abortion deaths as "pregnancy-related deaths" to pad the statistics even further.

Funny, how the people so committed to science are the ones always trying to distort it or ignore it.


You Are Sentenced to 1,000 Years

*subhead*Justice or torture?*subhead*
Just in case you haven't had enough of the "ethics" coming out of Oxford these days, here are more disturbing musings by Oxford ethicist, Rebecca Roache. You may remember Roache co-authored "Human Engineering and Climate Change" with Matthew Liao where they explore engineering humans to have cat eyes or to be smaller as a way to combat "climate change."

On the Practical Ethics blog in a post titled "Enhanced punishment: can technology make life sentences longer?," Roache laments the "laughably inadequate" sentence of 30 years in prison for Magdelena Luczak and Mariusz Krezolek. Luczak and Krezolek were convicted of murdering Luczak's 4 year-old son, Daniel. Daniel was beaten, starved and basically tortured before his death. These are terrible acts of evil that rightfully inspire anger in anyone who knows about the case.

Roache points out that Luczak and Krezolek will get what Daniel never did: humane treatment:
They will, for example, be fed and watered, housed in clean cells, allowed access to a toilet and washing facilities, allowed out of their cells for exercise and recreation, allowed access to medical treatment, and allowed access to a complaints procedure through which they can seek justice if those responsible for their care treat them cruelly or sadistically or fail to meet the basic needs to which they are entitled. All of these things were denied to Daniel.
This then leads her to ask:
Compared to the brutality they inflicted on vulnerable and defenceless Daniel, this all seems like a walk in the park. What can be done about this? How can we ensure that those who commit crimes of this magnitude are sufficiently punished?
Roache reached for transhumanist ideas about human engineering as a source of possible solutions to "climate change" and she does here as well. She suggests life span enhancements so that a life sentence in prison can last hundreds of years:
Within the transhumanist movement, the belief that science will soon be able to halt the ageing process and enable humans to remain healthy indefinitely is widespread. Dr Aubrey de Grey, co-founder of the anti-ageing Sens research foundation, believes that the first person to live to 1,000 years has already been born. The benefits of such radical lifespan enhancement are obvious—but it could also be harnessed to increase the severity of punishments. In cases where a thirty-year life sentence is judged too lenient, convicted criminals could be sentenced to receive a life sentence in conjunction with lifespan enhancement. As a result, life imprisonment could mean several hundred years rather than a few decades.
Or, since keeping someone alive for 1,000 years could get pricey, she proposes uploading the criminal's mind to a digital realm to radically speed up the 1,000 year sentence:
As the technology required to scan and map human brain processes improves, some believe it will one day be possible to upload human minds on to computers. With sufficient computer power, it would be possible to speed up the rate at which an uploaded mind runs.... Similarly, uploading the mind of a convicted criminal and running it a million times faster than normal would enable the uploaded criminal to serve a 1,000 year sentence in eight-and-a-half hours. This would, obviously, be much cheaper for the taxpayer than extending criminals’ lifespans to enable them to serve 1,000 years in real time.
Or we could just alter their perception of the duration of time. After listing several areas of research into things like drugs that alter the human experience of time, Roache suggests:
This research on subjective experience of duration could inform the design and management of prisons, with the worst criminals being sent to special institutions designed to ensure their sentences pass as slowly and monotonously as possible.
And while these measures may satisfy the anger evoked by little Daniel's story, taking a step back and looking at them analytically, I find them horrifying.

Expanding someone's life so they can spend 1,000 years in a cell? Or uploading their mind to experience 1,000 years in 8 hours?

In my estimation, "enhanced punishment" is simply a euphemism for torture motivated by revenge. This is not justice.

These are the kinds of "solutions" that people come up with when technology is their best and only option. These are transhumanist solutions that are arguably as inhumane as the problem they propose to solve.

But that is the transhumanist way: deny our nature, deny our humanity in the quest to make ourselves "better."  Transhumanism is inhuman, which is why it is no surprise that in the face of inhumanity, it responds with more inhumanity.

Hat Tip: BioEdge

Rebecca Taylor blogs at Mary Meets Dolly

NCReporter Compares LCWR to Pope Francis

I was reading a piece about the LCWR at The National Catholic Reporter only because it was linked to by Pewsitter. It was all the usual pablun that the LCWR wasn't happy. Are they ever?

But this line by Maureen Fiedler just jumped out at me.

One of the accusations against LCWR in the mandate was its emphasis on social justice rather than issues of sexuality or abortion. Funny thing: One might say the same thing about Pope Francis.
Yeah, except Pope Francis isn't practicing reiki or yoga in St. Peter's Square.

And Pope Francis drives around in his own little car, trying to avoid fanfare. Unlike some, who swerve towards every camera and microphone they can find.


Great Vid on Skateboarding Friars

Friar Didacus and Friar Gabriel, two skateboarding brothers who were called to religious life.

Limit Break, a web series, reports:

The brothers skated for 7 years as teenagers, but felt their vocation was religious life. They were prepared to abandon their passion for skateboarding to live a life of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience as Friars of the Immaculate. Six years after becoming Friars and having not skated, they were given obedience to obtain a skateboard and go to the skatepark once a week - to "preach the gospel at all times, when necessary, use words" as Saint Francis stated. Friar Gabriel explains that God has so many ways of using peoples talents to give Him glory. Skateboarding allows the Friars to help others see the compatibility of exercising the body as well as the soul. Friar Didacus reflects that if he had always tried to live in a state of grace growing up, he would have been far better at skating and enjoyed it much more- because his mind would have been clear and at peace.
Absolutely worth a watch.


Part-time Catholic College Prof, Part-time Abortion Doula

This video sickens me. Watch this professor at a Catholic college talk about her work as an abortion doula, set aside some time to be horrified, and then check out how the president of Mount St. Vincent's College defends her employment.

Check out The Catholic Education Daily for more info.


Pew: There's More Christians than Ever Before

Pew says there are more Christians than there ever were before. Now, of course, these numbers are good for baseline information it also leaves a lot out.

On the one hand, there's an awful lot of self identified Christians that aren't very Christiany at all. On the other hand, Pew is forced to rely somewhat on government figures in places like China which are unreliable at best.

Pew reports:

A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world, representing nearly a third of the estimated 2010 global population of 6.9 billion. Christians are also geographically widespread – so far-flung, in fact, that no single continent or region can indisputably claim to be the center of global Christianity.

A century ago, this was not the case. In 1910, about two-thirds of the world’s Christians lived in Europe, where the bulk of Christians had been for a millennium, according to historical estimates by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.2 Today, only about a quarter of all Christians live in Europe (26%). A plurality – more than a third – now are in the Americas (37%). About one in every four Christians lives in sub-Saharan Africa (24%), and about one-in-eight is found in Asia and the Pacific (13%).

The number of Christians around the world has nearly quadrupled in the last 100 years, from about 600 million in 1910 to more than 2 billion in 2010. But the world’s overall population also has risen rapidly, from an estimated 1.8 billion in 1910 to 6.9 billion in 2010. As a result, Christians make up about the same portion of the world’s population today (32%) as they did a century ago (35%).
I think this graphic they ran was interesting.

As we knew, Europe is in desperate need of re-evangelization. I fear that only a self induced calamity will wake them. And that's bad news. But the gospel is reaching corners of the globe that haven't heard it before. So that's good news about the good news.

*subhead*All over the globe.*subhead*

What Passes For Argument Today

This is what passes for argument today.

A Federal Judge today ruled that NYC's Stop and Frisk Violates peoples rights.

In response, NYC's Top Cop responded "The NYPD is the most racially and ethnically diverse police force in the world, have focused efforts on protecting the poorest."

See, this is how we argue today. Judge rules on whether it violates rights. The Commisioner responds by talking about racial diversity (read immunity from criticism) and intent to 'protect the poorest.'

In this country it no longer matters whether what you do is right (antiquated criteria), all that matters is who you are and why you do it. If he "right" people are doing something for "right" reason, how can anything be wrong?

If we stopped and frisked among our ruling class looking for reason, it would not generate many results.

*subhead*Right supplanted by who and why.*subhead*

Judge Orders Parent of Baby Named "Messiah" to Change Name

The AP reports this very odd piece of news. I'm thinking the judge may have overstepped his bounds a bit.

A judge in Tennessee changed a 7-month-old boy's name to Martin from Messiah, saying the religious name was earned by one person and "that one person is Jesus Christ."

Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew ordered the name change last week, according to WBIR-TV (http://on.wbir.com/1cDOeTY). The boy's parents were in court because they could not agree on the child's last name, but when the judge heard the boy's first name, she ordered it changed, too.

"It could put him at odds with a lot of people and at this point he has had no choice in what his name is," Ballew said.
Why Martin? Messiah to Martin?

I'm not saying it's a good name for the kid but I'm thinking it's not the judge's place to change it.

Update: Now with video. Oh my.


The Church Needs To Turn Around Starting With The Priest

Msgr. Charles Pope has a fascinating article at the blog of the Archdiocese of Washington in which he examines the effects of versus populum liturgical orientation.

At the end, he advocates what I have advocated for some time, that the liturgy of the Eucharist should be Ad Orientem.

Agree or disagree, it is a fascinating read that deserves your attention.

Indeed, we have the strange modern concept of the “closed circle” in so many modern conceptions of the Mass. Too often we are tediously self-referential and anthropocentric. So much of modern liturgy includes long lists of congratulatory references, both done by, but also expected of the celebrant.

Instead of the Liturgy being upwardly focused to God and outwardly toward the mission of the Church (to make disciples of all the nations), we tend today to “gather” and hunker down in rather closed circles looking at each other, and speaking at great length about ourselves.

We have even enshrined this architecturally in our modern circular and fan shaped churches that facilitate us looking at each other, and focusing inwardly, not up or put. The author Thomas Day once described Modern Catholic Liturgy as, “the aware, gathered community celebrating itself.” [1]

In the ancient orientation or “stance” of the Mass that was ubiquitous until 1965, the focus was outward and upward. Though disparaged by many in recent decades as the priest “having his back to the people” even this description shows the self obsession of the modern age. And to those speak this way about the liturgical orientation of almost 2,000 years, the answer must come, “The priest does not have his back to you. Actually it is not about you at all. The liturgy is about God. And the priest, and all the faithful are turned outward and upward to God.”
The direction of the Liturgy should be an “onward and upward” trajectory. But too often today it is inward, and it is difficult to perceive a motion upward to God or outward to evangelization.

I realize that a post like this will generate considerable controversy. But remember that this is only a discussion. I do not argue for sudden or radical shifts in our liturgical stance, only that we should continue to discuss it and explore various options. I am only a priest, not a bishop and I do not argue that priests act independent of their bishop in significant matters such as this. Further, some settings are better for a change of stance than others. Great pastoral discretion is required in matters like these.

Neither do I argue for a return to Mass wholly facing the altar as was done in the past and still often is in the Extraordinary form. The Liturgy of the Word is authentically directed to the people of God for their edification, instruction and attention. It ought to be proclaimed to and toward them, as is fitting to its purpose and end. But the Eucharistic Prayer is directed to God, and not the celebrant is leading the faithful on procession to God. St. Augustine often ended the his sermon and the Liturgy of the Word by saying, “Let us turn to the Lord” and he then went up to the altar, facing it and leading the people to God.
The article is about more than liturgical orientation, but on its links to the crisis of leadership we face in the Church.

Read it.

*subhead*Turn around bright eyes.*subhead*

What's Spanish For "Oh, Crud!"

It is amazing to me that Spain has financial problems. They forgot what?!?!?!? Are you serious?

What goes up must walk down.

In what will surely go down in history as one the greatest architectural blunders, the town of Benidorm in Alicante, Spain, had almost completed its 47-story skyscraper when it realized it excluded plans for elevator shafts.

Despite its name, the InTempo skyscraper was, seemingly rushed through the blueprint process, and its attempted message of prosperity through the country's economic tumult has become one that is more fitting to the current state of things in Spain as a whole.
This is what you get when the government wants to "show prosperity" rather than encourage it.

*subhead*You forgot what?!?!?!.*subhead*

You Might be a Bad Parent If...

You just can’t trust children to tell you you’re being a bad parent.

Case in point: I knew I’d been fooled last week when the kids all started thanking me right after I paid the supermarket cashier. They’d waited until money exchanged hands and the deal was done. Then they all started jumping up and down excitedly, thanking me.

The six year old said effusively, “Dad, you’re a much better shopper than Mom.”

The cashier looked up at me. She knew I'd been had. She looked at all the stuff I’d bought and then at me.

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Awesome AGT Audition

Awesome audition. 3 distinct persons in one incredible group sneak a little Latin prayer in and wow the audience. ht Deacon's Bench.

*subhead*Pie Jesu.*subhead*

Possibly The Cutest Baby Video Ever

This cracked me up. Watch 20 month old Ella Mae rock out some Elvis. Trust me, you need to stick around for the end.


Obama Administration Argues FOR Prayer at Town Meetings

This surprised me. In a good way.

The Obama administration has sided with a small town's fight to be able to open their town supervisors meeting with a prayer. Last year, a federal appeals court told them they couldn't so the Obama administration, along with congressional Republicans, filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that the town should be able to open their meeting with a prayer.

The LA Times reports:

The Obama administration and congressional Republicans have found something to agree on: Town councils should be allowed to open their meetings with a Christian prayer.

Lawyers for the administration and two groups of lawmakers from the House and Senate, nearly all Republicans, separately made that argument in briefs to the Supreme Court this week. The high court should relax the constitutional limits on religious invocations at government meetings, they argued.

The case could lead to a major change in the law on religion that would go well beyond prayers at council meetings.

Last year, a federal appeals court ruled that the town of Greece, N.Y., near Rochester, had crossed the line and violated the 1st Amendment's ban on an "establishment of religion." For years, the town supervisor had invited a local minister to deliver an opening prayer at the council's monthly meeting. Members of the audience were encouraged to join in the prayers.

*subhead*Good news.*subhead*

Shocking Video of Protestors Interrupting Mass and Vandalizing Church

CMR reported on this attack on a Catholic Church late last month. The protesters were marching for abortion. But I hadn't seen this video until now so I'm sharing it with you. This is disturbing. Remember that the press kept saying it was only a "small" group that entered the Church. This doesn't look small. It looks scary.


What Women Really Want

According to commercials.

ht https://twitter.com/CatholicMomVA

*subhead*Yogurt and birth control.*subhead*

Obama's 'Faith Based' Guy Glad Public Faith Dying

I know this will come as a shock to you, but Obama's new head of 'Faith-based Initiatives' is on record saying he is 'glad civil religion is dying.'

(CNSNews.com) – Secretary of State John Kerry announced Wednesday the formation of the Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives, which will be headed by Shaun Casey, a former religion advisor to President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and a liberal professor who last year touted the end of ‘civil religion’ in the United States.

“I, frankly, am glad American civil religion is dying,” Casey said at a discussion last year at the Center for American Progress focused on “God and Politics” in the last presidential election.
This is what it is all about. Obama and the progressives want no less than the removal of all faith and faith expression from public life. They are so open about it, I don't know how anyone could still possibly deny it.


I'm Not Picking on the Anglicans/Episcopalians But Come on...

I know I just wrote a post on an Episcopal priest yesterday who, it seemed to me, didn't believe in the divinity of Jesus. And I'm not turning CMR into some reverse Jack Chick thing where I'm blasting others. But this is just...nuts, right? I mean, come on.

A female vicar is defending her bumper sticker with the letters WTFWJD.

As you might be able to guess, it stands for "What The F--- Would Jesus Do?" I ask you, who would this help convert? Who? You know what this bumber sticker is, right? What it really says is, "I'm Christian but I'm cool not like all those others." This isn't just a rude bumper sticker. This is a cry for help in acronym form.

Not only that, but she's quoted in the Telegraph saying, “My bishop knows I have the sticker on my car, and has no difficulty with it, and I have had the former Archbishop of Canterbury in my car, Rowan Williams, and he didn't raise an eyebrow.

I know Catholics have their fair share of nutjobs. Maybe more than our fair share. But doesn't it just seem a little bit like the Anglican Church is just pressing the self-destruct button over and over.