“The pressures of the war racketeers need to be put in check before we are brought to our knees by them. Unfortunately, it will require a mighty effort by the people to get the leadership to finally listen.”—Ron Paul (via ronpaulrevolution)
More and more stores are beginning their “Black Friday” deals earlier and earlier, and now some are actually opening late Thanksgiving night.
I’ve never liked Black Friday. I find it totally American (in a bad way) that after a day we as a nation set aside to give thanks for the things we have, we instantly rush out to buy more useless crap.
It’s absolutely pathetic. Now these shopping habits of ours will force many thousands of workers to leave their families on Thanksgiving night so someone can save a few bucks on a dvd player.
This Christmas shopping season consider buying goods from mom and pop stores, making gifts yourself, or gifting someone an experience (Happy hour on me, dinner out, a one day ski pass, a contribution to charity in their name, etc).
Actions have consequences. We as Christians should be the last ones to forget the “reason for the season”. Unfortunately, for the most part, we have. Let’s change that! Who’s in?
Marriage played a large role in the latest USCCB General Assembly, with the bishops announcing a new website (marriageuniqueforareason.org) to promote and defend the Church’s view on marriage. Promoting marriage as being between one man and one woman is a laudable goal. We should not make the mistake though, of thinking that the Church’s vision for marriage should be regulated by the secular state. It is said that politics makes for strange bedfellows; today’s bishops are defending a secular definition of marriage that was imposed on society by the radically anti-Church French Revolutionaries.
Throughout history marriage was defined by religion and the people through social norms. The State had nothing to do with marriage; it simply recognized religious marriage as a legitimate contract between parties. For example the State could legitimately determine proper heirs in inheritance issues after a death, the amount of a dowry, etc. The French Revolution was radical in that it insisted that couples wed before a civil magistrate, or the marriage would be invalid before the eyes of the state. This was an unnecessary and improper intrusion of the State into the affairs of the people. Nothing like this had been done in the entire history of civilization. If you would have told Catholics in 1500 that they would have to go to City Hall for a marriage license, they probably would have turned you in to the local Inquisition for having such radical views!
Marriage licenses in America have their origins in preventing interracial marriages. Soon governments realized that they could make money off of granting marriage licenses, and the practice spread throughout the country. By 1929 every state had a marriage license law. When the bishops of America today insist on defending civil definitions of marriage, they are actually defending definitions that are only about 100 years old in our nation. Marriage survived in America without State regulation for generations. Do we Christians really need the State regulating marriages? Would we want the State to regulate the Liturgy and the other Sacraments?
The marriage wars could easily be avoided if we took the power of marriage out of the hands of government and returned it to the people, where historically it rightfully belongs. This will ultimately protect the Church. Government would still have a role with inheritance issues, parental responsibility towards children, and dividing property in the case of the couple separating. This would be the proper role of government in upholding marriage. Let us not make the mistake of the anti-Church French Revolutionaries and insist on marriages being done before the State. Embracing this “third way” would neutralize societal strife over the issue and defend the values of every member of society.
“I don’t have to be a great theologian to figure out who’s right. All I have to do is read the Church Fathers to prove to myself that they were all Calvinists. Well, I read the Church Fathers and proved to myself they were all Catholics, so that’s why I’m here.”—Peter Kreeft (via emilty)
“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.”—Pablo Picasso (via her0inchic)