“They reflected a still unfamiliar Barack Obama, a realist who, unlike some of his fervent supporters, was never carried away by his own rhetoric.”
The author’s take on Obama’s Executive Orders on day 2 of the Presidency, designed to look like he was keeping his campaign promises (closing Gitmo, ending rendition, etc) but contained enough legalize to never change anything.
A few sharp-eyed observers inside and outside the government understood what the public did not. Without showing his hand, Mr. Obama had preserved three major policies - rendition, military commissions and indefinite detention - that have been targets of human rights groups since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
I saw through his rhetoric when campaigning. I knew that both Obama and McCain had the same foreign policy, unfortunately the majority of Americans (America usually votes for the “peace” candidate) did not see the lies.
In response to his concern, the C.I.A. downsized its munitions for more pinpoint strikes. In addition, the president tightened standards, aides say: If the agency did not have a “near certainty” that a strike would result in zero civilian deaths, Mr. Obama wanted to decide personally whether to go ahead.
Excellent, because a guy in the White House is going to be so much better at deciding whether or not suspected targets should be hit. How about, if you think there are innocents, you don’t bomb them? How about, if you didn’t have this stupid policy, 11-17% of the people you bomb, that we know were innocent, WOULDN’T BE DEAD.
It is also because Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.
I have suspected this for a long time. If you are a male and get killed by a drone strike, it is up to you to prove your innocence. Which is quite difficult to do, because, YOU’RE DEAD.
In his three-plus years in office, Obama has launched 254 drones toward persons in Pakistan, and they collectively have killed 1,277 persons there. The New America Foundation, a Washington think tank that monitors the presidential use of drones in Pakistan, estimates that between 11 and 17 percent of the drone victims are innocent Pakistani civilians. So much for Brennan’s surgical strikes. So much for Holder’s due process.
How anyone thinks Obama is “pro-peace” is beyond me.
Imagine Sisters is a web and campus-based movement created by a friend of mine that aims to inspire the imaginations of young women to consider the beautiful call to consecrated life as a sister. With the guiding truth that one sister can change the world, Imagine Sisters…
Same-sex marriage has been a big topic of discussion for about fifteen years. Same-sex marriage has been nearly the only topic of debate for the last fifteen days. And frankly, I hate the debate, because, well, most everybody sucks at it. You’ve got (at…
interesting. definitely thought-provoking, if nothing else.
I think that it shrinks from what the Church has always taught by retreating to some supposed common ground with the world, which is heretical by nature. Natural Law is a fantastically valid argument against same-sex “marriage” if you want to concede that the Catholic Church cannot possibly win this war with the Gospels and all that God has promised us. Natural law is true and good for God created it. He went further by creating covenants to elevate these laws. Conversion and living a saintly life thereafter is the ONLY way to gain and keep ground. We must maintain, as we have been commanded, that the opposition’s beliefs have no weight on what is objectively and eternally true (God) thus we CAN argue with True Religion. Only Vatican II would take on this strategy of the lukewarm. We must fight for the Social Reign of Christ the King!
Or we could use it as a double-bladed sword for the battle. With the religious, and even with the Catholic-in-name only folks, we use theology and apologetics to support our claims and knock out the heretics and schismatics. With the agnostics and atheists, we could use this Natural Law tactic and open them up to a possible conversion to the Catholic Faith; because for the fullness of Truth you must lead it directly into the truths of God. In the end we must attended to the goats before God throws them aside. In the end we must recognize that no matter the stances of the civil authorities: All power in Heaven and on earth was given to Christ and that “there is no power but from from God” (Matt 28:18, Rom 13:1). They have absolutely no right to create laws contrary to God’s law, no matter how pluralistic the society is. Pax Tecum.
I think that it shrinks from what the Church has always taught by retreating to some supposed common ground with the world
No, because the Church has not always taught that civil marriage licenses are a necessary requirement for the betterment of marriage. This thinking is literally maybe 20 years old, about the same amount of time that the gay movement here in America started having more influence.
Natural Law is a fantastically valid argument against same-sex “marriage” if you want to concede that the Catholic Church cannot possibly win this war with the Gospels and all that God has promised us
It is a great argument on behalf of Catholic theology and how we view the Sacrament of Matrimony. The Catholic Church will never perform same-sex marriages no matter what the cultural climate. I support this. You need to meditate more on the relationship between the person and the State, and the role of the State in society. One of the purposes of the State is to enforce contracts. Marriage, in a strictly secular perspective, is a contract. A covenant belongs to theology, not secular law.
We must fight for the Social Reign of Christ the King!
And I’m down with that. However, we should not use the force of law to achieve our ends. We should move forward through voluntarism and by living out our own vocations faithfully in the hope that others seek to emulate us.
If you go to a Catholic university and they invite some bozo/hack from either side of the false media imposed American political paradigm, you should double the amount of mimosas you’ll drink that morning.
Fact is, graduations are incredibly tedious and boring. Walking in is awesome, then you hear boring speeches from different people (including the valedictorian no one knows), then you get to stand, cheer, and flip your tassel (that’s fun). Then you sit through people going 1 by 1 up on stage. Which took over an hour at my graduation.
So instead of making a fool of yourself booing or cheering the talking head, just have more to drink, have fun with your friends, and take in the moment!
We hear people say “That’s a sin!” or “You’re a sinner!” often in our culture. We throw the word “sin” around and apply it to all sorts of situations and people we do not really know or fully understand. That’s a shame, because sin and morality in the Catholic tradition is an incredibly complex field where “one size fits all” does not apply. Catholics think that we know all about sin, after all we are often defined by our “Catholic guilt”. Do we really know though, what sin actually is?
Before we talk directly about sin, it is important to first remember that we are beings created in love, and called to live in relationship with one another. We have a relationship with God, others, ourselves, and our environment. We have all experienced ways in which we have harmed or done injustice within those relationships. Sometimes the harm done is relatively light and can be fixed, sometimes it is very grave and parties are seriously wounded. An immoral action is any action (or lack of action) in which we harm our relationship with God, by harming ourselves, others, or the environment. An example of an immoral action would be car theft, or an act of violence. An example of immoral omission (refusing to act) could be neglecting an elderly relative or a child.
The first thing to remember when talking about morality is that everything must be viewed in context. Ten people could perform the same action, and it could be a sin for some but not for others. Sin in the Catholic tradition requires three conditions:
In the Christian tradition, there are two Sacraments of service. One is matrimony, a life of service and sacrificial love directed towards spouse, family, and the building up of the Church. The other Sacrament is called that of Holy Orders, a life of service to the Christian community. When Jesus instituted the priesthood at the Last Supper, He washed the feet of His disciples, telling them to do the same. Using this image, let us see how this Sacrament allows certain individuals the grace to serve and nourish the Christian community.
Why is the Sacrament called Holy Orders? “The word order in Roman antiquity designated an established civil body, especially a governing body. Ordinatio means incorporation into an ordo. In the Church there are established bodies which Tradition, not without a basis in Sacred Scripture, has since ancient times called […] ordines. And so the liturgy speaks of the ordo episcoporum [bishops], the ordo presbyterorum [priests], the ordo diaconorum [deacons].” (CCC 1537)
All of the Baptized share a common priesthood, within this common priesthood some are called to serve the community through Sacramental ministry. This reflects the nation of Israel in the Bible, it was called a “nation of priests” and the tribe of Levi was set apart to serve on behalf of the people in the Temple. Jesus established a New Covenant between mankind and God, and so also established a new priesthood to serve the people of God. He selected 12 disciples who received the grace of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. These men transferred their spiritual power and authority to the next generation through the laying on of hands, an action that has continued unbroken to this very day. Let us now look at the three orders of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
The pope is easily the most well known figure of the Catholic world. His quotations and thoughts are consistently front page news in our newspapers, and millions of people flock to see him when he travels. It is a far cry from beginnings of the Church, when accepting the office of the papacy meant almost certain death in the face of constant Roman persecution (many of the popes were martyred). Where did this office come from? Is it merely a human invention or something Christ desired for His Church? To better understand the papacy we need to go to Caesarea-Philippi, where Jesus spoke his now famous words to St. Peter, who before this was named Simon:
“And so I say to you, you are Peter [Rock], and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19).
There is a lot of confusion in the Church about what the Immaculate Conception actually is and what it is not. With the feast celebrated on December 8th, many assume it has to do with the birth or conception of Jesus, it does not. Others think that the doctrine refers to Mary being the product of a virgin birth similar to Jesus. However, the doctrine holds that Mary was conceived naturally, with tradition holding her parents to be St. Joachim andSt. Anne. What then is the Immaculate Conception? The Church teaches that the Immaculate Conception is the belief that Mary was conceived without original sin through the power and grace of God.
Some people are uncomfortable with this teaching. What do we mean when we say that Mary was conceived without sin? Did she not need a savior like the rest of mankind? Does this somehow make her greater than God? Why can’t I find this teaching in the Bible?
First, Mary did indeed need a savior just like the rest of mankind. Her being protected from original sin from the moment of her conception was pure grace through the power of God; Mary did nothing to earn this grace. Consider the following analogy: There is a well in which someone has fallen, and rescuers pull them up to safety, saving them. In a similar way, if someone tripped and began falling into a well, but just as they fell they were grabbed from behind and rescued, we would say that they were saved from the well. In this way, Mary was saved from original sin by being prevented from “falling into the well” (sin). She still needed God to rescue her, and her savior is Christ and his sacrifice on the cross. Mary was saved in a more magnificent way than the rest of mankind, because we have endured the stain of being in the well, whereas Mary did not fall into the stain of sin (CCC 492). In this way Mary is Immaculate, meaning “with out stain”.
The Eucharist is something we as Catholics often take for granted. The Eucharist is something that is difficult to accept. How can ordinary bread and wine really be transformed into the body and blood of a man who lived 2,000 years ago? Why do we do this week after week? What’s the point?
The Wedding at Canamay be an unlikely place to begin our meditation on the Eucharist, but the story is important in showing us the nature of Jesus’ mission on earth. The story speaks of there being six ceremonial water jugs so that the people could perform their ceremonial washings. In Scripture, the number six is always a number of imperfection, or in this case, being incomplete (7 is the number of perfection, and 6 is short of 7). As a whole, the Gospel writer is saying that the Old Law is incomplete and lacking. Jesus orders the jugs filled and they are miraculously changed into wine. The wine is referring to the abundance of life we have in God. The important thing here is that Jesus is fulfilling the Old Law (filling the ceremonial wash jugs) and is going to give us a New Covenant (represented by the wine), replacing one reality with a greater reality.
Something else to remember is that just laws can only be based in the truth. If we love our country, (and we should,) we should desire that its laws be based on what is true. So we should not advocate for laws that create a false equivalency between ‘gay marriage’ and marriage for the reason that…
This is correct, which is why the proper course of action is to get government out of marriage altogether. Then there is no conflict.
I'm a cradle catholic that fell away for many years. I'm not sure I ever knew what the difference was between catholic and Protestant. I recently discovered Scott Hahn and began a journey that has lit me on fire. I started a blog this week if you ever want to check it out. I started following you today and enjoy what you put up. No question really , just giving you support. Thanks for putting your blog up.
Thanks for the support! Let me know if I could ever be of help for you and your blog.
“In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God”.67 “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.” CCC 104
We often like to think of the Bible as a single book, in reality the Bible is made up of 73 “books”. It is more appropriate to say that the Bible is a library rather than a book. The Bible contains within itself genres of history, poetry, prayer, prose, theology, liturgical instructions, cosmology, parables, moral tales, genealogy and even more. When someone asks, “Do you take the Bible literally?” It would be better to phrase the question in this way, “Do I take a library literally?” Obviously in a library you will approach a book of history differently than a book of poetry, the Bible should be treated in the same way. The Bible is God speaking to us through the use of human authors. God did not “dictate” the books of the Bible directly to the authors; rather the power of the Holy Spirit inspired the authors to write down their respective works. The Bible is said to be “without error” in the sense that it contains the truth needed for salvation, it does not mean that human authors never made mistakes when recording times, locations, etc.
The Bible is a product of the Church, but the Church is not a product of the Bible. It is only through the Tradition of the Church that we have the Bible at all. It took generations for the Church to compile, organize, and hold certain works to be part of the “canon” of Scripture. The word “canon” means “measuring rod” in Greek.
Often times people may ask, “Where is that in the Bible?” Our faith tradition is not limited by the printed word found in our Scriptures, “The Christian faith is not a ‘religion of the book.’ Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God [(Jesus)], a word which is “not a written and mute word, but the Word is incarnate and living” (CCC 108). One thing that we must remember is that the first generations of Christians did not even have a New Testament. The Gospels were written between about 70-100 AD, Jesus died around the year 33 AD. This shows us that our faith can never be solely limited to “the book” when the first, second, and third generations of Christians did not even have the Gospels! Sacred Scripture and sacred Tradition must go hand in hand, it makes no sense to recognize Scripture if you reject the Tradition which created it.
Why do Catholic Bibles have “extra” books?
In the time of Jesus, there were two versions of the Old Testament. One was written in Greek, called the Septuagint, and the other in Hebrew. The Septuagint contained the seven books in question, the Hebrew version did not. The Septuagint is actually quoted over 300 times within the New Testament. Church councils starting in the 4th century affirmed all 46 books in our current Old Testament. It was Protestant reformer Martin Luther who decided to revert to using the Hebrew canon, excluding the seven books that the Septuagint included.
“I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth” –St. Therese of Lisieux
One of the great things about being Catholic is that we believe that those who have passed away in Christ are still very much alive. People in Heaven are not passively “floating in the clouds,” rather they behold and worship God, and lift their prayers to Him. Everyone that is in Heaven is a saint. Within that communion of saints, there are some whom the Church has beatified or canonized. These are people who generally lived a life of heroic virtue, and the Church holds them up as role models to help and guide us on our faith journey.
Do Catholics worship saints? No, worship belongs solely to God. The respect and honor we show to saints is known as veneration. We venerate the saints in the same way we venerate those we love, or objects which represent something important (such as a flag, tombstone, a battlefield, or a picture of a loved one). In this way, if a Catholic kisses a statue or a religious artifact, they are venerating what the object represents, not the object itself. This is an important distinction, because in pagan religions people would worship the idols themselves as gods, hence the prohibition against idol worship in the Bible. Many people have pictures of loved ones who have passed on in their homes. No one would say that we are “worshipping” them; however on their birthdays, important anniversaries, or when we are going through a tough time, we may focus on that picture and even hold it close to us. This is not worship, it attests to the fact that the grave cannot stop love from being exchanged between those on earth and in those Heaven.
“However, Catholics should be concerned that, first, the government thinks it can define marriage and is involved in people’s relationships at all (this is a GROSS violation of governmental power) and second, that it thinks denying legal rights (to choose whom you want as next of kin, legal decision maker, insurance partner, etc,) should be predicated on anything other than you’re a human being and a citizen.”—BadWolfComplex