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YA HEY: Persecution & Salvation for the Coptic Christians in Egypt

I created this music video during the height of the slaughter of Coptic Christians in Egypt during August, 2013.  This film looks at the current persecutions of Christians in light of Catholic Revelation on salvation history and the redeeming merits of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.  Though this film addresses the Coptic Christians in Egypt may it stand as a symbol of hope for all persecuted in the name of Christ.

Justice Jennine Blasts Obama’s Handling of the Middle East

http://www.theminorityreportblog.com/2013/09/08/judge-jeanine-pirro-explodes-on-obama-over-syria/

Ten Reasons I cannot cheer for my country this 4th of July by Marshall Connolly

Ten Reasons I cannot cheer for my country this 4th of July

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

July 3, 2013

My country is no longer what it claims to be

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. As a patriot, I greatly enjoy celebrating my country’s birthday. My ancestors came to this nation to escape religious persecution, fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War, and have been loyal, happy citizens for centuries. This has always been a great source of pride. Unfortunately, for the first time, I am greatly disappointed in my country and I worry for its future.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – Perhaps I have been naïve as a product of youth, or perhaps I haven’t been paying attention. Whatever the excuse, I sure am awake now. My nation has accrued a laundry list of sins for which it remains unrepentant. How can I celebrate my country when it does evil as a matter of policy and calls it good?Here is what’s ruining my holiday:

1.    Our government has been accused of funneling weapons and supporting the Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico. This cartel and our weapons are responsible for the mass murder of thousands of human beings. Their drugs are destroying lives in America. Meanwhile, we refuse to intercept these shipments, or to control our borders in any meaningful way.

2.    Our government is about to impose onerous healthcare requirements on employers and taxpayers, compelling everyone to pay towards practices which they find morally objectionable. There is no real way to opt out. Instead, there is punishment.

3.    Our government is spying on citizens, allies, and much of the world by using a broad dragnet ostensibly to stop terrorists. The program answers to a secret court and if not for the heroism (misguided or no) of a single individual, we would remain ignorant of all this. Our government hunts this man, instead of taking steps to inform the public of the program, how it operates, and refuses to open discussion on whether or not such a program is consistent with the U.S. Constitution or the will of the people. Continue reading

Capitalism and the Moral Basis of Social Order

by Russell Kirk

Russell-Kirk-in-hat-in-front-of-Piety-Hill-233x300A number of Americans, fancying that the world is governed mainly by economic doctrines and practices, are inclined to think that an era of international good feeling lies before us. I intend to sprinkle some drops of cold water on such hasty hopes. I have no faith in the notion that an abstract “democratic capitalism” is about to gain acceptance throughout the world.

We find fairly widespread in these United States a “capitalistic” version of Karl Marx’s dialectical materialism – more’s the pity. It is not a theoretical “democratic capitalism” that can preserve, unaided, order and justice and freedom. Materialism was an American vice when Alexis de Tocqueville travelled in the United States. That vice has not diminished in power. People who maintain that production and consumption are the ends of human existence presently will find themselves impoverished materially, as well as spiritually.
It is true that the masters of what once was the Soviet Union have modified their Marxism – and not the disciples of Yeltsin merely. Consider this passage from Mikhail Gorbachev’s book Perestroika(1987):

We must encourage efficiency in production and the talent of a writer, scientist, or any other upright and hard-working citizen. On this point we want to be perfectly clear:socialism has nothing to do with equalizing. . . . Socialism has a different criterion for redistributing social benefits: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his work.”

Doesn’t this sound rather like democratic capitalism? If Perestroika and similar designs prevail in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, can any great obstacle remain to the universal triumph of democratic capitalism? Continue reading

Mark Twain and Russell Kirk against the Machine by Bradley J. Birzer

Mark Twain and Russell Kirk against the Machine

mark twainby Bradley J. Birzer

Though neither a humanist nor a Christian—nor, for that matter, even a romantic in the vein of Blake who feared the “dark Satanic mills” of Industrial England—Mark Twain identified the late-nineteenth century fear of the machine run amok perfectly in his last novel, the tragically whimsical A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.  One of the first to use time travel as a plot device, the story revolves around Hank Morgan, an engineer devoid of any poetry or sentiment.  As his German last name indicates, he is the man of “tomorrow.”  A practical man schooled in the servile rather than the liberal arts, Morgan can create almost any type of mechanism: “guns, revolvers, cannon, boilers, engines, all sorts of labor-saving machinery.” A materialist, he “could make anything a body wanted—anything in the world, it didn’t make a difference what; and if there wasn’t any quick new-fangled way to make a thing, [he] could invent one.”  He was also, Hank assures the reader, “full of fight.”  And, a conflict employing crowbars with one of his employees, a man named Hercules, results in severe blow to Morgan’s head, knocking him unconscious.

When Morgan awakes, he finds himself in Arthurian England.[1]  Whether he really has traveled back thirteen centuries or is merely in an insane asylum, Morgan decides that he will become, significantly, “boss.”[2]  True to his desires, Morgan slowly gains control of England.  The process, to be sure, is not an easy one.  Morgan has to fight monarchical government, aristocratic culture, the Catholic Church, and a population ignorant of classical economics.   This strange world, as he believes, is nothing but medieval darkness and superstition, a people kept from democracy and enjoyment of their natural rights by wicked forces.  To counter the traditional stalwarts of Arthurian society, Morgan builds factories, indoctrinates young boys in his schools—known as “man factories—and introduces laissez-faire competition in the market place.  To placate the knights of the Round Table, he forms a baseball league so that the participants can demonstrate their manliness in non-violent ways.  After living in Arthurian England for three years, he decides to establish universal suffrage and “overthrow the Catholic Church and set up the Protestant faith on its ruins—not as an Established Church, but as a go-as-you-please-one.”[3]  Fearing that Morgan has taken things too far, the Catholic Church imposes an Interdict upon Morgan and his followers.  Only a few remain faithful to Morgan, and an army of twenty-five thousand knights of Christendom challenge Morgan’s attempt at modernity.  In response, Morgan selects fifty-two loyal boys between the ages of 14 and 17 as his soldiers.  Why these?  “Because all the others were born in an atmosphere of superstition and reared in it.  It is in their blood and bones,” Morgan explains.  “We imagined we had educated it out of them; they thought so too; the Interdict woke them up like a thunderclap!”[4]  The fifty-two boys, Morgan, and one friend, hole up in a cave, awaiting the attack. Continue reading

The Decline of Virtue by David Bozeman

The Decline of Virtue

by David Bozeman

Bottom line: American politics is a rotten popularity contest.  Every four years freedom hinges on one man’s ability to navigate a minefield of slander and spin and to assuage one more group than the other guy.  Conventional wisdom says that voters prefer clean campaigns based on issues as opposed to mudslinging, outright pandering and blatant calculation.

If only. The current immigration reform bill being debated represents just the latest cynical, numbers-based, group-focused political calculation.  Both parties are hedging their bets on winning the votes of a large group, in this case, Hispanics, roughly 20 million of whom could ultimately gain citizenship under the proposed legislation.

Its bi-partisan support is baffling, given that its passage might be an electoral disaster, if not a death knell, for the Republican Party.  Hispanics have supported President Obama and his re-distributionist, transformative policies by overwhelming margins.  GOP support of a single issue — amnesty, for instance — may yield only marginal support.

But our public servants crunch numbers and flush founding principles and the values of their law-abiding, traditional-minded constituents down the toilet.  With not nearly enough jobs to go around and state and local budgets buckling under massive debt (and let’s not forget ever-increasing health care costs), self-serving politicians are placing party before country, with Democrats, at least, sharp enough not to destroy themselves by empowering the other side. Continue reading

Alexander Solzhenitsyn: The Courage to be Christian by Joseph Pearce

Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn: The Courage to be Christian

  
March 21, 2013
 
In these dark days in which the power of secular fundamentalism appears to be on the rise and in which religious freedom seems to be imperiled, it is easy for Christians to become despondent. The clouds of radical relativism seem to obscure the light of objective truth and it can be difficult to discern any silver lining to help us illumine the future with hope.

In such gloomy times the example of the martyrs can be encouraging. Those who laid down their lives for Christ and His Church in worse times than ours are beacons of light, dispelling the darkness with their baptism of blood. “Upon such sacrifices,” King Lear tells his soon to be martyred daughter Cordelia, “The gods themselves throw incense.”

It is said that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church and, if this is so, more bloody seed has been sown in the past century than in any of the bloody centuries that preceded it. Tens of millions have been slaughtered on the blood-soaked altars of national and international socialism in Europe, China, Cambodia and elsewhere. Today, in many parts of the world, millions upon millions are being slaughtered in the womb in the name of “reproductive rights.”

In such a meretricious age the giant figure of Alexander Solzhenitsyn emerges as a colossus of courage. Born in Russia in 1918, only months after the secular fundamentalists had swept to power in the Bolshevik Revolution, Solzhenitsyn was brainwashed by a state education system which taught him that socialism was just and that religion was the enemy of the people. Like most of his school friends, he enslaved himself to the zeitgeist, became an atheist and joined the communist party.

Serving in the Soviet army on the Eastern Front during the Second World War he witnessed cold blooded murder and the raping of women and children as the Red Army took its “revenge” on the Germans. Disillusioned, he committed the indiscretion of criticizing the Soviet leader Josef Stalin and was imprisoned for eight years as a political dissident.

While in prison, he resolved to expose the horrors of the Soviet system. Shortly after his release, during a period of compulsory exile in Kazakhstan, he was diagnosed with a malignant cancer in its advanced stages and was not expected to live. In the face of what appeared to be impending death, he converted to Christianity and was astonished by what he considered to be a miraculous recovery. Continue reading

Cardinal Dolan Releases Statement on HHS Mandate

Cardinal Dolan Releases Statement on HHS Mandate

February 7, 2013

The USCCB has released a statement from Cardinal Dolan about the “compromise” offered by the administration on the HHS Mandate and contraceptive coverage.

Summary – the compromise is not a compromise we could accept:

Statement of Cardinal Timothy Dolan Responding to Feb. 1 Proposal from HHS

For almost a century, the Catholic bishops of the United States have worked hard to support the right of every person to affordable, accessible, comprehensive, life-affirming healthcare.As we continue to do so, our changeless values remain the same.We promote the protection of the dignity of all human life and the innate rights that flow from it, including the right to life from conception to natural death; care for the poorest among us and the undocumented; the right of the Church to define itself, its ministries, and its ministers; and freedom of conscience.

Last Friday, the Administration issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the HHS mandate that requires coverage for sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortions.The Administration indicates that it has heard some previously expressed concerns and that it is open to dialogue.With release of the NPRM, the Administration seeks to offer a response to serious matters which have been raised throughout the past year.We look forward to engaging with the Administration, and all branches and levels of government, to continue to address serious issues that remain. Our efforts will require additional, careful study.Only in this way can we best assure that healthcare for every woman, man and child is achieved without harm to our first, most cherished freedom.

In evaluating Friday’s action regarding the HHS mandate, our reference remains the statement of our Administrative Committee made last March, United for Religious Freedom, and affirmed by the entire body of bishops in June 2012.

In that statement, we first expressed concern over the mandate’s “exceedingly narrow” four-part definition of “religious employer,” one that exempted our houses of worship, but left “our great ministries of service to our neighbors, namely, the poor, the homeless, the sick, the students in our schools and universities, and others in need” subject to the mandate.This created “a ‘second class’ of citizenship within our religious community,” “weakening [federal law’s] healthy tradition of generous respect for religious freedom and diversity.”And the exemption effectuated this distinction by requiring “among other things, [that employers] must hire and serve primarily those of their own faith.” Continue reading

Was Jesus a Socialist or a Capitalist? by Johnnie Moore

Was Jesus a Socialist or a Capitalist?Was Jesus a Socialist or a Capitalist?

Jan 4, 2013

It would not surprise me if Jesus recruited his disciple Matthew, Capernaum’s chief tax collector, just to get one more taxman off the street.

After all, any honest interpretation of Scripture should reject today’s popular notion that Jesus promoted a system of massive wealth redistribution that makes the government God. That’s “socialism,” not Christianity.

It does surprise me, then, when liberal politicians don the caps of rookie theologians, and argue that Jesus would not be in favor of capitalism.

Liberals go on tirades against inoffensive manger scenes set up at Christmas time, make an all-out war against any religious symbolism in public schools and deny that America was founded upon Judeo-Christian values—despite those values being etched in marble all over Washington.

But, when they want to justify the redistribution of wealth…then, they name-drop their buddy, Jesus.

Amazing.

These revisionist “theologians” are not reading the Bible Christians have read for centuries. Maybe they should make reading the Gospels one of their New Year’s resolutions.

When they do, they’ll discover several “troublesome” things.

First, Jesus encouraged his followers to exclusively practice voluntary, personal charity. At no point—either in Jesus’ ministry or in the ministry of the early church—were Christians forced to surrender their money so that elders might distribute it to others. On the contrary, they were encouraged (even in Acts 4:32-35) to give voluntarily, and they did so.

Secondly, in two awfully capitalistic moments, Jesus once stated outright that “a worker deserves his wages (Luke 10:7),” and delivered an entire parable praising the profitable, investment strategy of some workers while condemning the single man who didn’t make a profit as “wicked and lazy.” Jesus even says, when the servant returns with no profit, “you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. (Matthew 25:14-27)” Jesus liked bankers.

Thirdly, Jesus didn’t see the government as the answer to society’s greatest moral and social ills. In fact, up until the very end of his life, he fought against his own disciples who were imagining a revolution that would end in Jesus being set up as an earthly king. He once said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight… (John 18:36)” Continue reading

Cardinal Dolan on the US Election, the Radical Abortion License, Religious Liberty, Marriage, Debt and Solidarity

Cardinal Dolan on the US Election, the Radical Abortion License, Religious Liberty, Marriage, Debt and Solidarity

 

By Deacon Keith Fournier

10/7/2012

I am bothered that we are losing sight of voting as an exercise in moral judgment, in which certain priority issues-especially the life issues,

I am concerned about a culture that has become increasingly callous about the radical abortion license, and a legal system that affords more protection to endangered species of plants and animals than to unborn babies; that considers pregnancy a disease; that interprets “comprehensive health care” in such a way that it may be used to threaten the life of the baby in the womb (and, it should be noted, to exclude the undocumented immigrant as well).

 

NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) – On the Feast of St Francis of Assisi, one day before he headed for Rome to participate in the historic Synod on the New Evangelization, Cardinal Timothy Dolan authored another outstanding column. It was one in a series he regularly pens for the “Catholic New York”. The series is entitled “Lord, to Whom Shall We Go” and the article, entitled “Cherished Saint Brought Christ to World Around Him”, can be read in its entirety here

Our readers should be well aware of the leadership of this great Cardinal of the Church and the esteem with which he is held by this author. I write regularly about his courage and the clarity which he has brought to the leadership of the Conference of Bishops in the United States at this critical time in our history. You can click here to read the most recent of numerous articles I have written about the Cardinal Archbishop of New York. I have written many more and plan to continue the practice. He is one great gift to both Church and Nation.

However, though I share the Cardinal’s appreciation for St. Francis, the little poor man of Assisi, I was concerned that the title of the Cardinal’s recent column, dedicated to and written on the Feast of Francis, as well as its placement, might limit its readership. That would be tragic. The instruction and insights this column offers on the exercise of our faithful citizenship is simply too important! The concerns which the Cardinal shares must become the material out of which we approach this election and our own exercise of voting.

I offer below a portion of the Cardinals recent article for your serious and prayerful reflection as November 6, 2012 draws near.

*****
Timothy Cardinal Dolan

“Those Americans who have faith in God, and in His Son, Jesus, and venerate saints such as Francis, also find themselves in the middle of the world, and cherish our freedom to bring the teaching of Jesus, which we hear both in the Good News proclaimed in the Bible and in the life of Francis, to the public square and political process.”

“We’ve certainly been reminded of that these past 10 months, which have seen the religious community in the United States engaged in a major conflict with the administration over the first freedom-religious liberty, our “first and most cherished freedom.” I am deeply grateful to the Catholic people of the United States, to my brother bishops and priests, to men and women of all faiths or none at all, for accepting this challenge, and for rising to the defense of religious liberty in full.”

“In that defense, we stand for every man and woman of conscience; we seek no special favors, but we insist that the inalienable rights of religion be respected and honored in law and federal regulatory practice.”

“In the document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” published by the bishops of the United States, we are reminded that, “In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation. This obligation is rooted in our baptismal commitment to follow Jesus Christ and to bear Christian witness in all we do.” And so, as I leave for Rome, I want to share with you some of the concerns that I will bring with me to the tombs of the apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, and to Assisi, the town of St. Francis.”

“I am concerned about a culture that has become increasingly callous about the radical abortion license, and a legal system that affords more protection to endangered species of plants and animals than to unborn babies; that considers pregnancy a disease; that interprets “comprehensive health care” in such a way that it may be used to threaten the life of the baby in the womb (and, it should be noted, to exclude the undocumented immigrant as well).”

“I am concerned as well for the infirm and elderly who are nearing the end of life, that they will not be treated with the respect, dignity and compassion that is their due, but instead be encouraged to seek a hasty death before they can become, according to some, “a burden to society.”

“I am worried that we may be reducing religious freedom to a kind of privacy right to recreational activities, reducing the practice of religion to a Sabbath hobby, instead of a force that should guide our public actions, as Michelle Obama recently noted, Monday through Friday.

“I am bothered by the prospect of this generation leaving a mountain of unpayable debt to its children and grandchildren, whose economic futures will be blighted by the amounts of the federal budget absorbed by debt service.”

“I am anxious that calls for a fiscally responsible society are met with claims that those calls come from men and women who don’t care about the poor; that we may be tempted to write off the underprivileged as problems to be solved, or as budget woes, rather than treating them with respect and dignity as people with potential and creativity; that we’re at times more willing to cut programs to help the sick, our elders, the hungry and homeless, than expenditures on Drone missiles.

“I am concerned that our elections increasingly resemble reality TV shows rather than exercises in serious democratic conversation.”

“I am bothered that we are losing sight of voting as an exercise in moral judgment, in which certain priority issues-especially the life issues, with the protection of unborn life being the premier civil rights issue of the day-must weigh heavily on our consciences as we make our political decisions”.
“I am worried by attempts to redefine marriage, and to label as “bigots” those who uphold the traditional, God-given definition of marriage.”

“I am anxious that we cannot seem to have a rational debate over immigration policy, and that we cannot find a way to combine America’s splendid tradition of hospitality to the stranger with respect for the rule of law, always treating the immigrant as a child of God, and never purposefully dividing a family”.

“I am worried about the persecution of people of faith around the world, especially with the hatred of Christians on a perilous incline; and the preference for violent attacks upon innocents instead of dialogue as the path to world peace.”

“I expect that many of you share these concerns. In the words of “Faithful Citizenship,” how we should respond is clear. The document says, “Our focus is not on party affiliation, ideology, economics, or even competence and capacity to perform duties, as important as such issues are. Rather, we focus on what protects or threatens human life and dignity.”

“As you consider these concerns, I will be praying for you in Rome that the humble, joyful Poverello of Assisi intercede for us, and that Mary Immaculate, patroness of the United States and Star of the New Evangelization, will inspire in us wisdom, prudence, and courage.”
– – –

Pope Benedict XVI’s Prayer Intentions for October 2012:

General Intention:New Evangelization. That the New Evangelization may progress in the oldest Christian countries.

Missionary Intention:World Mission Day.  That the celebration of World Mission Day may result in a renewed commitment to evangelization.

Keywords: Timothy Dolan,Cardinal Dolan,Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Faithful Citizenship, Catholic Vote, abortion, marriage, family, debt, solidarity, Romney, Ryan, Obama, Biden, Deacon Keith Fournier

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