Tagged religious freedom

Humans + Animal Behavior: Offensive or Not?

The Internet seems to have lost its collective brain cells again, this time thanks to boxing superstar and pride of the Philippines Manny Pacquiao’s statement on same sex “marriage”, saying,

Common sense lang. Makakita ka ba ng any animals na lalaki sa lalaki o babae sa babae? Mas mabuti pa iyong hayop, [chuckle] marunong kumikilala kung lalaki lalaki, babae kung babae. O di ba?  Ngayon kung lalaki sa lalaki o babae sa babae, e mas masahol pa sa hayop ang tao.

Celebrities, politicians, and other netizens took to social media to express their disgust and disapproval…. and this is where it gets funny. People are so offended that Manny Pacquiao compared homosexual behavior to animal behavior, AND YET, they use ANIMAL BEHAVIOR to defend homosexuality! In fact, animal behavior was the number one argument they used.

Screenshot (130)
 

So let’s get this straight. When it’s Manny Pacquiao comparing them to animals, it’s offensive, because RELIGION… but when they compare themselves to animals, it’s not offensive, because SCIENCE?

Thus it is NOT that Manny Pacquiao compared them to animals that’s offensive here, oh no, it is that Manny Pacquiao DARED to point out THE TRUTH as consonant with his religious beliefs.

Let’s have a moment of honesty here, shall we, folks?

Following animal behavior defenders’ logic, Manny Pacquiao’s views on homosexuality would be ACCEPTABLE if only he didn’t express them from his point of view as a person of faith. If Manny Pacquiao were an atheist saying homosexual behavior is animal behavior, he would be embraced by the LGBT community for proclaiming exactly THE TRUTH that they use to defend themselves!

You know, there used to be a time when being compared to an animal was considered an insult. Parents taught their children civilized behavior. Table manners, learning to take turns and share, treating others as one would like to be treated… inside and outside the home we expect people to act exactly like they’re supposed to: like human beings.

We took pride in being CIVILIZED, EDUCATED, even WELL-BRED. Many of those behaviors that we call MORAL were/are part of the whole Judeo-Christian set of beliefs, though we rarely thought of them that way. But now we find it offensive when we are reminded to act like human beings. What have we become?

Besides the obvious cognitive dissonance, one can’t help but question the animosity displayed towards Manny Pacquiao. Everyone is proud of him, proud of him representing the Philippines at the boxing ring, but please oh please keep your religious beliefs to yourself because you then become a national embarrassment? Who’s discriminating now? Tolerance for all, but not for Manny or anyone else unless they (we) all buy into something that goes against their (our) faith?

For the record, Manny Pacquiao has apologized for his words. Indeed, it is not charitable, Christian behavior to compare people to animals, no matter how they act, precisely because we were created to be higher than animals.

God created mankind in His image; in the image of God He created them; male and female — He created them. God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth. God also said: See, I give you every seed-bearing plant on all the earth and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit on it to be your food, and to all the wild animals, all the birds of the air, and all the living creatures that crawl on the earth, I give all the green plants for food. And so it happened. – Genesis 1:27-30

This is why we think, we reason, we love, we exercise self-control. We have intelligence far above animals, and we can put our instincts, our emotions, our thoughts, our desires, under the control of our will. We can make decisions on wrong and right behavior. We understand concepts like “common good”. We know that all our actions have consequences, and can therefore choose, time and again, to behave in a manner that neither hurts another person or ourselves, and that includes, whether we like it or not, sexual behavior.

Where I Get My Pro-Life News and Commentary

newssources

A friend, Francis B., requested a list of my sources for pro-life news. So, in no particular order, my favorites:

General

Crisis Magazine
First Things
Catholic World Report
MercatorNet
NewAdvent.org
National Catholic Register

Abortion
Live Action News
Americans United for Life
Students for Life
National Right to Life News
Priests for Life Blog

Politics, Legislation, Religious Freedom
Susan B. Anthony List
Alliance Defending Freedom
American Center for Law and Justice
Judicial Watch
Catholic Vote

International
Turtle Bay and Beyond
Human Life International

Bioethics
Charlotte Lozier Institute
National Catholic Bioethics Center

Marriage and Family
National Organization for Marriage
Family Research Council
The Public Discourse
Ruth Institute Blog
United Families International

Education and Education-Related
Catholic Education Resource Center
Catholic Education Daily (from Cardinal Newman Society
Intercollegiate Review
Circe Institute

Conservative
The Heritage Foundation
Ethika Politika
American Thinker
PJ Media
Taki’s Magazine
The Imaginative Conservative
The American Spectator

Catholic
Ignatius Insight Scoop
Catholic News Agency
Catholic Herald
National Review Online
Sandro Magister
Touchstone
Catholic Culture
Women of Grace
PewSitter
What Does the Prayer Really Say?
Homiletic and Pastoral Review
Vatican News

and because sometimes, I just need a humorous take on all those:

Eye of the Tiber
Creative Minority Report
Curt Jester
Ironic Catholic
Catholic Memes (there’s a whole lot more on FB, plus Tumblr)

Two ways I organize my news sources:
Feedly
and when on Facebook, Lists, where I have lists for a) Pro-Life Leaders and Writers, b) Current Events, and c) my mom friends and other close friends who keep up with the same concerns.

Every so often, I go on Twitter to see what people are talking about, but I prefer getting my current events from the above.

I also like taking a peek at how the Catholic youth view their faith and current events from time to time, so I check out Catholic Tumblr blogs.

Note that many of these overlap in terms of the news they report/comment on. It goes without saying that I am not capable of reading all these sources every single day, so it just depends on what time I have. Sometimes I go on FB to catch up on news, sometimes I go on Feedly, other times I rely on friends and family to keep me informed. I try to not to overwhelm myself with too much input, especially during Lent. I process/digest things throughout the day — blogging and journaling helps at times — and when I feel that I’m inundated I shut things down and focus on prayer and family.

Hope that helps!

The BSA, Catholics, and Religious Freedom

crossroads

Last year, my 17-year-old Eagle Scout came home every weekend in summer, bubbling with energy and ENTHUSIASM (that word is all-capped for a reason and Scouts will understand why), regaling us with stories of how he taught the young boys this and that at the Camp where he volunteered his time and got paid $100 a week. He was there full time for 10 weeks, dealing with the occasional unruly scout or bed bug. But at 17, he was proud of being in the business of building men. He knew, from life experience, that not every boy has been blessed with good male role models like he has. But he can be one to other boys. This year, all that was snatched away from him. Working at Camp is still fun, but when even the BSA says that manhood is nothing but an abstract concept or preference, with no real substance, then what my son does there is very much just like any other job. He could very well work at Kroger instead and make five times more money. It’s funny how when you take morality out of the picture, money often takes its place.

In February 2013, the Liberty Institute drafted a letter to the BSA warning about the possibility of lawsuits that could arise against churches and faith-based organizations, if there is a change in policy. The BSA decided it wasn’t their problem; they couldn’t afford to lose billions of dollars in funding.

As for the bishops, it would be comforting to think that they are just so naive as to be taken in by homosexualist sophistry. Perhaps they are unaware that the language, and hence the discussion, is being deliberately controlled by those with an agenda. But it is now painfully apparent that this is but a chess game for them, where playing smart means you anticipate your opponent’s moves and choose what risks to take. Unfortunately, the potential anti-discrimination lawsuits and losses were deemed more important that that which hung on the other side of the balance: the faith, moral, spiritual and physical well-being of scouts who remain in the program. By saying “we can live with it”, Bishop Guglielmone and the NCCS help muzzle the voices of the faithful, and allow the continued erosion of morality. In an increasingly hostile environment, it is not hard to see that one day soon our voices will be completely unwelcome anywhere, not just in the public square, and we will have to choose between silence and martyrdom. That Catholic young men would be left without a clear understanding of what sexuality or morality is, is not their problem either. (Helpful reading: And Without Gender He Created Them ).

For the NCCS, the overriding concern became the half-a-million boys who would “miss out”. Scouting activities vs. Conscience Formation and Religious Freedom: they chose the former. Considering that the USCCB just concluded a two-week prayer and awareness-raising event called Fortnight for Freedom, it is ironic that the very freedom which Catholic leaders ask us to pray and fast for, they are not willing to defend, and families are left without guidance or protection. Well played indeed. The question that remains is, who played who?

In a lot of ways, the decision to opt out of the BSA is similar to our decision to homeschool. For us, the risks are just not worth it. I would not risk damaging a child, and then have to spend years trying to undo that damage, when we could be growing an adult, healthy and unbroken, to become a positive contributor to society. That boys will talk about girls, attraction, sex, relationships, is perhaps inevitable; that’s a big part of adolescence. That they will be exposed to the idea that any and every kind of attraction and lifestyle is normal or even desirable, is not. By choosing to homeschool, many of us have refused to stay in programs where our parental rights are often undermined or even denied, where voices of faith are silenced. We are making the same choice here. We’re called to be salt of the earth and light of the world, but we cannot be either, if our own flavor has been diluted and our own vision obscured by those we trust the most.

I understand and applaud people like Todd Aglialoro, who has made the decision to stay; he goes into this with eyes wide open. And it is so very true that Catholics are still needed in that arena; I regret that we cannot do the same. We applaud and pray for all the Catholic families who have decided to stay. May our Lord and Mama Mary bless your efforts.

For our part, we will continue the work we have begun in our own sons. We also invite you to take a look at the following organizations that look promising and that we are looking into ourselves:

Federation of North American Explorers
Columbian Squires, a Knights of Columbus organization.
Scouts of Saint George
Faith-Based Boys

St. John Bosco, pray for us.
St. George, pray for us.
St. Joseph, Mama Mary, Jesus, pray for us.


I originally started this post with background information, but decided to post those instead on the following page, which you can get to by clicking on “Page 2” below:

  • Catholics and Christians on the Policy Change
  • The Challenge of Adolescence
  • Homosexuality in Scripture and in the Catechism

Where I’ve Been

Faith:

From Project: Sowing Seeds: 101!! Books to Read in this Year of Faith — includes some of my favorites, some that I’ve been meaning to read, and many that I’ve never heard of before.

Poll: Catholics want pastors to blog. Yes, Father, we do. It would be a great way to dialogue, and keep the conversation going beyond the brief small talk after Sunday Mass.

The Great Tragedy of the 2012 Election

The tragedy of the 2012 election is that in this land of the free and home of the brave, many people were not allowed to vote. Their voices were silenced. Their votes were not cast. Their opinions not expressed. Why?

Because they were dead.

I Figured Out the Problem. You. Sigh. Yes, fellow Catholics. We love you, but sometimes you just really drive us batty. And yes, I know that “you” includes ME too.

A Watershed Election. A Weimar Election?

We may need to be preparing for more direct persecution for religious doctrines and prudential norms. The state in effect has now consolidated its responsibility for all aspects of our lives from before conception to “helping” us to the cemeteries as expeditiously and conveniently as possible. The Church will be deeply divided; those who voted for the president will now claim that they have been “protecting” the Church all along. But, in exchange, the Church will need to “downplay” (read, stop) its strident opposition to the now widely approved “rights” that justify these actions. It will only be necessary on a few outmoded doctrines about sex to change things. In any case, those who gets any assistance from the state must conform to all the laws and mandates of the state, including ones that go against objective standards or subjective conscience.

Some Thoughts on the Five Stages of Religious Persecution: I’m not going to quote. READ IT. ALL OF IT. Looks like we are on Stage 4. Oh boy.

Fr. Z’s Reflection on the Election, wherein he talks about frequent Confession and the Four Last Things. Amen, Father.

Family:

The Chef that my daughter works for: Mantra on the Hill on Fox 19

Videos, Information, and a Call to Action

For a background on all of this, here again is the link to the video of Fr. Sammie Maletta’s homily + transcript.

Last week, when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, we saw Sandra Fluke’s opening statement before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.

If you Google “Sandra Fluke” and click only on links from mainstream media, most of the information you’ll find will refer to Rush Limbaugh’s use of the word “slut” when he was talking about her testimony. These links, as to be expected, don’t tell the whole story. Here’s more information on Sandra Fluke from a REAL Georgetown student and what’s really going on here. Meanwhile, traditional media continues to frame this as a contraception debate instead of a religious freedom debate, to propagate the lie that the Church oppresses women and all who need “reproductive health care”.

As in a well-orchestrated play, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards releases her “I Have A Say” video the day after Fluke’s statement, inviting women to share their thoughts on why birth control is an essential part of women’s health care. (If you click to watch the video on YouTube instead, YouTube will give you related videos of other women “having their say”, including pro-abortion NARAL’s Nancy Keenan.)

We faithful Catholics, we who Occupy the Pews, we who believe in the teaching authority of the Magisterium and who know that our Truth comes from Scripture and Tradition, *could* just keep quiet about all this and offer it up…. or we could respond to Fr. John Hollowell’s invitation and call to action:

It would be great if we moms and our daughters and other women, young and old, could contribute to Fr. Hollowell’s blog specifically set up for this by sending in a picture, a video or even just a short paragraph sharing our thoughts — because I don’t know about you, but neither Sandra Fluke nor Cecile Richards speaks for me. We cannot and should not underestimate the power of alternative media — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs. These ultra-liberal women are using precisely these tools to continue to brainwash those who unfortunately are only marginally aware about these issues. Our Holy Father recognizes the reach that social media has, and even he is Tweeting these 40 days of Lent. We, now more than ever, need to learn to use social media, to do our part to spread the Gospel Truth, and to defeat the father of lies and his minions.

Oh, and I apologize in advance for this, but I just couldn’t resist. I’m still working on becoming a turn-the-other-cheek Christian and Catholic… not quite there yet 😀 !!! So here it is…. the newest movie poster in town, which I found at freerepublic.com.

Fr. Sammie Maletta’s Homily on Religious Liberty and the HHS Mandate (Transcript)

Prayers for and cheers to this courageous priest-lawyer for speaking the truth! May more of our priests be like him. Spread the word.

I’m posting the transcript of his homily here for my parents’ benefit. If you see any errors, please comment and I will edit.

In recent years, we’ve had cause to discuss the subject of political speech from the pulpit here at St. John the Evangelist. Many many many of you have regularly challenged me to speak out more frequently on matters that I deemed are purely political and as a result, I have refused to do so. However, others are so sensitive about this that even when I recently recommended two of our parishioners that were running for local office, they became vocally upset. Generally speaking, the message we priests preach should not be political except when it comes to faith and morals. What I’m about to share with you in my opinion moves beyond faith and morals and goes to our very existence to function and therefore I claim the right as your pastor. I claim the right as an American citizen. I claim the responsibility as a priest to speak what I perceive to be the truth.

Little more than three years ago, after Mr. Obama was elected but not yet sworn in as President of the United States of America, the bishops finally gave us priests permission to tell our congregations the truth about what Mr. Obama’s intention was and that was to force the Catholic Church to engage in morally repugnant actions or lose our ability to carry out the gospel message in health care, social services and education. I gave a stirring talk that Sunday, and you as well as people across the country, because the priests in their parishes also got up and spoke, sent millions of cards, letters, phone calls to DC, demanding reassurances that the Obama administration would not proceed with its plans. Almost immediately, the President-elect contacted the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and invited the bishops to a meeting, at which time he gave his word. He gave his word to our bishops that the conscience clause that exempts religious organizations from participating in those federal mandates that go against our conscience would not be disturbed. At that time, President-elect Obama feigned surprise that Catholics would even think that he would do something like this. And with those assurances, the bishops backed down. Within a few months of his administration, Obamacare was introduced creating a deep division in our country as the President’s vision of comprehensive health care coverage became clearer. Arguing that the poor would finally receive health care which is a longstanding goal of our bishops and of all Catholics, arguing also that the cost of healthcare under Obamacare would be reduced, another longstanding goal of our bishops and Catholics, the President asked the bishops to support this legislation. They were once again given assurances that abortion, sterilization, and other so-called reproductive services would not be included in the legislation, at least not in a way that would compromise Catholic conscience. As a whole the bishops declined to support that legislation. However, some naive bishops believed the President and came out in support of the ideas behind Obamacare.

Last week all those assurances and promises President Obama made were broke and his true intentions made known when the Department of Health and Human Services announced that virtually all insurance plans must pay for reproductive services even if they are morally repugnant to the organizations, specifically including the Roman Catholic Church.

Stop and think of this. We are the one voice that speaks out clearly to this culture of death that abortion is wrong. We are the one voice that speaks out clearly to this nation on issues of life. And now we will be forced to actually pay for someone to have an abortion. This is only part of the war that the Obama administration is quietly waging on the Catholic Church. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the US Labor Department has aggressively attempted to expand its control of how we conduct business. This is one of the regulations, there’s about eight of them. Imagine how thick that is. This is page after page, detailed. I as a lawyer, it takes me about an hour to go through and try to understand each of these pages.

Now, I’m your pastor! Now, we have to comprehend and implement every detail of that because the government wants to get into our business and tell us how to run our business, how to run our Churches! And there are no exemptions for us. I mean it’s overwhelming, just stop and think of that. How can I be pastor when I got to stick my nose in this kind of stuff every single day. I can’t make a decision about the Church without going through all this stuff, and this is across the country.

Furthermore, again as I mentioned a few weeks ago, federal moneys are being withheld from Catholic social services even though the Catholic services receive top ratings from the government. The government creates the rating system, the government scores the rating system, the government sets the rating system. Catholic social services get the highest score, even though part of that rating service is to penalize the Catholic church because we don’t provide reproductive services. And so the scores drop down, even after that, we’re higher than others. And consistently the government is giving money to other organizations with lower scores in other words to other organizations who reach fewer people, do it less effectively and cost more, will not give it to us because we do not provide reproductive services.

One would think that many of the objectives of the Obama administration would be consistent with Catholic objectives, relative to caring for the forgotten, the underprivileged and the needy. The president has been most eloquent in speaking about this segment of society and frankly, his words are very appealing to our sensitivity as Roman Catholics. So why is this president’s administration so intent on destroying the Catholic Church’s ability to perform our ministries which we do better and for less than the government can do?

Why is President Obama’s administration, with all the problems in this world, with the economy, with terrorism, with our country being sold to China, with Iran possibly becoming a nuclear power, with all these things. Why is it so obsessed on reproductive services and so obsessed by forcing us to go against our faith to do what they want us to do in that matter?

The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health services, social services and education. If the government can put us out of business, and make no mistake, the Bishop is right, we cannot and we will not follow this law. We will close down our schools, our hospitals, our nursing homes, our orphanages. We will go out of business in that area before we will pay to have a child murdered.

And once we are out of business, there will be literally millions of people suffering because who will provide those services for them? There will be a gap, a crisis in our nation and then we begin to see the real issue that’s going on here, because once that happens the government can reasonably argue that we cannot as a nation allow that suffering to continue. And the government will step in and provide less effective and more costly services which will mean more government employees, more individuals who become completely dependent on government help. Taxes will be raised to cover this, and the ultimate goal behind all this is exposed, for the United States of America will be one step closer to socialism. And in every country that has become socialistic, religion has become peripheral, but you’ll be able to have reproductive services available at every corner.

Why is the Obama’s presidency so addicted to expanding abortion and so called reproductive services on all of America and forcing Catholics to participate in what we consider to be the culture of death? Why would they sacrifice the First Amendment of the United States Constitution in favor of reproductive services? When did reproductive services become the national cry of our nation? When did it become more important than the Bill of Rights? More important than the Constitution?

And so before you get upset with me or any priest at our bishops’ instruction for addressing a political issue, get more upset over what’s happening in this country on this issue and how it will be devastating to your Church! I especially address those of you who voted for this President. I cannot believe that you voted for this, and now, I need you and all of us to stand up for the First Amendment, to defend your Church and to stand up for your Catholic faith. This week, we are going to follow the Bishops’ instruction and I ask you all to pray, to fast, to ask God for wisdom.

Next week we will have materials available for you to let your voice be heard to do what we can to stop this. We need to contact DC and demand that the longstanding conscience clause is respected and preserved even under Obamacare.

Let our message be clear. President Obama, let us be Catholic! And let us continue to contribute to this great nation as Catholics providing vital services and care especially to that segment of our nation that needs us the most. Let the Church say Amen.

You can read more about Fr. Sammie Maletta here.

Let’s pray, fast, pray, fast, pray, and fast some more.

St. Michael, defend us in battle! Mama Mary, ora pro nobis!