Catholic Interest

Interesting things Catholic

  • ..the devil's in the details..
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    Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    Madeleine come home

    I didn't know they had 2 other kids who are twins. I didn't know they were Catholic.

    Prayers for an end to this.


    Friday, May 25, 2007

    Guessing taken seriously

    For so many people, Darwin's science seems like a threat to God's design. If long ago our parents were monkeys, humans don't seem so special any more. Even worse, perhaps the whole world's set on automatic chaos and doesn't need gods.
    Science is not designed to prove purpose. Purpose is a free will thing, either coming from God, or men created in the image of God. Yet as this article points out, Darwinists have a trump card here in that somehow, life has a design point for survival. In their view, all life through random mutation selects itself for maximum survival rates.
    Without God, where comes this purpose? No one knows scientifically, but even to science it seems so.
    That mutations in small ways come about to adapt to physical surroundings seems obviously true. But Darwinists strongly search for evidence that it is also true in all ways. That's how they jump to species mutations, although no evidence of half-dog, half-horse has ever been found. Nor half-monkey, half-man.
    OK, how much do we know about something as basic as sex, and how it has mutated to become what it is? As this article shows, we don't really know anything. But experts can guess much like anyone can guess. With all this guessing, how did these survival believers come to be taken so seriously? I don't know, I would only be guessing.
    Dr. Leonard Shlain, a San Francisco surgeon and author of “Sex, Time and Power: How Women’s Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution,” speculates that ovulation had to be concealed because women wised up and realized sex led to pregnancy, which led to childbirth, which often led to death for the woman. “Once women understood they could die as a result of having sex, why wouldn’t they abstain from sex?” But if women did not know when they ovulated, they wouldn’t know when they had to abstain in order not to risk dying nine months later (a theory that assumes they had a choice about whether to have sex).
    On the other hand...
    since men did not know either, suggests Karen Rosenberg, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Delaware, concealed ovulation could have reinforced “pair bonding, the idea that males had to stick around and have sex all throughout the cycle or the female might be pregnant with somebody else’s offspring.”
    “I call that the ‘keep ‘em close’ hypothesis,” Barash says. “He not only has to have sex with her, he has to hang around and take out the garbage and mow the lawn.”
    On the other hand...
    But it is also possible, he argues, that hidden ovulation could have given women the ability to mate with other men during a cycle. Since women do not go into heat like most female mammals, they are sexual all the time and even a devoted male can’t guard his female constantly. While he is hunting a mastodon, she can be flirting with the sensitive cave artist across the way and possibly obtain a shot of his arty genes.
    On the other hand...
    Or maybe, Barash suggests, a bright red butt on one woman would bring out the worst in other women, whose men might be tempted to do a little gene-spreading. Perhaps if nobody knew who was ready for sperm and who wasn’t, harmony could reign.
    And on the other hand...
    His favorite theory for hidden ovulation sounds like Shlain’s. If women did fear childbirth, they may not want as many children as men. If ovulation were not hidden, women might avoid sex during it. “I call this the ‘headache hypothesis’ as in, ‘Not tonight, dear.’” But evolution wins out because women who displayed ovulation may have avoided sex during fertile days, reproduced less and given the upper hand to the offspring of women whose ovulation was less obvious.
    “And so, it is those who are ignorant of their own ovulation who have inherited the earth,” Barash says.
    So I would say, don't take science delving into purpose too seriously. They are out of their league. It is God who has a purpose, for each one of us and all together.

    Thursday, May 24, 2007

    Los Angeles punishment

    Citing an alleged misrepresentation by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, a judge ruled Wednesday that four people can seek punitive damages against the Los Angeles Archdiocese for failing to protect them from a priest they accused of sexual abuse.
    Punitive damages are awarded on top of compensatory damages, to punish or make an example of a wrongdoer for actions motivated by fraud or malice.
    If true, and it appears to be true, then Mahony lied. I hope it isn't true.
    But if it is true, and more money yet will have to be paid to these now grown up snickering boys, please let the first property the Archdiocese sells be this ugly pink cathedral.
    It seems impossible, but even the flying saucer parking lot lamps in the photo manage to add to its repulsiveness.
    I listened to an audio recording of a Lutheran lady pastor giving the homily at a local progressive Catholic parish during a once per year 'swap pastors' day. It wasn't a bad talk. In it, she remarked how surprised she was at the school children's comments during a sharing session, who asked why don't modern churches look like churches?
    Right on kids! Architecture is absolutely a true expression of the people who spend the enormous sums on the buildings. The late hippie generation committees have performed not cool.
    As churches morph back to temples instead of meeting places, these cubic block designs will look as quaint as the old motels along Route 66. No, not quite quaint, but rather distorted; as the people who loved them back in the scandal days.
    The ruling from Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley J. Fromholz came in the case of Father Lynn Caffoe, 61, who is accused of molesting children in the period from 1975 to 1991, when he was withdrawn from the ministry and sent for psychological treatment. The trial over his alleged abuse is set for August.
    In making his decision, Fromholz cited Mahony's alleged misrepresentation of a videotape that was discovered in Caffoe's bedroom in 1992.
    Mahony wrote to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the pope, that Caffoe had videotaped "partially naked" boys in a state of sexual arousal. The tape was "objective verification that criminal behavior did occur," Mahony wrote, according to papers filed in the Caffoe litigation in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
    Six months later, Mahony told parishioners, in a written report which he described as the "fullest possible disclosure" about the sex abuse scandal, that the videotape depicted "improper behavior" with high school boys. But Mahony then said that the boys were "fully clothed" and that there was no sexual activity.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    Muslims wow

    I have heard lately that there are indeed moderate muslims, but they do not speak up for peace because they live in fear.

    Given these numbers, I can see why.

    I don't know if the attraction of muslim suicide violence is political or religious. It is probably both. Political warfare combined with a religion that promises a free ticket to heaven.

    I know that muslim men are promised many virgins for their carnal idea of the afterlife. Unless the women suicide bombers are lesbian, it seems again as on earth, that they are getting the short end of the deal.

    What I have never heard is what happens to the babies that result from all this heaven sex.

    All this wisdom from that angel who whispered to their prophet exactly how to correct the misguided religions of the Jews and Christians. That was one scary angel.


    "It is a hair-raising number," said Radwan Masmoudi, president of the Washington-based Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, which promotes the compatibility of Islam with democracy.

    While nearly 80 percent of U.S. Muslims say suicide bombings of civilians to defend Islam can not be justified, 13 percent say they can be, at least rarely.

    That sentiment is strongest among those younger than 30. Two percent of them say it can often be justified, 13 percent say sometimes and 11 percent say rarely.

    So let's see.. 2+13+11= 1 out of 4 American muslims under 30 are OK with suicide bombers and their victims.. at least rarely. How rarely I wonder?

    Only 5 percent of U.S. Muslims expressed favorable views of the terrorist group al-Qaida, though about a fourth did not express an opinion.

    That 5% represents over 100,000 U.S. muslims. Quite a crowd... Quite an explosion.

    And the fourth without an opinion? Those must be the supposed moderates living in fear.

    Only 40 percent said they believe Arab men carried out the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Purposeful dark ignorance.

    By six-to-one, they favor the Democratic Party over the Republican Party, and by five-to-one say they voted for Democratic Sen. John Kerry over President Bush in 2004.

    Another reason that the Dems are bound to win in '08, among the many bad reasons that they will carry the vote this time. They will get the anti-Bush, women, and the muslim votes. It will be a wild ride.

    The survey estimates there are roughly 2.35 million Muslim Americans. Among adults, two-thirds are from abroad while a fifth are U.S.-born blacks.

    Makes your head spin doesn't it? Bush is right about one thing though.. it truly is war. And I hope for the best for our children's sake. It's a little too late for us. This will have to be sorted through and endured.

    It does make me appreciate Christians of all denominations and Western Civilization a little more each day. Make that A LOT MORE each day.

    OK, you know the tricky thing about numbers, they can be used to portray all kinds of agendas. How about this positive spin from Houston..

    U.S. Muslims reject extremism, poll finds.. Pew reports a diverse group with a mostly positive view of society


    Unlike Muslim minorities in many European countries, U.S. Muslims are highly assimilated, close to parity with other Americans in income and overwhelmingly opposed to Islamic extremism, according to the first major, nationwide random survey of Muslims.

    "What emerges is the great success of the Muslim-American population in its socioeconomic assimilation," said Amaney Jamal, an assistant professor of politics at Princeton University who was a senior adviser on the poll. "Given that for the past few years they've been dealing with the backlash from 9/11, these numbers are extremely impressive."

    Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, said one of the poll's most striking findings is that black Muslims are considerably more likely than immigrant Muslims to express support for al-Qaida.

    Nine percent of black Muslims expressed a favorable attitude toward Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization, and 36 percent held a very unfavorable view.

    Saturday, May 19, 2007

    450 vs 50

    Now here's something that has never occured to me. Why does a woman always seem to be dealing with her period? It's a modern thing, another gift of the pill.

    Well no more. Periods be banished along with the babies!


    Most doctors say there's no medical reason women need monthly bleeding and that it triggers health problems from anemia to epilepsy in many women. They note women have been tinkering with nature since the advent of birth control pills and now endure as many as 450 periods, compared with 50 or so in the days when women spent most of their fertile years pregnant or breast-feeding.

    Gynecologists say they've been seeing a slow but steady increase in women asking how to limit and even stop monthly bleeding. Surveys have found up to half of women would prefer not to have any periods, most would prefer them less often and a majority of doctors have prescribed contraception to prevent periods.

    Dr. Mindy Wiser-Estin, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Little Silver, N.J., has long advocated menstrual suppression.

    She has seen a big increase in the last year in patients asking about it, but has one concern that leads her to encourage younger women to take a break every 12 weeks. About 1 percent of oral contraceptive users become pregnant each year, and young women taking continuous pills who have never been pregnant may not recognize the symptoms, she said.

    "They may not know it in time to do something about it," Wiser-Estin said.

    Time to do something about 'it'. Like abortion of course. That poor little 'it'.

    Sex without the meaning of sex.

    Women without periods, but with botox faces, silicone breasts, liposuction bellies, and hyphenated last names.

    The lyrics from "I am woman, hear me roar" come to mind.

    Get ready

    How does this sound to you? The Clinton team back for 8 years with Obama as the Vice President, then another 8 years of Obama as President?

    I think you can almost feel the country ready to pop for anything except Republican. It will be a wild ride as our nanny know-betters legislate a little social hip hop.

    Backing from the common folks is not lacking.


    Just a week after faith-based groups denounced the House vote approving the legislation, the Gallup Poll revealed 68 percent of Americans are for the expansion while only 27 percent oppose it. Moreover, 65 percent of Protestant and other non-Catholic Christians said they would favor it.

    Highly religious Americans were less likely to favor expanding the federal hate crime laws than those who seldom attend church. Still, 64 percent of those who attend church weekly expressed that they favor the bill. Among the less religious, 67 percent of those who attend church almost every week or monthly support the expansion and 73 percent of Americans who seldom or never attend church also favor it.

    Nevertheless, no group identifiable in Gallup's standard categories – including the Republicans, Independents, Democrats, conservatives, moderates, liberals, Protestant and those with no religious identity – expressed less than majority support for the legislation that some Christians fear could strip away their right to express a biblical view on homosexuality, according to the poll report.

    As the Senate reviews the bill this week along with the U.S. Senate version S. 1105, Christian organizations have continued to voice opposition to the expansion. A spokeswoman for Focus on the Family argued that all violent crime is tied to hate in some way.

    "The Virginia Tech shooter said in his diatribe that he hated rich kids. Well, rich kids aren't protected in this hate crime bill," Carrie Gordon Earll told the Baltimore Sun. "If we're going to start choosing categories of people for additional penalties when they're victimized, where does the list end?"

    "[A] homosexual would have more federal protection under the law than the 32 victims of [the Virginia Tech] massacre," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

    Meanwhile, the White House, which argues that H.R. 1592 is unnecessary and constitutionally questionable, has threatened a veto.

    The current White House.... Bye bye now.

    16 years pushes Conservative chances out to 2024, which I hope is well beyond my lifetime.

    Good luck.

    Thursday, May 17, 2007

    Mitt Romney moving ahead

    So far, the choices for Republican are so poor, that this guy is a front runner.

    I say this:

    Beware of his attraction because he is handsome photogenic. This attraction of the eyes will get him lots of votes.

    Beware of his focus on values. They are likable values of family and prayer, chastity and fidelity. However values are always based on something. And Mormon basics are sadly flawed. It's the basics that will show under stress.

    Beware of his polished presentation. When explaining away Mormon polygamy to Mike Wallace, Mitt comes up with "I can't imaging anything more awful". Comon Mitt, nothing more awful? Who taught you to say that? It's over the top soap opera drama.

    When Clinton looked me in the eye on television, wagged his finger and said "I did not have sex with that woman", it was the crack in his credibility that opened my eyes to the fact that he was a basic liar. I was his pawn to be manipulated as he saw fit. I didn't care if he had sex with that woman, but I did care that he would lie about it.

    When Romney says polygamy is the most awful thing he can think of, it's a lie. Not as blatant as Clinton, but a concoction of polished media image. His 4 years would be all polished presentation resonant with this media warped culture. And under stress I think we would suffer as his flawed basics prove themselves in action on the world stage.

    I heard that Bob Barker is retiring. That's the correct slot for Romney. As a game show host I am comfortable with him. But as a President? Just go away.


    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Brazil's to-do list

    Like any good boss, they give you more to do than one could possibly handle... and expect it to get done.

    I wonder why there are so few Priests in Brazil?


    Catholics who have abandoned the church – drifting toward religious indifference or attracted by the "aggressive proselytizing of the sects" – are people who were never sufficiently evangelized in the first place, he said.
    "They are easily influenced because their faith is weak, confused, easily shaken and naive, despite their innate religiosity," he said.
    The church today needs to go after fallen-away Catholics by sending missionaries, lay or religious, into their homes and engaging them in honest dialogue, he said.

    The pope denounced the huge gap between rich and poor in Brazil and said the church needs to address such inequalities, but always from the viewpoint of human dignity, which "transcends the simple interplay of economic factors."
    He said the church should work untiringly to form honest politicians and business leaders, so they can give the economy a "human and compassionate face."

    The pope said it was important to promote education in the faith "as it is presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its accompanying compendium. He said Catholics also need a more correct implementation of liturgical principles to "restore to the liturgy its sacred character."

    But he said aggressive proselytism by sects had made ecumenical dialogue more problematic. He said there was a need for deep doctrinal awareness among Catholics, so they could better know the specific identity of Christian communities, the elements that divide them and the possible areas of cooperation.

    The pope did not mention the relatively low number of ordained ministers in Brazil, where many Catholics go weeks or months without seeing a priest. Brazil has more than 8,000 Catholics for every priest, one of the highest ratios in the world.

    He said there were problems inside the church, including a misunderstanding of the priesthood. People are questioning the value of the priestly commitment to God through celibacy and the priest's primary service to souls, seeing priestly ministry instead in terms of "ideological, political and even party issues," he said.
    "How can we not be deeply saddened by this?" he said.

    Monday, May 14, 2007

    May in Brazil

    "Our Mother, protect the Brazilian and Latin American family! Guard under your protective mantle the children of this beloved land that welcomes us. As the Advocate with your Son Jesus, give to the Brazilian people constant peace and full prosperity. Pour out upon our brothers and sisters throughout Latin America a true missionary ardor, to spread faith and hope, make the resounding plea that you uttered in Fatima for the conversion of sinners become a reality that transforms the life of our society, and as you intercede, from the Shrine of Guadalupe, for the people of the Continent of Hope, bless its lands and its homes. Amen."


    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    We killed this guy

    He asked one pizza be donated as his final wish. The scruffy prison bosses said no, we don't do that.

    It got done anyway.


    Hundreds of homeless people in Nashville, Tennessee, ate well Wednesday evening -- all in the name of a man who the state put to death just hours earlier.

    Philip Workman, 53, requested that his final meal be a vegetarian pizza donated to any homeless person located near Riverbend Maximum Security Institution. He was executed there at 2 a.m. ET Wednesday.

    But prison officials refused to honor his request, saying that they do not donate to charities.
    That apparently upset a few people willing to pay for and deliver a lot of pies themselves.
    Homeless shelters across Nashville were inundated with donated pizzas all Wednesday.
    "I was like, 'Wow, Jesus!' " said Marvin Champion, an employee of Nashville's Rescue Mission, which provides overnight shelter, food and assistance to more than 800 homeless people a night.

    Philippine Good

    It's hard to think what a Christian Asia might look like. We have a lived example in the Philippines.

    In other parts of Asia, Christians suffer sometimes unto death. In the Philippines their last sufferings were under Japan.

    Thank you to the so many Franciscans and others that devoted their lives to the great missionary effort.

    One Franciscan I know related to me how on returning home to the U.S. for a visit, he and his Priest friends would say "It's better in the United States, but it's better in the Philippines".


    Fr. Joseph Dau Vu, SVD, was a Catholic chaplain of the Vietnamese “boat people” refugees in Morong, Bataan. He related to me that in 1978 he together with 55 compatriots slipped out of communist Saigon on an old, decrepit motorized boat and sailed to freedom.

    * * *

    Reflecting on his ordeal at sea, the “boat priest” reminisced with a tinge of sadness, “When fishermen from neighboring countries saw us, they attacked, robbed and took advantage of us. We were even ordered to open our mouths and if they found gold teeth, they pulled them out with dirty pliers. The women were raped or abducted and sold as slaves.

    * * *“

    But when Filipino fishermen saw us, they gave us food and even welcomed us. Why are Filipino fishermen different?” Fr. Dau Vu asked. He answered: “It is because Filipinos are Christians.”Fr. Dau Vu’s sincere compliment is very heartening. It is a tribute to Filipinos known worldwide for their compassion and hospitality. Indeed, Christianity that’s truly lived should make one more loving, more kind, more compassionate.

    * * *

    And this is Christ’s explicit teaching. The hallmark, the chief characteristic whereby every Christian should be known is love. “I give you a new commandment: Love one another… By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples” (Jn 13,34).

    * * *

    Love is not to be shown by mere words but by deeds. As one writer puts it: “They do not love those who do not SHOW it.”I am reminded of that young man who wrote a love letter to his girlfriend. He said “Dear Maricel, I can climb the highest mountain. I can swim the seven seas; I can fight the most ferocious lion in the jungle to prove my undying love for you.”

    * * *

    Then he signed: “Your ever loving Johnny.” Right below this he scribbled a P.S. (postscript) which read: “My love, I’ll visit you on Sunday if it will not rain!”This is only a story but it shows that when it comes to DOING a simple act like visiting on a rainy Sunday, then it’s the end of love.

    * * *

    When we say to “lay down one’s life” or “get hurt” for the other, it doesn’t mean only those heroic or extraordinary acts. The trouble is we think only in terms of these so that we overlook the ordinary ones. If you can lay down your life for others, great, praise the Lord.

    * * *

    But dramatic moments do not come often in life. Far more frequent are the day-to-day demands of love like being kind when you’re feeling irritable or sharing one’s time to one who is in need when you’re enjoying your favorite TV show, or going out of your way occasionally for a charitable cause.

    * * *

    There’s a short article by an anonymous author entitled “What Is Christianity?” It shows Christian love in concrete terms, thus: “In the home it is kindness, in business it is honesty, in society it is courtesy, in work it is fairness.“Toward the unfortunate it is pity; toward the weak it is help; toward the wicked it is resistance; toward the strong it is trust; toward the fortunate it is congratulations, toward the penitent it is forgiveness, toward God it is reverence and love.”

    * * *

    There’s a song which says: “A bell is no bell until it is rung. A song is no song until it is sung.” Let me add: “A Christian is no Christian until he or she loves.”

    * * *

    SUPPORT FUTURE PRIESTS. How about helping a poor seminarian become a priest?Chip in to our scholarship fund or sponsor a poor seminarian’s schooling.

    * * *

    Make your donation payable to “Adopt a Seminarian” c/o Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD, Christ the King Seminary, 1101 E. Rodriguez Blvd., 1099 Quezon City, Philippines. For inquiries, write to:

    Monday, May 07, 2007

    charismatics.. the only way they know how

    This article is not too bad at all. It hits close to home.

    "For a glimpse into the future of the Roman Catholic Church in America, peek inside St. Benedict's in Queens on a Sunday after the Matsons, Mays and Cassidys have all gone home and Joan Overton has shut down the pipe organ following the sparsely attended 8:30 a.m. Mass. That's when the pews fill up with the Durans, Lopezes and Fernandezes and the spiritual thermometer turns up a notch."


    I know that scene exactly. In a poor neighborhood there are few traditional Catholics, and the ones that do travel to attend the "sparsely attended" early Masses are not enough to fill up the place. Left on their own, these Churches would have to close. A few miles out toward the direction of the suburbs with money, the Churches are overflowing with contributions, and schools that funnel in young parents accompanying their school age children.

    But they are not left on their own. There are poor Spanish speaking Catholics coming to their Mass. Usually later in the day, but it is definitely not something the traditional Catholic would recognize.

    On the one hand, it looks to me too confined within a building with thick walls and stained glass windows. With no insult intended, I would say it resembles more of a tent environment, where kids can run around outside the perimeter, and a stray donkey or chicken might amble through.

    The congregation joins in singing the service music, but the hymns are handled by the loud band and microphoned singers. And they sing long to fit the performance mentality they have. The Priest is always happily waiting for the song to finish all 5 stanzas before continuing with his empathic reading of the ritual.

    On the one hand, you have the American Church starting to require a Master's degree in music to play the organ and choose the songs for liturgy. And on the Spanish hand you have loud guitar, tambourine, beans-in-dried-skin shakers, and microphones, microphones, microphones playing music and singing lyrics having no direct connection to the readings of the day.

    OK, I guess, Baptized and ready for formation. Or are they?

    I have not hidden my distain for the misguided delusional me-and-Jesus antics of crazymatics. It is one thing for a small portion of traditional Catholics to temporarily be swept up into their little world, but a scarier thing to see a foreign language culture filling the churches with their act.

    Or not? What else can the Church do but meet these people where they are and move them along through gentle training and example?

    Is there a hope for this when...

    "We're responding to a genuine movement of the spirit," said Bishop Robert J. Carlson, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee for Catholic Charismatic Renewal. "Especially over the past five years, the charismatic movement is where our growth has been."

    Please good Bishop, that is not something to brag about, and I would think again about how "genuine" a movement we are talking about. I wonder if that quote is correct in his using a lower case "s" for sprit. That I do not disagree with.

    Catholics are being energized by lay ministers in small prayer groups and are employing methods such as speaking in tongues as independent and direct spiritual channels.

    Lay ministers. Now that's a scary scene. They're called "animaors". Ha. Good Grief!

    A landmark study released last week by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life indicated that 54 percent of Hispanic Catholics describe themselves as charismatic.

    Some charismatic practices remain controversial, including a devotion known as the "baptism of the Holy Spirit." The ritual, which varies greatly among charismatic groups, often starts with weeks of reviewing the gospel and culminates in a prayer to "release" the Holy Spirit from inside the soul. At that point, some participants express extreme joy and might begin to speak in tongues.

    "We know there are some people in the church who don't fully trust it, who feel that this is a type of worship that cannot be controlled," Malagreca said. "But not embracing this would mean ignoring the wishes of Catholics, and that we cannot do."

    Yikes, Makagreca had truly gone over the cliff.

    Only a small percentage of charismatics -- perhaps as many as 500,000 -- belong to the formal organizations sponsored nationally by the Catholic Church. Instead, far more have joined informal, often fervent prayer groups at their local parishes.

    Sonia Rodriguez, a 60-year-old Puerto Rican, spun in the aisles as she spoke in tongues. The crowd began frantically waving white napkins in the air to symbolically purify themselves while a preacher began calling down the Holy Spirit. Moments later, one young woman began spasmodically dancing as if in a trance while group leaders rushed to her side with outstretched hands. She finally collapsed into her chair amid a chorus of "hallelujahs" from the congregation.

    For some, the charismatic prayer service offered a rare chance to unload their burdens and experiences in the company of compassionate ears. Juana Jaco, a 47-year-old Salvadoran maid, took the microphone to give one of many "testimonies" of personal experiences with God.

    "Until last year, I thought I was worthless; my husband beat me, and I hated myself," said Jaco, who came to the service alone. In tears, she continued: "But then my uncle came to me. He was sick and needed a kidney. I didn't think twice; I offered him mine. After the operation, we began to pray together, and we both felt God come down and touch us both."

    One such group met two Sundays ago at St. Benedict's, where about 100 Hispanic parishioners joined together behind the stained-glass windows of the school gymnasium. Over the course of four hours, individual lay preachers -- called "animators" -- took turns rousing the crowd with evangelist-style sermons in Spanish.

    OK, what's the punch line to this joke? Or if not a joke, what's the Executive Summary?

    It's that non-Catholic churches are very successful. Look at the Mormons.. obviously foolish in their foundation, yet energized and nice people. Look at the history of the barking, fainting pentecostals from rural Appalachia. Still quite popular.

    God help us in our effort to take these folks where the are and shephard them to Catholic if they desire. God forbid us from becoming them.

    Friday, May 04, 2007

    Legislating emotions

    It's about time that Christians get bitten by the same nonsense that they have approved of for the protection from unwanted emotions toward special groups.

    Race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation. Poor babies.

    I hope that someday the Supreme Court will find that Free Speech is too impared by this protection to let emotion laws stand. Perhaps in the next 8 Democratic years enough nonsense will be passed to bring a case to the high court. That would be one good result of the shift to Democrats and the likes of nanny caregivers like Kennedy.

    It was a nicely intentioned proactive guilt trip that brought emotion protection to the blacks. We simply wanted to put the civil war behind us, and thought a few well meaning emotion laws would help. As if committing a crime is not bad enough, doing it while hating the victim is uncalled for.

    All well and good. Oops, not really. Here comes everybody.

    You know, I'm getting up in years.. how about not hating this old man while mugging me? The elderly should be added.. and soon, before the Baby Boomers get their electric carts.

    How about loud mouths? Not quite a disability, but I sure do hate them. Oops that's me!

    Hating oneself should be a special crime. After all, that's how all this protection got started. We're just not nice enough without legislating our emotions.

    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    PBS Mormons

    Did you see the Mormon PBS 4 hour series? Very good stuff.

    I have already mentioned how very odd the foundations of their beliefs are. But it is interesting just how they are able to exist and grow, especially with their missionaries.

    Converts on the series without exception were swayed by how nice the young men or women were, and how nice the little Mormon local clusters are. Nice in a Christian sense borrowed from the New Testament.

    And again it hits me how powerful the Word of God is, even partial, and even cloudy. It has its affects upon fertile ground. Still a cult, still odd, but with the power of the New Testament obscured by additional revelations.

    The series also exposed another real important thing about Mormon's foundation. An angel told Joe Smith how to correct Christianity. Yup, it had become flawed and it was time to get things right, and Smith was the man up to the job.

    Now I have been slamming on muslims for doing just the same thing. Their angel told that prophet also how Jews and Christians were getting things wrong, and laid on mahotmet the straight story.

    The difference between nice and not nice seems to be the Sermon on the Mount. The Mormon's have it, and the muslims don't.

    This picture I find a nice commentary on the absurd muslim belief of multiple virgin swinging in heaven for their blown up martyrs. It's compliments of the tiber blog

    catholic interest.