Thursday, November 02, 2006

Blog Tip: An Election Message from Dr. Alveda King

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Priests for Life

An Election Message from Dr. Alveda King

October 2006

"Vote as if your life depends upon it. Someone's life does! Be encouraged that you are not alone in your desire to see an end to the senseless violence against the most helpless of our brothers and sisters. Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us to care for the least of these. We can demonstrate our compassion by voting for pro-life candidates in the upcoming elections.

"My uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: 'Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.' "We must vote for life this year, and every year, because it is the right thing to do.

"Please, I urge you, do be distracted by political rhetoric. The most pressing civil rights issue of this season is the protection of the lives of the pre-born.

"Your vote counts. Please cast it, for life!"

-- Dr. Alveda King Dr. King serves full-time on the staff of Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries.
Fr. Frank Pavone, the director of the ministry, said that Dr. King's statement "reveals with clarity that at the basis of every human right is the right to life itself."

To view Fr. Frank's 2006 election video, click on the following link:

Shoebat in Savannah and Brooklyn

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Walid will speak this evening in Savannah, GA for the Jewish Federation.  The event will be covered locally by ABC, CBS and NBC.It starts at 7 pm.

On Monday Nov 6th 7.30 pm, Walid will speak at the Joel Braverman School, Flatbush (Brooklyn)New York. It is free but be early if you want to go as it is first come first served. The organizers are expecting a overflow crowd. Walid Shoebat Foundation Promo as well as short version of Obsession will be shown before Walid speaks.


Keith Davies

Tuesday, October 31, 2006 article from WI Catholic

WI Catholic has sent you an article from

Story: Carolina families react to Kerry's comments

Carolina families react to Kerry's comments

10:34 PM EST on Tuesday, October 31, 2006
E-mail Tony:

Carolina families with sons and daughters in the military are outraged at comments made by Senator John Kerry.

Speaking Monday about education, Kerry said "If you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq." !

Tuesday, parents say it's another example of the former Democratic presidential candidate sticking his foot in his mouth, according to Sherry Weatherly. Her son Jordan Weatherly graduated near the top of his class in the Army Ranger program. Sherry says Jordan's patriotism and 911 were big factors in him joining the military. She says it wasn't a lack of education or intelligence.

"He's extremely bright, his leadership capabilities are superior," Sherry Weatherly said.

Sherry started a support group called "Mothers of Military" after 911. "It's insulting," she said.

Kerry has since said the comment was directed at President Bush, not soldiers.

"These people go to war to try to get a college education," Korean War Veteran Bill Long said.

He interprets John Kerry's comments this way:

"Sounds anti-American. That foot soldiers are a little on the stupid side."

UNCC political science professor Dr. Ted Arrington doesn' t think Kerry's comments will make a difference in this year's hotly-contested mid term elections.

"Nobody pays attention to him anyway," Arrington said.

Sherry Weatherly says Kerry's comments certainly will make a difference when she votes next Tuesday.

She also says Kerry's words will be a big topic of conversation when "Mothers of Military" meets Thursday.

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Michigan Rally Highlights (Stephen Baskerville)

From: Stephen Baskerville

TV producer Allen Licari of Tellus News Networks has assembled a fine web page on the September 27 Michigan rally, with video clips of the main speakers: If you really want to weep, be sure to watch the clip of Kimberly Streett, Wilbur's daughter.

Stephen Baskerville

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Senator Kerry, I have less respect for you every time you open your mouth...

On my way home tonight from work, I had the radio on, and heard only (no comments at that time, because I was switching stations) Kerry's comments, and I was outraged.

As I listened further (he caught my attention, obviously), I grew more angry, because I also heard justification of what he had said, blaming everyone but himself, and trying very hard to turn HIS words into a slam on President Bush.

But Kerry did not mention Bush in the comment he made, to the students he was speaking to. He mentioned our military. And his claims of a 'joke' goes beyond the pale, in my humble opinion.

“If you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

Had this been said in the sixties and the early seventies, in a time of the Draft, one MIGHT be able to get away with this sort of statement and justify it by saying it was a joke gone bad. MIGHT. Because there were a lot of very good students drafted into the Vietnam War even then. There were also many who enlisted. There were College/University graduates (remember Kerry???? Even he was in 'Nam for awhile....).

Some of them did not return. One of them was Father Vincent Capodanno who went back for a second term, and gave his life for his Grunts...and his Country. HE is a real hero, and he EARNED the Purple Heart. Sadly, he also had three major injuries in one day, refusing to leave his 'Grunts' ... and earned the right to go Home as well as home when he was struck down the third time, going to the aid of another!

Many of our current military people ALSO are College educated, and many have returned volutarily to Iraq. And some of them have come home disabled, some have died in service to their country. Same with Afghanistan where some have died, and some still serve... (witness Pat Tillman!!! Witness Fr Daniel Mode!! ) Some come home after two or three tours of duty.

They don't deserve a sick 'joke', if it truly WAS a joke. But they DO deserve Senator Kerry to apologize without justifying (and lying, again, in my humble opinion). Any military member of any branch serving ANYWHERE, including Iraq has every right to demand that apology.

To our military people... I am proud of you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service in this time of War, in this time of VOLUNTARY MILITARY. God bless each of you, AND your families!


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Should God be more tolerant.........?

In a recent conversation, the subject of fear based on strict or abusive teachers in the past has been brought up among one of my friends. who mentioned a very good lady who will not go to Church due to anxiety from things in her past, and who now lives in fear of going to Hell. He wanted to know if there wasn't a better way. He also stated that both of them are suffering from depression, and said that they had experienced very similar things as children. He and others spoke of being taught to fear God (not in the 'AWE' sense of fear) rather than to love Him by the example of many adults in their lives. He titled his first email "Based on Fear?"

He asked "How can we love when we are always afraid. Were the nuns right to be so strict? Isn't love a better way?"
(Note: There were also very strict public school teachers, etc, so this is NOT about nuns).

Part of my response was:

Love is always best, but that does not preclude being strict. The sad thing was that way back then, nuns had only three choices in what they did. The head of the orders made the decisions about what they did, based on their ability to progress in school, etc. They became nurses, teachers or housekeepers. 
Some should never have been teachers. (I can add parents, social workers, foster parents, Doctors, Nurses, and so on.) 
And some of them were forced into the convent by every one assumig that THIS DAUGHTER will be our nun. Many of them were probably also depressed, but they did not have the medications that we have today to help it.
If we can try to place ourselves in the others' positions, sometimes we can find ways to forgive and heal. Not always, but sometimes, if we can 'see' what they went through, we can learn to understand a little bit, and let go. I hope your friend can someday heal, also. 

In the course of the conversation, he mentioned that he is currently reading Bill O'Reilly's book Culture Warrior . The "Culture War" discussed is between "Tradionalists" and what the author calls "Secular Progressives" or "SP's".

My friend said:
"Secular Progressives believe that our old way of teaching is too harsh
and that God should be more tolerant."

Though there were others involved in the conversation, so a few other good points were made, but, it was that comment which caused me to try to find words to respond in a way that would help to ease his pain
in some way. Perhaps it will help someone else, too.....

God is very tolerant. He is so tolerant that He has not used His Justice as He could, if He so chose.

God is so tolerant that even though He is all-knowing, He still created the Angels, knowing full well that some would rebel.

He still created mankind knowing full well that the very first two He made would defy His one rule for them, and eat of the Tree of Good and Evil, even knowing that for them, He would send His Son to suffer and die as a Man, in order to give us another chance. Something that the Angels did not get.

He is so tolerant that He will forgive and throw away as far from Him as He can, each and every one of our sins, made in spite of His love and mercy, tolerance and JUSTICE... all in the name of our Free Will.

He is so tolerant that regardless of the nature of our sin, no matter how tiny or how heinous, He does not strike us down with thunderbolts, drown us in floods (meaning all of civilization), nor put us into the Pit of Hell even when that is what we deserve... He keeps calling us to Him, He keeps sending others to us to draw us to Him...right up to the last second of our lives, when we may once more choose Him... or deny Him, and thus, choose ourselves where we will spend Eternity. He does not send us there, we send ourselves.

But in all the 'love and mercy' talk about God, we forget that He is All Good. ALL GOOD, and cannot have any evil, any bad in His Presence. Hence, He has a way to 'purge' us of any temporal residual left behind on our very souls when we have confessed our sins, big and little, omission or commission, whether that is here on earth, or in a place we may call 'Purgatory', a way to take a 'Heavenly Shower' and change into spotless wedding clothes He provides to replace our earthly rags.

And we forget that He is JUST. If we choose to defy Him right up to the end, He cannot, and will not, 'back down' at the last second and say.... oh, it is ok... you can still come in.... because, again, He is All Good.

He is Mercy. He is Love. He is Just.

We ARE recipients of His Mercy and Love right now, whether WE feel it or not, simply because we are here, known to Him from the beginning of Time, including our rebellion...and our repentance or lack of it.

SP's who say that God should change and "accept them as they are"...forget that God has already done just that. Instead of being grateful and loving Him more for it, however, they are choosing to TELL GOD and everyone else that He must accept EVIL as good.

He Can't. He won't. He shoudn't.

He gave us the way to be with Him in the Ten Commandments. When that failed, He gave us HIS SON, to die a horrendous death in our place, and take OUR guilt on HIMSELF.

And He had that in mind right from the very beginning, when He created us. He knew, even then, that we would try to tell HIM how to save us instead of choosing to follow His way.

Good is not Evil. Evil is NOT GOOD. And the things that the SP's are trying to change in our society are things that will lead to more evil, more rebellion, more people in the Pit of Hell at the end of Time, for all of Eternity.

Being Traditionalist does not mean not loving.

Sometimes, Love means that you say no to another, or to yourself.

Sometimes, it means standing firmly for what is right. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

And yes, we are called to admonish the sinner by our very Corporal/Spiritual Acts of...


..... of Mercy.

God Bless!!!

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Fighting for Dear Life by David Gibbs and Bob DeMoss A Bethany House book


WI Catholic thought you would be interested in this:


PRICE: $19.99
ISBN: 076420243X
Fighting for Dear Life: The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo and What It Means for All of Us
Author: David Gibbs and Bob DeMoss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 19.99
Dimensions: 6 x 9
Number of Pages: 304
Publication Date: Aug. 06

Status: Available

Description: Why Does Terri Schiavo's Life--and Death--Matter for America?

David Gibbs took a leap of faith in 2003 when Bob and Mary Schindler, Terri Schiavo's parents, asked him to represent them in their desperate battle to save their daughter's life. Taking the case, Gibbs embarked on a compelling journey that would forever change his life. He watched Terri fade away in her final days and was with Mary Schindler the last time she saw Terri alive. He witnessed what the media did not see or report: that Terri was not a vegetable; that she laughed, cried, and responded to verbal commands; and that yes, her life was very much worth saving.

David Gibbs says,
"After Terri died, Bob and Mary asked me to tell what really happened--specifically the tragedy of this landmark case--so that many others would be spared from a similar fate. I make no apology that, from my perspective, what happened to Terri was wrong. Very wrong. Maybe you agree. Then again, maybe you disagree, or the jury is still out in your mind. I believe if you will join me as I present my case, you will come to understand:

Why I fought for Terri.
Why I'd do it again.
And why I'd fight for you, too.

Now, read the story for yourself and learn how you can protect yourself and your family against a similar tragedy."

Endorsements: "Fighting for Dear Life proclaims the clear message that we long for the world to hear. David fought courageously to save Terri’s life and loved our family during some of the darkest hours of our lives."
--Bob and Mary Schindler, Parents of Terri Schiavo

"As a quadriplegic, I thank God for courageous advocates like my friend David Gibbs who hold fast to life values no matter how severe the circumstances. In Fighting for Dear Life David presents thoughtful arguments and practical advice that will help the reader forge an honorable path through the legal, medical, and moral complexities of life. I highly recommend this excellent book."
--Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

"Many thanks to David Gibbs for providing us with a powerful insider's look into the inhumane, court-ordered injustice perpetrated against Terri Schiavo. No reader of this book will be able to remain unconcerned about the chilling precedent her case sets and its implications for the future. It's a moving and compelling reminder of why we need to defend those who cannot speak for themselves and uphold the sanctity of all human life!"
--Jim Daly, President, Focus on the Family

"One of the most gut-wrenching stories in recent years was the deliberate, systematic, court-ordered starvation of Terri Schiavo. David Gibbs lll, the Christian attorney who fought so valiantly to save her life, has now written a gripping account of the fight to save Terri. This book, entitled Fighting For Dear Life, is a wake up call to a society that shrugs its collective shoulders as to how we treat the most vulnerable among us."
--D. James Kennedy, PhD, Senior Minister, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church

"David Gibbs argues convincingly that life is a precious gift from God that must be protected."
--Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida

"Regardless of where you stand on the life and death of Terri Schindler Schiavo, the story of both the legal and human struggle she represents remains one to which we should all listen."
--Nancy A. Grace, Host of CNN-Headline News' Nancy Grace show and Court TV's Nancy Grace's Closing Argument

"Attorney Gibbs makes the case for people like me to be allowed to live. I am so thankful that my husband didn't let me die because of my 'quality of life.' This could be the most important book you ever read."
--Kate Adamson, Author of Triumph Over Adversity

"Americans are indebted to David Gibbs for bringing to light a wealth of insider information never reported on the Terri Schaivo case. His expert legal and eye-witness account is unmatched. A must read."
--Joseph Farah,

"My heart was deeply moved by this touching and thought provoking account! My husband and I prayed diligently for Terri and for the Schindlers as he, as well as I, greatly value every precious life. I thank God for the compassionate and valiant stand of David Gibbs. May this book be used greatly to promote the value of every single life."
--Joyce (Mrs. Adrian) Rogers

Author Information: David Gibbs defends the rights of churches and Christians nationwide as a legal missionary attorney through Gibbs Law Firm and the Christian Law Association. He’s a graduate of Liberty University and received his law degree from Duke University. He co-hosts The Legal Alert, heard on more than 1,000 radio stations daily, and he has appeared on many major news and talk shows including Larry King Live, Fox & Friends, Hannity & Colmes, Nancy Grace, The Michael Reagan Show, and Face the Nation. David, his wife, and their four children make their home in Florida.

Bob DeMoss served seven years as Youth Cultural Specialist for Dr. James Dobson and Focus on the Family. He has hosted his Learn to Discern: Help for a Generation at Risk seminar in more than 300 cities worldwide and has appeared on numerous national radio and television shows, including Good Morning, America. As a New York Times bestselling writer, he has coauthored books with Dennis Rainey, Tim LaHaye, and Point of Grace. A father of four, Bob and his family live in Franklin, Tennessee.

Reviews: "Fighting For Dear Life is an interesting book. It's a shocking book. It is nearly enough to make a reader scream in frustration as he sees attempt after attempt to save Terri's life end in failure. This woman, though certainly handicapped, was just as certainly alive and active. Her death was a grave injustice that does mark a low point in American history. Perhaps reading this book ... will stir people to grapple with the issues that led to her untimely and unfair death. We can only hope that her death will not have been in vain." --Tim Challies,

"Written with a lawyer's attention to detail and arranged in a concise chronological order, this book contains all the pertinent and powerful facts. Readers' reactions will range from sadness to shock to outrage at the miscarriage of justice shown in this situation. Interestingly, David Gibbs doesn’t offer his own heated opinions on this issue; rather, he lets the testimony speak for itself. And with the inclusion of newspaper and magazine articles, legal statements, and actual observations from eyewitnesses, this collection of information leads to only one truth: Terri Schiavo endured an unnecessary and painful death.

Although the book centers on this one woman, the author consistently leads readers to understand the far-reaching significance of this issue, and encourages every American to be aware of the legal ramifications of this case. The final pages offer a Christian response to this tragedy, which is to humbly beseech the living God to change the hearts of those in our great nation. Prayer is more powerful than any legal petition, and that thought closes this moving account with the hope of a perfect and future triumph." --Joyce Handzo, Christian Book


1. Fighting for Dear Life
2. Seeing Is Believing
3. Life on Trial
4. Terri’s Law
5. Doctor's Orders
6. Is There a Doctor in the House?
7. In Sickness and In Health
8. Your Honor, I Object!
9. Let’s Make a Deal
10. Terri's Only Crime
11. Terri’s Last Meal
12. The Big Lie
13. Washington Weighs In
14. Litigating at the Speed of Light
15. A Mother's Heart
16. Until We Meet Again
17. Supreme Denial
18. Examining the Medical Examiner's Report
19. The $64,000 Question
20. A Life Worth Living
21. Every Day's a Gift
22. The Least of These
23. If There's a Will There's a Way
24. Life Support in View of Eternity
25. Brave New World?
26. If My People
Appendix A: Frequently Asked Questions: Terri and the Case
Appendix B: Sample Form: Designation of Health Care Surrogate
Appendix C: Full Text of Terri's Law: October 2003
Appendix D: Text of the Act of Congress: March 2005

Buy this book from ,, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookstore.

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Stephen Baskerville (Milt Rosenberg Show) Now Online

This came tonight, if you are interested in hearing Stephen Baskerville’s Interview.

God bless!

-----Original Message-----
From: Stephen Baskerville

Sent: Monday, October 30, 2006 6:14 PM

Subject: Milt Rosenberg Show Online

My appearance on Extension 720, Milt Rosenberg's popular WGN radio show is now online. You can listen at During the 2-hour show (81:07 after commercials), we discussed family courts, custody, child support, domestic violence, and child abuse. No feminists phoned in. The only hostile questions were one from a divorce lawyer and another from a child support enforcement agent.

Stephen Baskervillle

“A single, seemingly powerless person who dares to cry out the word of truth and to stand behind it with all his person and all his life, ready to pay a high price, has, surprisingly, greater power, though formally disfranchised, than do thousands of anonymous voters.”
-- Vaclav Havel

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Finding the Lost, but Never Forgotten.

Finding the Lost, but Never Forgotten…

I have been going through some of my saved documents and bookmarks for things that no longer are needed, and links that no longer work. I am so glad that I saved this several years back. I cannot find Lisa’s Lighthouse, where I first found this. But I have given it to MANY and believe it can also be found in Donna Steichen’s book

Prodigal Daughters Catholic Women Come Home to the Church by Donna Steichen

though it has been awhile since I read it, and can no longer remember if it is there or not. Leila Miller is younger than I am, and probably much closer in age to my younger sisters and brother (family of ten, 19 yrs difference between oldest and youngest children). What she describes is what many of us have gone through over the years, with the results being many leaving the Church because they had no real idea of what the Church really teaches! I have non-practicing siblings, and two no longer Catholic sibs as a result of the poor catechesis.

I, being oldest and taught for nine years in Catholic schools until after ninth grade, (64), probably had the better knowledge of our Faith, along with two of my brothers right behind me. But those after the three of us really had little or no teaching like we did, and the youngest ones may never have known about Benediction, Holy Hours, Adoration, Scapulars, First Fridays, First Saturdays, and even such a deep Truth of our Faith, The Real Presence in the Eucharist! How very sad that so many have been led to believe that Jesus’ Words are not Truth, but ‘symbolism’ in John 6:26-68!!

26: Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
27: Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal."
28: Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"
29: Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
30: So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform?
31: Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
32: Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
33: For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world."
34: They said to him, "Lord, give us this bread always."
35: Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.
36: But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
37: All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out.
38: For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me;
39: and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day.
40: For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."
41: The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven."
42: They said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, `I have come down from heaven'?"
43: Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves.
44: No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
45: It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
46: Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father.
47: Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.
48: I am the bread of life.
49: Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.
50: This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.
51: I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."
52: The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
53: So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;
54: he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55: For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56: He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.
57: As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me.
58: This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever."
59: This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper'na-um.
60: Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?"
61: But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this?
62: Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before?
63: It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
64: But there are some of you that do not believe." For Jesus knew from the first who those were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him.
65: And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."
66: After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.
67: Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?"
68: Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life;

So, forgive me for going on for so long…Read this, grieve for those who can relate, and/or learn from it.

......and God bless!

"I Was Robbed!"

by Leila Miller

I was robbed. I am a "Generation X" Catholic, raised and catechized in the tumultuous aftermath of Vatican II. I was a victim of "renewal" and experimentation gone awry, and so were my peers. With great regret and without exaggeration, I contend that the results have been catastrophic for my generation. It is my firm belief that the overwhelming majority of young Catholics don't have even an elemental understanding of their Faith....

The culture we live in is merciless when it comes into contact with a poorly catechized Catholic. American society today is designed to destroy one's faith, as objective truth and moral absolutes are rejected concepts. When modern, "enlightened" catechesis echoes the messages of the culture, and when those charged with informing the Catholic conscience and transmitting the Faith take an "experiential" rather than informative approach, what can you expect? You can expect exactly what was taught.You can expect young Catholics who believe "conscience" means "opinion" and you can expect subjective feelings and personal experience to supplant objective truth. In fact, the prevailing philosophy of my peers is that there is no one "truth" -- truth is whatever we want it to be. You have your truth, I have mine. (Kind of puts the lie to Christ's definitive statement, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" doesn't it? It also doesn't sound like anything worth dying for -- those silly martyrs!)

The only moral challenges given to the faithful from the pulpit were (and are) calls to help the poor, or admonitions against racism and sexism. But it was obvious to me that every good atheist, pagan or non-believer out there was saying the same thing. So why bother being a Christian? Why get out of bed on Sunday morning and go to Mass when I could turn on any news program or TV series and get the same message? Young Americans generally are sensitive to social justice issues, since we've been immersed in a culture that never ceases to speak out on such things. To this day, when I hear yet another social justice homily, I want to yell out: "We get it! We get it! But what we never hear about is the need for personal morality! For repentance! For conversion! For holiness! What we don't understand is our Faith! Teach us! Challenge us! Help us get to Heaven!" Have too many leaders of the Catholic Church in America forgotten that their mission is to save souls?

The abuses and trials one must endure at Mass today are legendary among the faithful, and it was just such instances which helped fuel my estrangement from the Church. For example, I have been at Masses where I have been driven to distraction as I read the words of Sacred Scripture in a missalette while the lector read a distorted "inclusive language" version of the same text. My intelligence has been insulted as I've witnessed the disappearance of words like "brothers" and "men" from both liturgy and song -- apparently the political correctness police have decided that I as a woman am either too stupid or too fragile to understand that such words include me, too. I have sat through an Easter Mass where the priest donned a bunny suit for a homily/skit, and balloons were tied to the pews. And I have sat with my mouth hanging open as I heard one priest use that morning's gospel reading to condone homosexuality. After a while, it didn't seem worth it anymore; I could no longer see the point to attending Mass. Looking back, it is clear that I had lost respect for the Catholic Church....

Maybe this is a good place to debunk a myth that desperately needs debunking. One of the classic lines from liberal, dissenting Catholics is this: "The Church needs to change its outdated teachings and must ordain women, replace the patriarchal language in the liturgy, allow divorce and remarriage, sanction birth control, masturbation, homosexuality, abortion [and so on, ad nauseum]. Young people are leaving the Church in droves because of its refusal to conform to the times!"

As a young person, I tell you this is rubbish. It is a smokescreen. I do not dispute that there are many young, "enlightened" Catholics who have left the Church with these reasons on their lips. But they are using these reasons as excuses to mask the real problem: They have either lost their faith or they never really had it. The need in this case is not for accommodation, but for conversion. These young Catholics have never been taught that Christianity is not about self-fulfillment, it's about self-denial; it's not about worldly power, it's about humility; it's not about control, it's about obedience; and it's not about some misguided, gender feminist idea of equality, it's about Truth.

But for all of the young Catholics who leave the Church because it is not politically correct enough for them, there are equal numbers (mainly those who have begun families) who are leaving for opposite reasons; namely, they feel the Church has become too liberal, too morally lax, too reflective of the secular culture. These Catholics are filling the pews of fundamentalist and evangelical churches, whose leaders hold fast to Christian morality, and where the Ten Commandments are still understood to be commands, not suggestions. These young adults are searching for an anchor in a world gone mad. They are searching for Christ and a high standard of Christian morality, and they don't believe they can find either in the Catholic Church. (Ironically, by leaving the Catholic Church, they are actually walking away from the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and leaving the faith that holds the highest and most difficult moral code of them all!) ....

Nevertheless, by February of 1995, I just wanted out. I was ready to send out a trial balloon to my mom, to see how she would react to my inclination to leave the Church. I specifically did not approach my dad first, as I knew he would be heartbroken at the thought; but because my mother was raised a Protestant (she came into the Catholic Church when I was three), I thought she would be easier to talk to. Mom is a very rational and stoic person, and she is known for giving sound advice. After I popped the question: "How would you feel if I left the Church for a Bible church?" she gave me the answer that would change not only my life, but the lives of many others as well. She said, "Before you leave, you should find out what it is that you're leaving."

She then proceeded to give me some of the reasons she had left Protestantism. For instance, she said it never made sense to her that Protestants place all their belief in the Bible alone. The question for her became, which Bible? There were so many different translations, and everyone had a different view on which version was authoritative. She was also wary of non-denominational churches in general, and she talked about "the cult of the personality," or the tendency in such churches for the congregation to rally around a well-liked, dynamic pastor who usually had a new and "brilliant" interpretation of Scripture. He would be the reason that they came, and if that particular pastor left, the congregation would leave with him.

Everything she said made sense to me, and that evening my thoughts of leaving Catholicism were at least neutralized. The big blow came a couple of weeks later when my mom, in her matter-of-fact way, presented me with a book. It was the kind of book I had never seen before. The kind of book I never knew existed. It was a book of Catholic apologetics. It was Karl Keating's Catholicism and Fundamentalism.

Some people may roll their eyes in disbelief when I say that I never knew such a book existed. I don't blame them -- even I cannot believe that it never occurred to me that someone out there might find it necessary, useful, even noble to defend the Faith! It seems so silly to me now. How could I have been ready to jump ship to a Bible church without even investigating the doctrinal issues involved? Why did it never even cross my mind that a Church of 2,000 years might be able to present an argument on her behalf? Maybe it's because in my lifetime as a Catholic, I had never heard anyone defend the Faith. No one had ever given me any reasons why Catholics were right, why we had the fullest truth. The only thing approaching an apologetics argument was my parents' statements that ours was the oldest Christian church. That we Catholics were here first! During my childhood and adolescence, I remember being quite proud of that fact. Too bad no one ever elaborated on that point....

Some other fruits of my "conversion"? I have returned to confession after more than fifteen years, and I now reap the graces of that wonderful, previously unknown sacrament. Mass, which I once avoided, is now an other-worldly experience for me. Contraception? Gone, with great benefit to my marriage. I continue to uncover the treasures of Christ's Church, and Kim and I now teach the Faith to others. I guess you could say that in Catholicism I've found the secret of the universe, and nothing can compare to its majesty.

Which brings me back to a sadness. How easily I could have lost it all! How easily my friends and contemporaries have lost or could lose a Faith they never really understood. Feel-good, inoffensive, nebulous psycho-babble catechesis doesn't provide an even minimal foundation of faith, and a faith built on such a weak and erroneous foundation could not withstand even the smallest challenge. For proof of this, note that fundamentalist Christians have successfully pulled millions of Catholics out of the Church just by quoting a few Bible verses out of their proper context. And at the other end of the spectrum, feminists and New Agers lure Generation Xers out of Catholicism simply by loudly and repeatedly applying snide labels to the Church, such as "patriarchal," "oppressive," "reactionary," "judgmental," "irrelevant," etc. A poorly catechized Catholic is virtually helpless against these tactics....

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On Archbishop Sheen

Archbishop Fulton J Sheen.

Many of us grew up watching him on TV in our living rooms, because our parents loved him. Some of us were too young to really appreciate him then, but we have learned over the years to do so. In Speech class in 93, I had to find a video of someone giving a talk and show how the speaker used the techniques the class instructor thought were essential for a good speech. Guess who I used?

My classmates had never really heard of him, so... I got to do TWO things in one. Give my speech (and got an A on it) AND find meaningful messages to use as my 'illustrations' to a captive audience. It was GOOOOOOD!! lol

One of my signatures is a quote by him that tells it like it is. That is something he was good at.

"Right is still right if nobody is right,
and wrong is still wrong if everybody is wrong,"
Archbishop Fulton J Sheen author of The Life of Christ

And I have blogged about his talk on Marriage Problems before.

Today, I visited one of my favorite blogs to try to keep up on the Church in a lower part of the State, and again was reminded of Archbishop Sheen... and the cause for his canonization.

HT to Terrence Berres of The Provincial Emails

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