Saturday, December 26, 2009

Obama no show at church

My priest once made a joke that there is a certain type of Catholic called C&E Catholic: Catholic and Easter Catholics. These are Catholics who simply do not attend Mass very often, but will still go on those two days.

However, Barack Obama didn't even go to a Christmas service. I understand he's busy, but missing the Christmas church service is going a bit far. I think he should be honest about his religion. He says he's Christian. It would seem Christians would have an obligation to attend churches services at least sometimes. Every President before him went at Christmas.

I'm not judging Obama's soul or saying he's a bad person. I'm just wondering what's going on here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

300th Post and Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone. This is Christmas day and the 300th post of this blog. Thanks for all those who have supported me, and thanks to all the contributors to this blog. Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour!

The Pope too was celebrating last night, when he was attacked by a woman named Susanna Maiolo, aged 25. She jumped out of the crowd and lunged at the Pope, causing him to fall. He was helped up and wasn't injured. This occurred at midnight Mass which the Pope celebrated at 10pm instead of the usual midnight. Ironically, I attended an actual midnight Mass yesterday rather than my usual 10pm Mass.

Unbelievably, this same woman also attacked the Pope last year at midnight mass, and she was wearing the same red sweater. It is believed she is mentally disturbed.

Here is a video of the 2009 attack:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/12/25/vatican.christmas.pope/index.html

Here is a video of the 2008 attack:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8430495.stm

The pope is doing alright, and seems pretty tough. He also fell in his bathroom several months ago and broke his wrist, but it didn't seem to bother him much. Blessings to Pope Benedict on Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Nazi Christmas

I was just reading information on how the Nazi's celebrated Christmas. I realized two things. First of all, any myth that the Nazis retained any form of Christianity is clearly rejected. Secondly, there are some aspects of the Nazi Christmas that are mimicked in today's "modern" world.

First and foremost, Nazis wanted to remove reference to Christ completely wherever possible. Instead of celebrating Christmas in particular, they wanted to celebrate the Solstice, or a sort of catch-all celebration. They probably wanted people to say "happy holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" Sound familiar?

The words of Silent Night were changed to include no references to God, Christ or religion. Other tunes as well had references to Christianity removed. Swatstikas were placed atop Christmas trees rather than stars.

Something similar is happening in our own culture. People think it's offensive to mention Christmas or Christ or God or Jesus, etc. So they substitute it with words like happy holidays, etc. This is not even coming from other religions. It's coming from Christians themselves or people raised as Christians.

I heard a story about a university group who had an international Christmas. At first, they wanted to incorporate elements from all different cultures and religions, etc. to make this international "holiday", but the international students rejected this. They did not want a mixture, they wanted the real deal. They wanted Christmas.

Christmas is a great time of the year, so say Merry Christmas and celebrate the Birth of Christ. Never forgo these beautiful beliefs for some atheistic catch-all non-specific holiday that is meaningless.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ban on Crucifixes overruled: but what would be next?

A couple of months ago, there was news about a woman whose daughter was in an Italian school. The woman complained because there were crucifixes in the class, and eventually she brought her case to the European court. This court ruled that these crucifixes should be removed because it could offend a non-Christian. It is important to remember that all classrooms have these in Italy, plus all courtrooms. They have a cultural heritage of 2,000 years.

A great decision was made by the Italian court, which basically says that if a European Union law contradicts an Italian law, the EU law will be invalid. So the crucifixes will stay.

But if we believe that a cross and/or crucifix has the potential to "offend" somebody and that it cannot be displayed in public, then we will have encountered an enormous problem. In Europe and around the world, MANY countries contain a cross. What if someone claimed to be offended by the cross depicted on a flag? Would the country be forced to change it?

Just to give you an idea, the following is a list of countries which depict a cross (thanks Wikipedia):

  • Australia - the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
  • Denmark - a Scandinavian cross
  • Dominican Republic - a centered white cross that extends to the edges and divides the flag into four rectangles
  • England - the St George's Cross
  • Fiji - the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
  • Finland - a Scandinavian cross
  • Georgia (country) - the "five-cross flag"; the central element of the flag is St. George's Cross (used also in the national flag of England); there is one smaller cross within each of the four quadrants
  • Greece - a cross in the upper hoist corner
  • Iceland - a Scandinavian cross
  • Jamaica - a Saint Andrew's Cross
  • Malta - a George Cross in the upper hoist corner (in the canton of the white stripe)
  • Moldova - in the coat of arms appearing in the center stripe, a stylized eagle is holding a cross in its beak
  • Montenegro - two crosses appear in the two crowns depicted in the coat of arms contained in the flag
  • New Zealand - the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
  • Norway - a Scandinavian cross
  • Portugal - Compound cross of five quinas, each one charged with five saltire-arranged bezants
  • San Marino - a cross appears in the crown depicted in the coat of arms contained in the flag
  • Scotland - the Saint Andrew's Cross
  • Serbia - cross in crown and cross in inescutcheon, both in coat of arms appearing in flag
  • Slovakia - double cross on top of mountain, appearing in coat of arms contained in flag
  • Spain - one cross in each of three crowns, as well as a cross in the fourth quarter of the shield (for Navarre), all appearing in embedded coat of arms
  • Sweden - a Scandinavian cross
  • Switzerland - a bold, equilateral white cross in the center of the flag
  • Tonga - a red cross appearing as a canton of a red ensign
  • Tuvalu - the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
  • United Kingdom - the three crosses of the Union Flag: St. George's Cross, St. Andrews Cross, and the Irish saltire
  • Vatican City - a cross on the top of the papal tiara in the coat of arms of the right side of the flag
  • Pitcairn Islands - Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter

This is why I say it's such a great thing that the Vatican is not a member of the EU or UN.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Changing the definition of "Spouse"

The Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly is in the process of "updating" official laws which define spouse as someone of the opposite sex. This is largely administrative at this point, but marks a disturbing situation in our province and country.

The Bill for this Amendment officially declares:

This Bill would amend various of the province's Acts and regulations to reflect recent developments in the law respecting spouses. The principal thrust of the amendments is to change the language of provisions that currently, either explicitly or implicitly, assume that spouses must be members of the opposite sex.

Any time where there is mention of husband and wife, or the father and mother, male and female, man and woman, will be replaced with generic terms like spouses or couple or two parental units. It's ludacris to think we can change an institution by simply applying new language. There is no "romance" to these changes. A man loves his wife, not a spouse loves the other spouse. It sounds like a business contract.

I believe Canada has traveled down a terrible road. I hesitate to use a slippery slope argument, but I believe the more we treat marriage as a contractual partnership of two persons, you start to lose the real meaning of marriage. It is no longer about complementary love, but more about two people signing a piece of paper to share societal benefits. Once civil marriage becomes nothing more than a legal contract of two entities joining together for some economic reason, it won't be long before other "unions" will be accepted.

Today represents a sad day in legal history.

Torture must be completely outlawed worldwide

I just saw a movie called Law Abiding Citizen. In it, there is a scene of a criminal being tortured severely until death. It was very gruesome and sadistic. I sometimes think about torture and believe it is one of the worst things in the world. Sometimes, for example, I will wash my hands and it will get too hot and I will jerk away my hands. Then I wonder how bad it would be if I couldn't jerk them away. I imagine that momentary pain, which causes me to wave my hands in the air to cool them, continuing. It would be simply unimaginable. And this would be considered a mild form of torture.

Torture causes major psychological damage, but the pain and suffering is simply unbearable. Sometimes in our daily lives we suffer pain, but it is bearable. It is understandable. It may hurt, but we can contain ourselves. But what if it wasn't. What if it went beyond our level of comprehension? It's too horrible to imagine. Not only that, but people are often physically injuried, or damaged from the treatment. Injuries, amputations, diseases, all with the associated extreme physical and psychological pain is too horrendous to fathom.

We have made great strides, but I think it should be our top goal to eradicate torture from the face of the planet. Of course, we cannot fully eliminate it, because people will do evil things, but we can at least remove it from official use anywhere. I believe we must apply extreme pressure to any country where this happens. Forget sanctions or embargoes, countries of good will must completely and absolutely disassociate themselves from countries that torture. Cut all economic, diplomatic, and cultural ties to these countries. Forbid citizens from going there. This should be done at an international level with many or most countries participating. Perhaps the UN would be a good association to facilitate this. We cannot deal with this problem with kid-gloves. These countries must be isolated, segretated, until they completely remove torture from their official repetoire. Eventually these countries will suffer economically and once things are dire enough, they will reform their ways.

If reform cannot be achieved in this way, further action must be taken, including pro-active regime change. Anything necessary must be done. Also, no modern country has any right to send anybody to a country where torture occurs. I've heard alledged reports of this happening, and it must be stopped immediately.

Torture is useless. It provides no good information in any case. It only serves to destroy human freedom and violates humanity's most sacred rights. It has no place in our world. The objection cases of getting information from a terrorist for example, are few and far between and research shows they are pointless anyway.

I also believe movies such as Saw, Hostel, etc, which glorify torture should be banned. They serve no value in a good society. I have even noticed that some torture scenes are available on Youtube. Youtube has a strict policy against pornography, but isn't this just as damaging? Let's continue to eradicate torture in all its forms from the face of the planet.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Another Fifth Estate Journalist beats a dead horse

I wrote a letter a couple of years ago to Hana Gartner on the Fifth Estate bemoaning her lack of creativity when she did a story on priestly sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. I said the Fifth Estate should uncover news, not beat dead horses and rehash old canards. She wrote me back, to my surprised, saying she knew it was a dead horse and that she will be doing an article on teacher sexual assault. In my letter I told her teachers abuse children 4 to 10 times more than priests. That article never surfaced from her.

Now another Fifth Estater has written about priestly abuse. His groundbreaking, original story has uncovered new facts and details which no one could have ever imagined... NOT. Lyndon MacIntyre continues to harp on a worn out issue that's well past its expiry date. Why not do something original? If I were a journalist, I would feel bad if the only thing I could do was rehash old canards. The fiction written by MacIntyre called The Bishop's Man talks about a priest who does the dirty work of a cold-hearted bishop. The bishop (of course) is moving around pedophile priests in order to protect the church and allow them to abuse again. The priest is in charge of keeping things hushed up for the Bishop. I guess MacIntyre felt the media hadn't covered this issue quite enough and felt compelled to offer his two cents worth.

Did priests abuse children? Yes. And it's very very terrible and ought to be condemned. But journalists like MacIntyre want people to think priests are far more likely to abuse people than others in society, which is simply untrue. The stereotype of pedophile priest is completely unjustified. Teachers, for example, are 4 to 10 times more likely to abuse children. In order to avoid this criticism, people like MacIntyre say they are not just talking about the abuse, they are talking about the leadership moving priests around. This is usually where people go when you point out that priests are no more likely to commit pedophile acts than anyone else. To respond to that accusation, we must look at some things. Nearly all of the accusation against priests emerged relatively recently, but actually occurred prior to the 80s. In those times, there was a different societal opinion of what should be done with sex offenders.

It was the prevailing professional opinion of psychologists and others at the time that people who committed these acts could be reformed and their behaviors changed and then they could be relocated. Most priests who were not taken away from their active roles or persecuted were sent for rehabilitation for a year or more then reintroduced, ostensibly cured from their psychological issues. It was not a nefarious plot by the hierarchy to abuse more children. The suggestion of this is absurd. A good point to make is that a parallel example occured in the education system. Teachers abused many more children than priests by a factor of at least 4 and perhaps higher than 10. In a whopping 98% of cases, teachers accused of abusing children were put back into their teaching position after a period of time, often in the same school. People would never claim a malicious plot by school administrators to abuse kids.

The point is there have been a million books, movies, documentaries, novels, etc. written on this topic and it's about time authors looked to other, more original topics. This is especially so when two of the fifth estates' top journalists cover the exact same issue. Perhaps "originality" should be added to the hard hitting reports of these journalists.

The cost of abortion is quite vaste in Canada

I have recently been considering the true cost of abortion in Canada. Of course, the main cost is the lives of the children who lose their lives, but let's consider the financial and human costs.

1) Tax dollars. All abortions in Canada, whether it's a woman's first or tenth, are paid for by tax payers. Those who receive the abortion pay absolutely nothing. All associated hospital fees, etc. are paid for by the government, which indirectly I am forced to pay. Where's my "choice" not to pay for this? In Canada there are around 100,000 abortions per year. If the total cost associated with an abortion, and any possible follow-up costs an average of $800, then Canadians fork over $80 million per year for this procedure. This is Life Canada's estimate, and they believe it is conservative, because there are in fact more than 100,000 abortions per year in Canada, and many abortions cost more than $800 (while some may cost less).

2) Opportunity cost. Abortion occupies a privileged status in Canada's health care system. Unlike certain life-saving procedures, abortions are performed on-demand or within a few days. Virtually no abortions are done for medical necessity, yet they take precedence over procedures which save lives. We've all heard horror stories of people who were waiting months or years for a life-saving procedure, but because there were so many waiting, their health was jeorpardized. Some have even lost their lives. Part of the reason for this is lack of facilities, many of which are being occupied for abortion. If a hospital has 4 operating rooms but one is in almost constant use for abortions, then only 3 remain to perform life-saving procedures. Freeing up this additional room would allow 33% life-saving operations. Many people will object to this logic by saying if someone was rushed to the hospital and had to be operated on, an abortion would wait. I'm not talking about acute medical conditions. I'm talking about waiting lists for very important non-elective procedures which are bottle-necked by abortion.

3) Also, if people having an abortion had to pay for their own, that would free up almost $100 million to use on other programs. There is much good that can come from that much money. Perhaps we could hire more doctors and further reduce wait times. Remember, an abortion is by definition an elective procedure. The only exception is the almost non-existent possibility of a mother's life being in danger. But even without legal abortion, this option was always available. Pregnancy is not a disease, it is the normal functioning of a female body. An unborn baby is as natural in a woman's uterus as anything else.

The costs mentioned above are only financial, and do not include moral, social, personal, and other costs. Let's stop using hard-earned tax payer dollars to fund the killing of children.

Hats off to the governor of Rhode Island

The governor of Rhode island has come out in support of the Catholic Church and Bishop Tobin who were unjustly criticized by Representative Patrick Kennedy and later lambasted by screwball Chris Matthews. The Rhode Island Governor made many of the points I did in my previous blog, that the Church has the right to do what it did and that Rep. Kennedy's comments were false and out of place. The Governor also criticized Chris Matthews for his rude behavior with the Bishop.

Kennedy accused the Church of an inconsistent pro-life ethic for not supporting the health care bill. But if the health care bill provides funding for abortion, then the health care bill is not pro-life, and thus cannot be supported. In fact, it would be very anti-life to support a bill which provided federal funding for abortion, since right now the funding is not provided.
Here is an excerpt from the article on this:

But he left no doubt who he thought was in the right when he defended the bishop’s public comments about Kennedy on both local talk radio and in a round of national TV appearances. Along the way, Bishop Tobin said he was “very concerned about the congressman’s increasingly erratic and unpredictable behavior,” and “praying for him.”

Carcieri said: “I think the Bishop had no choice … because if you go back to how this all started, it was basically Congressman Kennedy making pretty outrageous statements about the Catholic Church” and the church’s position on “protecting the sanctity of innocent human beings. So I think the bishop had no choice except to come back and defend the church, which I think he did very well.”

For the full article, please go to http://www.projo.com/news/content/Carcieri_takes_sides_11-26-09_L5GJE3A_v12.38acfd1.html

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I have 12 followers (on my blog)!

But I refuse to call them apostles. That would be going too far!!

Thanks everyone for your support.

Bill Matthews talks at Bishop Tobin

Chris Matthews invited Bishop Tobin on his show Hardball (which should be called Screwball) to discuss the situation involving him and Representative Patrick Kennedy from Rhode Island. Patrick Kennedy has spoken out against the Church and said some rather nasty things. He opposes the Church's teaching on abortion and makes that very public. Bishop Tobin, as is his right, told Rep. Kennedy to refrain from receiving communion.

I have several issues with this "interview". First of all, Chris Matthews is not only wrong, he's also very rude and disrespectful. First, he brings up a clip of President Kennedy saying he will not take policy instruction from the Vatican. In other words, he would not create a situation where a foreign country controlled the United States. This is rather obvious. Chris Matthews then takes this statement and seems to say the bishop has no right to refuse communion to Patrick Kennedy. Excuse me? Matthews says the bishop is interferring in politics and he has no right to.

Matthews in the second half of the interview mostly, doesn't even let the good Bishop get a word in edge-wise. He lambasts him and continually asks him the same asinine question - how long of a prison sentence should a woman who receives an abortion get. This is absolute nonsense. Apparently Chris Matthews wasn't well catechized and does not understand the role of a Bishop.

A bishop is a representative of the Church, and a spiritual descendent of the apostles. It is his job to lead the local church. He makes statements on faith and morals and all Catholics in his jurisdiction are obliged to follow him. He has spiritual jurisdiction over the members of his flock. So he can do things like refuse communion to someone who violates Church law. A Catholic who supports abortion is violating Church law, and if a politician does it, he is in public disobedience to the Church and is causing scandal, and therefore he can be refused communion, because he is not IN communion.

The bishop also has full rights to criticize any law which kills people or causes another immoral activity to occur. How dare Chris Matthews lambaste the bishop for doing his job. Is Chris trying to squelch the Church, to silence her moral voice? Seems to me he is. Asking the bishop what sentence a woman or the abortionist should receive is sheer nonsense. A better question would be to ask the gravity of the sin committed and the possibility of someone being in a state of moral sin or excommunication based on receiving or performing an abortion. This is the bishop's jurisdiction. Asking the bishop about a civil legal matter is no different than asking a judge if someone needs to go to confession.

On top of that, Bishop Tobin has no training (that I know of) in criminal law so how on earth could he say exactly what type of sentence a woman would receive? Even a seasoned legal analyst couldn't answer that question because a sentence depends on many factors and each case is different. Chris Matthews was so rude that he wouldn't even let the bishop talk, and only kept demanding an answer to the same poorly-thought-out and irrelevant question. I guess after his tirade, Chris Matthews felt satisfied with himself.

The bishop was well within his rights to deny and publically condemn Rep. Kennedy for his politics. If Mr. Kennedy wants to formally remove himself from the Church, he is free to do so. Plus, there is a very disturbing idea out there that religious people have no right to enter into dialogue in the public square. Is this a communist country? This bishop has a double-right. First, he has the right to publically and privately reprimand any Catholic, especially those in public office, who clearly violate Church teaching. Secondly, as a citizen, the bishop has the right to speak out about injustices such as the slaughter of millions of innocent people. On top of that, it must be noted that it wasn't the bishop who initiated all of this, it was Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy first criticized the Church in most scathing and unfriendly terms. Rhode Island is lucky to have a bishop willing to stand up against this attack.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I cannot support Monte Carlo this year

Monte Carlo is an annual event for MUN's School of Medicine. It raises money for charity and in the last 32 years has raised almost $1 million. I went to this event in 2007, and it was a lot of fun. This year however, they are sponsoring Planned Parenthood. By going, others support them, but not necessarily at the level of personal culpability. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the world. They not only provide abortion, they promote it, as a healthy alternative. No mention is made of the humanity of the child. I think others in good conscience should consider boycotting this event until Monte Carlo revokes its support of this organization.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another University Pro-life group squelched

In a move that's deja vu all over again, another university pro-life group has been banned in Canada. Violating freedom of speech, the university concocted a story to have a pro-life group banned from campus, while claiming to take no position on abortion.

This happened at McGill University. A group of pro-life students had gathered in a room. They compared abortion to a holocaust. If one believes life begins at conception and millions of babies are being killed through abortion, then this is indeed accurate. In any event, this was not public, but private and people were totally free to join. The meeting was stormed by pro-abortion protesters. Ironically, it wasn't the protestors who stormed the peaceful meeting who got in trouble, but the group who was having the meeting. Ironic, but not unexpected. Whatever happened to freedom of speech?

Check out the biased CBC article below:

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/11/18/montreal-ssmu-pro-life-choose-life.html?ref=rss&loomia_si=t0:a16:g4:r3:c0:b28951690#socialcomments

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Priest who baptized me now leader of Redemptorists!

I received some amazing and wonderful news yesterday. Fr. Mike Brehl, a Redemptorist priest, who baptized me at St. Teresa's Church in St. John's, NL will become the worldwide Superior General of the Redemptorists. He will be the 16th successor of St. Alphonsus Liguori who founded the order in 1732, and now has 5,300 priests. This comes after the Redemptorist's general meeting a few weeks ago.

You can read more about this from the Catholic News Agency: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17590

St. John's Archdiocese Fight Against H1N1

Church is a very communal place and with the H1N1 scare, Archbishop of St. John's Martin Currie is taking steps to prevent its spread in Newfoundland. There will be several steps taken, but I'm wondering about the ramifications of these steps. They include:

  • No holy water in fonts around the church. Rather, holy water will be sprinkled on people by aspertion, similar to what happens now during Christmas and Easter.
  • No hand shaking during the sign of peace. Rather, people will greet each other without shaking.
  • The precious blood (wine) will not be distributed during communion. Rather, the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ will be distributed only in the form of bread.
  • Communion cannot be received directly on the tongue, only in the hand.
I have certain issues concerning these steps. I think the holy water aspersion is fine, and perhaps aspersion should be done during Mass anyway, even when there is no risk. It is an extra reminder of our baptism. No hand shaking is also a good precaution, as long as people continue to greet each other in some way. Not receiving the precious blood is not a huge issue, because by receiving Christ in the form of bread, you receive all of him. Also, it is rare to have Eucharist in the form of wine at a Sunday Mass anyway.

I think more steps could have been taken, but it seems they are somehow too ingrained in the liturgy. One example is extraordinary ministers of communion. If only the priest gave communion, there would be a lower risk of spread of H1N1. If you increase the number of people distributing communion, you increase the risk that one will spread it. Why this wasn't changed, I'm not sure.

I started writing this blog post before I actually went to a Mass where these rules were implemented. One danger I see is that this will put even more pressure on EVERYONE to receive communion in the hand. Once the few people who still receive it on the tongue get used to receiving on the hand, they may not go back to the tongue. This is especially true if the Archbishop does not issue a statement indicating a return to normal can happen.

Another issue I have is that at the Mass I attended, there was no aspersion of holy water. This is very unfortunate because holy water also was not available in the fonts.

I'm very glad the Archbishop decided to take these precautions. People who are afraid of H1N1 will not stop going to Mass completely. I just hope the future is also considered.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Crucifixes banned in Italy

Shocking news has come from Italy that the European Union has declared that the country can no longer have crucifixes in its schools and courthouses. Italy is an almost 100% Catholic country, whose schools and courthouses were founded by the Church.

Obviously, many groups have protested this decision. This is another example of the European Union forcing its atheistic worldview on countries. I think the worst thing a country in Europe can do is join the European Union. Can you imagine a Muslim country forcing all schools to remove the Koran or to remove the crescent moon? Never. Italy should just remove itself from the European Union completely. The EU is becoming far too powerful for its own good, but not for the good of anyone else.

Unfortunatley many people regard separation of church and state as a complete annihilation of religion from all public areas. It's becoming like smoking. The parallels are shocking and startling. Sure, you can set up a private building where you are allowed to practice your religion, but if even a single individual is affected by it that doesn't want to be, you have to stop. Why should moral relativists and atheists have all the say when the vast majority of the country does not belong to either of these groups.

Europe needs to stand up for its cultural heritage, rather than succumb to modern atheism. I learned a good lesson from school. About 15 years ago, schools in Newfoundland were changed from religion-based schools to public schools with no particular religion. Many people thought a religious bias would be replaced with an unbiased education. 15 years of experience have proven this completely wrong. Rather than unbiased, students are indoctrinated with extreme liberal ideas, such as contraception and abortion are the greatest things since sliced bread, promiscuity is now called "responsible" sexual relationships, that humans are parasites who are only destroying the Earth and the fewer of us the better, that all religions and belief systems are the same and that morals are completely relative, that communism and socialism are good systems and that capitalism and free market entrepreneurship are evil and that corporations are evil, that we should rely on and trust the government in all things, etc, etc, etc. The same thing will happen in Europe unless they wake up and stop their own self-hatred. Europe (and Canada) need to reclaim their Christian heritage that made them great.

Guy Fawkes Night Bonfire

This may seem rather ironic, but last night I went to watch a bonfire for the occassion of Guy Fawkes Night. It's ironic because the celebration of Guy Fawkes Night started after Mr. Fawkes tried to blow up the Parliament Buildings in London, along with the King, because English Catholics had very few rights. Fawkes and his associates had hoped that King James I, whose mother was Catholic, would be more sympathetic to the cause of Catholics and allow more freedom. But he didn't. So, Guy Fawkes took matters into his own hands.

Fawkes had prepared many barrels of gunpowder in the lower chambers of the parliament buildings. Everything was ready, but he was caught before he could proceed with his plot. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered. A gruesome death.

Every year since then, people have burned effigies of Guy Fawkes, and shockingly also the Pope. Guy Fawkes Night, now mostly known as Bonfire Night, is celebrated in our province of Newfoundland, but without the effigies or anti-Catholic sentiment. I would estimate about half the people who participate are Catholic.

The reason I went was to watch an enormous bonfire, with hundreds of people gathered around. Since it is banned in my city, I had to go to a nearby town to watch the fire. This one was officially set up by the fire department. Often, there is trouble on this night because people make their own fires. In fact, a house was burnt down last night. But apparently the situation is much better than it was in the past.

There's something primal about watching an enormous bonfire. With all the people gathered around, it gives a good sense of community, and it's fun to watch a fire which is fueled by dozens, perhaps hundreds of trees. With the anti-Catholic sentiment removed, these festivities are quite enjoyable.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Pat Condell - entertainment for those unconcerned with truth

Pat Condell produces video condemning religion. They are so full of inaccuracies, even if he purposely sat there trying to lie, he couldn't do a better job. I will analyze one of his videos and set him right on many of his errors. The video is located at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LStcajxvb_E

He starts the video by asserting the Pope was "forcing Christianity" into the constitution. The Pope did not force anything, but rightly pointing out that since Europe was built on Christianity, the European constitution should mention its foundation. That's no different than mentioning Walt Disney when discussing Disneyland.

The second thing he mentions is that some bishops in England want to prevent politicians who help pass laws which will increase aboriton from receiving communion. This is obvious. If you commit a sin by violating the morals of your religion, then you must first go to confession before receiving communion. Communion means everyone is together in their beliefs. Obviously someone who condones the killing of innocent children are not in union with Catholics.

Pat Condell then dispecable expresses his view that the Virgin Mary should have killed Jesus while he was in her womb. To wish anyone had been slaughtered is an inhumane comment. To wish this on Jesus Christ is truly outrageous.

Pat then says the Catholic Church's "preferred" method of abortion is in a back alley with a knitting needle. I don't suspect this comment even deserves a response, but just in case, the Catholic Church is against all killing of innocent human beings. Why is this so hard for Pat to understand? That is regardless of whether it's in a back alley with a knitting needle or in a doctor's office. They are both equally morally wrong.

Pat Condell, of course an expert in the AIDS epidemic in Africa, asserts that the Church "wants" people in Africa to die because she does not allow condoms. It's too bad his less educated peer, the head of Harvard AIDS prevention program didn't get the memo and the poor unknowledgable dummy sided with the Pope, and agreed that condoms are not the solution. Pat, quick, please resend that message to this uneducated twit!

Pat the proceeds to blurt out 3 falsehoods. First, as explained in a previous post of mine, Vatican officials do not "live" in the basilicas and cathedrals. These are there for everyone. They receive millions of visitors each year. The pope in fact lives in an apartment probably smaller than Pat's.

Pat further embarasses himself by proclaiming that he "discovered" the Pope was a "nazi"! Wow Pat, you found out so fast! Just 2 years after everyone else. The truth is the Pope was forcefully conscripted into the Nazi Youth, as were all children under a certain age at the time. However, not surprisingly, Pat fails to mention that young Ratzinger risked his life to abandon his post at the time.

Continuing his fairy tale, Pat says the Vatican funded the Nazis. This is pure fiction. I wrote another post on the Nazi situation and the Church. Pope Pius XII personally saved hundreds of thousands of Jews. Many people praised him, including the first prime minister of Israel and Albert Einstein. The pope even had an assassination plan drafted up in case the pope stood as too much of an obstacle to the Nazi regime.

He says the church exudes an aura of evil. Maybe to him, being an atheist who hates God, but to almost everyone else, the Church represents truth and purity. Pat continues by attacking celibacy. Obviously he cannot see the spiritual good of celibacy, by following Jesus and St. Paul, and devoting one's life entirely to Christ. He instead can only see his base animal desires going unfulfilled. Aww, poor Pat.

Pat Condell goes on to, in a very vulgar way, say priests like to perform pedophilia. He needs to get the facts straight. Pedophilia is NOT caused by celibacy, and of course, the church would see this as evil, which he seems to imply is the opposite case. He brings up the African and AIDS situation, but I have already addressed that.

He then asks any cardinals or bishops who may be watching if it's more evil for a priest who rapes a boy to wear a condom or not. This is an absurd question. Sort of like asking "When stabbing someone to death with a knife, is it better to wear gloves or not." It's sheer nonsense.

Pat also asks if it would be all ok if the priests went to confession afterwards? The current guidelines would take that priest out of ministry permanently and cooperate with the authorities.

Finally, Pat Condell goes completely overboard and suggests the pope, instead of paying out money for sex abuse scandals, instead find out how much it would cost to get "professional" sex workers to do these evil acts. A better solution is to do whatever necessary to remove pedophilia from the priesthood completely. Why would you substitute one evil for another? Perhaps for Pat, where evil does not exist (since God does not exist), it makes no difference. He even calls the work of sex workers "legitimate".

He ends by saying the Catholic Church should clean its own stained glass windows before telling others what to do. Well the Church is a beacon of hope and guidance for all of humanity. And it is doing everything it can to ensure the holiness of its leaders at the same time.

Pat, whatever you do, don't become a historian.

Quebec doctors approve of euthanasia

Canada is potentially entering very dangerous territory. Quebec's doctors have voted at least 2/3 in favor of allowing euthanasia in some circumstances. Without proper understanding and context, this could be a way of ushering in killing of the elderly just as killing of the unborn was ushered in several decades ago.

There are some Catholic principles which come into play here. Sometimes a patient will be suffering tremendously, and a high dosage of painkiller must be administered to alleviate the pain. Sometimes the painkillers themselves will cause death. This is acceptable since death is an unintended side effect of the painkillers. This is covered under the law of double effect. However, what is not covered is the purposeful killing of a patient to relieve his suffering.

The different is the intent. One the intent is to relieve suffering, the other the intent is to kill. Regardless of the goals, those are the intents. Right now in Canada, doctors will give doses of painkillers which end up killing the patient. This is part of the reason why this legislation was enacted. Doctors of course do not want to face possible criminal charges for doing something which is not morally wrong. If that was the only goal of this legislation, that would be alright, and I would vouch for it.

However, it goes further than this. Right now, it is a little grey, but talk has emerged that it could be used for patients whose death seems imminent or inevitable. I would argue, if this is the case, why not let the individual die a natural death. I believe they want more than that. They want to speed up the process, remove the burden on the health care system.

Allowing euthanasia will be a bad idea because doctors and scientists tend to bring the law to its furthest possible limit. A common occurrence is that an elderly person will be made to feel as a burden, and the sources of this are innumerable. First, their family discusses quite vocally how much trouble it is taking care of this person. If that wasn't enough, they are reminded that they are a burden to the hospitals and that if the hospital is full and they are taking up a bed, they are denying others the opportunity to receive care. With the introduction of loose euthanasia laws, doctors will begin to suggest that patients do the "right thing" and die with "dignity". These poor elderly people will be assailed from all angles. Not one person will put away their selfishness and suggest this person is loved and should not end their life.

In the Netherlands, it has been reported that in one year 550 people were euthanized against their wishes. This should send chills down our spine. Bill C-384 here in Canada was sent for a second round of debate, and it was downright scary. It said people should have the right to opt for euthanasia for mental or physical distress. Now all of a sudden, instead of helping people with mental illness who want to end their lives, we want to facilitate it. If people were being logically consistent on the issue of euthanasia, then they would not try to prevent suicide, but rather assist people in committing it. Instead of suicide help lines, we would have suicide how-to lines. Why not? People who want to commit suicide are mentally or physically distressed. But we have always recognized that these people need help, not help in dying.

Let's hope that people are wise enough to reject this proposed legislation.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is clerical celibacy in the Catholic Church used to preserve the Vatican's wealth?

With the recent news from the Vatican that there is now a more streamlined way for disillusioned Anglicans to join the Catholic Church, a discussion of clerical celibacy has once again arrisen. This is a legitimate discussion, but there are some old canards that have reared their heads. The two main ones are that priests should be allowed to marry because priestly celibacy was only implemented by the Vatican to protect the Church's assets and also that priestly celibacy would reduce incidences of child sexual assault. Both of these are false assertions and I will explain why.

There is no evidence that the Church implemented celibacy to keep its grip on Church assets. Celibacy is advocated by Christ and St. Paul. Jesus says any man who becomes a eunuch for the kingdom of God is very blessed (spiritual eunuch). St. Paul recommends celibacy for those who can do it without sinning. Obviously St. Paul and Jesus were not advocating celibacy to keep their grips on the treasury of the apostles.

Celibacy was widely practiced by Christians well before it became mandatory for priests. Desert fathers and monks were always celibate and did not marry. It seems all of the apostles were celibate, especially after they became disciples of Jesus. Of course, there is mention of Peter's mother in law, but there is no mention of his wife, and we do not necessarily have evidence that Peter continued with marital relations after becoming an apostle. In any event, it does not matter in this case.

Celibacy was made mandatory by the Church in later centuries because it was seen as beneficial in many ways. First of all, it was following the example and teaching of Christ. Secondly, a man would not be torn between the will of God and the will of his family. The Bible speaks of the virgin who is concerned only with God, but contrasts this with the man who is concerned for his family. Celibacy allowed missionaries to travel to far off lands and convert large numbers of people. It allows priests to have a life of contemplation and holiness. They can be available at any time for an emergency, such as giving last rites. Celibacy is a way for a man (or woman) to give himself fully to the service of God.

What about money and inheritance? I would invite you to think logically about this. From a financial point of view, priests do not generate revenue, they are a liability. The more priests the Church has, the more it has to pay to give them a place to live, to provide food, transportation, travel costs, and other living expenses. Not only that, the Church pays for them to attend seminary in the first place, which also includes lodging. The Church is not preventing priests from passing on their inheritance, rather, priests would have no inheritance, and without the financial support of the church, would be paupers. The claim that the Church enforces celibacy in order to maintain its hold on finance simply flies in the face of reason.

Another illogical thought which has been floated by some Church skeptics is the idea that allowing priests to marry would reduce or eliminate priestly sexual abuse. Anything which can eliminate this perversion is very welcome, but this suggestion may not be sensible. Again, let's look at the information. The vast majority of cases of priestly sexual abuse involved POST-pubescent boys by male priests. This is clearly a homosexual issue, otherwise the abuse would have been of girls or young women. If these priests have homosexual tendencies, allowing them to marry would do little. They have a desire for sexual relations with male children, so allowing them to marry women would not satisfy this desire. Over the past couple of decades, there have been few incidences of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. With new guidelines, the incidences can be expected to decrease even further. There is also a bias in the public and in the media. Teachers sexually abuse children at a rate 4 times higher than priests, but the stereotype of pedophile teacher has not emerged. It's also important to note that around 98% of the time where a teacher was caught in this illicit activity, they were allowed to continue teaching or transferred to a new school. Many accuse the Catholic Church of acting inappropriately, but these allegations do not seem to come out for teachers. It seems this practice was not specifically endorsed by the church, but rather by psychologists who felt these priests and teachers were rehabilitated.

As you can see, mandating clerical celibacy is not a matter of maintaining wealth for the Vatican, nor would it reduce clerical sex abuse claims. Rather, it would have negative effects on the Church.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pope makes new Anglican rite

Great news has just emerged from the Vatican. The pope will be creating a new Anglican rite for Anglicans who want to become Catholic. This will ease the transistion of tens of thousands of Anglicans who want to come home to Rome. There's a few things to keep in mind. These people must become Catholic and will be subject to the Pope like all Catholics are now. There will be no difference. The only difference is that they will have a liturgy that they are more or less used to. Catholics could also attend these Anglican-rite Catholic Churches.

The main reasons why Anglicans are becoming interested in the Catholic Church is that there have been many unfortunate changes in the Anglican church, including female ordination, acceptance of homosexual lifestyles and bishops and blessing of homosexual unions. The liberalization of the Anglican church started in 1930 when they became the first Christian church to accept contraception. It sort of went downhill from there. At this point, there is a real schism in the Anglican communion between conservative and liberal factions.

That's not to say these are the only reason former Anglicans are now Catholic. A look theologically will show the Anglican church lost holy orders several centuries ago, and therefore their sacraments are not valid. Some are surely joining because they recognize the Catholic Church as the one founded by Jesus Christ which has maintained the four marks of the church - one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.

This is great news. Let's look forward to welcoming our Anglican brothers and sisters into full communion with the Church.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I can't wait to watch Molokai: The Story of Father Damien 1999

There was an awesome movie made about Fr. Damien who was recently canonized by the Pope. Check out the preview, it looks awesome!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Love exists and so does God

I just had a random thought. Many atheists mock theists, Christians specifically, because they believe in something invisible, i.e. God. They say we believe in an invisible man in the sky. They say there is no scientific proof that God exists. They refuse to accept how God has transformed our lives or go by feelings because these cannot be measured by science. But there is something else that cannot be measured by science and is also invisible. That is Love.

Love is invisible, is expressed through feelings and life changes, and cannot be detected or measured with scientific instruments. Many people have gone to their deaths for love, so it can be very powerful. But no one ever says, If you exist LOVE, strike me down! All atheists, or nearly all, would believe in love. But why? If you can believe in love, you can believe in God.

It's interesting also to note that Christians say God is Love. The first encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI was titled Deus Caritas Est, which translates into God is Love. Let's pray that our friends who do not yet belief in God, will see this and believe.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Where's the hot air balloon boy?

A young child, aged 6, was sent up into a hot air balloon owned by him and his family. Authorities were chasing the balloon, which has now landed about 4 minutes ago, but the boy doesn't seem to be anywhere to be found. I don't know where he is. I'm following this story and this seems very tragic. Where is the young boy?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama DOES NOT deserve a Nobel Prize

Barack Hussein Obama does not deserve a Nobel Peace Prize. Not in a million years, unless he has an St. Augustine-like turnaround. Obama has done absolutely nothing for peace. After reading further information on this, it seems the committee which awarded Obama the peace prize were doing it more to get back at Bush than to actually say anything about Obama. This committee hated Bush with a passion.

There are many reasons why Obama should not receive the Nobel Peace Prize. These include the following (and this is certainly not an exhaustive list):

- he voted against a bill that said if a baby was being aborted in a late term and was born alive, medical care should be given to this baby. Obama voted 3 times to not give such a baby any care, even though he was virtually alone in this.

- Obama wanted to pass a bill which eradicated all abortion laws in the whole country, including every state, such as parental notification, counseling, etc. - he has been recorded as saying
previously during a national prayer breakfast that there is no God that condones the killing of a child, so why the double-talk?

- he bowed down to the leader of Saudi Arabia

- he said the US is not a Christian country (even though 80% of the population is). This was totally unnecessary.

- he covered up Jesus's name when he was speaking at Notre Dame university. It was above him during the speech, and he had a black cloth put over the words IHS (which is a Greek symbol for Christ)

- he says during his campaigning that marriage should be between a man and a woman, but when he's elected he devotes an entire month to LGBTand basically says how everyone oppresses gay people

- he has quadrupled the national deficit, has socialized banks and automobile companies

- he made fun of the Special Olympics

- he said the US has 57 states

- he seems unable to pick an ambassador to the Vatican, because he can't find one person who is pro-life in his cabinet

That's just a brief list. There are many more things.

But the big question is, what HAS he done exactly? Nothing.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Atheistic source of the Invention of Lying not hard to find

I did a little research to find out why The Invention of Lying contained such a blatant atheistic perspective. The reason became quite apparent when looking into the beliefs of those involved with the movie.

First, the main character is played by Ricky Gervais. Gervais is an atheist and belongs to atheist organizations. Not surprisingly, he is also an animal rights activist (many atheists take on this cause).

Secondly, a major role is played by Louis CK, infamous for his vitriolic and extremely offensive portrayals of the Catholic Church and religion in general. He made a video for youtube which is downright nauseating, where he claims the Catholic Church was set up for one goal - to rape boys.

I could not find specific information regarding the religion of others involved with the film, besides the religion into which they were born. As usual with other anti-religious movie, this one is doing poorly. It premiered in 4th place and has only made around $7 million in the box office so far. I'm not sure how big the budget was for this movie, so I can't say if they will lose money.

Let's hope that at least if moral reasons do not stop theatres from releasing anti-religion films, financial reasons will.

The Invention of Lying - a movie for angry atheists

Last night, my girlfriend and I went to see The Invention of Lying, starring Ricky Gervais of the sitcom The Office in Britain, and Jennifer Garner, among others with smaller roles, such as Philip Seymour Hoffman. The movie started off with promise, looking like it would be a fun and entertaining. However, it wasn't long before an atheistic theme became obvious.

I will not give any major spoilers, but I will give you my thoughts on this movie. Very quickly into the movie, we realize the premise: people are in a world where they are unable to lie. In fact, people are brutally honest about everything and do not keep secrets. When Ricky Gervais goes to see Jennifer Garner for a date, she clearly tells him he is fat, not very attractive, and because of these things combined with his financial situation, she will probably not date him again. She also mentions certain vulgar things she will be doing.

Ricky's life seems rather dull and uninspiring. He is doing poorly at his job, and of course, everyone lets him know. He ends up getting fired and doesn't have enough money to pay for rent. He goes to the bank to get everything he can. The teller says the system is down, and asks how much he has in his account. Since lying doesn't exist, everyone believes everyone else no matter what. Ricky makes history when he asks for $800 instead of the $300 he actually has. When the system comes back up, it shows he only has $300, but since lying is not possible and the concept doesn't even exist, the teller apologizes and gives him the $800 he asked for, attributing the discrepancy to a computer glitch. This is the beginning of his lying.

Now that Ricky's character has discovered this ability, he abuses it. He lies about many things to get what he wants, such an enormous mansion, which probably took no more than telling the vendor that he already paid for the house. The movie was going along fine, until Ricky's mother is dying in hospital. This is where the atheistic themes come in. His mother is terrified with death. Ricky, out of desperation and to put her mind at ease, tells her that when she dies, she will not just go into nothingness, but will instead be sent to a place where she is reunited with dead family members, where everyone is happy and gets a mansion, where all our desires are fulfilled. His mother dies in peace.

News spreads about this place that Ricky spoke about with his mother and soon hundreds of people had gathered around his house to find out more. Out of desperation, seeing the crowd would not leave, Ricky took a couple of pizza boxes and wrote out 10 things about God. He brought out the boxes like Moses with the tablets containing the 10 commandments. This was an obvious poke at monotheism and religion in general. He then proceeded to talk about God and Heaven. They did not say God though, instead they mockingly said "the invisible man in the sky". Someone asked if the "invisible man" lived in the clouds, and Ricky said no, he's above the clouds, then someone asked if he's in space, and Ricky said, no not that high. Then he said the place you go when you die is the best place imaginable and you get the best mansion.

Then Ricky went on to answer questions. The questions were very childish and the answers were all made up. There was the obvious implication that someone just invented heaven and God and everyone just wanted to believe him. Then atheistic arguments against the existence of God came out. Some people asked if the invisible man in the sky caused their relative to get sick, or if he made a natural disaster happen. Ricky responded in the affirmative. Then everyone got really angry at this invisible man in the sky. But Ricky calmed them down by saying this invisible man also does all the good stuff too, and like dumb animals, the crowd was appeased.

The implication of the movie was that everyone there was super gullible and didn't ask any real questions and just believed whatever they heard. It was implied that Christians are like that as well. Only Ricky seemed to have any ability to think on his own and not appear to have an IQ below 50, and he was the only one who didn't believe in the invisible man in the sky.

There were other elements of mockery. For example, the church had a sign saying something like it was a quiet place to go to imagine the invisible man in the sky. The "pastor" wore what looked like a cross, but was actually a silouette of Ricky holding his arms out with the tablets in them. The pastor started the marriage ceremony and gave a very naturalistic view of marriage saying things like do you want to be with this person for as long as you feel like it, do you think your genetics match, etc.

If this movie wasn't atheistic enough, near the end, Ricky goes to visit the grave of his mother. He laments the fact that he created this big lie and that all these gullible people believed him. He then says she's not in heaven, she's in the ground. Later, he tells his friend that he made up all this stuff about the invisible man in the sky and that in fact there is no man in the sky.

The basic premise of this whole movie is that those who believe in God are doing so for irrational and emotional reasons, based around their fear of death and the afterlife. They are presented as stupid, unintelligent, and extremely gullible. Atheists are presented as being intelligent and not bound to a false hope that's based on nothing but desire. Ricky is seen as a man whose eyes were opened, who was freed from the oppression of a lie, who "knows the truth". He's not a sheep who is ready to follow anywhere he's told to go. He uses his own brain, makes his own decisions.

Of course, the truth is much different. The fact is atheists are afraid of judgment, or Hell, and they do not want there to be an afterlife because that would mean they must adhere to a moral code. Without judgment, we can live any way we choose, treat others in any fashion, and feel no regret for anything. There are no schools or hospitals or any great monument erected to an atheist. Without true believers, the world would be a much more desolate place. It is kind of ironic that atheists are so vitriolic against theists, even though without theists, the world would be much more bleak.

I give this movie 1 out of 5 stars. I would have given it 0, but there was a funny scene where the main character said that in heaven, you could have any flavour of ice cream that you could imagine. A man in the crowd became very upset, because he said he imagined a flavour of vanilla and skunk! Now that I said the only funny part, there's no reason for you to see this movie.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pope will visit the United Kingdom next year, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting the United Kingdom next year, marking the first time in over 25 years a pontiff will make this trip. This comes after an invitation by Gordon Brown, the prime minister of England, and is being looked forward to by the Catholic bishops of the country, as well as the Anglican's top man, the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

I read this article on the BBC, and the response seems rather upbeat and positive. Usually when British mainstream media, including the BBC, report on issues related to the Catholic Church it's 10% positive and 90% negative. Even if the article is on a good topic, they find some way to screw it up. For example, they may write an article that goes along the lines of "Catholic Church donates millions to orphanages, so why are they not paying enough for sex abuse cases?" or "Pope condemns all violence and leads vigil for victims of the Holocaust, BUT there are hundreds of critics who say the Vatican didn't do enough to defeat Hitler". The only place you hear this is with the Catholic Church and/or the Vatican. Can you imagine this article: "Brad Pitt donates to UN, but many say he is a poor moral voice because he committed adultery with his first wife!" or how about "The German Chancellor says violence is not the answer and we must renew our commitment to peace. However, many critics say this is too little, too late, given Germany's role in the Holocaust." It's not acceptable in those cases, so it shouldn't be with the Catholic Church.

In this particular article about the pope's visit to England, the response was very good from the user comments. One user said he would schedule his vacation around the pope's visit. Others praised this action. The article did however make clear that there would be protests surrounding his visit by certain groups. Of course, you'll get your typical protest groups at such events. I do not think it's bad for the media to report on opposition to things, but I think everything should be put into perspective. The same standards should apply in all cases. If opposition is shown, it should be relevant and timely. For example, to protest something from this pope because Pope Pius XII alledgely didn't "do enough" during the Holocaust is ridiculous.

To go back to the topic, I think it's really wonderful that the Pope will be visiting the UK next year. I think this is a very good time for this visit given the current affairs of the Anglican church. Many in that church are disillusioned by moral liberalization taking place. The Anglican church has historically been seen as one of the closest relatives of the Catholic Church, save perhaps the Orthodox, in terms of liturgy and beliefs. That started to change in 1930 when the Anglican church became the first to advocate the possibility for couples to use contraception. Then around fifteen years ago, the Anglican church started to ordain women. This caused a major rift between Catholic - Anglican relations. Then a few years ago, Anglicans accepted an openly gay bishop. And most recently, the Anglican church has said it will perform marriage for gay couples. Beyond a miracle, this rift has become an insurmoutable chasm. The Church sees this as a new opportunity for evangelization. Many Anglicans are seeking true Christian teaching, and the Catholic Church is in a great position to receive many members. Indeed, Anglicans are already converting to Catholicism at a great rate.

With the Pope's visit to England, there will be a great opportunity for evangelization. This may be the first time many Britons have heard the pope unfiltered. Usually they hear about the pope from the mainstream media, but hearing his words directly may have a great effect. I read an article recently about 10 Agnlican nuns coming over to the Church. Also, another story says there are around 40,000 Anglicans who may be welcomed into the Church en masse soon. The Catholic Church already has an Anglican-style liturgy designed for those who are familiar with Anglican services. The only difference is that it is done according to liturgical rules and by a validly ordained priest.

We should all be very grateful for Gordon Brown's invitation. Perhaps he is listening to the pope's message more and more like Tony Blair has (he is now a Catholic convert). My suggestion for the church in the UK is to have lots of priests on hand who can lead people through the conversion process to Christ's Holy Catholic Church.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Elderly Pro-life supporter assaulted

In another act of violence toward a pro-life demonstrator, an elderly man named Johnny Wallace was slightly injured by two women who attacked him for his pro-life stance. He was sitting down displaying two signs, both non-graphic. They read the following:

1) Abortion kills more black Americans in four days than the Klan killed in 150 years
2) Life begins at conception and ends at Planned Parenthood.

I guess to prove that abortion is not violent, these women committed acts of violence against a 69 year-old. This comes on the heals of the murder of a pro-life activist Jim Pouillon, who was peacefully protesting. He was killed in a driveby shooting in Michigan.

Murder and violence are unacceptable. Pro-life people are often falsely portrayed as violent and murderous, but we can clearly see this kind of behavior also comes from the pro-"choice" side. It's not possible that the media makes it look like only pro-life people are violent though is it.

Let's pray for an end to all violence against people, including against the youngest and most vulnerable of our society - pre-born children.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Some thoughts on Dan Brown interview on ABC's Good Morning America

Hey guys, Phil here. I was just watching a video there of Dan Brown talking about his book the Da Vinci Code, and he seems to waffle a lot depending on the audience that he's speaking to. He's talking here to Good Morning America, and he seems to take this attitude like, "Oh yeh, well most the stuff I wrote in the book is real and it's got a really long history, and a lot of scientists have been talking about it, and researchers and historians. Then the interviewer says, "If you wrote this book as a non-fiction, because you wrote it as a fiction, if you wrote it as a non-fiction, how would it be different, and Dan Brown says it probably wouldn't be different at all. But in other interviews, he'll go on to say, this stuff is fictional, you don't need to believe it, but he only says that when he's challenged. So if someone is challenging him, saying it's all concocted, it's all lies, then dan brown says, well you know it's only fictional, but then when Charlie Gibson speaks to him on Good Morning America, he says oh yeh this is mostly real, because Charlie Gibson is not going to come back with any retorts, and Dan Brown is so false that he goes on about how these theories have been around for 2000 years. 2000 years?? The theory that Mary Magdalene married Jesus and had a child, a lineage that still exists, and that it's covered up, and that's been going around for 2000 years? I'm sorry Dan Brown, that has not been going around for 2000 years, more like only 100 years. And there are ulterior motives behind the theory. There's no evidence coming from early centuries about this. No Church Fathers spoke about this, nobody in those centuries, not even enemies spoke about it. There's no mention of it in the Bible. If it's true, why is it not reporter in the Gospels? If he got married, it would not be abnormal. So it makes no sense that it would be covered up. People just disagree with the Catholic Church and some people eat up these books because these people say I agree with abortion, I agree with gay marriage, and contraception, but I'm Catholic, and as a Catholic, I must disagree with these things. So then they read these books and think (and want) them to undermine the Church and her moral authority and all of a sudden they think they can accept all of these things. Don't believe Dan Brown, believe the Catholic Church. Have a wonderful day and God Bless!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

LOL! Pope vs. Dan Brown - GetReligion

This is a good article showing the nonsense spouted by the main stream media. There seems to be this perception that the Vatican is somehow mainly concerned with the US and all the details of life there. The Vatican is truly international and probably pays as much attention to American Catholics as they deserve. Believe it or not, the Vatican doesn't care about Dan Brown's books, or what George Carlin said about the Church, or any of these other little details. The media would love to believe that the Vatican cares what Americans, mostly non-religious ones, think about women ordination, or gay marriage. The reality is the Church is not a democracy and it certainly doesn't listen to liberal American voices from the media. Saying the pope wrote Jesus of Nazareth in response to Dan Brown's books is like saying the Encyclopedia Britannica was written in response to a fifth grader's essay about a super hero. Dan Brown is a bad author whose books do not even resemble reality, a fact which is attested by even atheists. No serious scholar believes anything he writes. The Pope on the other hand is an acclaimed theologian, among the best in the world, plus he is the head of the universal church on Earth, with over 1 billion members. Compared to the pope, Dan Brown is child's play.

LOL! Pope vs. Dan Brown - GetReligion

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Picture from our Flat Rock Pilgrimage

I just received a picture from our Flat Rock Pilgrimage, which brought up to the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, which was visited by Pope John Paul II back just over 25 years ago. Check it out.




I am carrying the flag in the back of Our Lady of Guadeloupe. You can get a better view by clicking on the picture to enlarge.









You can see me in this photo, which appeared on the 2nd page of our local paper. I am wearing a reflective vest. I was directing traffic.

Is Catholic-Orthodox Unity in Sight?: NCRegister

This is truly fantastic news! According to Catholic Archbishop of Moscow, Paolo Pezzi, there is great hope for a reunion between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. He says this may occur as soon as a few months from now. This is something everyone should pray fervently for, since we would bring together Christianity like it hasn't been in a thousand years. One of the main areas to resolve is the Pope's primacy. But the Archbishop does not believe this is insurmountable. If the Orthodox churches joined with the Catholic Church, around 70 or 75% of Christians would be united together.

I'm assuming it would work in a way similar to how Eastern Churches are now fully in union with Rome. They retain their liturgy and many of their practices. They are united completely however on the essentials. They say relations haven't been better in a thousand years, and it's been said that for the first millenium, the Churches were united, then the second they were divided, but the third could mark a new beginning! I think we need this more than ever in today's world. We need a unified voice against the forces of evil and secularism. Let us pray for this reunion!

For more on this story, go here:

Daily News: Is Catholic-Orthodox Unity in Sight?: NCRegister

Pope organises Vatican art summit - BBC gets it wrong

The BBC is reporting that the Vatican is bringing together a summit of 500 artists to discuss art. Of course, this could be a really good story, but the BBC has to falsify information to make it more appealing. I guess they want to attract more anti-Catholics to their website? Anyway, my main grievance is that they are claiming the Vatican is having this summit in order to "mend" relations with the modern art community. The BBC then goes on to make the absurd statement that relations were damaged when an artist designed a crucified frog. Of course, the focus goes on what the Vatican allegedly did wrong, not the artist. That's like saying the Jewish community is sponsoring an art summit, but it's probably because relations were strained when a swastika was spray-painted on the Western Wall, and this is the Jewish Community's way of saying sorry for getting upset. Give me a break.

BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope organises Vatican art summit

Monday, September 14, 2009

I almost made it, but not quite!

I almost made it on to Who Wants to be an Apologist. As time started to dwindle, I went from calling over and over on just my cell phone to using both my cell phone and home phone to continuously call. At the very tail end, it started to ring (instead of a busy signal), and I heard the program, then the lady eventually took my name, but it was too late. I probably would have been next, but the time ran out. However I'm happy, because I will receive a prize anyway. The lady said she will send me something anyway. I don't know what it is, but I'm looking forward to it!

Who Wants to be an Apologist

Starting about 7 minutes ago, a new episode of Who Wants to be a Millionaire is airing on Catholic Answers Live. I've been on a few times, and I will attempt to call in again tonight. I'm going for the $100 gift certificate. The host, Patrick Coffin, mentioned strange place names in Newfoundland, and he's from Nova Scotia. Always great to hear Newfoundland place names on American Catholic radio.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Responses to Rebuttal about Catholic Church's wealth

Jeremy responded to my posting, on an article concerning the Church telling a priest he was practicing financial mismanagement. My words are in bold, and my current responses are in italic and bold:

“If you believe the Church is being bad by not selling all the cathedrals (places of worship) and giving the money to the poor, then you should also be mad at art galleries.”
1. The proportion of the Church’s land holdings that are the cathedrals and church buildings is surprisingly tiny. They own HUGE chunks of land that you wouldn’t realise are theirs.
2. Art galleries don’t claim to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

1. As for the Church owning huge chunks of land, that is perhaps true, but I'm not sure what argument you're making with that. If they own land, it's normally for schools or hospitals.

2. I believe the Church is following the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Church gives huge amount of money to the poor, more than any other organization. They have founded thousands of hospitals, schools, orphanages, adoption agencies, social service sectors, and hundreds of other activities. Also, if you believe we should help the poor, then you must believe it is everyone's obligation, not that of a select few only. How can you, as an outsider, demand that an institution to be more generous? And if you can do that as an outsider, how come you can't say the same for museums and art galleries? Or does your system of morality say that religious insitutions should give money but no one else is obliged to?


“Half of all AIDS and HIV patients in Africa receive direct care from the Catholic Church.”
There’d be a lot fewer of them of the Vatican would stop objecting to condom availability.

Actually that is false. The Vatican wants nothing more than to rid people of disease and famine. If that wasn't the case, then most of the help for HIV and AIDS victims would not come from the Catholic Church. If the Catholic Church really wanted people to suffer and die from AIDS, then it wouldn't build hospitals and send doctors and give money for medication.

The head of Harvard's AIDS prevention program, Dr. Edward C. Green, affirms what the Pope says about AIDS and how condoms are not the solution. He is one of the most prominent people in the world in the fight against AIDS.

Condoms are not the solution. Condoms have been heavily available in Africa for decades, but there is no decline from them. Some countries have seen a decrease in AIDS, but it's rare. One is Uganda, who used a program called ABC, in which they promote abstinence first, then Be faithful, and if necessary use condoms. They experienced success because people did not believe the lie that condoms are the solution to AIDS and HIV in Africa or anywhere.

“The late Pope John Paul II… lived a very simple life, like all the priests and bishops I’ve ever met.”
OH yes, very simple. Have you been to the Vatican?

Yes, I've been to the Vatican, I walked through, marveled at the amazing architecture, was awe-inspired by the beautiful works of art, and found peace and solitude. I felt God's presence. I was accompanied by thousands of pilgrims who had come as well. Millions of people pass through the Vatican every year. It's open to all people of the Earth, and it's a beautiful treasure. It really makes the world a better place. It is for all of humanity. How many people have been through Bill Gates' house? What about the Queen's residence? Very few. The Vatican is not Pope Benedict's private dwelling place. The Pope actually lives in an apartment near St. Peter's. It is not a vast and expansive palace. Priests and bishops often live in the hardest and most miserable conditions, and go wherever they are sent. They are totally obedient, and do not ask questions.

“The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ."
According to the Roman Catholics and no-one else…

Obviously. If anyone else claimed that, they would become Catholic.


“I am not working with lepers in India, like Mother Teresa did. I’m not risking my life in Columbia like many priests and bishops do every day."
I wasn’t having a go at the priests and bishops who tend to the poor. I was having a go at the ones who don’t.
And as for Mother Teresa – well, you should read what Christopher Hitchens has to say about her.

All priests and bishops take a vow of obedience and would go wherever they are told. Fr. Maximilian Kolbe sacrfied his life in a concentration camp to save another man's life who had a family. Our current Pope, Benedict XVI, risked his life to evade the Nazis. Had he been caught and convicted of treason, he could have been killed. But he risked his life for good.

Reading what Christopher Hitchens says about Mother Teresa is like reading what Hitler has to say about the Jews.


“Before you criticize the Catholic Church for not doing enough, ask what you have done.”
I don’t have the vast resources they do, do I? And people don’t bequeathe me money to look after the poor? Nor do governments give me incredible tax breaks for doing so.
But I do what I can. Clearly that can’t be said for the institution we are discussing.

The Catholic Church does everything it can to bring people to Christ, and to help the poor as part of her mission. Many saints were inspired to help the poor after spending time in a beautiful cathedral or basilica. These are public places of worship that benefit everyone. The world is a better place with them.

An example is the founder of Domino's Pizza. After being in Rome, and witnessing the beautiful architecture in praise of God from people's hearts, he decided to dedicate himself to the Church's mission and he gave tens of millions of dollars.

The Church is here for the benefit of everyone on Earth. It is the most generous institution in the world. Compared to other charities, the Catholic Church gives a far greater percentage toward actual giving, and very little for administration. Jesus loves you and wants you to join his Church. Have a wonderful day.

Where in the Bible does it say to look after the poor? Well, apart from there. And there. Oh, and there - An Onymous Lefty

There was an online posting about the Catholic Church and how it told a priest he was practicing financial mismanagement. I posted my response after several people made statements accusing the church of being hypocritical to tell the priest what it did. I will post my response, and I encourage others to respond to my response. The complete article is linked on the bottom.

First, here is my response:

This whole issue is about financial mismanagement, and sometimes that is an issue, wouldn't you say? If a priest was being irresponsible with finances, then it ought to be addressed. Ultimately, it may be good to help the poor even more.

The amazing thing is that the Catholic Church is the largest charitable organization in the world. They help more people than anyone else. Half of all AIDS and HIV patients in Africa receive direct care from the Catholic Church. Also, even though only 2% of India is Catholic, 22% of health care is provided by the Church.

The Churches and Cathedrals are there for the benefit of the people. They are often the pride of the city and are for the benefit of all people. Often, they were built with money contributed by the people directly for that specific cause. People, including myself, love cathedrals and amazing churches, and they are culturally priceless.

If you believe the Church is being bad by not selling all the cathedrals (places of worship) and giving the money to the poor, then you should also be mad at art galleries. Look at the priceless works of art. Perhaps they should sell the Mona Lisa, or the Last Supper. If museums sold all the priceless works of art, they could raise so much money. But the premise is the same. These are not for one person's personal use. They are for humanity, for society.

There are beautiful Catholic structures all around the world, and people want and love them. They are holy places that have been built for worship. The fact is, even if they were sold, the money would eventually disappear. The money that is given for charity comes from sustainable sources. Catholics believe the most amazing thing on Earth happens at their beloved churches. It is where they can truly be with God.

As a final note, I would like to point out that many priests and bishops take a vow of poverty. The late Pope John Paul II did not care for wealth. When he died, all his worldly possessions could fit in a shoe box. It's been said he could not remember a meal he ate because he was more concerned with the people he was speaking to. He lived a very simple life, like all the priests and bishops I've ever met.

The Catholic Church is the Church founded by Christ. They are helping the poor and suffering more than anyone else. I, like many on this article, am typing this from the comfort of my home. I am not working with lepers in India, like Mother Teresa did. I'm not risking my life in Columbia like many priests and bishops do every day. Before you criticize the Catholic Church for not doing enough, ask what you have done. Perhaps you have done much, but I would suspect if you gave everything you could and were living lives of poverty, you would not find the time to criticize the Church so much.

That was my input to the article. Some people responded, and I will use this blog to offer my rebuttal. My rebuttal will be in the next posting.

Here is the full article:

Where in the Bible does it say to look after the poor? Well, apart from there. And there. Oh, and there - An Onymous Lefty

Friday, September 11, 2009

Daily News: U.S. Bishops Applaud Obama's Abortion Promise: NCRegister

I hope this pans out. This will be a step forward for the Obama administration. Let's give credit where credit is due. Let's hope this holds up.

Daily News: U.S. Bishops Applaud Obama's Abortion Promise: NCRegister

Peaceful Pro-Life Activist Murdered

You may not hear this if you listen only to the main stream media, but a peaceful pro-life demonstrator has been killed in Owosso, Michigan. He was one of two people killed in an incident which happened today at around 7:30am local time.

Unlike when "Dr." Tiller, who performed hundreds of abortions, was killed, the media will probably not make this look like an attack from the other side. In other words, this will not be seen as violence from the pro-abortion side, but rather a random act of violence. That is, if they even report this at all.

I already checked on the websites of ABC, CNN, and CBC to see if they had reported on this, and none of them have so far. But I wouldn't hold my breath.

More information below:

Slain Pro-Life Advocate Jim Pouillon Known as the Peaceful Abortion Sign Guy

Let's pray for these men, including the shooter, and their families.

Putting the sex abuse scandal into perspective

Over the decades there have been many sexual abuse cases brought against priests. Some priests grossly violated their role and their duty to be Christ-like when they abused children. These are crimes against children, and Christ preached against these in the strongest terms. He told the disciples to let the children come to him because unless they were like these little ones, they could not enter heaven. Jesus also said that it would be better to tie a millstone around your neck and drown yourself in the ocean than to lead a child astray. We must pray for the victims of this abuse. But we must pray for all victims of abuse. Some priests have committed great crimes, but do all priests deserve to be punished for the sins of others? Is it right to unfairly discriminate against all priests because of the actions of a few? Is it just to ignore all other sexual abuse cases and only point out sexual abuse by priests? I do not think so.

The idea of a pedophile priest is a common one in today's society. Anyone, including famous comedians, talk show hosts, television personalities, and politicians, can use the term pedophile priest with impunity. There is no immediate follow-up to this statement saying that only a tiny percentage of priests ever abused children, or that this is an unfair stereotype and that most priests are very loving and caring toward children. There is no public outcry at these statements, and no one slaps the people who make them with hate speech charges.

I do not think people are really aware of the magnitude of sexual abuse in the United States. Some people seem to think only priests abuse children, because that's the only thing the media reports. Let's look at the truth.

The official report from the sex abuse scandal in the United States indicates that between 1950 and 2002, there were around 6800 substantiated cases of sexual abuse from Catholic priests. That's approximately 131 cases per year for the entire country. This represents a tiny percentage of priests, and in fact, most cases did not involve actual pedophilia. Most cases involved a priest and a post-pubescent male, not a child in the physical sense. It has been said that this is more a crisis of homosexuality in the priesthood than of pedophilia. In any event, the numbers are exceedingly low. Compare this to the general population. In the United States, for the year 2005, it was reported there were 83,600 substantiated cases of child sexual assault. That's in one year. And this doesn't count cases that were not reported. It is estimated that around 7.2% of males and 14.5% of females are sexually abused during their childhood. In the United States there are currently around 31 million males between the ages of 0 and 14, so that means about 2.2 million of them will be sexually abused. There are around 30 million females in the US, so statistics show about 4.35 million of them will be sexually assualted. Studies show that sexual abuse from teachers is much more prevalent than from priests, by a factor of at least 4.

Even though there are millions of sexual abuse cases in the US and other countries every year, Catholic priests are stigmatized with a reputation of being child molestors, but this is clearly societal and media bias. Why have teachers, who commit these crimes at a rate of at least 4 times more than priests, not received a similar or much worse reputation? When was the last law suit you've heard brought against a school board for the sexual abuse of a child? It hasn't happened. Yet, the Catholic Church in the United States alone has paid out over $1 billion in settlements. If you divide this evenly among all claimants to abuse, each would receive almost $150,000. If all sexual assault victims received a similar pay-out, approximately $982 billion, nearly $1 trillion, would be paid out every year. Sexual abuse cases would probably account for a third of GDP for the country.

So if sexual abuse is committed by people from all professions and walks of life, some at a rate much higher than priests, why do priests get all the bad press? If you have any ideas, please let me know. But I will give you my idea, and let me know what you think. Since the 60s, society at large has tried to push many immoral behaviors, including contraception, abortion, embryonic stem cell research, gay marriage, greed, excessive wealth, divorce, fornication, adultery, and other ills. The one consistent voice of opposition to these things, and the voice in favour of following Christ's commandments is the Catholic Church. Others speak for Christ's laws, but none with the force of the Universal Church. When Pastor Bob down the road speaks, some people listen, but when the Pope speaks the world listens. But what the Church teaches does not conform to the ideas and messages that the media are interested in promoting (if you doubt this, take a look in your local paper). It's a little like politics. When a party has no good arguments against its opponent, it tries to undermine the opponent's image. The media could not argue against the Truth, so they had to find another tactic. When news of sexual abuse by some priests broke, a smear campaign was hatched. It didn't matter how representative the news was, it was sensationalistic. Even if there were over 100,000 priests in the US since 1950, the actual number of abusers would not matter. Even if 20 priests were convicted, it would seem horrendous, if presented the right way.

You may say this sounds like a conspiracy theory, but I would invite you to look at the consequences. If you ever have a debate with someone on a moral issue, and you indicate it is against the Catholic faith or that you're Catholic or that the Pope has spoken out against something, often the other person will automatically bring up the sex abuse scandal, even though it's irrelevant. In an article I read not long ago, a lady was speaking about an issue which I do not recall but I believe it was about same-sex marriage or abortion, and how the Catholic Church opposes it. Instead of offering any reason as to why the Church should not oppose it, she simply spoke about the sex abuse scandal involving Catholic priests. She felt this was all that was necessary to justify her opposition to the Church's teaching. But this is a logical fallacy. You'll notice the same thing with people you speak with. You may say you are opposed to abortion and that the Catholic Church teaches it is murder. Their response may well be "Well, what about pedophile priests, isn't that immoral??" The fact is, the Church is against pedophile activities, as well as abortion.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Holy See proposes alternative to new U.S. population policy

Check out these words from the bishop. I've never really put this 2 and 2 together, but he's right, it is very ironic!

The Apostolic Nuncio found “almost ironic” the fact that “environmental destruction is perpetrated primarily by States with lower growth rates and that developed countries are supporting population growth at home while simultaneously working to reduce it in developing countries.”

Check out the full article below:

Holy See proposes alternative to new U.S. population policy

Responding to report, pro-life leader insists people are not pollution

Thanks Stephen, everyone was thinking this, and you said it. Humans are not pollution. It's kind of sad that people even need to be told this, but apparently they do.

Responding to report, pro-life leader insists people are not pollution

St. John's Newfoundland Archdiocese announces winner of Double Home Lottery

Over the past several months, the Archdiocese of St. John's, NL has been selling tickets for its Double Home Lottery. I bought a ticket myself for $100, primarly to support the church, but I also maintained hope that I could win. As the name implies, two houses were up to be won. They were fully furnished, and valued at approximately $500,000 each, which is very high for St. John's.

Last week, the winners were announced:

Grand Prize #1: 63 Julieann Place
Winner: Allan Moulton, Ticket #22031

Grand Prize #2: 18 Russ Howard Street
Winner: Pauline Martin, Ticket #06920

(from the website: http://www.doublehomelottery.com/)

The Church in St. John's is having financial struggles right now. We need to support our churches. They provide many services, and above all provide priests who offer the sacraments. Right now the Archdiocese is in debt, but hopefully this will take a sizeable chunk out of it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Some random thoughts on gay marriage

Gay marriage is a big issue nowadays, so I wanted to throw out some thoughts. Let me know your opinion.

First of all, I want to say I do not hate gay people and I am not afraid of them (i.e. not homophobic). I think gay people are people with struggles, just like everyone else. We are all called to a high standard of sexual morality. Some people struggle with same-sex attraction, others struggle with fornication, or adultery, or masturbation. We are all called to a higher standard.

But the issue of gay marriage doesn't really have a huge lot to do with homosexuality itself. Let's first of all break down what the homosexual marriage debate is all about. It is about the state recognizing the love or feelings of two people of the same gender and officially declaring this to be a marriage. You can oppose gay marriage without having any ill feelings toward gay people. That is not a logical contradiction. Even Elton John doesn't believe in gay marriage and he's gay.

The issue is whether or not the state should or has any need to recognize the union of two gay people.

The state (i.e. a country, or separate geographic law-entity) is very pragmatic, at least in places like the USA or Canada. Whatever the state recognizes or doesn't recognize has to do with the benefits of this recognition on the state. For example, there are laws against drunk driving. Not because the state has a moral qualm about alcohol, but because you could put people's lives at risk, perhaps including your own. Also, it is not a crime, per se, to cheat on your spouse. It is also not a crime to be proud, lustful, full of anger, jealous, envious, lazy, or anything else. The state simply has no interest in these interior personal feelings, unless they affect the state. The state also has no interest in your feelings toward someone. A man could be totally in love with a woman and want to have children with her, but the state would not automatically recognize this as anything, until they got married. Similarly, the state would not recognize my hatred toward someone, unless my hatred incited violence. The state is not in the business of ratifying or recognizing feelings, no matter how strong, between two people.

On the other hand, if a man and woman willingly and with full consent decide to marry with the intention of remaining together, the state would recognize this marriage even if there was no love. In fact, even if the couple detested each other, the state would still recognize the relationship as a marriage.

The point is there is another reason the state recognizes marriage and it is because of the perceived benefit of the marriage, especially in terms of children that are born in that relationship. States throughout the world came to understand that marriage is beneficial to children. A woman who got pregnant but had no man to help her was at risk. For the benefit of the mother and any children born, there was a committed before a family was started. Psychologists now agree that a child does best with a mother and a father. Children have a natural law right to be raised by their mother and father. Therefore, marriage is good for society, because a child is raised in the optimal environment.

Other benefits of heterosexual marriage is that a man and a woman offer the benefit of complementarity, which cannot be found in same-sex couples. It has been shown that homosexual couples often are involved in more violent relationships as well as more promiscuous ones.

Strong families means strong communities means strong societies. The family is the building block of society and if it is strengthened, the entire society is strengthend. Doesn't it just seem natural for a mother and father to raise their own child? Does it not seem unnatural for two people of the same sex, only one of whom can possibly be a parent, raise a child?

Civil law is interested in the well-being of its citizens. A child does best in his own family. Also, strong families create a strong society. In the past, romantic feelings had little to do with marriage. It was not seen as essential. That's because the state has no interest in peoples' feelings as such.

Some object to what I'm saying by pointing out that many children are homeless and that isn't it better to give them a gay home rather than no home? First of all, it is important to seek an ideal. The ideal situation is for a child to be raised by his mother and father. Sometimes this ideal cannot be achieved, such as the case with single parenthood, or in the case of an orphan, but that does not remove the ideal. By legally recognizing gay marriage, we force adoption agencies to adopt children to gay couples. We can no longer recognize that a stable man-woman marriage is the best place to raise a child. We must now turn a blind eye to the best alternative to the ideal in the name of "justice". The state must have programs to help children in their situation, and we must not look at next best possibilities for anyone, and we certainly shouldn't artificially put unsatisfactory solutions on par with satisfactory ones.

People have made the gay marriage issue an issue of rights, but is has nothing to do with this. The state does not recognize feelings. It creates an environment that is the best for its people. If a couple wanted a divorce, the main concern of the court would be the welfare of the children. They have little interest in the feelings of the spouses toward each other.

If this was an issue of rights, we would have a different set of issues to look at. If marriage was based on feelings, then we would have to allow other types of marriages. This argument is usually laughed at by gay-marriage proponents, but let's logical look at this. If marriage has nothing to do with the ability to procreate or about childrens' rights, or about the benefits to society, then there are many types of marriages that would have to be allowed. One is polygamy. What reason could a proponent of gay marriage give for the ban on polygamy, assuming all parties agreed to that arrangement and they wanted to be married? There would be no case. What if two siblings wanted to marry? They could not be refused based on the gay marriage logic because the welfare of any possible children would not be a factor, only feelings would. I will not compare gay marriage to bestiality as some have, because this is an unfair comparison. We can only speak of human-human relationships.

There are many other things that can be said about this topic. I think what has been said will suffice. I would like to clarify one point however. Some people who defend same-sex marriage say that if we legalize it, churches will be forced to perform these marriages. I do not agree with this statement given our current situation. I will use my own Catholic Church as an example. The Catholic Church only allows marriages that comply with her teachings. For example, if two Buddhists demanded to be married by a priest, the Church could refuse, and the law would back up the Church. The Church has the right to allow or disallow any marriage it sees fit. Therefore, unless the law radically changes and a new era of Christian persecution begins, I do not see this happening.

I welcome feedback on my thoughts. Please try to be civil and stay on topic. Thanks.