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:

Here is a video of the 2008 attack:

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.