Monday, April 23, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
So I was just watching a clip from Jon Stewart's Daily Show which aired yesterday and he has sunk to a new disgusting low. In one of his articles, he is discussing how conservatives allegedly call everything a war, such as the war on Christmas, but that they will not call what is happening to women a war. What Stewart thinks is happening is that women's rights are being trampled upon because they cannot kill their unborn babies. He is baffled as to why conservatives are not calling this a war.
Anyway, to explain his point, he used a graphic image which I should probably not even describe on this website. To describe it briefly there is a small nativity scene which is being used to cover a certain part of a woman's anatomy. I really have no idea what point Stewart was trying to make, but it seems he thought it would be some sort of twisted birth control method. Anyway, the actual picture that he uses is very inappropriate and features a naked woman sitting.
He then shows a picture of another nativity scene, this time placed in a birth control pill container.
It's alright to make a point, but you should maintain some semblance of decency.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 12:20 pm
According to this article, Muslims in St. John's want a new mosque, which also includes prayer rooms, classrooms, and a gym. They ran into a snag because the land they bought is zoned rural and apparently they can't build there. They're hoping to have it built by 2013.
Some people see this as a problem because they are not Christian and some of their beliefs conflict with ours. Obviously on a personal level, as I mentioned before, I would like for everyone to be Catholic, but I acknowledge that not everyone is. Anyway, from a religious perspective, I think people should have the right to worship as they choose. Freedom of religion is a very important value.
In the history of Catholicism, our Church has been persecuted a lot. In England for a long time it was illegal to be Catholic. Many Catholics were murdered by the state. In many Middle Eastern countries today it is difficult or impossible to be openly Christian. These are injustices.
The Catechism addresses the issue of freedom of religion in the following sections:
2107 "If because of the circumstances of a particular people special civil recognition is given to one religious community in the constitutional organization of a state, the right of all citizens and religious communities to religious freedom must be recognized and respected as well."36
2108 The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error,37 but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities. This natural right ought to be acknowledged in the juridical order of society in such a way that it constitutes a civil right.38
2109 The right to religious liberty can of itself be neither unlimited nor limited only by a "public order" conceived in a positivist or naturalist manner.39 The "due limits" which are inherent in it must be determined for each social situation by political prudence, according to the requirements of the common good, and ratified by the civil authority in accordance with "legal principles which are in conformity with the objective moral order."40Allowing people to worship in whatever way they choose, even if they are in error, does not constitute any form of participation in that error.
Also, having respect for other religious communities can open the door to evangelism. Taking a disrespectful attitude can close that door.
Having said all that, any religious belief should be allowed as long as it does not violate the law. Violence in the name of religion cannot be tolerated and people from all religions must act according to the law of the land, without attempting to create a separate law unto themselves. Child abuse, abuse of women, and any other form of intimidation or violence cannot be tolerated even if they are legitimate aspects of a particular religious system. It goes without saying that violence to the population at large can also not be tolerated.
But any of these issues can be dealt with using existing laws and will be applicable to all religious communities.
Religious tolerance is an important political idea as is all freedom of expression. It guarantees the rights of not only small or new religious communities, but of all of them.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 11:01 am
Monday, April 16, 2012
So said Optimus Prime in the Transformers movie. I'm an advocate for personal and economic freedom. At the same time I am also an advocate for Catholic morality and believe ultimately our goal is that everyone belong to the Catholic Church. So these two points of view are contradictory, right? Wrong. I think the best chance for Catholics to live as they choose is to advoacte for freedom in our society. Of course, the knee-jerk reaction is to advocate for moral positions which agree with us. We want a government which will work on our behalf to make individuals behave the way we see fit through the use of coercion. But this approach is very short-sighted and doesn't seem to work. What you are really doing with this approach is giving the government more power. And it seems in the last few decades this power has been exclusively used against our interests. Virtually every decision about morality has opposed Catholic teaching on it. I don't see much change in the future. What's worse is that when the government has the power to enforce its perverted version of morality on the entire populous, Catholics are forced to comply or they could end up in prison. We played a game of tug of war and lost and now we find ourselves in the mud. It's better to simply say we want the freedom to do as we please, and every citizen should have that right. Just look in the newspaper to see what Catholics are being forced to do because of lack of freedom. Catholic adoption agencies are being shut down because they won't adopt to gay couples and unwed couples. Catholic schools are being forced to teach kids about contraception, abortion, and homosexual activities. Catholic Church Halls are being forced to rent their services to gay marriages, private apartments are forced to rent to homosexuals. The list goes on and on. If we had freedom, none of this would happen. Yes, it might happen in the rest of society, but it wouldn't happen in bonafide Catholic institutions. To make matters still worse, we are forced to pay for all this immorality. We pay for abortion, we pay for gay marriages, we pay for human rights tribunals which prosecute the Church. The state is NOT our friend. In this regard, I think the Jews had it right in ancient times. When they were living under the Roman Empire, they didn't try to change the laws of Rome. Instead they constantly asked for the right to be left alone, to make their own laws, to live as they pleased. Of course, this wasn't fully granted, but they did have a good degree of autonomy. Christians have traditionally understood that they were meant to be in the world but not of the world. Over the past several decades, Canada has enacted anti-Catholic law after anti-Catholic law. In our fight to have laws reflect the Code of Canon Law, are we willing to have all our rights stripped away? The irony is that our own money has been used against us. And look at the prospects for the future. We have three main political parties: the NDP, the Liberals, and the so-called Conservatives. None of them have much interest in Catholic morality. One or more of the founding fathers of the United States, I forget who, said his vision was that government would be very small and that the Churches would rise up and become very powerful, of course on a voluntary basis. Advocating more government control is simply advocating Babylon. Let's instead advocate for a separate Israel.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 12:35 pm
Monday, April 09, 2012
I personally think the answer is no from a Catholic point of view. Jesus always advocated charity. But he didn't say the government has to get involved to force people to pay money against their will. When saints of the Church decided to give up all possessions, they became beggars not thieves. In fact, one of the Ten Commandments refers to not coveting your neighbor's goods. There is another commandment against theft. Notice the commandment for theft does not specify under which circumstances it can be used. It just says don't do it. I think people are often very generous and we should not use force to get people to help others. Plus, there are often unintended side effects to policies which take one person's money to give to another.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 8:14 pm
It seems most priests will say Mary was around 14 when Jesus was born, some will go even younger, declaring 12 or 13 even. But no one really knows for certain. It has never been infallibly taught and her age at the time of the first Christmas is not recorded in any canonical book. So it's open to debate.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 8:05 pm
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Right now our schools are controlled by anti-religion ideologues. They have a very specific agenda they want to push. The problem with our school system in Canada is that it is very conducive to this type of manipulation. The reason si simple. Schools are centrally controlled. A few bureaucrats decide what every school must look like in the province. Here's how it should be: Give the students the money and let them decide. If the funding for education in NL was divided equally amongst all students, they would all get $12,500. Then they could do whatever they want with it. If they want to attend a Catholic school, they can do so. If they want to attend a non-religious school, that's fine as well. There could be schools for various religions. The market would decide. As it is right now, kids are forced to be taught all kinds of immorality and they have no other choice. They could go to a private school but it's very expensive because it's not sponsored. There have been outrageous attempts to teach kids every imaginable type of immorality and deviancy and claim that it is normal and natural. They teach kids that any sexual expression, at any age, is not only allowed but is very healthy and will make them happy. If parents disagree with this TOO BAD. Two groups want to keep schools the way they are now and will fight tooth and nail to do so. One group is the union because no competition is always better for the people in an industry. The other are the thought-influencers, the activists. They don't want to have to do the hard work of convincing every school to teach their programs. They'd prefer to have easy access to policymakers who can enact their teachings at the flick of a switch. My opinion is if you want to teach kids all kinds of deviancy, I would say that as a parent that is your right, but you do not have the right to force everyone to do the same.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 3:30 pm
Sunday, April 01, 2012
There are only supposed to be men who have their feet washed by the priest on Holy Thursday. Edward Peters, a renowned canon lawyer, wrote an article on this issue where he remains ambivalent. He says that permission has been granted to certain dioceses in the past, and that it is not a doctrine and is therefore changeable. He would like to see a definitive ruling on it by Rome though. His article can be found here:
I think dioceses should just do what the rite prescribes, which currently says only men should be selected because they represent the 12 apostles. I think there is an unnecessary knee-jerk reaction that nothing should be exclusive.
Jimmy Akin apparently believes that only men should be selected and I tend to agree with him.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 7:18 pm