Taking It For The Team

Taking It For The Team

I was talking to a non-Catholic friend the other day when, for whatever reason, the conversation turned toward sex and morality. I always get a little uncomfortable when this happens because I’m a serious Catholic, and people know that: my friends have become conditioned to expect that I’m unable to participate in a discussion on the comparative merits of the pill or the IUD, or that hearing about steamy Tinder hook-ups makes me a little green about the gills. I’m happy to express my opinion when asked, but on such sensitive topics, I think that discretion is almost always the better part of valor. So I was taken aback when the most recent conversation ended abruptly with, “If that’s what Catholics believe, it’s a stupid religion.” Don’t get me wrong: I welcome serious debate because I think it’s an honor to share my knowledge and dispel some common misunderstandings about Church teachings. I’m well aware that not everybody is going to like or agree with what I have to say. But there’s a constructive way of debating, and then there’s school-yard name calling. It concerns me that many otherwise sensitive people don’t seem to realize how hurtful it is to call a person’s faith or religion “stupid.” It’s like insulting a member of the family. In charity, I have to suppose that most people who thoughtlessly insult Catholics or launch hurtful attacks on our Church, our beliefs, and our practices fundamentally misunderstand what it means to be a religious person. Before I started taking the faith seriously, I didn’t get it either. Being a Catholic and living it out...
Let not your heart be troubled

Let not your heart be troubled

In light of recent court decisions, legislative events, and various haughty celebrations which followed, a great many of my friends expressed dismay, distress, and despair, especially concerning the future of Catholics and religious freedom in America. While I have experienced great disappointment with the five tyrants on the court calling those who oppose “gay marriage” as “enemies of the human race,” I was reminded by a little bird that my trust belongs in God, not in men. My cohort, Micah, wrote a post titled To Heaven with Us! at the beginning of last year explaining what Catholics must do in the face of an increasingly hostile society and government.  In keeping with his penchant for numbered lists, he included seven things we can do, which are particularly relevant for today.  His advice basically boiled down to frequent reception of sacraments, prayer, and scripture, which feed the soul so the soul may spread the Gospel and be a beacon to the wayward and the faithful, and a source of encouragement to clergy. It seems to many that it can’t get too much worse than it is now.  I believe this is only the beginning of a war by our government to remove God from society and replace it with government.  I fear things will get far worse.  I fear for my children and the persecution the may have to endure.  Those thoughts are hard to bear, even harder if you have no faith. What? I’m an eternal optimist.  I think things will always work out for the best, and often times I’m crushed when they don’t, but I always have...
Political ADD

Political ADD

I’ve posted at least once (I think) before about how our government doesn’t work to solve problems, but works to pit party against party and voter against voter for the sake of winning future elections.  I find it particularly telling when the biggest issues of the day are decided by events in our nation and exploited for use by our politicians. The major life-changing issues in the political debate of the past few months, include (in no particular order) the Newtown, CT shootings with subsequent gun control bill, gay marriage, Boston Bombing, Benghazi, illegal immigration, and Internet sales tax, and the largely unknown basketball player announcing his homosexual status in Sports Illustrated, to the surprise of America and his fiancee/girlfriend of 8 years.  (I guess it would be redundant to say his fiancee is a woman.)  The point is that while the political establishment pits voter against voter, the voters should really understand that Washington is playing us. The reason we as a nation jump from issue to issue, rush legislation with no floor debate, and include absolutely no logic, research, or data to support legislation is because it’s not about solving problems but about winning/buying votes.  Both parties do it, but one is a lot better than the other at dictating the topic of the day.  As Catholics, we seem content to let the government dictate the issue of the day and apply a quick-fix without providing any reasoned, logical solution.  Nearly every proposed bill which garners fiery public debate is sold with the line “we have to do something” or that it is a “common sense” or...
John Roberts the Catholic

John Roberts the Catholic

Last week, the Supreme Court upheld the healthcare law affectionately referred to by some as “Hellcare Obamacare.” Chief Justice John Roberts , what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. “]issued the opinion of the court”Mr.. Much time has been dedicated to the treatment of the legality and/or constitutionality of Obamacare and the SCOTUS ruling, but I have read very little addressing the moral implications regarding the spiritual well-being of the Chief Justice. In 2005, during the confirmation hearing for John Roberts, the blogosphere buzzed about the prospects of finally tipping the scale in a conservative direction by adding another orthodox Catholic to the bench.  George Neumayr wrote about Roberts’ parish, as being a Maryland parish that heterodox Catholics would regard as an outpost of traditional Catholicism.  Msgr. Vaghi, the church’s pastor, according to Neumayr, is a staunch advocate for the Church’s teaching on sanctity of human life: “After all, since Roe v. Wade in 1973, the Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion, there have been over 44 million abortions, young children dying before they had the opportunity to enjoy life outside the womb as we enjoy life,” he wrote. “Our church is always, and will always, be on the side of life, life from conception until natural death. And it is precisely because Jesus...
The Catholic Fight for Freedom: Lord of the Rings Version

The Catholic Fight for Freedom: Lord of the Rings Version

One hundred rings for Senators under the sky, Four hundred thirty-five for Reps in their lower house dome, Nine for the Justices bound to lie, One for the President in his pallid home, In the District of Columbia where the freedoms die. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to blind them, One Ring to cow them all and in the darkness bind them, In the District of Columbia where the freedoms die. I was thinking yesterday as America celebrated her Independence Day about how we are losing those freedoms for which our forefathers fought. After a while, Lord of the Rings came to mind and I wondered if, after winning the election in November, the Republicans would re-enact that scene where Frodo, finally at the end of the battle, standing over the magma boiling in Mt. Doom, succumbs to the allurements of the Ring and refuses to destroy the only lasting threat to the freedom of all Middle Earth. Will the Republicans destroy the big government engine of conscience-crushing totalitarianism or, once in power, will they wield it for their own ends and betray us all? Considering it more, I realized there are MANY parallels between the story of the War of the Ring and the story we’re now living in our own fight for freedom of conscience. Recognizing that the analogy isn’t perfect and not all of the pieces of the puzzle fit together, I give you the fruits of my thought experiment. Disclaimer: For the sake of warding off what are bound to be arguments over my interpretations, let me be sure to clarify a...