The latest in fashionable attacks on marriage
Or "the same old things under the sun that have always attacked marriage"Politician's cure for seven-year itch is to put marriage on time limit
That would make my marriage past due. At least she would retain the option to renew your marriage. In my case this expiration would have to have some sort of provision for 4 children. If the point is to save court costs then I don't see how it would help a case with children. It isn't JUST about YOU and YOUR comfort level. Now Polygamy: After Legalizing Same-Sex ‘Marriage,’ More Canadians Want to Redefine Marriage
Its a slippery slope folks.
I have always been of the thought that dating is overrated and that the most effective way to determine 1) whether or not you should be married and 2) who that person should be is to leave it in the hands of God. Dawn Eden has an excellent post up about single websurfers. My advice for anyone who is looking with dread at having to "go through the whole process" of online dating is to do an experiment, just for tonight.
Seriously. If you are single go read it. If you are not go read it. Focus on prayer. Go to adoration. Get closer to God and He will make evident your vocation.
Save the planet, have less children? ... Nah! Spread the Gospel. Have children.
It is interesting that I found these two articles in the same 24 hour period.
One pieces expounds on the idea of everyone not having children in order to better the future of the planet. Let's not wait for climate change, he says. Let's start depopulating right now.
WOW ... what a NOT great idea! It does point out something I have become a bigger believer in recently.
Townhall has another article about number of children as it relates to belief and political ideology. Consider the following
"[there is] a 41 percent fertility gap between religious and secular people."
For the politically conservative out there ... Even worse—if you are a secularist—religious people who identify themselves as politically "conservative" or "very conservative" are having, on average, an astonishing 78 percent more kids than secular liberals, Brooks writes.The Roe Effect
has even more profound effects when you consider it along with the "pill" effect. Predictions of the end of religion by the world are woefully uniformed. Its quite simple actually. A world view that shuns children eliminates its future. One that expresses the sentiment of its founder to "let the little ones come to me" has a bright future indeed.
The last several days at work were intense. I worked for 9 straight days including some late nights and through the first week of the NFL season.
Anyway, work has stabilized some so I SHOULD be able to blog some.
Prayers for those affected by Hurricane Felix
Felix made landfall in an area where torrential rains have historically caused all kinds of catastrophic problems. People seldom hear about what goes on with these type landfalls.
Q: What was the deadliest Atlantic Hurricane in 2005?
Wilma, Katrina, Rita?
A: We don't know for sure although the official death totals put Katrina barely on top. Hurricane Stan killed over 1500 and some estimates are over 2000.
Its OK to admit it if you have never heard of Hurricane Stan. The press didn't cover it that much. It was a Category 1 storm. There just wasn't much hype surrounding it. Just because the press isn't covering post-landfall Felix at the top of every hour does not mean it is not going to be a storm that changes lives forever.
Had to disable contact page ... apparently its not sending me emails
Apologies to those who have tried to contact me but the emails were never delivered ....
Legionaries taking Regain Inc. to court
Since I get visits from people interested in this I feel an obligation to pass this on. Controversial Catholic Group Alleges Critics Stole Inside Info
A controversial Catholic group is taking its critics to court in the latest escalation of the decades-long battle between the Legion of Christ and former members of the Legion, some of whom have accused its founder of sexual abuse.
Former members of the order, known as Legionaries, have formed an online community to discuss, among other things, the sexual abuse allegations against the founder, Father Marcial Maciel.
Last year, the Vatican asked Maciel to give up all of his ministry appearances following accusations that decades ago he molested young priests in training.
The Legion has filed a complaint against one of the organizations, Regain Inc., and its president, a former Legionary, John Paul Lennon.
What freedoms did you gain as a Catholic?
A query for my fellow converts ... What freedoms did you gain as a Catholic?
A few months back I posted something outlining what I gaiend in Catholicism (The freedom of Catholicism
). This was specifically to deny the charge that I traded in a great freedom for a religion of bondage when I became Catholic. The fact is, there is nothing I had as a Protestant that I do not have today. Rather, today I have it in completeness. What that post focuses on what what I GAINED in Truth rather than things that improved upon what I had. Today I wanted to point out something practical that results in greater freedom than I ever had before I became Catholic. It is often considered a burden by our Protestant brethren but I have only come more and more to see how wrong that is. Confession is a gift, as are all sacraments.
First off, I want to point out that what Protestants do in "going directly to God" with their confession is not in and of itself a bad thing. Catholics, in fact, believe that this is a valid way to obtain sanctifying grace even apart from confession PROVIDED that "perfect contrition" is present.
Perfect contrition bestows the grace of justification on the mortal sinner even before the actual reception of the Sacrament of Penance (Sent. fidei proxima) -- Dr. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Dogma -- p. 428 TAN publishers
Now, perfect contrition is that motivated by perfect love of God (charity). A motivation to love God for ones own benefits, for example, is really self-love and not a sufficient motive to be considered perfect contrition.
Practically speaking it is difficult for us to attain perfect contrition. Almost every Catholic convert knows this when comparing his first examination of conscience to his prior confessions in life. When you have to tell it to someone, it all of the sudden becomes startlingly more real that you did something wrong. What the Church gives us in Confession is the ability to confess those sins from our fallen nature and be ASSURED that even in a state of imperfect contrition those sins are loosed in heaven. It is a function of the authority of the Church as handed to Peter and then to his successors. There is never doubt with my reconciliation with the Church. How can I not feel a great freedom from that?
Now, without getting into it, I would also consider the doctrine of purgatory a great mercy.
I'll deal with this later. What about you converts? Are you more free today or do you feel a burden of your Catholic faith just as you were told you would?
Somebody got to my blog from Google maps
If someone can figure out how that is done let me know. I am not paying for advertising on Google. I am not a business. Anyway, an exercise in tedium if someone wants to take up the challenge. I couldn't figure it out in a few minutes of poking.
Bobby Jindal and his conversion to Catholicism
I once saw commentary indicating that Bobby Jindal had converted to Christianity to gain votes. This is a common charge towards people converting to Christianity from other religions, or even from Protestantism to Catholicism. People find it mind boggling that someone would leave the faith they are fond of for something else. That being said, the reason I know Bobby is sincere in his conversion because people GIVE UP friendships, family relationships and good church situations to convert to Catholicism. These converts often find themselves in the desert of trying to figure all out for years after their first communion in the Church. Bobby converted against the will of his parents. This is well known. He risked alienation from his family for ... votes???? Besides those outside of the Christian faith might not realize that his move could actually cost him votes in the long run. If Bobby had converted to get votes in a predominantly Protestant nation he would not have converted to Catholicism because he KNOWS how charged that tag can be. There has only been ONE Catholic President of the United States and some would argue he only got elected because he stated that he would not let his faith interfere with his job running the country. We Catholics certainly get our converts who come over for every bad reason under the sun but in recent years an increasing number of people are entering the Church because they realize they have no place left to go. We don't typically convert despite our objections. In the end we have found no objections where we desired with all our hearts to find many. Converts often go through tremendous fear. We want to stay in that comfortable spot in our lives that contains all of our friends and family happy with where we go to church. It is a sacrifice we make -- our cross to bear. I don't doubt his sincerity because I have read about his faith and I have been in his shoes. Becoming Catholic is unlike any other "denomination" change in Christianity. That is a reality those who criticize Jindal for his conversion must come to terms with.
The Journey Home round table presentation and discussion
The talk went really well. I was excited to hear the stories of other converts. Quite frankly I could do this every week. It is such a blessing to hear of people having gone through the same struggles that my wife and I went through and feeling the same highs and same lows. It was good to hear that everyone struggles through similar logical processes and fights against their conversion at the end. I think few people realize what converts give up. They often convert to Catholicism DESPITE their emotional call to remain Protestant. Trust me, if I had stayed where I wanted to it would have been miles easier but I would have been denying where Christ was leading me.
My notes were 1700 words which alone would have extended beyond my 12.5 minute time limit. I had to leave out large portions of it to hit my alloted time. Beyond the 1700 words I had typed up answers to questions I thought I might be asked. I was asked one question I expected. The question was:
How do you explain the priest scandal and did if affect you during your conversion? The answer to the second part was yes and to the first ... well ... read my conversion story over on the right. :) Something about the people in the pew next to me.
Posted the four articles I wrote for CatholicDaily
The four articles I wrote for CatholicDaily are my most recent submissions. The one just prior to this never made the web site. If you havent read them, take the time. In the future I recommend listening to the CatholicUnderground
podcast. They are copied in as raw HTML so the formatting is not always so nice. I MAY clean them up at some point but not tonight.
CatholicDaily: Discernment on the internet
Discernment on the internet
John 14:6 “I am the truth the way and the life”
The Internet is a truly distributed medium of information interchange riddled
with great treasures and great dangers. In seeking for opportunities to use
this great resource one must lean heavily on their faith to determine what
sites are and are not acceptable to visit. The catechism warns of the dangers
The means of social communication (especially the mass media) can give rise to
a certain passivity among users, making them less than vigilant consumers of
what is said or shown. Users should practice moderation and discipline in
their approach to the mass media. They will want to form enlightened and
correct consciences the more easily to resist unwholesome influences.
Still for those seeking the truth its radiance shines above the fray.
... Truth is beautiful in itself ...
Seeking however is an active process as opposed to the passivity condemned in
the Catechism. One must be ever active in forming their consciences according
to the truths of the faith. It is especially important to inform oneself in
dealing with the problems facing us today as you are most prone to find
yourself defending the faith regarding those issues or directly dealing with
them yourself. Regular spiritual reading, adult education, Bible studies and
other learning of the faith should be a regular part of your Catholic life.
Naturally, learning more about our faith helps us long term but what about
now? Well, prayer is always a good first step. As a matter of course I ask for
Gods protection on a regular basis. We all do when we say the Lords Prayer --
"lead us not into temptation". Second, it never hurts to simply ask for
guidance. Third asking that you FIND the answers you are looking for is simply
affirming a promise given to us in Sacred Scripture.
Luke 11:10 “For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and
to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Furthermore it is important to set your own boundaries based on what you know
of your faith and of yourself. If you remove a potted plant from its pot, the
soil will fall away exposing the roots and eventually killing the plant.
Keeping the plant in the pot maintains a key parameter (boundaries) making
growth possible. The key is to arm yourself and assure your growth as a
Catholic before entering into the fray. Where we are in our journey determines
whether we need to be replanted in a larger pot with greater freedom -- a
freedom which comes only from increased knowledge of Christ.
Philippians 1:9-11 And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of
perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless
for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes
through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God
As youth, our parents manage our input of information (a smaller pot) defining
strong boundaries. The same holds true for ourselves as we grow in Christ.
A few simple boundaries can be defined to assist you in properly discerning
information you encounter on the web. Always compare what you read to what the
Church teaches. Every Catholic home should have a Bible and a Catechism of the
Catholic Church. If you don't know what the Church teaches on a subject use
the moment as a learning opportunity -- seek divinely guided answers where
applicable. As time goes on you will find your decisions informed by knowledge
of your faith even in seemingly innocuous matters. Equally important is to
know your weaknesses. Regular confession of devotion will help you to better
know yourself so that you can make an effort to avoid occasion of sin.
Matthew 18:9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than with two eyes to be
thrown into fiery Gehenna.
There are a few practical considerations I would like to briefly mention. Even
with the precautions of prayer, knowledge of your faith and practical action,
Satan will do his best to ensnare you. A simple example I will give involved a
fascination my son had with automated car washes. I innocently decided to do a
Google search on car wash. The results I saw were staggering. I had to sift
through pages of pornography links before I finally found what I was looking
for, a video of an automated car wash in action. My world was intruded by
evil. Rather than succumb to temptation it is better that we focus on the
beauty and truth of our faith.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think
about these things.
Additionally, parental controls are great especially in homes with children.
There are many choices here and even a sub par one is a step in the right
direction. The Vista operating system from Microsoft comes with parental
controls built-in. Another filter I recommend is called the “eyes from heaven”
control. Put a crucifix near your computer. This serves the purpose of helping
remind you of whose commands you obey –
John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
Finally there is a great resource available for Catholics at CatholiCulture
that rates web sites based on fidelity to the Magisterium.
1 Peter 1:22 "Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for
sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a (pure) heart."
CatholicDaily: Balancing technology with the spiritual life
Balancing technology with the spiritual life
In subsequent Digital Catholic articles I have indulged in the glory of
reading numerous blogs and surfing through the near endless Catholic content
on YouTube. In a perfect world each of us would schedule a sliver of time per
day aimed at satisfying a positive spiritual need of learning something new
about our faith. In reality though, we all know that a fine line can be
crossed that sends us on a downward spiral. Tools that we once used to
strengthen our faith we can find a constant distraction standing between us
and our families, employers and worst of all, God.
There are multiple pitfalls with frequent input of information from the web.
First is one of reduced attention span. Researchers have speculated about this
in recent years enough to where studies have been done. Some have come back
positive. Others negative. Still, we all suspect there is something to it. Web
designers focus on attracting people to a site and more importantly in keeping
people at the site. They know what the shortest attention spans are the ones
they are aiming to grab. If they can keep them at their site, they can keep
all of us. Thus our every move on the web is filled with encounters of fast
content designed to have maximum impact. Over time we get used to these power
packed pellets of information slamming our senses. Then, when we find
something that we need to read, like the book of Romans, we find ourselves
agitated that the good writer couldn't squeeze it into a pithy tagline or jazz
The second pitfall is one of simple addiction. Employers became wise to this
years ago and began blocking the common areas of addiction on the web.
Pornography and gaming sites are the top problem areas. Further down the list
however includes news. News is harmless right? Not when it consumes six hours
a day at work or consumes the rare moments you have to talk with your
children. Psychiatrists have even gone so far as to consider naming web
surfing addition a disorder. Relationships and careers have been destroyed by
online time. Another area that can suffer is our involvement in our local
parish and community. It is a very real phenomenon and worth your time to
consider whether you are at risk to have a problem with it.
I spend upwards of eight hours a day on a computer and I have felt the
frustration of a decrease in my attention span and the strong urge to keep
surfing even when deadlines are calling at work. Fortunately our faith is ripe
with avenues to help us combat this whether it is becoming a problem or
already is causing strife in our lives.
First off prayer is always the first step. In the case of reduced attention
span I recommend increasing the amount of contemplative prayer in your life.
Contemplative prayer requires patience which is the antithesis of the
indulgent nature of online content. Second, since reading about your faith is
often the reason a Catholic is online in the first place, I recommend a good
old fashioned book: you know, those bindings filled with leaves of paper with
text on them. Even better, we have the Bible which is well suited to that
purpose. There is absolutely nothing wrong with reading Sacred Scripture in
large blocks. Thirty minutes of reading the Bible is not only indulgenced, it
is a way to develop a longer attention span and less directly a patient
attitude in reading.
Addiction is a more difficult thing to deal with. For most of us, it simply
requires better planning of our time and resources. Many effective amateur
bloggers have blog time usually once or even a few times a day but the time
they allocate to it is limited and they put a good bit of effort into
controlling that time. After all, they have prayers to say, work to do, mouths
to feed and stories to read at bedtime. The biggest key is developing a good
sense of moderation. In addition, I have seen many people give up some segment
of their online lives for Lent. This is an ideal way to discipline yourself at
a very high level regarding your use of the Internet. If the level of
difficulty in pulling oneself away is high then fasting is a good course of
action as it in itself aims to tame the desires of the flesh and bring one in
accordance with the will of God. Failing all of these seeking help from a
priest or licensed professional may be in order.
The Internet is a truly dizzying place filled with caverns of knowledge about
our faith. As with so many good things there is the possibility of taking it
too far and causing problems in your life and with your relationship with God.
With His help you can have a healthy balance of technology and life.
Catholic Daily: YouTube Evangelists
It sure seems that YouTube is in the news a lot recently. Google buys it for
.65 billion. Telivision personalities like Steven Colbert develop larger
followings by their regular clips on YouTube. Interestingly a not so new trend
has also developed in the world of online video clips -- Evangelism. The first
prominent example that I recall seeing was a stunning video titled
am I Catholic. This video, of course, prompted responses from
non-Catholics about all that was wrong with it but the message remains there
for all to see. The Catholic Church presented in its full glory.
The movement seems to have begun as a grass roots movement. Excited lay
Catholics are eager to get out the message about their fantastic faith.
Several months back an atheist poster on YouTube posted a video titled
"Blasphemy Challenge" which ventured to get folks to deny God and more
specifically the Holy Spirit because, as the Bible says in Mark 3:29 (NAB)
"But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin." This prompted a host of denial
responses. Lo and behold Protestants and Catholics alike responded to the
challenge but rather than deny their faith, they affirmed it.
The even more wonderful news is that this movement is not limited to the
laity. Deacon Chris Decker from
Challenge which simply affirms our faith and challenges others
to do the same.
Justin Rigali of Philadelphia made a splash in the media when
he started posting Lenten reflections to YouTube and
Bishop's Conference in the Philippines has launched a video log
"in answer to the call of the Holy Father 'to make the internet as a new forum
for proclaiming the Gospel'". The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal helped
begin an independent film company to respond to John Paul II's proclamation:
The film industry has become a universal medium exercising a profound
influence on the development of people’s attitudes and choices, and possessing
a remarkable ability to influence public opinion and culture across all social
and political frontiers.
The company is responsible for the video Fishers of Men which is considered by
some to be the best vocational video of our time.
YouTube quite simply has become a scratchpad for our culture. It isn't limited
to just videos that people make in their homes and post on the web. Often
times, incidents that occur in the news end up on YouTube for easy reference
and reflection by others. A prime example of this in recent weeks was the
Euteneur on the Sean Hannity show. His appearance on the show
made a splash on the Internet and gave voice to the Church on the topic of
contraception. To most of society the topic has been closed for years but here
we had an avenue on a major news network and a topic that frayed nerves in our
culture. Those who took the time to look into the incident further found
commentary from Catholic blogs and others on the web eloquently expounding the
teaching of the Church on openness to life.
Sometimes though, YouTube moments are not so public. They are not about famous
people or to be directly confronting legions in organized movements. A
touching example of this was seen by a
poster who was curious about the Catholic faith. He posted a
request on YouTube expressing interest in the teachings of the Catholic
Church. Catholics responded by suggesting books that attended to his interests
in the faith. The story is ongoing and as is true with many people seeking to
convert to Catholicism, his family is offering much in the way of friction.
Currently he is seeking to attend a good Catholic university.
YouTube is an open dialog and an opportunity in our diolog free society to
engage in proclaiming the Truth. Whether it is priests and bishops shepherding
their flock, lay Catholics responding to challenges against the faith or
personal dialog with a curious youth, YouTube is changing the face of
Evangelism by bringing the mission field even closer to your home. But where
the tools change the mission is still the same. Evangelize.
CatholicDaily: Getting more out of St. Blogs
Getting more out of St. Blogs
Many of us visit a handful of
Catholic web sites and blogs on a regular basis in order to keep a finger on
the pulse of modern day Catholic life. For me it started off with one or two
blogs. My daily routine went something like this:
Read the new
Realize halfway through the
last one that I read it yesterday.
Read the comments.
Comment on a few things.
Look at the clock.
Be amazed at the passing
Click on a random new blog
in the blogroll in hopes that I would find something a little more my
It became cumbersome. I had read
all about how great blogs were but here I was struggling to get it and
spending way too much time trying to get it. According to CatholicBlogs.com
there are at least 1000 blogs that are focused on Catholicism. A casual reader
of Catholic blogs might find that a daunting set of sites to sift through.
It’s easy to give up and write off the Catholic blogosphere as a colossal
waste of time. With a little effort however, reading St. Blogs can become an
integrated part of your day that takes mere minutes instead of hours to
First though, let’s discuss why
St. Blogs is worth the effort to get to know. St. Blogs is a distributed
community of Catholic believers. Chances are there is a sub-community of
bloggers that is going through or has gone through some of the same trials in
life you are going through. There are priests and religious, those in
discernment, moms, dads, singles, students, professionals, scholars,
apologists, musicians and even sports fanatics. It is almost a certainty that
you fit in somewhere. Still surfing them one at a time is a hassle.
Fortunately there are ways to deal with the volume. You can cover scores, even
hundreds of blogs in just a few minutes a day.
Sailing the sea of Catholic bits
Back in the early 90's I worked
for a radio station that had a big printer that I was supposed to cull stories
from in order to have a news segment on my show. The printer was an AP feed
that the station paid for. When a story went public the printer came alive. I
could hear it regularly during my show. Normally I would grab about 15 feet of
printed paper, circle the most interesting stories and summarize them during
my segment. I had fresh news with a minimum of effort. This was syndication
old school style. Today information on the Internet is syndicated by a
technology called RSS which stands for Really Simple Syndication. There is no
need for most of us to understand the details of RSS. We just need to know how
to use it. Most blogs and news sites contain an RSS feed usually identified by
a text link or standard image
The URL of the feed is a must have if you plan to use it. For example Mark
and Enjoying It!"
has an RSS feed accessible by the following URL -
http://markshea.blogspot.com/atom.xml. This link is indicated on Mark's blog
by "Atom RSS Feed".
Now that I have the feed URL,
what good does this do me?
In order to make RSS useful you
need an aggregator. An aggregator is software analogous to the printed sheets
in the radio station I used to work at. The software stores and organizes RSS
feeds. In the case of the printer I had one feed -- AP. In an aggregator you
are likely to have scores if not hundreds of feeds. On a regular basis the
aggregator accesses various sites checking for new and updated information and
letting you know about it. Desktop aggregators are usually more flexible and
you can set them up to give you near real time access to information. When
your favorite blogger posts his next diatribe you will know within minutes.
Online versions are also available and are great if you access the Internet
from a variety of computers.
Still, let’s say you only know
of five blogs that you care to read. Why on earth would you want to go through
the hassle of tracking them regularly with software? The answer is that you
can now skim the headlines of all of these blogs at one time similar to my
circling the headlines for my radio show. It is also useful in finding news
stories and blogs that are more relevant to your interests. You can do this by
adding more blog feeds or using RSS features attached to search engines and
other tools. For example, to see what the world is saying about Catholicism, I
use Google News search with the terms "Catholic Church", "Vatican" and
"Benedict XVI" and then link in the RSS feeds to my aggregator. For local fare
I search for "Diocese of Baton Rouge". If I want to find out what bloggers are
saying about Catholics, I use Google Blog search with similar search terms.
Finally, if I want to find out the latest on the “Motu Proprio” only from the
voices in St. Blogs, I can use the CatholicBlogs.com search feature with that
Go forth and learn
St. Blogs need not be a
cumbersome and time consuming experience during your day. I have found the
Catholic blogging community to be a great resource and a tremendous asset in
my short few years as a newly minted Catholic. Be an informed Catholic.
Familiarize yourselves with the new technology, find your niche and become
part of the community. More importantly, go forth and learn more about your
– RSS enabled news search
– RSS enabled blog search
– RSS enabled search for St. Blogs
– Popular online aggregator
- A simple desktop editor (requires Windows and .Net framework)
From the Jindal campaign: Attacks on his faith, local Democrats respond ...
Dozens and dozens of emails, letters and phone calls have poured into our office supporting Bobby, and he genuinely appreciates the encouragement. It has been amazing to see the response of pastors, supporters, and even Democrat elected officials who are outraged at the audacity of the old-guard political bosses who continue their attacks on Bobby's Christian faith. A number of Democrat elected officials have gone so far as to call on their own state party to pull down the ads. Below, are some of the emails we have received from Democrat leaders all across the state, who are just as shocked and disappointed at the attacks on Bobby's Christian faith as you and I.
If you would like to join with us in denouncing these ads, please let me know.
Bobby Jindal 2007
I met Bobby Jindal two years ago, and what impressed me the most above everything else was how sincere and openly he talked about his Christian faith. Louisiana needs more public servants that are willing to stand up and be unashamed of their faith in Jesus Christ. I am a Democrat, and I don't know about other parts of this state, but in Caldwell parish, we put a lot more stock in a man's character and values, than in an R or D by their name. Bobby Jindal has been unashamed to share his personal testimony with me, and in my opinion anyone who attacks Bobby's Christian testimony should sleep with a heavy conscience.
Steve May (D)
Caldwell Parish Sheriff
I am proud to be a Democrat, but I am disgusted by the Louisiana Democratic Party operatives' recent attacks on Bobby Jindal's Christian faith. Bobby has been one of the strongest defenders of family values and he has personally shared with me his commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ. That's more important to me than any party label, and I am proud to stand with him.
Ben Nevers (D)
I am supporting Bobby Jindal because he is a man of honesty and integrity; a Christian man who is sincerely concerned about all people from all walks of life. Bobby will bring a new vision to Louisiana, removing the negative image of the past and present regarding corrupt elected officials. With Bobby Jindal as our Governor, a positive light will shine on Louisiana as other states look on.
Wayne Jones (D)
St. John the Baptist Sheriff
I've visited and talked with Bobby Jindal on multiple occasions, and the petty party politics that the Democratic party is trying to use to criticize Bobby Jindal's personal decision to share his Christian faith is one of the lowest form of dirty political tricks I have ever seen. I'm not a Republican OR a Democrat. I am an Independent, but I'm a Christian and Louisianian first, and countless others in Northwest Louisiana share those same priorities. Its time our state expect more from its leaders, and we finally have a chance to change how the rest of the world looks at Louisiana if we elect Bobby as our next Governor. I hope the Democratic Party operatives who are attacking Bobby on his Christian beliefs pay a heavy price with the voters of this great state.
Chip Dickie (I)
Mayor of Oil City
This is not the Democratic Party that I agreed to join years ago. Anyone that believes it's a good idea to attack a man who is willing to share his Christian beliefs, is dead wrong. At a time when our state needs to come together, dirty campaign operatives are trying to divide us among religious lines. This attempt is despicable and I urge the Party's elected leaders to join me in denouncing this ad immediately."
Randy "Country" Seal (D)
Washington Parish Assessor
President of the Louisiana Assessors Association
As a Democratic Mayor in South Louisiana, I am calling on my colleagues and friends across this great state to demand that the Democratic Party in Baton Rouge cease and desist the attack ads on Bobby Jindal's Christian faith. I have heard Bobby Jindal give his personal testimony, and the idea of any person or organization stooping to this level has insulted the religions of all Louisianians. This is not an attack just on Bobby's Christian beliefs, but on ALL religious beliefs. I have seen dirty politics in the past, but this is a new low."
Raymond Harris (D)
Mayor of Franklin
I have had the privilege of hearing Bobby's Christian testimony first hand in my own parish, which makes these attacks by the Democratic Party's paid operatives inexcusable. As a Christian, I am personally offended by these tactics and the people of Louisiana should not accept this behavior. For the Democratic Party to alter Bobby's Christian writings is a desperate attempt for political gain, and is a new low in Louisiana politics."
Mike Grimmer (D)
Livingston Parish President
As a registered Democrat, I have not always followed party lines in voting. This gubernatorial election will also see me crossing the line and voting for Bobby Jindal for Governor. To be honest, I am ashamed of the Democratic party after the ads, attempting to smear Bobby's Christian faith, strong moral values, and character hit the air this week. I urge everyone to stop this king of low-down and shameful politicking by casting your vote for the most qualified and honest candidate in this campaign - Bobby Jindal.
Jack Hammons (D)
Mayor of Winnsboro
Democrats are desperate in Louisiana
I have really not being paying too much attention to the whole Jindal outrage in state politics. My children have been taking up a tremendous amount of my free time in recent days.
I know a few things about Bobby.
1. He is Catholic
2. The Democrats have GROSSLY misrepresented his position (I have read the New Oxford Review articles in question as I used to be a subscriber)3. I will vote for him.
That is the best response any Catholic can give to the matter. I URGE every Christian (Catholic or not) that reads this post to vote for Bobby Jindal. Fact is that Jindal has made rounds in north Louisiana to the larger Evangelical churches to demonstrate his being in lock-step with their moral positions. They are not fooled by this. The only thing this ad campaign does is make the Democrats look as desperate as they are. He lost the last governors election to Blanco almost assuredly because heavily Protestant north Louisiana sat the election out. The Democrats know this and are doing everything they can to ensure the same thing happens again this time. That is why religion is a big deal in this election. Let us look at a recent poll:
Bobby Jindal........... 63.0%
Walter Boasso......... 14.3%
Foster Campbell........ 4.4%
John Georges............ 1.3%
Opinionated Catholic says he is shocked to see this. I cannot say I am shocked. The quest for political power brings out the worst in some folks. I am honestly shocked it didn't happen sooner.
For more ... Opinionated Catholic: This Political Ad is a new low in Louisiana politicsAstonished, Yet at Home!: Attacking Bobby's Christian Faith: An E-Mail from Timmy Teepell, Campaign Manager for Bobby Jindal
Hurricane Dean - never too late to pray
I'll keep this short. The storm was deepening at landfall. The following is from the 4am discussion; a measurement taken near or during landfall
GPS DROPSONDE IN THE
NORTHERN EYEWALL MEASURED A WIND SPEED OF 178 KT AVERAGED OVER THE
LOWEST 150 METERS OF THE SOUNDING
That is about 205 mph.
Journey Home panel
I will be sitting on a "Journey Home" panel at my church this week. I will give a 10 minute summary of my conversion story along with 5 others. Then we will open the floor for an hour for questions.
Thursday 7-9 pm
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
865 Hatchell Lane
Denham Springs, Louisiana 70726
If you are interested stop by and check it out and don't ask me anything too hard. Its been a rough past week. :) Also if you come you may want to ask about our adult education classes. They really are fantastic.
Odds and ends
I have less excuses about posting this week.
We started homeschooling for the first time last week. It had ups and downs ... mostly ups.
My fantasy football draft was a disappointment despite the fact that I actually put effort into my cheatsheets this year. This is the first year I did not buy any magazines. I think I have figured those out by now. Anyway ... Here are my starters
QB - Drew Brees
RB - Frank Gore
RB - Willis McGahee
WR - Larry Fitzgerald
WR - Plaxico Burress
WR - Laveranues Coles
TE - Vernon Davis
K - Josh Scobee
DEF - Jacksonville
Keep in mind this was a 10 team draft. I realized late that my strategy works best in 12 team leagues. There are too many good players left on waivers for me to have worried about my late draft picks like I typically do. I figure the first rounds are almost expected these days. Most people come to drafts prepared and even if they let the computer draft they are not making rotten picks. I have won so many leagues with my late picks.
Seven people did not show up and the computer started drafting defenses and kickers in the 4th round so while I am not uber happy with my team I realize I have a shot because most people did not pick their players. Chicago defense and Robbie Gould went early in our draft. We will see. Some of my later picks show a bias towards Jacksonville and Baltimore because I expect improvement in their offenses. Those will be my favorite two non-Saints teams this season.
My nephew (as a pedestrian) was hit by a truck on Thursday this past week.
He broke his right collar bone, left forearm (both bones) and right leg (both bones). They performed surgeries on his arm and leg to set the bones. They still have to do another surgery on his leg to put a plate and a screw.
He is back at home right now in recovery. We offer a high "thanks be to God" that he is alive and well and I ask all within visibility of this blog to pray with our family for a speedy recovery.
Postings to be sparse this week ...
I am in a Fantasy Football league again (we are looking for one more Catholic BTW -- I think) and I have a meticulous series of things I do to prepare for a draft and I only have a week to do it. Anyway, I should post more after this week ...
Shortly after the infant baptism discussion my mother started to get the idea that we were really looking into the doctrines of the Catholic Church. She had never been one to press too hard but when we started asking questions she would give us the answers we needed. Finally she decided to head all of our questions off at the pass by handing us a 2 VHS tape series that she had seen on EWTN called "Household of Faith". This series was hosted by Kristine Franklin and Rosalind Moss. Moss is a convert from Judaism to Evangelical Protestantism and then finally into the Catholic Church. Kristine Franklin is a convert from Evangelical Protestantism. Each episode used personal stories regarding their conversions to Catholicism focused around a particular topic. The series was broken down into 16 parts.
After the first video my wife and I both, for the first time on our journey towards the Catholic faith expressed a great deal of excitement. We thought "maybe this IS the Church founded by Jesus Christ". What impressed me most about the series is that these two women were the people we were used to going to church with, just Catholic. They could talk the Evangelical talk. They loved the Bible. They were missionaries and active members of their former churches. Over the 16 episodes they skewered many common misconceptions about the Catholic faith which fell right in line with the atrocious treatment we had noticed of others towards the Catholic faith. Every episode was similar to one that had played out in my life at the very churches I had gone to. The women were emotional and they loved the Catholic Church. You could see real JOY. This wasn't the works based, sour faced scrooge religion I had been told about. This was everything I had but more complete. The excitement built and built over every episode. We liked it even more because they explained doctrines in a way that glorified the One who gave them to us. A perfect example was Rosalind Moss in explaining how our sufferings add to those of Christ.
"If Christ's sacrifice was sufficient, then how was it that we added to it? Because to offer ourselves with Christ is to say that His sacrifice is not sufficient. And everyone I had asked said we didn't add to it because they wanted me to understand that the Catholic Church believed that Christ's sacrifice was sufficient. But Msgr. O'Connor said to me, 'Yes, we add to the sacrifice of Christ; and yes, His sacrifice was sufficient. No, He doesn't need us; but He receives us. We legitimately add.'
"I thought, 'Aha! The truth is out at last. This is heresy. You believe that we add to the sacrifice of Christ and now it's out in the open. I <knew> I couldn't trust the Catholic Church.'
"And in the next moment what he had said penetrated my mind, or my heart, and became the most beautiful thought I'd ever heard. I thought immediately of a mother baking a cake, and her little child in the kitchen with her. The mother has everything there sufficient for the cake; but here comes the daughter and says, 'Mommy, I want to help.' So the mother receives the daughter because that love receives. She lets the daughter put the eggs in. Is the mother sufficient? Yes. Does she need the daughter? No. Does she allow the daughter to add? Yes. The daughter's addition is not needed, but it's received and it's a true addition. And I thought, 'That's love.'
"The human mind, and certainly the Protestant mind, could never conceive of it. Two weeks later, driving home from Mass, I realized for the first time, 'I don't think I want to be outside of this too much longer.'"
Long after the fact I realized that watching this series marked an important point in my conversion. I was moving into another phase of my conversion in a manner that is common to many converts. The first phase is, as G. K. Chesterton identifies in "The Catholic Church and Conversion"
... when he imagines himself to be entirely detached, or even to be entirely indifferent, but in the old sense of the term, as when the Prayer Book talks of judges who will truly and indifferently administer justice. Some flippant modern person would probably agree that our judges administer justice very indifferently. But the older meaning was legitimate and even logical and it is that which is applicable here. The first phase is that of the young philosopher who feels that he ought to be fair to the Church of Rome. He wishes to do it justice; but chiefly because he sees that it suffers injustice. From The Catholic Church and Conversion by G. K. Chesterton - Chapter III: The Real Obstacles
Check. I had been there. The next phase was upon me. To further quote Chesterton
The second stage is that in which the convert begins to be conscious not only of the falsehood but the truth and is enormously excited to find that there is far more of it than he would ever have expected. This is not so much a stage as a progress; and it goes on pretty rapidly but often for a long time. It consists in discovering what a very large number of lively and interesting ideas there are in the Catholic philosophy, that a great many of them commend themselves at once to his sympathies, and that even those which he would not accept have something to be said for them justifying their acceptance. This process, which may be called discovering the Catholic Church, is perhaps the most pleasant and straightforward part of the business, easier than joining the Catholic Church and much easier than trying to live the Catholic life. It is like discovering a new continent full of strange flowers and fantastic animals, which is at once wild and hospitable.
The next several months were ones of excitement where I learned much about the Catholic faith and began to really take ownership of the concept that I was in the presence of the truth. Thats the real gist of it. Any and everyone who has been through this process can tell you when asked "Why did you convert?" --- "Why simply, because its true." NOTE: Fiath is spelled incorrectly in the title because in the introduction to every "Household of Faith" series episode they spell the word FAITH one letter at a time. Only, they spell it FIATH. It took us six or so episodes to notice this. From that point, my wife and I began to refer to the series as the Household of FEE-ATH series.
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The infant baptism discussion
When I first became a Protestant the young lady that I was attending Church with knew I was raised Catholic. She also rejected outright my baptism as an infant. She asked me to review baptism in the Book of Acts in order to be baptized at her church. I never did that while in school but the general idea of reviewing Acts stayed with me. After graduating from college and beginning to attend a non-denominational church, I started to think more about it. Upon looking at the concordance in the back of my brand spanking new NIV, I noticed that the Book of Acts contained scores of refrences to baptism. At that point I read the references in the Book of Acts.
A sampling of references stack up like this:
Acts 2:38 ... Repent and be baptized ...
Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized ...
Acts 8:12 But when they believed ... they were baptized, both men and women.
Acts 8:13 Simon himself believed and was baptized.
Acts 18:8 ... and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized
Acts 19:5 On hearing this, they were baptized ...
This caused me to doubt the baptism of my youth. I came to a simple conclusion. You had to believe in order to be baptized. Thus, in my mid-twenties, I was "baptized" again by full immersion.
A few years passed. In that time, I left the non-denominational church and joined the Episcopal church. I got married and my wife and I had two children. We had our first son baptized even though in my mind it was more of a baby dedication like we had at my old non-denominational church. I wasn't torn over the idea. I figured Espicopalians had to have good reasons to baptize infants but I didn't believe at the time that was what was going on. I figured it couldn't hurt. When our second child was due up for baptism we had a long discussion in our family about infant baptism.
The same verses in Acts were presented in support of belief coming before baptism. The contrary case was also made. "All of these people were converted adults. Even today, the Church baptizes those who convert to the faith after belief." I had never thought about it that way before. The Book of Acts occurred in a unique time in history. There were lots of non-Christians around thus there were lots of conversions going on. Of course they were not born into the faith. This normitive case today was unusual then. The discussion veered in the direction of baptism by immersion only. After all, we (Episcopalians) didn't typically immerse infants as that was practically problematic. Certainly a requirement to immerse would lend sufficient cause to reject infant baptism. This case, however, was not very convincing to me. The immersion only case insists the Greek meaning of "baptizo" means immersion in every case. I find this assertion weak, especially due to the fact that there two instances in the New Testament of "baptizo" explicitly being translated as wash (Luke 11:38, Mark 7:3–4).
A few more verses rose to the surface. While there are no instances of infant baptism in the Bible, there are multiple instances of entire households being baptized (Acts 16:13-15, 1 Corinthians 1:16). Also nowhere in Scripture do we read of children reaching the age of reason before being baptized. The whole households were. It certainly stands to reason that there were young children in those families. Furthermore Catholics refer to baptism as the new cicrcumcision (Colossians 2:11–12). If circumcision was done to infants in the Old Covenant then certainly the New Testament fulfilment of circumcision would also be performed on infants.
Finally, during the discussion I thought the zinger that laid to rest all doubt about infant baptism came to light.
1 Peter 3:21 (NIV): and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge(1) of a good conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 1. Or response
Here it seemed to me that a pledge on the part of the believer was requried for baptism. I left the discussion less assured that infant baptism was wrong but not entirely convinced that it was right. Upon reading that verse over and over that night I realized that it did not refer to the promise of the Christian. It refered to the response by God of a "clean conscience". This fit in nicely with a regenerative understanding of baptism. This verse is often used by apologists to show as much. This is a doctrine that I had no qualms with. The verse in no way undermined infant baptism as I had originally thought.
We followed through with the baptism of our son retaining the justification that it couldn't hurt.
What started to change my mind on the matter was Martin Luther who stated
But if God did not accept the baptism of infants, He would not give the Holy Ghost nor any of His gifts to any of them; in short, during this long time unto this day no man upon earth could have been a Christian.-- XIII A.
Part Fourth: Of Infant Baptism. in Martin Luthers Large Catechsim
Here Luther appealed to history. It certainly made sense to me as few had questioned the doctrine of infant baptism prior to this point. So what of history on baptism?
In the first century we see in the Didache the early use of pouring thus supporting the case of the Catholic Church and more mainline Protestant denominations against "immersion only" opponents:
And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit.
We further see support in the second century for a regenerative understanding of baptism, of which Luthers assertion assumes a belief in:
As many as are persuaded and believe that what we teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly, are instructed to pray and to entreat God with fasting, for the remission of their sins that are past, we praying and fasting with them. Then they are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated. For, in the name of God, the Father and Lord of the universe, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, they then receive the washing with water. For Christ also said, "Except ye be born again, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." -- St. Justin Martyr First Apology, 61
Finally we see in the second century a direct support for infant baptism:
For He came to save all through means of Himself -- all, I say, who through Him are born again to God -- infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men. He therefore passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, thus sanctifying infants; a child for children, thus sanctifying those who are of this age, being at the same time made to them an example of piety, righteousness, and submission; a youth for youths, becoming an example to youths, and thus sanctifying them for the Lord. -- St. Irenaeus Against Heresies 2:22:4
My post discussion research also introduced me to the Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas. During the discussion the Summa was directly appealed to on behalf of Catholics. The pertinent passage is whether children should be baptized?
. Here Aquinas defends against common objections on requiring intent and faith. He places the burden of each of these on the Church for
like carnal birth, in this respect, that as the child while in the mother's womb receives nourishment not independently, but through the nourishment of its mother, so also children before the use of reason, being as it were in the womb of their mother the Church, receive salvation not by their own act, but by the act of the Church.
Once again, I found the biblical case sound and the historical case nearly irrefutable.