Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

Evolution for the Catholic Student

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Mystery of Atheism

The Mystery of Atheism

I have worked with young people for many years in Catholic settings.  The biggest tragedy for me is when I hear that one of them has, somewhere down the line, decided that he or she is an atheist.  I have become very conscious of that and often try to subtly plant the answer to atheist arguments years before my students are ever likely to face them.  (Of course, the strongest argument against atheism is a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Regardless of the arguments presented, no one could convince me that my mother does not exist.  I personally know her.)

With atheism seemingly all the rage these days, it has had me wondering what causes people to embrace it.  There are many factors, and some could argue it is “in vogue,” as once eugenics, racism and disco have been.  But clearly there’s more to it than just that.  Atheism is a response to the most basic of human questions, and it is a tragic one.  What leads people there?

It seems to me there are three main categories of reasons people become atheists.  Bear in mind I am not a professional sociologist, theologian, or expert on this issue in any sense of the word.  However, perhaps there is something worthwhile in my musings.

The first category contains the intellectual atheist.  This person has intellectual arguments against the existence of God.  Very often he has come across some “science” that he feels disproves an important aspect of the Christian faith as he understands it.  Therefore, he believes, atheism is true.

This is, in my opinion, the easiest type of atheism to “cure,” because all it requires is education.  The evidence (scientific, historical, philosophical, etc.) all points clearly to the existence of God.  Very often this type of atheist has become a disciple of evolutionism.  Forgetting for a moment the weaknesses in the theory of evolution, the Church has allowed that it can be compatible with Christian faith, and it certainly does nothing to suggest simply that a transcendent Creator does not exist.

Of course, I think the purely intellectual atheist is very rare.  If someone’s lack of Faith is based solely on intellectual grounds, he’s much more likely to be an agnostic.  If he doesn’t think the evidences for the existence of God are impressive, he certainly can’t be impressed by the evidences for atheism, since there essentially are none.  The best atheism generally does is debate the motives of credibility for Faith; it rarely produces positive arguments for itself.

The second type of atheist is the emotional atheist.  I think this is actually the most common.  This is a person who has experienced an intense suffering, or is just very sensitive to the suffering of others, and can not reconcile that to the existence of an all-powerful and all-loving God.

There are certainly many answers to this objection, and much has been written about suffering from a Christian perspective (see On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering).  But I think the first thing we need to do is show this person compassion.  Can he or she see in us the Face of the God who not only suffers with us, but suffered for us?  If we can somehow bring Christ’s peace and love to these people, perhaps their hearts will open to the answers to their questions about suffering, and to a relationship with the One who can heal them.

Finally, there are those who are atheists for moral reasons.  Living in a culture that promotes anti-Christian values, many people find themselves attached to or habituated with behaviors that they know are inconsistent with belief in an all-holy God.  The response often is to build their belief system around their behaviors, rather than the other way around.  We have all been guilty of this to a point.  It’s called rationalization, and when taken to the extreme of atheism, can sometimes lead to very angry people, and the accusation that “people of Faith are all judgmental and hypocrites, so why would I want to be one of them anyway?”

Unfortunately I haven’t found the answers to all these problems.  Trent Horn has done his best to present them, though, in his new book Answering Atheism, which I intend to review next week.  My point in this article is that if we are close to someone who has identified him or herself as an atheist, the first thing we may need to do is find out what is at the root of that atheism, as our approach may vary depending on what it is.

Of course, one thing that shouldn’t vary is our witness of a Christian life that is authentic, loving and joyful.  It is hard for anyone to argue forever with that.

Note: If an atheist should stumble across this post who can not see himself as falling in any of the three categories I mentioned, please email me at, as I would be very interested.  Please note if you would prefer I not publish what you write.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Preparing for Holy Matrimony

Preparing for Holy Matrimony

There was a heart-breaking call recently on Catholic Answers from a woman who wanted to get married, but she and her fiancĂ© had both had previous marriages.  As a practicing Catholic, she wanted to be married in the Church and fully participate in the sacramental life.  However, though her marriage had been annulled, her fiancĂ© was tired of the long and involved process and was unwilling to continue pursuing an annulment for his previous marriage.

The distress in this caller’s voice was clear, and it couldn’t help but elicit sympathy from the hosts or listeners.  It got me thinking about my own marriage preparation.  I knew very well what the sacrament of Matrimony is, and know that my marriage is sacramental, and unbreakable.  But I thought back to my engaged encounter weekend.

There was a lot of talk about communication, finances, conflict resolution, in-laws, etc., but there was almost no talk about what the sacrament of Matrimony is all about, none of the Church teaching on divorce, and nothing on artificial contraception.

Many of the couples were mixed, with one partner a non-Catholic, clearly there for the sake of the Catholic partner.  And yet the weekend did nothing to help them understand what the commitment they were about to make really means.  I wonder how many of the Catholic partners even knew.  They all hoped for a sacramental marriage, but did any understand that such a bond can not be dissolved?  Perhaps this is why there are so many annulments these days. 

I have a priest friend who tells me couples routinely get annoyed at him for the rigors of his marriage preparation.  Oftentimes people simply want to be married in a church.  He says, however, that if someone comes to him to be married in the Church, he is determined that they will have a sacramental marriage and understand what it means.  His goal is to never have any of his marriages annulled. 

That should be, and probably is, every priest’s goal.  And yet, people are routinely coming to the altar of God with no idea what they are really doing.  And often our marriage prep is little help to them.  I remember one couple, in a discussion period, asking about artificial contraception on my weekend, and being told that the discussion that session was about planning the wedding.  Apparently the marriage itself was of little importance.

Now please don’t misunderstand me.  I know there are many very good marriage prep programs.  And often these programs are run by lay people who are doing their best.  They may not really understand the Church’s position, or fear they won’t be able to defend it.  Often I think they fear they might drive a non-Catholic partner away from a Church wedding, and so leave such issues to be dealt with by the Catholic partner in the way he or she finds most prudent.  The intentions, I’m sure, are good, but I fear the results are often disastrous.

This of course brings me back to the caller.  She now, later in life and understanding the sacrament of Matrimony, wants to do it right, but faces a laborious annulment process, which can be very emotional if it brings up old wounds.

Thanks be to God the Church has such a process in order to defend the clear teaching of Christ on marriage (Mt. 5: 31, 32), and ensure people that their subsequent marriages are indeed sacramental.  It is a very difficult role for priests to have to play, though, both emotionally and pastorally, and I’m sure many Catholics are faced with the burden of finding their partner unwilling to persevere.

One should, of course, not get involved until it is clear that both parties are free to marry, but I certainly can not judge anyone on that point. 

As we are sidetracked by the issue of same-sex “marriage,” our attention must not be taken off the catechetical need in the Church to educate people, especially young couples, on the sacrament of Matrimony.  Once we as a Catholic culture reclaim that, we will be a much more powerful voice on the marriage issue to the rest of the world.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

12 Reasons Why I Quit Attending Sporting Events

12 Reasons Why I Quit Attending Sporting Events
Something to think about from

1. The coach never came to visit me.
2. Every time I went, they asked me for money.
3. The people sitting in my row didn't seem very friendly.
4. The seats were very hard.
5. The referees made a decision I didn't agree with.
6. I was sitting with hypocrites—they only came to see what others were wearing!
7. Some games went into overtime and I was late getting home.
8. The band played some songs I had never heard before.
9. The games are scheduled on my only day to sleep in and run errands.
10. My parents took me to too many games when I was growing up.
11. Since I read a book on sports, I feel that I know more than the coaches, anyway.
12. I don’t want to take my children because I want them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

All-Hallowed's Eve

All Hallowed’s Eve


          Halloween is just around the corner.  It can pose some interesting challenges for us as Christians.  Some completely shun the holiday because they say it is the celebration of a pagan festival.  Some don’t give any thought to it and figure it’s just an innocent opportunity for kids to have fun and ruin their oral hygiene.

          Growing up, that was the approach we took, and there was an innocence to that which I think was beneficial.  However, even since I was a kid I’ve noticed the character of Halloween change in our society.  It has gotten more morbid, and there is a growing fascination with a darker, even demonic character to the event.

          Certainly this is not true everywhere, and Charlie Brown and his Great Pumpkin still have a place in the popular culture of Halloween.  But a disturbing trend among kids has been an interest in things like vampires and the occult, and Halloween has tapped into that recently.  That sort of thing is no joke and every parent, Christian or not, has to be vigilant in protecting their children from such things.

          Add to that the designation of “Christmas” as a dirty word by secular society, and it can all become pretty offensive to those of us trying to raise our children in the Faith.  So what are we to do?  I can’t give any authoritative answers, but I’ll share what we have done with some success thus far.

          First of all, we reclaim Halloween as a Christian celebration, All-Hallowed’s Eve.  The following day, November 1, is All Saints Day, a Holy Day of Obligation, and a day infinitely more important than October 31, although ignored by the secular culture.  We remind the kids how important All Saints Day is, and that we’ll be going to Mass.  All-Hallowed’s Eve is important in its relation to All Saints Day, like Christmas Eve is important in relation to Christmas Day.  We finish off our celebration by taking the kids to a cemetery to pray for the dead on All Souls Day, November 2.

          Our kids dress up like saints when they go trick-or-treating.  They love telling the neighbors who they are.  Now our kids are young, so they go out with us.  I imagine the challenges will be multiplied when they want to trick-or-treat with their friends instead.  We have a great neighborhood, with many parents enjoying the evening out with their kids, and of course, ours are confronted with witches, goblins and haunted houses.  We just do our best to explain that different people celebrate in different ways.  They’re at the age now where they accept that since they are having so much fun the way we celebrate.  Our hope is that when they are old enough to question what haunted houses have to do with saints, they will also be old enough to understand that they are Catholics living in a secular culture, and that the culture will not always do things the way they do, but that God has called them to be a light in this world.  We are hopeful, as just this week our oldest son responded to a store’s Halloween display by saying, “They don’t know that Halloween is about God, not spooky things.”
          I know that many people have approached this dilemma with better ideas than we have, and please email me with any ideas you have.  There are a couple of online resources that may be of help.  You can download pro-life pumpkin cut outs on the Internet to turn your Jack-O-Lantern into a tool for evangelization.  Also, the web site has many resources and ideas for celebrating All-Hallowed’s Eve in a Catholic way.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Prayer to God the Father of All Life

Prayer to God the Father of All Life

Eternal God, You have revealed Yourself as the Father of all Life. We praise You for the Fatherly care which You extend to all creation, and especially to us, made in Your image and likeness.

Father, extend Your hand of protection to those threatened by abortion, and save them from its destructive power. Give Your strength to all fathers, that they may never give in to the fears that may tempt them to facilitate abortions.

Bless our families and bless our land, that we may have the joy of welcoming and nurturing the life of which You are the source and the Eternal Father. Amen.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Right to Life Month

Right to Life Month

October is Right to Life Month.  As Catholics, we believe in the value and dignity of every human life, and we fight for the right of every person to life, from conception to natural death.  There is no other Catholic position on this issue.  This month, we as a Church highlight the importance of this issue; we attempt to educate, evangelize, inspire, and ultimately convert hearts.

Pope John Paul II (and many, many others) have spoken about the right to life as being the fundamental right, from which all other rights flow.  This is, of course, because without life, one can not enjoy any other right.  One can not experience a right to health, or education, or liberty, if one has not first had his right to his very life respected.  This is the fundamental moral issue of our time, and the threats which we as Catholics must fight are many.

The primary of these threats is abortion.  Abortion is the greatest evil of our age, from my perspective.  Not only are so many people denied their right to life by abortion, it tears at the heart the family, which is the fundamental building block of society, and is sacred to God.  We must never lose our focus on saving as many babies as possible, and on changing laws so that our country can once again be a place where the most innocent human lives are valued and this great scourge can be eradicated.

Of course, our pro-life work in this area focuses on more than just babies.  There are many crisis pregnancy centers that desperately need our support.  Christians are well known for their support of women in crisis pregnancies.  As Father Frank Pavone, the founder of Priests for Life says, “Women don’t get abortions because of freedom of choice; they get abortions because they feel they have no choice.”  We, as Christians, have to show them that they do have a choice, that there are many people who want to love and support them.

Another critical area of pro-life ministry is post-abortion healing.  There are untold millions of women and men suffering so grievously for the mistake of a past abortion.  They desperately need to see the loving Face and feel the healing Touch of Christ.  We, His Hands and Feet, must bring that to them.  There are ministries like Hope After Abortion, Rachel’s Vineyard and others, that help women and men to feel God’s forgiveness and love, and be made new.  If we know someone whom we can help in this way, we have to try and help them believe that they can truly heal and find forgiveness and rebirth in Christ.

Another threat to life that is gaining steam is euthanasia.  We have seen this evil spread in Europe and now in many U.S. states.  It is my belief that it will also be one of the evil fruits of Obamacare if it is allowed to take root.  We need not only fight against the lie that euthanasia is an act of charity, we need to show true charity to those who are suffering.  We need to support ethical research into palliative care, and most of all, truly love those whom God has placed in our lives who need help enduring and finding meaning in their suffering.  And we need, once again, to be a nation that reveres and honors our elderly.

The Culture of Death we oppose has also claimed many people with disabilities.  Currently 90% of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted, often under pressure from a physician.  They are seen as useless, a burden, and possessing a life not worth living.  If there’s one message that we must send to the world, it is that all life is precious, everyone has value, and there’s no such thing as a life not worth living.  We must see the value and beauty in our disabled brothers and sisters, and if we are disabled ourselves, be lights to the world.  Those suffering with a disability are perhaps the most powerful spiritual lights there are, with the ability to inspire people, and bring about miracles with their prayers.

The most controversial issue we must confront this Right to Life Month is capital punishment.  I do not want to imply that it is on a level with issues like abortion.  It is not.  There is more flexibility in the Catholic understanding of this issue, and the execution of the guilty is very different than the death of the innocent.  However, both John Paul II and Benedict XVI made very strong statements against capital punishment in practice, if not its outright prohibition in theory.  The fact that it is essentially never necessary for the protection of society in our day and age makes it difficult to justify.  And cases like that of Alessandro Serenelli should give us all fruit for meditation.

There are, of course, many other threats to the right to life: war, human trafficking, human rights abuses at home and abroad.  But what we are being encouraged to do this month is take a step.  One more step in the defense and honor of all human life that can become a permanent habit.

Perhaps we can remember these issues more in our prayer intentions (there is still time to make a novena before the end of the month).  Perhaps we can occasionally join a prayer group in front of an abortion clinic.  Perhaps we are being called to be more politically active, perhaps to support a local pregnancy center or an assisted living facility or hospice.  There are countless ways to live a pro-life spirituality as a Catholic.

As always, the most important thing is prayer.  The more we can unite our hearts with His Heart, the more we will be a people of life, and the more souls and lives we will save, and maybe, God willing, even a culture.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Link - Grieving the Loss of a Child

Link – Grieving the Loss of a Child

Losing a child during pregnancy is a pain that many people have to suffer, and is often misunderstood.  The following link is a beautiful, heartfelt reflection by Christine Ostendorf on this experience.  Her thoughts encourage us to consider the term, “miscarriage,” as if the mother had somehow carried her baby wrongly.  As Ostendorf quotes Kimberly Hahn: “If the goal of Christian parenting is getting your children to heaven, then we have already succeeded with this child.”

“I had not miscarried my baby,” says Ostendorf, “I carried her with love and strength to the place we all aim for, heaven.”

Also in the article’s comments is the pastoral wisdom of a priest, who says, "A baby is a baby no matter how small. Some are born so that we may care for them, and some go straight to heaven to intercede for us;" as well as a link to the Shrine of the Holy Innocents, where parents can enroll their children whom they’ve lost.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

An Intolerable Insult

An Intolerable Insult

One of the greatest sources of pride for our nation is the incredible sacrifices that members of our military and their families have made to defend and promote freedom.  How many men have given their lives for a cause that was greater than themselves?  How many widows have cried over flag-draped caskets as they faced the prospect of raising children on their own? 

We used to honor those sacrifices; now they are being spat upon, by the very military that demanded them.  This week the latest in a series of shameful stories about the values of our military emerged, when it was revealed that the army classified the American Family Association as a domestic hate group, alongside the Ku Klux Klan and the Neo-Nazis.

The AFA is a Christian ministry that defends life, marriage and religious liberty.  When challenged, the army responded that the organization is unfriendly to homosexuals.  Has it ever resorted to threats, violence, intimidation, or hateful speech?  No, but it has taken a position in favor of traditional marriage. 

This is not altogether surprising, since Catholics and Evangelical Christians have previously been so labeled by the army.  What’s worse is that soldiers are prohibited from associating with this Christian ministry under the threat of punishment.

So the freedoms that men once gave their lives to defend are now being persecuted by the very military that once honored those sacrifices.

Recently I heard the story of a military band member who was distressed because he felt he was required to play for a gay pride parade, without respect for his religious beliefs or conscience objections. 

As Americans we want to respect our armed forces.  We want to believe that the values they promote are noble and good.  Can we honestly say that?  Many members of the military themselves would certainly say that we can not.

Please do not misread what I am saying.  I am not questioning the service of any member of our military or intending to lessen the sacrifices they all make.  Quite the opposite.  I wish to honor them, and the only way to do that is through real reform of our armed services.

Christians know that their duty is to God first, well above their duty to country.  Given some of the tragic attitudes our military has in many places adopted, Christian soldiers often have no choice but to disobey the spirit and perhaps even direct orders being handed down to them.

This is a terrible disgrace, an unfair burden on all men of virtue in our military, and an intolerable insult to those that have gone before.  Please pray for our military, especially our Christian servicemen, that with God’s Grace, they can be true examples of honor to those who may need that light to once again find their way.

Update: The Pentagon has said the army’s designation of AFA is not ‘official doctrine,’ and that the ministry is not a hate group.  Praise God!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Happy Columbus Day!

Happy Columbus Day!


          Yesterday was Columbus Day.  For over 500 years, people have been celebrating Christopher Columbus’s historic journey.  In the United States and elsewhere, he has long been considered a hero.  But recently, Columbus has fallen out of favor with some people.  In the following article, Stephen Beale does a great job of cutting through the propaganda and giving Columbus a balanced historical look.  Happy Columbus Day!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Politics as Usual?

Politics as Usual?

You may have noticed a recent shift in the Republican narrative over the government shutdown.  At the time of the stalemate, we were told that the issue was Obamacare, and that Republicans would demand cooperation and negotiation on funding its implementation.  Now, all of a sudden, the discussion is about the debt.  Republicans have seemingly lost interest in Obamacare but are requesting debt reform if they are willing to raise the debt ceiling.  A resolution is now in sight.

Why the sudden change?  The analysis I’ve heard is that Republicans see polls blaming them for the shutdown and don’t expect Democrats to feel adequate pressure to negotiate on Obamacare.  It is the Republicans who will surrender.  To save face, though, they are changing the narrative to an issue over which they can expect a little give, and then both sides can claim to have gotten something out of the ordeal.

If that’s true, it is a betrayal.  We’ve heard the stories of real suffering caused by the shutdown, and for that reason I would like to see a solution as soon as possible.  But for Republicans to abandon the central issue and play misdirection with the debt is a joke.

This week I received a call from the RNC asking for money.  It’s been so long since I donated, I wonder why they keep calling, but perseverance is a virtue.  I explained why I wouldn’t be giving any money, but I was assured that the party is serious now, and will not be cowed on life, marriage and religious freedom issues.  I will be watching closely, making phone calls, and trying to hold Republicans accountable.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pro-Life Ad Rejected

Pro-Life Ad Rejected

The above is a pro-life paid advertisement by Heroic Media, that was rejected by The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times for being “too controversial.”  These bastions of “unbiased news reporting” have consistently run stories and opinion pieces with a pro-abortion slant, but apparently a pro-life organization, unlike for-profit businesses, can not even purchase space in their pages.

I think it would be valuable for pro-lifers to voice their displeasure.  In fairness, The Chicago Tribune eventually accepted an alternate pro-life ad from Heroic Media.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why I am Leaving California

Why I am Leaving California

(one reason)


          I have written extensively against the evil law, SB 1172, passed in California last year that denies children access to reparative therapy for treatment of unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity disorder.  The wickedness has spread, most recently being signed into law by New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

          Last week on Catholic Answers, when the show was hosting Fr. Paul Check, the president of Courage, an apostolate that reaches out to people with same-sex attraction, there was a call from a wonderful mother whose young son, whom at times has expressed a possible vocation to the priesthood, told her he thought he might be homosexual.  This was clearly an unwanted struggle for the child.

          Fr. Check, an expert on this sort of thing, gave wonderful advice.  Among other things, he that as the young man was just entering adolescence, his comfort with masculinity and sexuality was still developing and very fluid.

          It got me thinking, though.  If this young man (for whom I ask all to pray) lived in California and found these unwanted feelings deepening, he would have no recourse to professionals that could help him understand, deal with, or even overcome them.  I suspect that if his family wanted to professionally treat his thoughts of a religious vocation, on the other hand, they would get no pushback from the state.

          This post is not about homosexuality or same-sex attraction; it is about freedom, parental rights, and the needs of our children.  Catholics with children, like me, who live in California, find ourselves in a very dangerous situation.  We do not have the right to get our children the help they may desperately want and need for one of adolescence’s most challenging phases.

          I am praying that the courts restore reason and justice on this issue, but if they don’t, I intend to raise my sons somewhere else.  It is a choice more and more parents must prayerfully consider.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Don't Fund It!

Don’t Fund It!


As Catholics, we want to see everyone have access to quality health care.  And most of us saw the need for reasonable, effective, moral health care reform.  Obamacare isn’t it.

Many people agree with medical doctors, who believe Obamacare will destroy the quality of health care in America.   We agree with business and labor leaders, who believe it will cost many jobs.  We agree with Constitutional scholars who recognize the individual mandate as unconstitutional.  And we agree with people of faith, that decry the HHS mandate as grossly immoral.

None of us wants to see the government slimdown go on forever, but many of us also feel the need to encourage Republicans to hold the line on Obamacare.  Aside from contacting your Congressman, you can sign the online petition encouraging Republicans to force the Democrats to adopt an attitude of reasonable cooperation at

Monday, October 7, 2013

Priests Threatened with Arrest for Celebrating Mass

Priests Threatened with Arrest for Celebrating Mass

The military has a shortage of Catholic chaplains.  While 25% of the armed forces are Catholic, only 8% of the chaplains are.  To bridge the gap, the military has contracted with Catholic priests to serve the enlisted men and women.  This has become a problem with the government shutdown, however.

Yesterday was the first Sunday since the shutdown and contracted priests were told they may not administer the sacraments (the Mass, Confession, Weddings, Baptisms, etc.) because their pay had not been funded.  Naturally, the priests offered to perform their duties for free, on a voluntary basis, but were told that if they tried to do so, they faced arrest.

Why this unreasonable and uncharitable position by our government?  I will not speculate on the why, but that the policy is unreasonable seems clear. 

Active duty priests are scrambling as much as possible to fill the gaps, and parishes near military bases are opening their doors to service men and women to ensure their spiritual needs are met.  But the situation has caused plenty of strain, and this article from Catholic Vote details.

It is important that we Catholics contact our members of the Senate (see below) and ask them to put an end to this madness.  It is not even necessary that the activities of the contract priests be funded, only that they be allowed to serve their flock voluntarily without threat of arrest.  Please support our men and women in the military with this simple act of charity.

Update: The House of Representatives has voted (400-1) to allow the priests to celebrate Mass; we await a vote in the Senate.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Government Shutdown

The Government Shutdown

By now, everyone knows that the Democrats have shut down the government.  The radical wing of the party is holding the country hostage and is engaging in activity that is tantamount to murder.

Those statements represent some of the nonsense we’ve been treated to the last few days regarding Republicans, so I figured I’d try to balance things out a bit, especially since the shutdown can be said to be primarily the Democrats’ fault.

What do I mean?  Both parties were willing to see the government shut down because they were unable to reach an agreement on a spending bill.  The conflict surrounds Obamacare.  Democrats are unwilling to compromise on the implementation of the law, and Republicans are trying to at least scale it back.  Therefore, to blame one party for the shutdown is completely dishonest.  The Republicans passed bills that funded the government, but the Democratic Senate rejected them over Obamacare.  Given the unpopularity of Obamacare and the fact that polls universally show the American people don’t want it, if we have to place the majority of the blame somewhere, I would think it would go to the party that is unwilling to compromise for the will of the American people, namely the Democrats.

Of course, commentators will say that Republicans knew the Democrats wouldn’t give, so their stand is futile, and therefore they are at fault.  Could, perhaps, the opposite be true?

But Obamacare is already law; isn’t it wrong to allow a shutdown over a bill already passed?  Being a law does not make something right.  Republicans are using the power they have left under our system to avert the implementation of what I would characterize as a disaster.  I commend them on that.

Of course, a government shutdown is no joke and nothing we should desire, primarily because of the financial strain it puts on government workers, who may not be able to afford many furlough days.  (Of course, how many jobs will Obamacare cost?)  Those people are in my prayers, and it is for their sake that I hope this shutdown doesn’t last long.

But I am glad to see some backbone out of Republicans on this important issue, and I pray we may still see the day when Obamacare is just a bad memory.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Popes John XXIII and John Paul II to be Canonized

Popes John XXIII and John Paul II
to be Canonized

It has just been announced that Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014.  Read the story here.  Below is a beautiful tribute that those of us in the JPII Generation will appreciate.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Link - Make a Joyful Noise

Link – Make a Joyful Noise
Below is the link to an interesting article about the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, and their amazing run atop the music charts.