31 May, 2011

Joustra: Canada's coming enigma -religion and politics

Joustra: Canada's coming enigma -religion and politics

World Health Organization Says Cellphones May Cause Brain Cancer

World Health Organization Says Cellphones May Cause Brain Cancer

Church Ladies with Typewriters

Some oldies but some new ones as well in this latest version of bulletin bloopers. My favorites are:


"The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility. "


and


"Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones. "

Socon or Bust » Blog Archive » Church Ladies with Typewriters

Beautiful Planet - Oh I so want to go to the ISS! | triggerpit.com

A series of beautiful photographs taken from the International Space Station (ISS).

Beautiful Planet - Oh I so want to go to the ISS! | triggerpit.com

Downward and Deeper into Sexual Confusion: Parents Choose to Raise “Genderless” Child | Archdiocese of Washington

Downward and Deeper into Sexual Confusion: Parents Choose to Raise “Genderless” Child | Archdiocese of Washington

30 May, 2011

‘Pot church’ member sentenced to three months in jail | Holy Post | National Post

In June 2010, the Crown brought in Katherine Young, a professor of religion, as an expert witness. Prof. Young said she could not see anything in the Church of the Universe that resembled ritual, sacred spaces or symbols, or helped its members deal with life’s paradoxes. The only “scripture” or other literature she could find was from Cannabis Culture magazine, a secular journal, and some information on a website.
Crown attorney Nicholas Devlin called the religious defense “inside joke among people who like to smoke marijuana.”
Church of the Universe ministers Peter Styrsky (L) and Shahrooz Kharaghan


Mr. Filipovic said Prof. Young’s definition was too specific and countered by quoting American philosopher William James: “Religion shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider divine.”

Any article that includes a quote from William James is worth a look. What do you think of the argument. Should the 'Church of the Universe' be categorized as a 'religion'? Is the only thing hindering their being accepted as such the fact that they root (pardon the pun) their faith in cannabis, a substance illegal to possess in Canada?

Updated: ‘Pot church’ member sentenced to three months in jail | Holy Post | National Post

New Evangelization needed to answer crisis of secularism, Pope says

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : New Evangelization needed to answer crisis of secularism, Pope says

A confession...

I have a confession to make. 

I have always been, since my earliest memories, a devoted science fiction fan. From 'Robbie the Robot' through to 'I Robot'; from 'Startrek' to 'Star Wars', I have been an avid consumer of the genre. So it is with pleasure that I offer to you the following trailer for the latest offering from the X-Men franchise which opens this weekend.



Memorial Day: A Catholic Understanding of Freedom and its Cost - U.s. - Catholic Online

In tribute to my American friends who today honor those who serve in the Military, I offer this article from Catholic Online.

Memorial Day: A Catholic Understanding of Freedom and its Cost - U.s. - Catholic Online

29 May, 2011

A thought....

HEALTH MESSAGE:

              1. If walking/cycling is good for your health, the postman would be immortal.
              2. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water and is fat.
              3. A rabbit runs and hops around all day, and only lives 15 years.
              4. A tortoise doesn't run, doesn’t hop, it does nothing .. yet lives for 450 years..

              AND YOU WANT ME TO EXERCISE!

A subatomic space race: Canada takes a huge leap forward in a very small space | Posted | National Post

A subatomic space race: Canada takes a huge leap forward in a very small space | Posted | National Post

Conrad Black: A world of financial ruin | Full Comment | National Post

I've always been a fan of Conrad Black. He is the anti-typical Canadian: forceful and blunt in his opinions which he freely shares. But I fear in this column that his opinion is 'on the mark'. We (the Western democracies) are headed for massive economic trials ahead. Our only hope in Canada is that we are at least doing what needs to be done to put our own fiscal and monetary policies on a solid footing for the future... assuming the Americans don't sink us as they walk the path to insolvency.

Conrad Black: A world of financial ruin | Full Comment | National Post

Gas giveway planned by Ottawa church - CBC News

Gas giveway planned by Ottawa church - CBC News

The Happy Priest: Learning to Love Jesus and Walk in His Way - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

It has always been my opinion that a 'happy' priest is the greatest advertisement the Church could have. I have always worked to keep a smile on my face and bounce in my step... a task made easier by the fact that I truly LOVE being a priest! Here is an article that expresses this same conviction. Share it with any 'grumpy' or 'unhappy' priests you meet. Maybe it'll help them to rediscover the joy of their ministry.

The Happy Priest: Learning to Love Jesus and Walk in His Way - Living Faith - Home & Family - Catholic Online

Why people stick by scandal-plagued pastors - CNN.com

Why people stick by scandal-plagued pastors - CNN.com

26 May, 2011

Teasing Apart Galaxy Collisions - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Teasing Apart Galaxy Collisions - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Margaret Sanger & 'The New Woman'

"Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, saw herself as "The New Woman," one emancipated from traditional religion and morality, empowered to have sex without procreation, and able to compete publicly with men. Yet behind this façade was a soul lost in emptiness and degradation"

Click on the link to read the entire article.

New Oxford Review

23 May, 2011

Prevention is first defence against child abuse, says bishop

Here is a recent article from Bishop Fred Henry (Calgary). He is one of Canada's most effective Bishops when it comes to writing clearly. He is also one who practices what he preaches! When he was rector of the Seminary I studied at he implemented a practice that would have saved us all a great deal of pain if it were implemented throughout the Church. "The benefit of the doubt" he would say "must always flow to the Church". This meant that if there was some doubt that a candidate for the priesthood would be a holy and effective priest that he should not proceed to ordination.

Prevention is first defence against child abuse, says bishop

Apocalypse pushed back to Oct. 21, preacher says - CTV News

Martin... Not quite what I think either of us would have predicted would first be first w0rds Camping would speak in public with the passing of the 21st without event, but in general it seems to validate what you said in a previous comment, eh?


At least we'll get the summer in before the next predicted D-Day apocalyptic event. The end of October usually marks the first arrival of winter weather here in Mattawa... which as I age, seems to be as close to hell on earth as I would ever like to come. Heaven for me will not be snowy or cold!

Apocalypse pushed back to Oct. 21, preacher says - CTV News

Canadian Religious Authority To Force Parents Into State Religion

Socon or Bust » Blog Archive » Canadian Religious Authority To Force Parents Into State Religion

Harold Camping, prophet of May 21 doom, to speak May 23 - Faith & Reason

"But Hagerty also learned from a board member of Camping's Family Radio that he hoped they would somehow return the funds donated by believers who wanted to get out the May 21st word. But he offered no guarantees, just a hope that God would be merciful."

Say what??


If they could jail Jimmy Baker (if not his now famous ex-wife, Tammy Faye Baker) for fraud, why can they not do the same to Camping? IF his 'church' was the recipient of people's life savings in response to his preaching, then he should have to pay it back in full. His Church reported $30+ million in revenues for last year alone and assets in excess of $105+ Million on hand. Surely he would be capable of repaying those who fell prey to his error and gave up everything to the church's benefit.

Harold Camping, prophet of May 21 doom, to speak May 23 - Faith & Reason

Is It Really About the Children? Taking Concern about the Sexual Abuse of Minors to the Next Level | Archdiocese of Washington

Is It Really About the Children? Taking Concern about the Sexual Abuse of Minors to the Next Level | Archdiocese of Washington

A Day Without "Overpopulation" | Blogs | NCRegister.com

"A friend of mine who is an immigrant from Mexico was recently telling me about a movie called A Day Without a Mexican. The film takes a humorous look at what would happen if all the Mexicans in California were to suddenly disappear back to their home country, showing scenes of rich people having to do their own gardening, farmers unable to afford laborers, etc. Though I haven’t seen it, it sounds like an amusing conversation starter on the topic of immigration.
I keep thinking I’d love to see some enterprising Catholic filmmakers create a similar short film about overpopulation. I have the storyboard all worked out: A guy named Bob, wearing a Greenpeace t-shirt and a hemp necklace, wishes on a magic mushroom that people would stop have so many kids and overpopulating the earth. A genie pops out of a recycled glass bottle and grants his wish: Nobody will have more than three kids, and all people who were higher than third in their family’s birth order will disappear in a puff of smoke as if they never existed."

Click on link to read the rest of the story.

A Day Without "Overpopulation" | Blogs | NCRegister.com

RealClearPolitics - Boehner's Catholic Lessons


WASHINGTON -- Sometimes we learn more from the dogs that don't bark and the wheels that don't squeak.
It's likely you didn't hear much about the controversy over House Speaker John Boehner's recent commencement speech at Catholic University. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is that Boehner's critics were civil and respectful. The media, it turns out, don't cover you much if you are civil and respectful. This would be the same media that regularly disparages incivility and divisiveness in politics.

Click on link below to read the entire column from E.J. Dionne. It's well worth the read.

RealClearPolitics - Boehner's Catholic Lessons

21 May, 2011

One small sip for mankind: Beer made for zero gravity - CTV News

Another giant step for mankind as it draws closer to the permanent exploration of other planets. Now that we have the brewing industry onside and producing product for the market, can routine shuttle flights from here to the permanent settlement on the moon be far off? I imagine that Bud Light will be even lighter in the 1/3 earth gravity of the moon!

One small sip for mankind: Beer made for zero gravity - CTV News

Medical Breakthrough, Treatment Helps Paralyzed Man Stand | SmartAboutHealth.Net

Medical Breakthrough, Treatment Helps Paralyzed Man Stand | SmartAboutHealth.Net

From space, a link to God: Pope speaks with astronauts - CNN.com

From space, a link to God: Pope speaks with astronauts - CNN.com

Apocalypse later: Surprise! No sign of The Rapture so far | Holy Post | National Post

Apocalypse later: Surprise! No sign of The Rapture so far | Holy Post | National Post

Standing on My Head: The Catholic Church and Private Revelation

Standing on My Head: The Catholic Church and Private Revelation

20 May, 2011

Helping Catholics Stay Catholic After College - NYTimes.com

Helping Catholics Stay Catholic After College - NYTimes.com

Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans support gay marriage

Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans support gay marriage - On Politics: Covering the US Congress, Governors, and the 2010 Election - USATODAY.com

‘Vegas girl’ acknowledges her luck, embraces new challenges in Ottawa - The Globe and Mail

Ruth Ellen Brosseau, M.P.
If ever there was a person to cheer for, it may well be this young woman. Unexpectedly elected to Parliament as a member from Quebec for the NDP, Ms. Ruth Ellen Brosseau is demonstrating an alluring charm and honest self-assessment of her skills and challenges. I suspect that I won't share many of the same positions with her in the social and economic debate that lay ahead for Canada, but I wish the Member from Berthier-Maskinonge the best in undertaking to serve her constituents in her new career.

‘Vegas girl’ acknowledges her luck, embraces new challenges in Ottawa - The Globe and Mail

Priests, Abuse, and the Meltdown of a Culture - National Review Online

Priests, Abuse, and the Meltdown of a Culture - National Review Online

John Lithgow does 'Newt Gingrich' on the Colbert Report!

Man sets priest on fire during mass | The Deacon's Bench

Man sets priest on fire during mass | The Deacon's Bench

19 May, 2011

Body found in river was missing teen

One of our missing area teens has been found, and alas it is not the ending that we were hoping for.  At least his family has the comfort of knowing what happened to him. The death of a child on the precipice of adulthood is the heaviest cross a parent (indeed the entire family) can carry in life. It is a wound that never fully heals. The family cannot look to 'get over it', but they will learn to 'get on with it'. 

May the time that passes before joy begins to return to their lives be brief and that the frost of their winter season grief will give way to a springtime of discovering that grief and joy are not opposites. They are dance partners and companions in every life. When the two exist together in peace with each other, peace will again be found.

Please keep the Pineau family in your prayers.

Body found in river was missing teen

An 'Angry Atheist' responds to the challenge to explain why he's angry!

The best birthday gift I received all day! An intelligent submission from a friend of 'Road'. Thank you Doug!

Some time ago Father Tim wrote a blog on why atheists are angry.  He postulated that a fear of death made many atheists angry. This caused me to contact him to discuss what he had written and offer my own observations on the subject. He very kindly offered to post my reply on his blog and I do appreciate that.

I fear many of the things I will say may be unpalatable to the people who read this, and for that I am sorry, but I think they need to be said.  If you do feel anger at my words and comments please look at why these words offend you and who is to blame. The only other thing I ask is that you read my words in full and understand that they are written by a person who is trying to make the world we all live in a better place, regardless of our beliefs or lack of them.

I am not particularly afraid of death, I have, on several occasions been very close to death - far too close for comfort - and I have found it quite a calm and peaceful experience.  Time slows and everything becomes clear and deliberate.  The clarity is amazing. Every action and thought is focused; focused on surviving and focused on those you will leave behind and how they will react.

I have stared death in the face and I respect it but I do not fear it.

(1) Why I am an ‘angry’ atheist: I was born into a religious family and attended school where the teachers were all practising Christians. I was and remain badly dyslexic. This made reading writing and especially spelling very difficult for me, difficult to the point of being impossible. To this day there are words I have no hope of spelling or even using as I can’t even spell them well enough for a spell check program to identify and correct them . At school they knew I was intelligent but blamed my lack of ability on carelessness, laziness and what they called “Deliberate Stupidity”.  To cure me of this they would regularly cane me or find other forms of discipline that were equally unpleasant.

Being a good Christian child I knew if you prayed hard enough God would answer your prayers so I honestly and earnestly prayed for help - either that or I would be able to learn my lessons and remember how the words and letters went or that my teachers would understand my problem was real and stop hitting me and yelling at me on a daily basis.  Neither happened, I knew the scriptures said if two or three gather together and pray in the name of Jesus he would answer their prayers so I gathered two other children who also had similar problems and we would sneak off to have a quiet prayer group where no one would see us.  Sadly our prayers were never answered. Greg finally succumbed to the abuse and hung himself under his house. The police and his family said it was a terrible accident but I knew he just could not take going to school anymore.

Samantha finally moved away and I lost contact with her for some years. I later found she had been admitted to a mental hospital for depression anxiety and various other disorders.  Small wonder.

I am the survivor of the group. I left school at a very young age and went to work, ending up in the military. I remained a  Christian but started asking questions of my faith and what I could believe in.  I finally found the answers when I was discharged “unfit for service life” after 7 years and several promotions. The Air Force found out I could not read or write when I was posted from active service to a desk job and failed to perform my appointed duties.  The only person on base who could have supported me was the base chaplain. He refused to take a stand as he was nearing retirement and didn’t want to rock the boat at that stage of his career.

I finally had my beliefs confirmed. There could be no God as described in the Bible, no loving heavenly father. No holy spirit who answered prayers. Even the Christians I knew abandoned me when I needed them. The friends who were steadfast and remained were the atheists and the non-believers.

At this point I abandoned my faith. What made me an angry atheist?  The actions of believers and the inaction of their God.  If there is a God and he fails so badly at caring for those who show him love and trust then he is not a God worthy of praise and respect. He /it would be a cruel and heartless god.


As I grew and studied I taught myself basic computing skills and the internet allowed me to contact others and find I was not alone in my feelings. Many others had similar stories.

(2) I found many atheists were angry, they were angry at organised religions for the abuse they inflicted on the innocent.  I will not go into detail on child sexual abuse but it is well known in the Catholic Church and similar stories come from both “respectable” churches and fringe religions. Stories of rape, sodomy, incest, sexual assault of all manner, depravation of liberty, physical and mental torture,  usually of innocent children who trust these people of religion. What kind of decent moral human being would not be outraged and appalled at these actions?  Well atheists are but sadly many many people of religion choose to ignore these problems and pretend they do not happen or that they are not that important compared to the good name of the church.  This hypocrisy is another reason we become angry.

While researching to write this I found a small article I had not read or seen before: Vatican confirms report of sexual abuse and rape of nuns by priests in 23 countries – by Frances Kennedy in Rome
Wednesday, 21 March 2001: http://ind.pn/PriestsRapeNuns

You need to read this article then ask yourselves and ask these questions,

“Did you hear about this from your church?”
“What action has the Catholic Church taken to assist these poor abused women?”
And, finally, “How many of these abusers were handed over to the police for investigation of criminal assault?”

Finding things like this make atheists angry. Finding how a large organization habitually covers up abuse and protects the abusers really makes us very very angry indeed.

(3) We then find church officials, including the Pope and several cardinals and Bishops, telling us of the evils of atheism and how immoral atheists are. That makes us angry.

Yes there are evil atheists but for every evil one there is a multitude of good kind generous ones and you never find a group of atheists in a modern first world country protecting or concealing paedophilia or sexual abuse.  While I have to agree that some atheists do engage in such abhorrent behaviour if they are discovered then they are reported to the police and hopefully charged and punished.
Then we find things like this from my home in Australia - 
http://brokenrites.alphalink.com.au/

Here, the church saw fit to appoint a senior  clergy member George Pell, then an auxiliary bishop in Melbourne to support a pedophile priest while they offered no support to the victims of the abuser.

(4) Yet another problem that causes anger amongst atheists is the rise of fanatical fundamentalist religious beliefs and how they seek to influence governments and organizations that should be secular. We see strange cults gaining access to schools, teaching children that evolution is a lie and that the world was made in 6 days. They actively undermine the authority and credibility of teachers. We see religious education programs in which young children are bribed to attend with special treats and gifts in the same manner as paedophiles ‘groom’ their victims.
We see   religious lobby groups infiltrate places of power and change laws that affect ordinary people. They remove rights and freedoms in the name of the same God they claim gave us freewill.

(4) I have recently been involved in a discussion over euthanasia. Whether you  support it or oppose it, you have to admit no euthanasia supporter is asking anyone who objects to this to be euthanized against their will. Honest, decent people like myself would fight violently for your rights to choose how and when you die. But Christians do not have the grace to return the favour.

While those opposed to euthanasia insist that we never have access to similar rights and freedoms, they wish to impose their will and their beliefs onto us. Again they wish to deny us what, we are told by people of religion, is a “God Given” free will. 

The vast majority of atheists openly and honestly support everyone’s right to freedom of religion and belief. Sadly, the same cannot be said for religious believers.  We do not want to force our beliefs onto others but we also will fight to defend our beliefs from attack and insult.
 
There are so many other issues and topics I could discuss and mention. So many things make atheists angry. All the normal pressures of everyday life, the injustice and sadness in the world, there are more than enough things to make us justly and rightly angry. Please do not add to these by making up stories about us. Don’t try to justify your beliefs by denigrating ours; that is unnecessary and uncalled for. If you wonder about our beliefs ask us and believe the answers you are given. Telling lies or spreading rumours about others is never justified.

Again, I honestly and openly thank Father Tim for his kind offer of space and for your time and effort in reading this.
 
I end on saying I have many, many fiends who are believers in God: The Christian god, The Jewish vision of god, the Muslim concept of god, Hindu gods and goddesses, and those with Buddhist beliefs. The common thread amongst them all is to accept, tolerate and respect others.  I am an angry atheist but it does not take much to make me a happy, friendly one. All you need to do is show respect and kindness, concern and understanding to others.

If you have hurt or wronged someone openly and honestly apologise.
If someone is angry with you, sit down and ask “Why?” don’t just dismiss them as being negative. They may have good reasons.

Cheers Doug Steley (from Downunder in Australia)

John Paul II statue sparks controversy in Rome | Holy Post | National Post

There's 'ugly', 'damned ugly' and 'butt ugly', yet none of these captures the essence of this 'statue' in 'tribute' to the late Blessed Pope John Paul II. The best comment I've read about it came from 'Rationalist1' on the Holy Post who wrote: "The artist misunderstood the request to make Pope John Paul II look holy." 

Judge for yourself and let me know what you think by posting a comment here.

John Paul II statue sparks controversy in Rome | Holy Post | National Post

18 May, 2011

Study: Homosexuality, celibacy didn't cause abuse | ksdk.com

GOOD GRIEF! The story below this one from the National Post stresses that celibacy and not homosexuality is the cause of clergy sexual abuse. This story on the same report states that neither is responsible. How can two press organs have such diametrically different interpretations of the exact same report??? Perhaps it's just the way the headlines are composed but they each sure give a different impression.


WEIRD!! Sad but definitely weird!!

Study: Homosexuality, celibacy didn't cause abuse | ksdk.com

Celibacy, nor homosexuality to blame for Catholic abuse crisis, new report says | Holy Post | National Post

Celibacy, nor homosexuality to blame for Catholic abuse crisis, new report says | Holy Post | National Post

17 May, 2011

Once Again, Real Life Imitates South Park | The American Catholic

Once Again, Real Life Imitates South Park | The American Catholic

What the Pope might say to Stephen Hawking if the two had a chat

Heaven is just a ‘fairy story,’ Hawking says | Holy Post | National Post

Heaven is just a ‘fairy story,’ Hawking says | Holy Post | National Post

The Efficacy of “No” | First Things

A few years ago, a neighbor and I were wending our way through a small gallery featuring the work of local artists, when we were stopped in our tracks by a large canvas, or board, from which hung a dozen one-gallon freezer bags containing colorful liquids purporting to be health and beauty products: shampoo, conditioner, feminine hygiene stuffs.

My neighbor, who tends toward the positive—even if she must stretch to do it—cooed, “What a statement that is! We women really are enslaved to all that!”

”Wait,” I said. “How do you know that’s what the artist means? Maybe this is saying that women are just bags of chemicals, and transparent and shallow, to boot!”
....


Click on the link below to read the entire article.


The Efficacy of “No” | First Things

16 May, 2011

This blog post is for the intended recipient(s) only - Ezra Klein - The Washington Post

This blog post is for the intended recipient(s) only - Ezra Klein - The Washington Post

Regulation and Wittgenstein | Swampland

Ludwig Wittgenstein
I've appreciated Wittgenstein's thought since studying him in my early Seminary days. Not often I see him referenced so prominently in an article so I can't pass up the chance to cross post to the source article on Time Magazine's blog got any other 'Wittgenstein-ians' out there. (grin)

Regulation and Wittgenstein | Swampland

Thrashers sale, relocation to Winnipeg in the works: report | Posted Sports | National Post

Thrashers sale, relocation to Winnipeg in the works: report | Posted Sports | National Post

STRANGE.... Where's Ripley's Believe it or Not when you need him?

Socon or Bust » Blog Archive » Sign the Petition to the CBC Ombudsman. Demand A Correction!

CTV, Global, National Post... virtually every other report states that the crowd was between 10,000 and 15,000. Yet once again these numbers are massively under-reported by the CBC. I find it amazing that 15-20 people gathering in front of a Church to protest gets substantial coverage on the public airwaves but something that ranks among the largest turnout each year on the Hill is misreported with numbers scaled back by a factor of 50-75%!


It's not paranoia if the facts back you up! Again the government broadcaster has manipulated the truth to minimize a growing and youthful challenge to government policy. We used to scream long and loud when state media distorts the truth in other countries. (Remember Pravda?) Why are these same voices that were demanding truth in journalism not demanding a change in the CBC's report to reflect the true size of the demonstration.

Please take a moment and add your name to the online petition.

Socon or Bust » Blog Archive » Sign the Petition to the CBC Ombudsman. Demand A Correction!

BioWare: Mass Effect 3 to permit gay male romance - The Globe and Mail

It's not the fact that this video game offers the option of virtual gay sex that I find offensive... it's the fact that sex is an option at all! I guess I am out of date with current popular opinion on dealing with sex in such a public manner. These games have multiple player options, right? Is it at all hard to see that this might create a virtual 'crop of innocents' to fall prey to the seductions of other (probably older) predators who hide behind the mask of a game avatar? Given the recent hacking of the recent Sony Playstation network it would seem that this is not an insignificant risk that should be a concern to parents.


Just another example of the coarsening of our culture. It may be sad to witness but it's true nonetheless.

BioWare: Mass Effect 3 to permit gay male romance - The Globe and Mail

Trump says he won't run for Republican presidential nomination - The Globe and Mail

Too bad he didn't take my advice during the 'Ground Zero Mosque' debacle. If he had, he might have made a different announcement. I must say that I'm glad things have worked out as they have. I seriously doubt that 'the Donald' would have made a very good president!

Trump says he won't run for Republican presidential nomination - The Globe and Mail

The Wrong Reasons for Same-Sex Marriage - NYTimes.com

The Wrong Reasons for Same-Sex Marriage - NYTimes.com

Vatican tell bishops to root out sex abuse - The Globe and Mail

Vatican tell bishops to root out sex abuse - The Globe and Mail

Every Christian must evangelize, Pope emphasizes

Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Every Christian must evangelize, Pope emphasizes

Tin Foil Hat Comments | The American Catholic

So true... sadly so true! I give thanks for the small cadre of friends of this blog who regularly comment here for they always post civil, intelligent commentary. Yet even this blog is not immune to dealing with those who are neither.

Tin Foil Hat Comments | The American Catholic

13 May, 2011

Stephen Colbert for President in 2012???

Stephen Colbert pushes for political "megaphone made of cash" - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

Jon Stewart agrees to debate Bill O'Reilly - AMIE PARNES | POLITICO CLICK

I don't subscribe to Fox News and have never seen an episode of 'The O'Reilly Factor'... but I hope that the Comedy Network will broadcast this debate on 'The Daily Show'. It should be fun to watch!



Jon Stewart agrees to debate Bill O'Reilly - AMIE PARNES | POLITICO CLICK

What's the most important thing in life? An orgasm?

Is an orgasm the most important thing in life?

By connecting celibacy with pedophilia, people are saying that they believe that, denied the opportunity for an orgasm, they would likely violate the moral imperative not to harm innocents. This is the logical conclusion of those who claim that life would not be worth living if they were to be denied this physical pleasure.

That one would be unable to sustain a growing and mutually beneficial relationship with a partner if they were unable to have their sexual needs serviced is another conclusion that flows from this flawed premise.

If someone could violate as deeply an ingrained prohibition as for adults to abstain from sexual activity with children rather than be deprived a regular orgasm, is it be hard to believe that a spouse would also violate their marital obligations to their ‘life partner’ under similar situations? If celibacy deforms priests, then surely those married individuals who find themselves in denied sex with a partner would also be so deformed. Is this not a logical conclusion if indeed a celibate life does cause the psychological damage that those who identify celibacy with pedophilia?

Thankfully for spouses (and religious celibates) the initial premise is flawed. There is no evidence that celibacy inflicts any form of damage upon those who live it, be it by choice or because of life’s events. Study after study demonstrates that those so heinously harmed as innocents are statistically less likely to be abused by celibates than at the hands of offenders who  lead a ‘normal’ sex life. Just as with rape, child sexual abuse is not about sex... it is about  power. The power to dominate and control another individual completely. It is not a misguided attempt to  achieve an orgasm because they are denied it by ‘normal’ means. It is an insidious and sometimes violent assault upon another to satisfy an essentially non-sexual desire to control, dominate or violate another.

There is a secondary consequence of this assumption that sex is the ultimate reason for life. The Catholic church in particular has been accused of being unduly fixated on the subject of sex. Catholic sexual morality is stock in trade material for satirists and comics searching for a subject to ridicule. We, of a certain age, need only recall the appearances of Fr. Guido Sarduchi, a regular character in the early days of SNL to understand the enduring popularity of mocking Catholic sexual teachings in the face of the full force of the ‘sexual revolution’ that surged across western cultures. Yet is it not those who have raised the orgasmic experience to the elevated status as being essential for meaningful human existence who are fixated with issues that are (to steal a common insult from the mockers camp) ‘below the belt line’?

The Church encouraged and demands that sex be seen in its procreative and unitive elements, respecting it within the totality of human experience as social, rational and spiritual beings. Those who grant undue influence to either their sexual identity or activity are the ones who today are failing to raise their attention higher than their genitals in the search for the truths of life. It is not the Catholic Church that has fixated on sex. For her, it is the difference between looking in a mirror or looking through a window. Rather than gazing only upon herself in search for life’s meaning, the church encourages believers to look out through the window of faith to find the answers to life’s vital questions. Clearly not all atheists are genitally fixated and many do orient themselves to finding life’s ultimate reward through their love others and of creation. Yet for many, this misconception of the Catholic understanding of the role of sex has been the pry bar used to persuade many to abandon the teaching of the Church in its totality.

A triptych on Benedict’s papacy, and hints of what lies beyond | National Catholic Reporter

A triptych on Benedict’s papacy, and hints of what lies beyond | National Catholic Reporter

Toronto sports anchor fired over tweets

Toronto sports anchor fired over tweets

Roman Catholic Church: What went wrong in Philadelphia | Holy Post | National Post

Roman Catholic Church: What went wrong in Philadelphia | Holy Post | National Post

10 May, 2011

Homosexual men twice as likely to have cancer: study | LifeSiteNews.com

Aaah... but isn't the question: Does one cause the other? (in this case, does homosexuality cause cancer?) Just because A follows B does not mean that the former is necessarily a causal agent of the latter. Yet if the goal of this medical research is to uncover 'truth', then we must be willing to examine and explore wherever the evidence leads even if we fear that the conclusions will not support previously held convictions. At the very least this apparent correlation needs to be further studied before any substantiation can be ascribed to the conclusion that Lifesitenews seems to have drawn.


Given the plethora of sexually transmitted diseases that menaces sexually active individuals, soon there will be a study that will claim that sex is dangerous to one's health. Wait a minute...wasn't there one recently???  I wonder if the conspiracy theorists who always see the evil forces of 'Papism' behind everything will believe that this rash of stories extolling the dangers of sex is part of a Catholic plot to 'scare-up' some more vocations.

Homosexual men twice as likely to have cancer: study | LifeSiteNews.com

Sex and religion – an uneasy embrace - The Globe and Mail

Sex and religion – an uneasy embrace - The Globe and Mail

The B.C. Catholic Paper - LifeSiteNews speaks in its own defence

The B.C. Catholic Paper - LifeSiteNews speaks in its own defence

09 May, 2011

Theologian Kung says only radical reforms can save the Catholic church | The Christian Century

Theologian Kung says only radical reforms can save the Catholic church | The Christian Century

Does sacrament of anointing forgive mortal sins? | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

QUAERITUR: Does sacrament of anointing forgive mortal sins? | Fr. Z's Blog – What Does The Prayer Really Say?

Drinking Fine Wine Instead of the KoolAid: Catholic Bloggers Need To Stay Relevant And Independent

Socon or Bust » Blog Archive » Drinking Fine Wine Instead of the KoolAid: Catholic Bloggers Need To Stay Relevant And Independent

The Pembroke Lumber Kings are this year's RBC Cup national champions - The Daily Observer - Ontario, CA

Our local Pembroke Lumber Kings are Canadian National Hockey Champions, sending B.C.'s Vernon team to defeat!!! (Sorry Lady Janus! Maybe the Canucks will do better!)


The Ottawa Valley rules!!!


Congratulations Lumber Kings.... and THANK YOU for this great lift to all who call the Valley home.

The Pembroke Lumber Kings are this year's RBC Cup national champions - The Daily Observer - Ontario, CA

African lake could provide economic boom for area - International - Catholic Online

Lake Kivu: Untapped potential?
Another 'green' and local solution for a needy region of the world. The earth is most certainly a more bountiful place than we might think when we are open to new ways of thinking!

African lake could provide economic boom for area - International - Catholic Online

Going green for God: Quebec churches switch to local holy wine | Holy Post | National Post

Going green for God: Quebec churches switch to local holy wine | Holy Post | National Post

07 May, 2011

Out there: International Astronomy Day - The Globe and Mail

International Astronomy Day - take some time and look to the stars!
Out there: International Astronomy Day - The Globe and Mail

120th Anniversary Marked for Labor Encyclical 'Rerum Novarum' | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Somewhere, Fr. Michael ('Doc') Ryan must be celebrating! He was my seminary professor whose expertise was in Catholic social teaching and Thomistic philosophy. He was (is?) a quirky little fellow but his devotion to the Church and the priesthood was second to none. I pray that this is a good day for him, no matter where he is today.

120th Anniversary Marked for Labor Encyclical 'Rerum Novarum' | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Pope Discusses Purpose of Vatican II Liturgical Reform | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Another 'HOT BUTTON' topic for Catholics

Pope Discusses Purpose of Vatican II Liturgical Reform | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Catholic Culture : On the Culture : Beating Private Judgment’s Dead Horse

I've been having this same debate in the threads of the Holy Post! It seems that many evangelicals believe that ONLY those who believe in Christ will be found in the New Jerusalem. They seem (IMO) to be far too quick to condemn to hell the BILLIONS of souls of people who died without ever hearing of Christ. Further, they condemn those who once had faith, but through the events of life have had their faith stolen from them (think of victims of clergy sexual abuse or people who experienced the horrors of the Concentrations camps) thus (again IMO) victimizing these souls a second time.


My understanding of God is very different. I take him at his word when he taught that many who think that they will be saved simply because they claim to be his followers will be shocked to find the way closed to them while 'tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners' are invited in.


Personally, I always look at it this way: imagine after death you must stand in one of two lines. The first is for those who profess belief but did not live a good life. The other is for people who were kind and loving in this life but never professed a faith in Jesus. Which of these two lines would you rather be standing in?

Catholic Culture : On the Culture : Beating Private Judgment’s Dead Horse

06 May, 2011

Quebec Gestapo Set To Pounce on Homeschooling Family

I've known a number of families who have chosen to Homeschool their children... and the kids did exceptionally well in their adult lives! I appreciate that there are cases where this has not been the case, but the same can be said about some schools I've dealt with over the years. 

This is another step along the path of the State intruding into the rights of families and individuals and it should be opposed. I donated to the cause on the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada website. I hope you might consider doing the same. You'll find the link within the SoCon story.

Socon or Bust » Blog Archive » Quebec Gestapo Set To Pounce on Homeschooling Family

First mention of SoCon or Bust by Quebec Professional Catholics

BIG BLUE WAVE: First mention of SoCon or Bust by Quebec Professional Catholics

04 May, 2011

Vatican offers friendly hand at international bloggers’ summit | LifeSiteNews.com

Vatican offers friendly hand at international bloggers’ summit | LifeSiteNews.com

Catholic Social Thought and the 2012 Election | First Things

Catholic Social Thought and the 2012 Election | First Things

Bishop pleads guilty to importing child pornography - The Globe and Mail

Bishop pleads guilty to importing child pornography - The Globe and Mail

Three Possible Popes | National Catholic Reporter

Three Possible Popes | National Catholic Reporter

Why Catholics Leave – A Recent Study and Some Comments from Two Different Perspectives | Archdiocese of Washington

Why Catholics Leave – A Recent Study and Some Comments from Two Different Perspectives | Archdiocese of Washington

Trial set to begin for Canadian Catholic Bishop on child pornography charges - The Washington Post

It may be a few difficult days for the Canadian Catholic Church as this trial gets going in Ottawa. I'll post any relevant details.

Trial set to begin for Canadian Catholic Bishop on child pornography charges - The Washington Post

03 May, 2011

Highlights from the Vatican Blogger Meeting « Cahiers Péguy

Highlights from the Vatican Blogger Meeting « Cahiers Péguy

Canada Votes 2011 - CBC News

Want to know who won where? Here's an interactive site from the CBC that gives all the information you could want.

Canada Votes 2011 - CBC News

Martin Rees: Atheists should drop anti-religion campaigns | Science | The Guardian

Martin Rees: Atheists should drop anti-religion campaigns | Science | The Guardian

Who's Betraying Tradition. The Grand Dispute

Who's Betraying Tradition. The Grand Dispute

Vatican Statement on Bin Laden s Death | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Vatican Statement on Bin Laden s Death | Blogs | NCRegister.com

Choosing Hell | The American Catholic

I have always believed and taught that God sends NO ONE to hell, but he respects the decisions we make in life as determinate as to where we want to spend eternity. This author explores this question in a concise and insightful way.

Choosing Hell | The American Catholic

Why the Church Needs Bloggers | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Why the Church Needs Bloggers | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Sacked Toowoomba Bishop decries 'inquisition' | The Australian

Bishop William Morris - formerly of the Toowoomba Diocese
Good Grief! If someone is appointed a Bishop, he has the moral and religious obligation to preach and teach the actual message of the Church. This does not mean that there must be absolute adherence to Church teaching in every forum.  I'm certain there were better ways for a Bishop to effectively express his personal opinions that are not in the public forum. He made his bed. Let him at least have the class to admit to the rightness of the act removing him as a principle 'teacher' and 'pastor' of a diocese if he found himself personally unable to reconcile his own opinions with Church teaching. At least, thanks to the action of the Vatican, he is no longer in the hypocritical position of pretending to represent the Church when he was clearly unwilling to do so.


Hopefully the Vatican (especially under the aegis of Cardinal Marc Ouellet) will take similar actions against any Bishop who so publicly strays from Church teaching - be if from the left or from the right!

Sacked Toowoomba Bishop decries 'inquisition' | The Australian

01 May, 2011

What was the Vatican thinking inviting Robert Mugabe to the beatification of JPII?

Talk about being 'tone deaf' to the public voice! Yikes! The British royal family withdraws the Syrian invitation in moral outrage over atrocities in that country yet Mugabe, who has the blood of tens of thousands on his hands is welcome within the Vatican? He is rightly vilified by the global community for his crimes against humanity. And he gets an invitation to the beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul???


Instead of rejoicing in the glow of a massive display of religious fervor in which 1.5 million people gathered together in prayer and celebration, this insensitive diplomatic demonstration of the Vatican's 'tin ear' is spreading across the internet. When it comes to understanding the real world, this Vatican administration continues to stumble from one distracting faux pas to another.


This is pretty troublesome when you consider that managing your 'brand' (message) is everything in today's western culture. Currently, the Vatican makes Donald Trump look good when it comes to using the media and a 'moment' to put your put your brand before the public. We take a glorious grace filled event as the beatification and somehow turn it into something that makes us look bad. Trump has parlayed a 2nd rate reality series into becoming the current leader among Republicans in the presidential election of 2012. 

Before anyone slits their wrists over that prospect, remember that at this point prior to the 2008 election, Rudy Gulliani and Hillary Clinton were the consensus favorites to carry their respective party's banner. Trump has zero chance of being on the ballot and even less a chance to win! He should have followed my advice and won the Nobel Peace prize. Then he might have had a shot :-)

Mugabe | Zimbabwe | Vatican | Pope John Paul II | Grace Mugabe

Weigel: Pope John Paul's Impact Will Continue for Centuries | Daily News | NCRegister.com

Weigel: Pope John Paul's Impact Will Continue for Centuries | Daily News | NCRegister.com

One More Reason Religion Is So Messed Up: Respected Theologian Defends Genocide and Infanticide | Belief | AlterNet

One More Reason Religion Is So Messed Up: Respected Theologian Defends Genocide and Infanticide | Belief | AlterNet

Crowds of faithful jam Vatican to honor Pope John Paul II - CNN.com

Crowds of faithful jam Vatican to honor Pope John Paul II - CNN.com

Why a liberal Catholic likes Blessed John Paul II - Guest Voices - The Washington Post

Why a liberal Catholic likes Blessed John Paul II - Guest Voices - The Washington Post

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