The Social Catholic: Conservative Current Events

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Posts tagged with "politics"

Feeding America: What’s going on here?

Feeding America over the past year has engaged in a rather large marketing campaign with some pretty big named stars. Ben Afleck and Taye Diggs are just a few of the actors involved. Here are a couple highlights of the ad campaign



Now don’t misunderstand me. I am a huge supporter of food banks and I frequently donate to canned food drives when opportunities present themselves. However something rubs me wrong about this ad campaign by Feeding America. Feeding America began as a religious organization named St. Mary’s Food Bank out of Arizona, but after accepting federal money the name changed for some reason.

For some reason President Obama is featured frequently in this ad campaign a search for Feeding America in Youtube brings up Mr. Obama several times giving the organization an oddly political message. Then I found this interesting article which seems to describe a fundraiser as some sort of reaction to a GOP candidate.


Wisconsin rock the pantry


Now that’s all well and good the left is welcome to do their charity work and they can take pride in it that’s not my complaint. My complaint is why are they spending so much money on this ad campaign, and further more there is this…


Feeding America ad in the Philippines


My wife lives in Cebu Philippines. This is an ad that showed up on her Yahoo messenger last night while she was connected through a Philippine server with a Philippine IP address. As we all know ads are expensive and internet ads are selectively targeted in order to reach your target audience with the fewest amount of dollars spent. So why is Feeding America advertising for Philippine citizens to donate to the cause? My wife’s city Cebu is currently experiencing a water shortage and water is being rationed to her neighborhood. Down the street children beg for money, and by the docks the people live in extreme poverty to the point that would make our American homeless blush. Yet an American charity is attempting to solicit funds from these people. All with apparently the backing of the current administration and some big names in Hollywood. I’m not going to make any wild assumptions here about some sort of conspiracy, but I think the matter warrants a little investigation wouldn’t you say? Either funds from Feeding America are being wildly mismanaged or something else is a foot here. I’d love to get your opinion please leave a comment and let me know what you think about this situation.

Republican Nomination: “Blood Letting” Hurt Democrats not GOP

When checking out Google trends today I came across something very interesting. I was typing in random words for fun, and I found this graph. If you notice up until 2010 after the midterm election democrats have historically been center stage on the internet. There has scarce been a time when republicans were searched more frequently, and the news seems to have taken the same path. That all changed as the candidates started to take their positions for the primary race for the nomination.


As the graph below shows the frequency of searches and the news coverage about republicans, for the first time in at least 8 years, has overtaken the democrats. More people in the past year sought out the republican party online.



Republican verse Democrat in search volume

As we all know any news is good news because the average human being will repeat what they encounter the most. We are creatures of habit and if you aren’t sure who to vote for (independents) then you will naturally choose the name you heard most frequently.


Before Rick Santorum suspended his campaign there was quite the buzz in various media sources that the race for the nomination was becoming a distraction from the campaign. Talking heads went on and on calling the primary election “Blood letting”. It seems however that what was in fact happening was very different. As the race heated up and political ads fired back and forth the interest in the republican party increased. People weren’t loosing interest as the news agencies were leading America to believe. In fact as you can see by the graph above the longer the race went on the greater portion of internet attention the GOP received. The hard fought battle for the nomination was the best campaign tool for Mitt Romney. Another rarely mentioned fact about the hard fought race was the Obama factor. Without a clear candidate to address his attacks at Mr. Obama left his campaign very much on hold. Immediately following the announcement by Rick Santorum the Obama campaign unleashed a hoard of campaign materials against Mitt in various media forms. If the race for the nomination had continued longer it is likely that that torrent of negative campaigning would have laid dormant. All the while giving the general public more time to get better acquainted with the republican party.


Unfortunately for the GOP the Obama campaign is leaps and bounds beyond the republicans at monitoring social awareness and trends through the internet. There are some start ups working toward conservative ends, but the majority of political experts taking full advantage of concepts like SEO and SMM are liberals. In our society not taking full advantage of internet opportunities can break a start up or even a well established business. It’s good to see the GOP making moves toward eListening however it may be to little to late. President Obama’s campaign has a well trained staff monitoring online chatter around the clock and they have been at it for some time now. Luckily public sentiment as currently focused on republicans, but expect a huge blitz of online material from the left to combat this trend.

Catholic and Orthodox Bishops Pray for LIFE

During this year’s March for Life an unprecedented event took place. Catholic and Orthodox bishops bridged the Millennium wide riff between them and joined in prayer together in support of the pro-life event at the nation’s capitol. Some might be tempted to over look this monumental step by the two oldest expressions of the Christian faith. That would be a mistake. Joint prayer between the two is a rare occurrence. The most notable time in recent history that Orthodox and Catholic bishops were seen praying together was the funeral service for pope John Paul the Great. Below is a video of the monumental joint prayer at this year’s March for Life.





Many in the crowd for the March for life were very moved by the experience, but some seemed to not understand the magnitude of what was happening on the stage. As I sat there enthralled camera phone rolling I was disappointed to see a man walking threw the crowd shouting, “T-shirts for sale! $5 get your march for Life T-shirts!” while everyone was silently praying.

The March went on to feature the usual hour of senators and representatives sharing their enthusiasm and doing just a little bit of campaigning. However following the long speeches and a lot of standing around the crowd took to the streets marching through the National Mall it was a site to behold as you can see below







Clergy and politicians alike walked the streets of DC in support of human rights. However there was a bit of pushback by many local pro-life supporters who did not attend this years March for Life because the event was held midweek. Many professionals in the area were unable to leave work to attend the event. I spoke to a couple executives from local companies that wished the organizers of the March for Life would change the date of the event for next year.


There is a strong desire among many supporters for the event to be held during the Spring or Fall when weather conditions could attract a much larger crowd. The organizers chose the dead of winter for the March for Life to show the resolve of the pro-life movement, but a much stronger message could be sent by many more people attending. We will have to wait and see if the event is rescheduled next year. Until then let’s all join the catholic and Orthodox bishops and work toward fostering greater unity so that we might stand strong together against the unjust killing of the pre-born.

(Source: youtube.com)

War on Women: Ann Romney gets apology from Hilary Rosen

Hilary Rosen apologized to Ann Romney today which is making big news especially on Twitter, but more importantly and somewhat swept under the rug was this statement by Hilary Rosen,

"Let’s declare peace in this phony war and go back to focus on the substance."

This statement is huge for the democrats and left leaning liberals in general. I have a new found respect for Hilary Rosen. Obviously this particular statement wasn’t focused on heavily by ABC news in this article.

Read: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/ann-romney-defends-stay-home-mom-status/story?id=16124396#.T4d0OKtSSnk

Maybe it was a gaff but declaring the “war on women” mantra, so often chanted by the supporters of Mr. Obama, phony was a huge step forward in focusing on policy and issues. To this point the Democratic campaign has been a shouting match of hateful nonsense, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe the nation can work on being less divided and really sit down and honestly discuss policy. Democrats should follow Hilary Rosen’s lead and work on being more civil. After all civility is a very frequent word leaving the lips of our commander and chief when discussing politics. It’s about time somebody directed that at both sides. What Rosen said about Ann Romney was offensive, but in the long run it may have helped the Republican campaign as it drew much attention to the double standard so frequently felt by GOP supporters.

Apr 7

<h1>Bible Study: The Board and the Spec</h1>

Scripture verse for the week…

"Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."
Luke 6:37,38


How often do we judge our neighbor? Judgments have become an everyday thing for us. “He’s a creeper”, “She’s a know it all”, “He’s a liar”…. etc… In this chapter of Luke Jesus tells us that the measure by which we measure will be used to measure us. That simply means that God will treat you as you treated him. Don’t forget that God is in all of us. We are Christ’s living body or as St. Therese would say we are little Christs called to live like Christ because Christ dwells within each of us. So when we judge our neighbor… we judge Christ. When we condemn our neighbor we are condemning Christ. When we pigeon hole our brothers and sisters into a category that we think they belong in or dwell in negativity towards a person we not only do this to Christ as well, but we rob them of their dignity as a human person. Christ called us to Love like he loved, and he loved you so much that he died on a cross for you, and for each and every human person. Picture the weirdest, ugliest, most sinful, or most “screwed up” person you can. Get a real good mental image of this person. Ok got it? Now would you willingly give up your life for that person? Would you even give up drinking, or watching TV, or sarcasm for that person? Would I? Would any of us? It’s easy for us to say yes to these questions and feel good about ourselves, but would we really follow through or are these just words? I think the truth is that more often than not we would rather love ourselves and have our way than truly love our brothers and sisters. However, every moment… of every day…EVERY person deserves to retain the fullness of their dignity as a human person, their dignity as the beloved of Christ. Our job is not one of condemnation, or judgment, as Dane Cook would say, “I’m not the Lord. I can’t do that.” God called us to Love and forgive. He loved and forgave every person who had a hand in his death (“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” -Luke 23:34) how petty are you and I then, that we can not forgive each other for the smallest thing, or love each other in spite of our flaws? Those two things, Love and forgiveness, just might change somebody’s life forever. In fact they just might save somebody’s life. God promised that if we give (and giving means sacrificing and dying to self) he will pour his overflowing gifts upon us. But, when we steal that dignity from our neighbor we measure them with a small cup. God will measure his gifts to us with that same cup.

I don’t know about you, but I want the biggest cup I can have of things like; Mercy, Love, Justice, Peace, Grace, Salvation and Eternal Life…etc… I’m talking bigger than the 100 ounce Mountain Dew cups Travis, Nick and I bought at the fair. But again let’s go back, what am I measuring my forgiveness and Love with?

Later in this passage Jesus tells us to remove the board from our own eye before we worry about the spec in our neighbors. There is no room in the body of Christ for casting dispersions. We are all in need of the saving power of Christ’s love and forgiveness. The personal problems we have with others are actually just failed opportunities to share that Love and forgivness on our part.

“Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.” Luke 6:37,38

We Pray… Lord God, as summer slowly comes to a close, and the school year creeps up upon us, let us prepare our hearts and our minds to measure our neighbor with a God sized cup. Help us to see the dignity and beauty in every human being as well as your very Life, which is your Grace, dwelling within them. Guide our hearts and minds from judgment and condemnation into forgiveness and love. We pray through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel that you drive away the evil that desires our hearts, and causes us to dwell in negativity. Saint Michael, Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou, Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into Hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Challenge… This week challenge yourself to recognize one person you may have injured through judgment or condemnation. Don’t pick somebody that you already feel like you have wounded. Try to recognize for the first time how your actions may have robbed somebody of their dignity, and once you have a person in mind dedicate at least 5 minutes to praying for this person, and for the strength and faith to bring Love and forgiveness into your relationship with them.

May God Bless you all this week, and may the remainder of your summer vacations be filled with relaxation and enjoyment!

Your Brother from a Holy Mother,

Apr 6

Bible Study: Even the Devil Believes in God

Verse of the week:
"as it is written: ‘There is no one just, not one,there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God.All have gone astray; all alike are worthless; there is not one who does good, (there is not) even one.Their throats are open graves; they deceive with their tongues; the venom of asps is on their lips;their mouths are full of bitter cursing.Their feet are quick to shed blood;ruin and misery are in their ways,and the way of peace they know not.There is no fear of God before their eyes’.” -Romans 3:10-18

I was only going to take a portion of that verse, but the whole quote is so good.  It’s a pretty humbling statement, and it is meant for all of us.  I was going to take this time to mention something about “The Golden Compass” a movie coming out this week, but in looking for a bible verse to shed light on the subject I found this.  What St. Paul is trying to tell us here is that we are all sinners.  From the most radical Traditionalist to the most liberal “atheist” we have one thing in common, and that is our sinfulness.  Paul spends 7 chapters in the book of Romans telling us that humanity is completely lost to evil, but saved through Christ Jesus.  That humility is an important thing to hold on to.  You would do well to keep it close.  In the eye’s of Christ we are all sinners redeemed by his blood.  We’re all in the same boat.  

Speaking of boats I’ve got a little beef with a certain compass, “The Golden Compass” to be exact.  I would recommend that nobody go to see this movie.  I pointed out last week that we should vote with our dollar on movies with morals such as Bella.  This movie is the exact opposite.  Based on a best selling novel championing “atheist” ideals this story is quite literally the anti-Narnia.  Like Narnia by C.S. Lewis this story line depicts a small girl, and a wardrobe, and sentient animal creatures, but there is one very important distinction between the two.  In Narnia the lion Azlan takes on a Christ like role, and models the Sacrifice, and resurrection of our Lord.  However  “The Golden  Compass” is an open challenge to faith, and most especially to the Catholic Church.  The evil antagonist entity in this movie is called the Magisterium.  Sound familiar?  It should that is the name of the ruling body of our Church.  The most horrid thing about this story line remains in the book, but has been removed for the movie do solely to marketing research.  In the book the children kill God, and this is depicted as salvation for humanity. 

If you want to find proof of St. Paul’s point in our Bible verse this week look no further than “Atheism” as expressed in this abhorrent movie.  This is exactly what all of us would be like without the salvation of Christ.  “Atheism” can be tempting championing free will above all other things, but what makes our free will so special is our ability to restrain our selves from our desires.  If you use your free will to always do what you desire then you have really just given up your free will.  When we choose God’s plan over our own desires we are truly freed from the enslavement of our sinful human instincts, and desires.  Only through God can we see that what our media, our culture, and our atheist neighbors call freedom is truly the worst kind of mindless slavery. 

You may have noticed and been curious why I keep putting “atheist” in quotes.  The reason is that a true atheist does not exist.  Every human being is imprinted with a desire for God if you want some proof of that read the first third of the Summa Theologica.  The whole first third outlines the relationship between God and Man.  In a nut shell when we were created God imprinted on us, out of his great love, the desire to seek him, and to know him.  For this reason every nation every tribe of humans on the planet has some form of religious expression.  Every one is seeking God.  The truth about an “atheist” is that he is angry at God, angry at his lot in life or angry that he must follow morals to be a good person.  These people lash out against God, but to lash out at God, one must first believe in him.  There is another word for these people that is more fitting that word is agnostic, meaning that they believe the truth about God to be unknown, or unknowable.  Nobody believes in nothing.  I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes, “Even the Devil believes in God.” 


Challenge:
Every one who didn’t go see Bella yet really should, and read the reviews for both Bella and The Golden Compass @ Lifeteen.com.  But most importantly don’t go see The Golden Compass, and incourage your friends and family not to as well.

God Bless!!

Your Brother in the Holy Mother, 

Apr 6

Bible Study: Roe vs. Wade Abortion Pro-Life

Hello everyone!!

Today is a day of Fasting for the many who have fallen victim to legalized abortion.  1/3 of your generation is missing.  Friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, class mates, team mates… all gone.  Since 1973 there has been no greater cause of death (by an extremely wide margin) than abortion.  Most studies stopped counting in 1998, but there have been well over 40 million abortions since 1973, probably closer to 50 million, and that number is for the United States alone. 

Scripture Verse of the Week:
"We urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, cheer the fainthearted, support the weak, be patient with all."
                                                                        1 Thessalonians 5:14

       This is the 5th day a week of prayer called for by the pontifical council.  This week of prayer is to be centered around church unity.  The scripture above is the verse which we are called to focus on today by our Pope.  We are called to cheer, support, and to admonish when necessary, those who find themselves outside of Unity with the Church.  The Church is quite literally the Body of Christ.  We take Christ into our bodies through the Eucharist and become ‘little Christs’ for the world.  St. Theresa of Lisieux  calls us to be like Christ in the little things.  She calls this the “little way”.  What St. Theresa means by the “little way” is that in order to be Christ for the world we must be Christ in our Ordinary lives in all the little things we do throughout the day.  Christ comes to meet us in our ordinary every day lives the question is; Are we ready to accept him there??? 
       It is in being Christ in the little ways, that we can show Christ to our separated brothers and sisters.  Christians who do not follow the Teaching Authority of the Chair of Peter (the Pope[Papa, Papem, Pontif, the biggest cheese that isn’t God]) are still Christian they are still our brothers and sisters, however they have what the Church refers to as partial truth.  This means that they do not recognize the fullness of all that Jesus has left us.  We are called by Christ to draw our brothers and sisters into the fullness of sacramental Christian living.  The way in which we are called to do this is again through good cheer to the faint of heart, support and love for those who grow weak, and to admonish when necessary those who stray from the fullness of Christianity.  This last part is tricky.  I’m calling in some support from my good friend Webster.  Admonishment:  
1 a: to indicate duties or obligations to b: to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner 2: to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to.  So what does that mean for us?  This means that when a person is wrong we are obligated to express warning and disapproval, or to inform them of proper duties or obligations.  However… it is absolutely important to do this out of a spirit of Christian Charity (LOVE), and an obligation to take seriously and deal with gently. 
        These things are all done best along the “little way”.  Bring Christ in to all the little things in your life, and you will naturally be supportive and cheerful, and when admonishment is necessary it will flow naturally from the great Love that Christ has grown within you. 
It is also worth pointing out that admonishment is impossible without personal knowledge and understanding of the ways in which Christ chooses to dispense his grace in our lives.  So spend time with the Eucharist, and spend time with your Catechism. 

Challenge:
This challenge is three fold #1 Spend an hour with the Eucharist this week. #2 Spend an hour reading the Catechism this week. #3 Be cheerful and supportive :). 

God Bless you all this week!!

Your Brother from a Holy Mother,

Apr 6

Bible Study: The Letter of James, A Reformation nightmare

Well we have no Bible study this week so I thought I’d give you a little scripture any way.  The Letter of James is very short 4 pages long.  So before you finish reading this email I want you to stop now and go check it out.  If you don’t have a bible handy then just click this link:

The Letter of James written ca. A.D. 90


Ok so now that you have read the letter of James what are some of your thoughts on it?  Give it a think before you continue reading.

The letter of James which was most likely written especially for the Christians who were formerly Jews is packed full of interesting stuff.  It’s a completely different perspective than the letters we are used to reading because it was not written by Paul.  James focuses on salvation through the lens of conversion, baptism, forgiveness of sin, and expectation of judgment.  Paul focuses more on Christology, the study of the person of Christ.  This makes sense do to the dramatic conversion event that Paul experienced in the presence of Christ.

On to the meat and cheese :)

Whether they are Baptist, Lutheran, Calvanist or episcopal one element of Protestant faith that is nearly universal is the belief in some sort of predestination this is in stark contrast to our Catholic belief in freewill.  In the 15th century when Reform movments started to gain footholds in Europe several different branches of Protestantism emerged.  Among the most prominant were Zwingli and Calvin’s Swiss reform, and Martin Luther’s German Reform movments.  Although very different in theological matters one thing that nearly all of them held in common was this belief in predestintation, the idea that before our creation God chose wether we were to go to heaven or hell seemingly at random.  We know this to be a false teaching through the ministry of the Holy Church, and through the Truth expressed in the letter of James.

Many such heresies which the Reformers introduced to the faithful in the 15th century are thwarted by the Wisdom of the Letter of James.  It has been compared to books like Sirach and Wisdom in the Old Testament.  For this reason Martin Luther believed that James was, ”An Epistle of straw” which he used to “Fire the furnace” Luther believed that James should be removed from the Bible as an apocryphal work.  Having already removed the deuterocanonical works from the Bible James found it tough to find support for removing James as well.  One finds it interesting to note that Luther and Calvin for that matter believed in Sola Scriptura however they also believed that only they could truly define the cannon, and that some of the scripture was infact wrong.  This error on the part of the Remormers effectively removed both Tradition and Scripture from their churches as authoritative guides to Christianity leaving them without either.

If one were to attempt a logical look at Sola Scriptura which we know to be a false Doctrine that person would find something rather odd.  James a piece of Scripture Recomends the Sacraments of Confession and Anointing of the Sick which Luther removed as unsacramental.  James supports the true representation of the relationship between faith and works which was contrary to Luthers beliefs.  Predestination becomes impossible after reading chapter 2 of James.  So as James  does much to support Catholic doctrine, and Tradition it takes the wind out of Protestant sails whether it is included in their version of the Bible or not.

As a side note nearly all American Christian denominations find their roots in either Calvin or Luther, or both.