Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

"When we look to this great Pope, this courageous Christian, this tireless apostle, we cannot but say in the sight of God a word as simple as it is heartfelt and important: thanks! Thank you, our dear and beloved Pope Paul VI! Thank you for your humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his Church!"

--Pope Francis

Friday, October 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

"There is one Physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born and not born, who is God in man, true life in death, both from Mary and from God, first able to suffer and then unable to suffer, Jesus Christ our Lord."

--St. Ignatius of Antioch

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Will the Tea Party Lose Again?

With growing disapproval of the Obama administration’s leadership and the increasing popularity of the Tea Party movement within Republican ranks, many observers—myself included—are hopeful and even quite confident that the underdog GOP may make a strong comeback in the upcoming November elections, regaining control of the Senate, further expanding its strength in the House, and picking up a few more state governorships. This may yet happen, and we won’t be surprised if it does. However, we may not be as accurate and objective predictors of the upcoming election results as we like to think we are. We may be allowing excessive optimism and wishful thinking to obscure the full reality of the electoral situation America is currently facing. Specifically, we may be deliberately ignoring and failing to take into account (or at least underestimating) the two most influential and decisive factors in the upcoming elections, particularly in the Senate: 1) the relentless determination of the corrupt and well-funded Washington political establishment to retain its grip on power by any and all means necessary, and 2) the regrettable failure of Tea Party Republican candidates to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy for winning elections that is at least as reliable and effective as that of their establishment counterparts.

The plain fact is that the integrity of our national election system is now seriously compromised by the increasingly widespread and pervasive corruption of the Washington political establishment, which includes not only President Barack Obama and his Democratic cronies in the Senate and House, but also fat-cat Republican politicians in Congress who are content to tolerate his radical agenda for the sake of prolonging their careers. This immoral and unscrupulous establishment has been, is, and will continue to use big money, big lies, big media, and voter fraud to maximize its advantage over upstart Tea Party challengers, thus dishonestly and illegally manipulating America’s election system in order to retain control of our national politics.

Meanwhile, Tea Party Republicans, who have emerged as the prime alternative to the corrupt establishment in D.C., have the right principles and sound issue positions but lack a well thought out and coherent strategy for winning elections. Part of the problem is that, instead of clearly and consistently distinguishing themselves from the establishment, they frequently compromise with and surrender to it for the sake of short-term political gain. By employing such “go-along-to-get-along” tactics, they turn off the very voters that they set out to attract in the first place. For example, in both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, the Tea Party settled for an establishment Republican presidential nominee, hoping that its own more conservative vice-presidential nominee would convince Republican and independent voters to go for both of them. This tactic failed miserably in 2008 and contributed to the Tea Party failure of 2012.

Another part of the problem is that most Tea Party candidates are still using the old Republican campaign formula of focusing mainly on their middle-aged and older white voter base, whose overall percentage of the U.S. electorate is gradually shrinking. The Tea Party as a whole has not yet adapted to the changing demographic realities of the twenty-first century American electorate, nor is it adequately tapping the vast and steadily growing reserve of conservative black, Hispanic, and Asian voters in the nation’s larger cities who will play an increasing role in deciding national elections over the next few decades. Instead of aggressively campaigning to win minority votes as the Democrats constantly do, the Tea Party is simply writing off most urban black and Hispanic voters as committed Democrats. This is a big mistake, because despite their voting habits, most of them are in reality potential Tea Party Republican voters because of their solidly traditional values. According to recent Gallup polling, a majority of all minority voters identify themselves as pro-life, and a Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute poll revealed that 83 percent of Hispanics are pro-life. Furthermore, 70 percent of blacks and 53 percent of Hispanics supported California’s Proposition 8 which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The main reason why so many African, Hispanic, and Asian Americans routinely vote Democratic despite their values is because Democratic politicians have them convinced that Republicans are racist. Unfortunately, many Tea Party leaders reinforce this notion by neglecting to nominate minority candidates or reach out to minority voters.

But the biggest flaw of all in the Tea Party campaign strategy is its inversion of the proper hierarchy of values. The critically fundamental and non-negotiable moral and cultural issues such as the right to life, traditional marriage, religious liberty, freedom of conscience, and America’s Christian identity are of the greatest importance and should be given top priority; our other constitutional rights (such as the right to keep and bear arms and privacy rights) should come next in line; and all the important negotiable issues such as the economy and jobs, our national debt, education, energy, food safety, health care, poverty, prison reform, taxes, immigration, national defense, and foreign policy should follow. Yet most Tea Party candidates have the whole thing backwards: they place the most emphasis on jobs and economic growth, followed by selected negotiable issues and constitutional rights, and then at the end, almost as an afterthought, they mention that they are pro-life and will defend marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Many Tea Party candidates believe that focusing mainly on jobs and the economy is the best strategy to win votes in a prolonged recession. But the fact is that, even in troubled economic times, focusing primarily on the absolute moral values that form the very basis of our society and nation is what resonates most with voters across party lines and enables conservative candidates to win elections. It was an unswerving focus on these key moral issues that helped propel that Tea Party to victory in 2010 and powered Rick Santorum’s remarkable insurgency against Mitt Romney in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. When candidates speak of abortion as a grave moral evil that must be outlawed, when they pledge to protect our First Amendment rights from unjust federal encroachment, and when they defend marriage as it has been understood by all cultures throughout human history, these truths of the natural law resonate deeply within the core of potential voters in a way that job growth and securing our borders simply cannot. Furthermore, by courageously speaking the truth and sticking to their guns on these fundamental moral issues, candidates win the respect and support of many more voters than they otherwise would.

A related flaw in the Tea Party campaign strategy to unseat the Washington establishment is its failure to take full advantage of all the issues, and neglecting to make certain important topics campaign issues when they would certainly qualify as such. For example, most Tea Party candidates have little or nothing to say about the gradual loss of America’s traditional identity as a Christian nation due to the increasing influence of radical secularism on our national culture, nor do they discuss how to address this monumental problem. Furthermore, they prefer to avoid the thorny questions of whether “In God We Trust” should remain on our currency, whether prayer should be allowed in public schools, and whether the Ten Commandments should be displayed on public property. Their silence on these matters implies consent to the negative answers already being imposed on America by radically secularist lobby groups through the courts, the major media, and corrupt establishment politicians. In other words, by neglecting to make America’s traditional Christian identity one of their foremost campaign issues, which it certainly should be, most Tea Party candidates are allowing their opponents—America’s radically secularist enemies within—to control, dominate, and dictate the terms of the debate on this subject. They are surrendering when they should be on the offensive. They are victims when they should be leaders.

If the Tea Party is to present itself credibly as the future of America, it must develop and implement a comprehensive, aggressive, and forward-looking strategy for winning elections adapted to the realities of the twenty-first-century electorate. This strategy must include a proper order of emphasis on the issues and reaching out to the silent majority of black, Hispanic, and Asian voters who share its values. Only if it develops and implements such a strategy for victory at the polls will the Tea Party have a fighting chance on an electoral playing field artificially skewed in favor of the corrupt, and predominantly Democratic, Washington establishment by big money, big lies, big media, and voter fraud. These four dirty tricks often go together now in elections, and their combined results are most effective when used by establishment Democrats against establishment Republicans, or against Tea Party candidates who look and act like establishment Republicans. The close presidential election of 2012 offers a painful lesson in this regard.

In 2013, the American Civil Rights Union, an independent legal organization, uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2012 presidential election. In Ohio, for example (that key swing state in nearly all U.S. presidential elections), the ACRU found that Barack Obama received more than 99 percent of the vote in more than 100 precincts in Cuyahoga County alone. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, the organization discovered a large number of precincts in which Mitt Romney received no votes at all. (Both results are statistically impossible.) In Pennsylvania, a poll watcher found that electronic voting machines were switching about five to ten percent of the votes from Romney to Obama. In one of Virginia’s largest cities, another poll watcher reported that thousands of voters for Obama who could not speak English were apparently being bussed in, and many were voting more than once at the same polling location throughout the day. And in more than 200 counties across two dozen mostly eastern and central states, the number of registered voters exceeded the number of eligible voters. The total number of fraudulent votes cast in the 2012 presidential election was around four million. As a result of all this, Barack Obama was declared the victor by one and a half million votes, becoming the first president in American history to successfully pull off re-election through massive organized voter fraud—while keeping his dirty trick well concealed from most of the voters. Mitt Romney should have won the election by two and a half million votes.

And that was just one presidential election. Who knows how many other fraudulent elections we have unknowingly witnessed in recent years? There’s good reason to believe that voter fraud may have resulted in the narrow Colorado Senate race of 2010 being stolen from Tea Party challenger Ken Buck by Democratic establishment incumbent Michael Bennett. Probably several Senate races were stolen from Tea Party and Republican candidates by establishment Democrats in 2012. And just a few months ago in the Mississippi Republican primary, establishment Republican Thad Cochran claimed victory over Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel thanks to outright voter fraud. (McDaniel has been challenging this result ever since, and his case is currently being reviewed by the Mississippi Supreme Court.)

In addition to declining public approval of the reigning Washington political establishment, accurate and objective predictions for the return of the GOP in the rapidly approaching 2014 midterm elections will take into account the tenacity of that establishment as well as the strategy problem of the Tea Party that aspires to take its place. Putting all these most influential factors together, I predict that Republicans will pick up three to five seats in the Senate, not enough to retake control of that house of Congress. They will hold their own in the House of Representatives and maybe lose a state governorship or two. This will happen as a result of some of the upcoming elections again being stolen by establishment Democrats. Some may consider this forecast a bit pessimistic, but it is better to be realistic than to indulge in wishful thinking. On the whole, the 2014 elections will be another blow to the Tea Party movement, but hopefully this defeat will serve as a clear wake-up call to the realities of its own shortcomings and the staying power of the corrupt D.C. establishment. As a populist movement committed to returning America to her founding principles, the Tea Party has grown remarkably in national power and influence in recent years. It is here to stay, and there is no question that it carries within itself the potential to take command of our national future for decades to come. The question is whether it will make full use of that potential—and thus become strong enough to actually take over Washington and put its own agenda fully into practice.

Copyright © 2014 Justin D. Soutar. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility....The preservation of freedom calls for the cultivation of virtue, self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good and a sense of responsibility toward the less fortunate. It also demands the courage to engage in civic life and to bring one's deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate. In a word, freedom is ever new."

--Benedict XVI, Address to the American People, April 16, 2008

Thursday, October 9, 2014

ElectionWatch 2014: What's Going On?

With the Congressional general elections just a few weeks away, the battle for control of the U.S. Senate has become a real horse race. Although establishment Democratic senators are outspending their Republican Tea Party challengers by millions of dollars to try to win re-election in multiple key races, those challengers are staying very close to them in the polls--either neck-and-neck, slightly behind, or slightly ahead. This reflects the fact that the corrupt Washington establishment is slowly losing control of the federal government despite all its efforts to hang on to power. This trend is a hopeful sign for our country's future, even if Republicans fail to win a majority of seats in the Senate this time around, and even if Tea Party control of Washington politics is still some years away.

If polls indicate that American voters in general are turning toward the Tea Party, they also reveal a significant level of dissatisfaction with our nation's corrupt and deeply entrenched two-party system. At the moment, incumbent Democratic politicians can claim the support of 40 to 48 percent of likely voters in most of the key races, but in those very same races, their challengers are in the same boat, unable to gain the support of a majority of likely voters. Doing the math, this indicates that anywhere from four to twenty percent of the voters are not lining up behind either candidate. Of course, some of these voters are undecided at present and will throw their support behind one of the two leading candidates closer to Election Day. Others, however, are simply rejecting the two leading candidates and siding instead with third party or independent candidates. Both of these smaller groups of voters can be considered "swing voters" because they are the ones who will determine the outcome of these close races, whoever they end up voting for. These swing voters, along with many other "mainstream" voters who are already committed to one leading candidate or another, are increasingly disenchanted with the reigning two-party system as they realize that it has come to represent large corporate interests rather than the interests of the American people.

As a grassroots populist movement, the Tea Party offers an attractive alternative to this corrupt establishment, although its mass appeal may be somewhat limited by the fact that it operates within the structure of the Republican Party. I think the Tea Party movement carries within itself the potential to lead America gradually away from the two-party system and back to the non-partisan political system favored by George Washington. This could happen once the Tea Party becomes the unchallenged majority party of America. This won't happen overnight, but it's the direction in which our country is moving. Once that happens, with a general return to smaller, more honest, and more representative constitutional government, the stage will be set for the demise of the two-party system.

Getting back to the present situation, as its own candidates are being consistently outspent by incumbent Democratic politicians, unfortunately the Tea Party leadership cannot resist the temptation to curry favor with corrupt Republican establishment heavyweights in order to give its fundraising efforts a boost. This is detrimental to the movement, both in the short term and in the long term. In my opinion, the Tea Party is shooting itself in the foot by getting cozy with super-wealthy career politicians and business moguls like Mitt Romney and Dick Cheney. Its use of such big names to raise money for a grassroots movement with very different principles and values is blatantly dishonest. It is equally dishonest for such career politicians to represent themselves as friends of the Tea Party movement when their own track records tell a completely different story. The Tea Party must maintain its integrity by clearly and consistently distinguishing itself from the corrupt Republican establishment; otherwise, it will simply melt into that establishment and fail to bring to Washington the significant change and lasting reform it promises.

The race is on for control of the U.S. Senate. Our nation's future is hanging in the balance. Let's keep praying for our country and supporting pro-life Republican and Tea Party candidates. This is the best we can do for now. Stay tuned for further updates.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Father Benedict Groeschel, R.I.P.

Praise the Lord!

Father Benedict Groeschel of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (1933--2014) went to his heavenly reward a few days ago on Friday, October 3, the eve of the feast of his holy patron Saint Francis of Assisi and the very same day on which Saint Francis himself died. I fondly recall my own personal encounter with Father Groeschel as a boy of eleven when he came to speak at Saint Joseph's High School in my hometown of Santa Maria, California, in July of 1997. My mom and sister and I had the opportunity to meet him in the outdoor bookselling area after his talk. I remember how I was impressed with what a humble, quiet, kind and gracious man he was--very Christlike in every way. He wanted to sign a copy of one of his books and give it to us but for some reason wasn't able to, so he just wrote his small signature on a copy of the Grayfriar News, his religious order newsletter, and gave us that. Like millions of others, I watched his programs on EWTN for many years and benefited tremendously from his preaching, teaching and spiritual wisdom, which he also poured into dozens of books. His personal warmth and sense of humor made him an engaging speaker and author for people of all ages and backgrounds. He never boasted of his great learning as a priest-psychologist but always used it to serve the Church and human needs. His record of faithful service to the Church included working on the causes of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Servant of God Cardinal Terence Cooke; he also rigorously screened potential seminary candidates, helping to keep men with spiritual and psychological problems out of the priesthood. His decades of untiring humble service to the poor, the sick, and the outcast were truly inspirational. Furthermore, his Christian witness and ecumenical outreach drew millions of non-Catholics closer to the Church and led to many conversions to Catholicism (including Marcus Grodi, host of The Journey Home program on EWTN). In his later life, his courage and patience in suffering were edifying, reminding us of the similar example of Saint John Paul II. If a "tree is known by its fruit", as Our Lord tells us (Matt. 12:33; Luke 6:43-44), then Father Groeschel was "a good tree" that produced abundant fruit in the Lord's vineyard. He was a true hero of the Catholic Church in America, undoubtedly one of the greatest priests and friars our country has ever produced. His shining example of personal holiness and radical fidelity to the Gospel of Christ will continue to inspire the Church here in America and around the world. Let us pray that his cause for sainthood will be opened in the near future. May he rest in peace.

Click here for a ZENIT news article with a detailed obituary written by Father's fellow friars.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

"And this is the mystery of the Church: when the Church asks the Lord to console His people, the Lord humbly consoles, even hidden. He consoles in the depths of the heart and consoles with strength...Woe to us if we look for consolation elsewhere! Woe to the priests, the religious, the nuns, the novices, the consecrated when they look for consolation far from the Lord! I do not want to 'hit you over the head', eh? I do not want to become the executioner here, but know this well, eh? If you look for consolation somewhere else, you will not be happy! Even more so: no one will be able to console you, because your heart was not opened to the consolation of the Lord. And you will end, as the great Elijah says to the people of Israel, "limping with both legs". Praise be God the Father, God of every consolation, who consoles us in all our tribulations, so that we may also console those who find themselves in any form of affliction, with the consolation with which we ourselves have been consoled, by God."

--Pope Francis

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

ElectionWatch 2014: Chris McDaniel Has His Day

Today the Mississippi Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments presented by the Conservative Action Fund, a citizens' organization, on behalf of Tea Party Republican Senate candidate Chris McDaniel, officially challenging the outcome of the June 24 primary runoff election which was tainted by massive organized voter fraud.

Establishment politician and incumbent Republican Senator Thad Cochran managed to steal victory in that election by convincing thousands of registered Democratic voters to illegally cast votes for him. But, despite some setbacks--their case has been dismissed by lower courts--McDaniel and his loyal Tea Party supporters are determined not to let Senator Cochran get away with this sham "victory." They are continuing to fight back, and are determined to win this battle.

Three cheers for them! As American citizens, we should all support this worthy legal effort to overturn this fraudulent Senate primary election and give Chris McDaniel the nomination that rightfully belongs to him. Let's wish him the best and pray that justice will be done.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

"But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have known the sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus."

--2 Timothy 3:14-15

Friday, September 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

“Religious freedom...is not only a precious gift from the Lord for those who have faith: it is a gift for each person, because it is the basic guarantee of every other expression of freedom... Only faith reminds us that, if we have one Creator, we are therefore all brothers and sisters. Religious freedom is a safeguard against all forms of totalitarianism and contributes decisively to human fraternity.”

--St. John Paul II, Message to the Albanian People, April 25, 1993

Monday, September 22, 2014

ElectionWatch 2014: Turning Up the Heat

As we approach the general elections here in the United States, corrupt Democratic establishment politicians are going all out to retain their grip on power and prevent the Republican Party from regaining control of the Senate. They're spending millions of dollars on negative and dishonest TV advertisements filled with outright lies and stupid allegations in a full-on attempt to discredit and defeat totally respectable, honest, principled, hardworking, and competent up-and-coming Tea Party leaders who truly represent the American people and hold the future of this great nation in their hands. And sad to say, the mudslinging is working: the big money, big lies, and big media are having some effect on the American psyche, gradually swaying public opinion in their favor and away from the truly deserving candidates.

Several key Senate races are now too close to call. In Iowa, for example, Tea Party Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst is nearly tied with the Democratic candidate Bruce Braley due to the vigorous onslaught of negative campaigning. It's the same story in Colorado, where Tea Party Senate challenger Cory Gardner is neck in neck with Democratic Senator Mark Udall as a result of negative campaigning. Here in Virginia, home to another key Senate race, Tea Party challenger Ed Gillespie has been steadily closing in on Democratic Senator Mark Warner in the polls, but it's not at all certain he will successfully withstand the hurricane of negative ads now swirling around him. If Democrats win any of these three races thanks to their despicable dirty tricks, Republicans probably will fail to take over the Senate.

Nor is the corrupt establishment content with keeping the Senate under its control: Incumbent Republican (and mostly Tea Party) governors, senators, and representatives are fair game as well, and the same dirty tricks are being employed in an attempt to oust the good leaders we already have and replace them with more establishment stooges. In Wisconsin, for example, Governor Scott Walker, a popular leader who has served the state well these last four years, is facing the challenge of a lifetime just to win a second term. His Democratic opponent has unleashed a veritable assault of negative campaign advertisements filled with slander and falsehood, designed to destroy his good name and prevent his re-election.

In such a hostile climate, it's doubtful whether Republican candidates will manage to pick up the six seats necessary to regain control of the U.S. Senate. The corrupt Washington political establishment is bound and determined to steal as many of these elections as is necessary to retain and even expand its illegitimate control of national politics, thereby holding back the Tea Party landslide that should wash it away in a few months. However, faced with this frustrating situation, we the people must not become discouraged in our quest to take back our nation. Despite all attempts at suppression, our movement continues to grow in strength and numbers. Failure to win six seats in the Senate will not signal the end of the Tea Party movement or the total demise of America. Each of us must keep doing what we can--pray for our country and vote for good leaders--while remaining faithful to our core values of Christian faith and morality, human rights and liberty, and Constitutional government. It is united and unflagging adherence to these timeless values that will rescue our country from deadly peril and set it on a path of reconstruction and renewal, offering hope for a brighter future for the United States of America.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Closeness and compassion: this is how the Lord visits His people. And when we want to proclaim the Gospel, to bring forth the word of Jesus, this is the path. The other path is that of the teachers, the preachers of the time: the doctors of the law, the scribes, the Pharisees [who] distanced themselves from the people, with their words ... well: they spoke well. They taught the law, well. But they were distant. And this was not a visit of the Lord: It was something else. The people did not feel this to be a grace, because it lacked that closeness, it lacked compassion, it lacked that essence of suffering with the people....

"You can preach the Word of God brilliantly. There have been many excellent preachers throughout history. But if these preachers have failed to sow hope, that sermon is useless. It is mere vanity....

"And so we ask for the grace that our Christian witness be a witness that brings the closeness of God to His people, that closeness that sows hope."

--Pope Francis

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Two Main Threats to Our National Security

Thirteen years ago on this day, America suffered a coordinated and devastating terrorist assault by wicked agents of a Middle Eastern foreign power. Today America is again under attack—not by violent religious fanatics from without, but by the forces of immorality and radical secularism from within.

“Immorality is un-American and a threat to national security!” Such were the words addressed by Father John Corapi to millions of Catholics across this nation in the years immediately following the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Those words were true then, and they ring just as true today.

We live in a nation where immoral acts such as abortion, artificial contraception, the destruction of human embryos, extramarital sex, and homosexual acts are legally permitted, culturally tolerated, widely encouraged, frequently committed, and, in some cases, publicly funded and legally mandated—all in violation of the natural law written by God in the human heart.

Radical secularists want to kick God out of our national culture. They claim we’d all be better off without Him. They are blind guides leading the blind (cf. Matt. 15:14). Their totalitarian ideology is a recipe for national suicide.

Internal immorality and radical secularism pose a greater threat to our national security than all the external terrorists put together. Therefore, if we truly love God and love our country, if we consider ourselves religious and patriotic, we must courageously do battle with these twin enemies of our nation, both in our own lives and in the public square.

Sadly, two of America’s foremost Catholic cultural warriors—Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Bill Donohue—recently handed an olive branch to our country’s worst enemies: They publicly announced their approval of homosexual demonstrators joining the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York next year, for the first time ever in the history of this event.

Bill Donohue stated clearly in a press release that he had no problem with homosexual activists marching as a group with their own banner in the parade, so long as pro-life demonstrators were permitted to do the same. Apparently he felt that accepting homosexual activists’ participation in the event was a useful bargaining chip for getting pro-life activists into the march. But the end does not justify the means. You cannot compromise with evil in order to obtain a good.

Perhaps Donohue also believed that, in the name of freedom of speech and tolerance, these two very different activist groups were equally entitled to participation in this annual public event. But the Saint Patrick’s Day parade is an undeniably Catholic event, albeit open to the general public, so the rules for participation in it should reflect Catholic teaching. On this basis, it would certainly be appropriate to admit pro-life demonstrators to this event, but it would never be appropriate to admit homosexual demonstrators.

According to Catholic teaching, freedom and tolerance do not apply to immoral behavior; they apply only to what is true, good, and beautiful. The homosexual activists will be promoting a grave moral evil that violates God’s law and wreaks social havoc, while the pro-life activists would be defending the most fundamental God-given human right to life of the innocent unborn, which currently is not protected by law in the United States. There can be no moral comparison or equivalence between two such radically different groups.

Cardinal Dolan has also declared that he has no problem with homosexual demonstrators marching behind him in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. It’s bad enough when a prominent lay Catholic tolerates the public promotion of immorality in a traditional religious and cultural event designed to honor a great Catholic saint; it’s far worse when the cardinal-archbishop gives such immorality his blessing in an official and highly visible public way. That’s exactly what Cardinal Dolan is doing by agreeing to serve as Grand Marshal of the parade next year. By doing so, he is betraying Christ and the Church and surrendering to America’s twin enemies of immorality and radical secularism—in exchange for what? A good time? A little notoriety or popularity?

Previous cardinal-archbishops of New York acted differently when their religious beliefs and moral convictions were on the line. Cardinal Terence Cooke, for example, declined to appear at the scheduled time in front of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral to give the customary blessing to the marchers of the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in 1981 because the Grand Marshal that year, Michael Flannery, was associated with a terrorist group in Northern Ireland. By deliberately appearing late, Cardinal Cooke took a stand and sent a clear, unmistakable message: The Catholic Church does not approve of violent attacks on innocent civilians.

Cardinal Dolan’s jolly participation in next year’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade as Grand Marshal, with thousands of homosexual activists proudly marching behind him with their signs and banner, will be a sacrilege and a scandal. It will shout to New Yorkers and to the whole world through a megaphone that the Catholic Church approves of homosexual acts and activism. That is certainly how the major media will interpret this charade. It is a false and dangerous message to send. It is contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who calls all men and women, including persons with homosexual inclinations, to the challenge and true freedom of living chaste lives. And it is contrary to the example set by his fearless predecessors in the faith, who demonstrated the courage of their convictions by consistently preaching and defending the truth regardless of the winds of fashion and public opinion.

To his credit, Bill Donohue has announced that the Catholic League will not participate in the 2015 Saint Patrick’s Day parade. Unfortunately, however, through his flawed approach to the issue, including his conditional approval of homosexual demonstrators participating in the event, he has taken one step back from the culture war, allowing a cherished symbol of our Catholic heritage to be tainted by immorality and radical secularism. Had he and Cardinal Dolan rallied millions of fellow Catholics to demand that homosexual activists be kept out of the march as they always have been until now, this whole debacle could have been avoided and the Catholic identity of the event preserved intact. Instead, thanks to their misplaced tolerance, the parade is now on a slippery slope toward increasing secularization and the promotion of every kind of immorality in the years ahead.

Vocal homosexual activists should have no place in a Catholic religious and cultural event such as the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. They have every right to participate incognito just like hundreds of thousands of other marchers, but this particular event is not an appropriate venue for them to push an immoral and radically secularist agenda that conflicts with Catholic teaching and natural law. After all, their main reason for marching as homosexual activists is to demand that their immoral relationships be given legal recognition equal to that of heterosexual marriage, the Creator’s own design and the foundation of human society. Such immorality should not be legally recognized by any government of a civilized nation; still less should the attempt to gain this recognition be implicitly condoned by a high-ranking Catholic prelate such as the cardinal-archbishop of New York.

“Immorality is un-American and a threat to national security!” By approving the admission of homosexual activists into the historic Saint Patrick’s Day parade, Cardinal Dolan and Bill Donohue have done a regrettable disservice to God and country, compromising with America’s twin enemies of immorality and radical secularism for the sake of some temporary advantage. Let us pray for these two well-known Catholic leaders, that they recognize their error and work to repair the damage they have done. At the very least, Cardinal Dolan should follow Donohue’s lead in withdrawing from the parade. Through the intercession of Saint Patrick, our heavenly friend, may they both continue to fight the good fight as faithful witnesses to Christ and as loyal American citizens, remembering that religion and morality are the two principal guardians of our national security, prosperity, and well-being.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ElectionWatch 2014: Virginia Is Back in the Game!

Good news! Another U.S. Senate seat held by an incumbent Democrat is now up for grabs. For the past several months, Virginia's Democratic Senator Mark Warner was expected to easily defeat Republican challenger Ed Gillespie and win re-election handily this coming November. But now, thanks largely to increasing public disapproval of Warner's loyal support for ObamaCare in violation of his own explicit campaign promises in 2008, Warner's lead in the polls over Gillespie has shrunk from 30 points earlier this year to just ten points at the end of August. Bottom line: Virginia now features one of the nation's battleground Senate races, and political experts agree that a Republican victory in Virginia will be critical to shifting control of the Senate back to Republicans.

Does Ed Gillespie have the credentials to replace Mark Warner? Absolutely. A devout Catholic grandson of Irish immigrants and a coal miner's son, Ed represents the humble working class that made America an economic powerhouse. Ed is a true "conservative," which means pro-life, pro-religious liberty, anti-ObamaCare, constitutionally limited government, lower taxes, a balanced budget, and economic opportunity for everyone. He has quite a bit of experience in politics, having served as a White House counselor to President Bush, chairman of the Republican National Committee, chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, and as a successful campaign strategist for President Bush (2000 and 2004) and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (2009). Ed has what it takes to serve our state and nation as a U.S. Senator, and as such he would be a vast improvement over Senator Warner. We in Virginia and the United States stand in great need of the principled leadership offered by Tea Party and other Republican candidates like Gillespie.

The only remaining question is: Will Ed Gillespie unseat Mark Warner on November 4? This is shaping up to be yet another close race, so it's very difficult to predict two months in advance what will actually happen on Election Day. After unfortunately narrow defeats for the Tea Party in the 2012 elections and in Virginia's 2013 election for governor, I don't want to get my hopes up too much that we will win this time. Although he is losing ground, Warner is still leading in the polls and has millions of dollars to spend on negative attack ads against Gillespie, which may enable him to just barely hold that lead just long enough to pull victory from the yawning jaws of defeat. On the other hand, however, Gillespie's campaign has now reached a critical mass to threaten Warner's re-election, as Warner's own campaign strategists now admit, and if public opinion continues to shift away from Warner and toward Gillespie, he may end up winning the election and joining the U.S. Senate.

Either way, Virginia is now definitely a battleground state for control of the Senate, and thus of the federal government. The stakes are high, and we really need to win this time. So let's get busy! Pray for victory, get the word out about Ed, donate to his campaign, volunteer if you can, and if you live in Virginia, vote for him and urge your relatives and friends to do the same. Together, we the people can take our country back from the corrupt and irresponsible establishment politicians who are destroying it for their own financial benefit--one prayer, one donation, and one vote at a time.

Go Tea Party!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

"God is the author of the existence of our nature and, therefore, He must be our Teacher if we are ever to be wise, and He must be the Source of our inmost consolation if we are ever to be happy."

--Saint Augustine, City of God, Book XI, Ch. 25