Thursday, September 30, 2010

Want to Take a Tour of Noah's Ark?

Now you can!


Working Replica of Noah's Ark opened In SCHAGEN, Netherlands .
Man Builds Noah's Ark to the exact scale given in the Bible.

The massive central door in the side of Noah's Ark was opened and the first crowd of curious townsfolk beheld the wonder. This replica of the biblical Ark was built by Dutch Creationist Johan Huibers as a testament to his faith in the literal truth of the Bible.

The ark is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That's two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-story house.

Life-sized models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold.

A contractor by trade, Huibers built the ark of cedar and pine. Biblical scholars debate exactly what the wood used by Noah would have been.

Huibers did the work mostly with his own hands, using modern tools and with occasional help from his son Roy. Construction began in May 2005. On the uncovered top deck .... not quite ready in time for the opening .... will come a petting zoo, with baby lambs and chickens, and goats, and one camel.

Visitors on the first day were stunned.

'It's beyond comprehension', said Mary Louise Starosciak, who happened to be bicycling by with her husband while on vacation when they saw the ark looming over the local landscape.

'I knew the story of Noah, but I had no idea the boat would have been so big! ' There is enough space near the keel for a 50-seat film theater where kids can watch a video that tells the story of Noah and his ark. Huibers, a Christian man, said he hopes the project will renew interest in Christianity in the Netherlands, where church going has fallen dramatically in the past 50 years.

Now that I am old and gray....give me the time to tell this new generation (and their children too) about all of Your mighty miracles.
Psalm 71:18

In the midst of so much negative news here is a positive story about a devout Christian man wanting to share the story of Noah with this and the next generation hoping he will bring their faith alive. Amazing isn't it?

Yes, it's wonderful to see someone like this undertaking such a project for the greater glory of God. The above story and pictures are making the rounds of the email sphere, and apparently generating a lot of interest. A friend dropped them into my email box, and I decided to share them with my readers who may not have seen the story yet.

By the way, I am a "Catholic Creationist," who also believes in the literal truth of Genesis chapters 1 through 11 in accordance with the Fathers of the Church and traditional Catholic theology. It is my fervent wish to help revive this rich theological doctrine of creation which, as former Cardinal Ratzinger has lamented, has been all but lost in our time. Its revival and rediscovery will enrich our Catholic faith, greatly advance ecumenism and lay the foundation for a correct modern science. It will also give great honor to God our Heavenly Father, the Creator and Origin of all things.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I've Just Joined Twitter... that I could join millions of other Americans in sending an important message to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Click here to read the message.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Miracle of God's Grace: Papal Visit to UK

Pope Benedict XVI's historic visit to the UK unleashed a torrent of graces on that country, the effects of which will be felt for years to come.

After alighting at Edinburgh Airport on Thursday, September 16, the first day of his visit, the pope traveled via popemobile to Holyroodhouse Palace for his meeting with the Queen. This was followed by a lunch with Scottish bishops. More than 100,000 Scots--including many schoolchildren--lined the streets along his route, joyfully cheering the Holy Father.

That joyful atmosphere persisted into the evening, when Pope Benedict celebrated Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. A huge crowd of up to 100,000 people filled the venue to participate in this event. In his homily, the pontiff discussed the need for evangelization of culture and the vital importance of faith in society. The latter theme was addressed especially to the UK government and general public throughout his visit.

On Friday, Pope Benedict made history when he became the first pope to set foot in Westminster Hall. This large, handsome building erected in the 1300s has housed England's highest law court for some 700 years. It was here that Saint Thomas More was condemned to death in 1535 for refusing to acknowledge Henry VIII as head of the Church in England. Inside this historic place, Pope Benedict delivered a masterful speech to the nation's political representatives, intelligentsia, diplomats and religious leaders. He challenged them to examine the basis of their society and noted that faith and reason, Church and state need each other and should work together for the good of civilization.

On Saturday, no fewer than 200,000 well-wishers turned out in the streets of London, waving to the Holy Father as he journeyed from one destination to another. That evening, some 100,000 individuals participated in a prayer vigil with Pope Benedict in Hyde Park in preparation for Cardinal Newman's beatification the following day. The BBC News reported that during his address to the assembled throng, the pontiff remarked that he was happy to see many young people in attendance. The resulting cheers temporarily interrupted his speech.

The major highlight of the pope's visit to England was the long-awaited beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, a famous nineteenth-century Oxford scholar and Anglican priest who converted to Catholicism. Blessed Newman's search for truth and his discovery of it in the Catholic Church points the way for modern Anglicans who desire to return to full communion with Rome. Indeed, many Anglicans are already taking advantage of Pope Benedict's apostolic constitution directed to them, which lays down a set of basic guidelines for their reunion with the Catholic Church. Blessed Newman's heavenly intercession will certainly be pivotal in advancing the cause of Christian unity in his native England.

At the Mass of Beatification on Sunday morning, September 19, the Gospel reading was proclaimed by Deacon Jack Sullivan, a native of the United States who was miraculously healed of a severe back problem through the intercession of Cardinal Newman. This was the type of physical cure which the Church had been awaiting for decades in order to beatify Newman.

A memorable papal departure ceremony took place around six that evening at Birmingham Airport. In his farewell address to the pontiff, UK Prime Minister David Cameron was exceptionally kind and gracious, referring to the visit as "an incredibly moving four days for our country." He stated that His Holiness had posed "searching questions...about our society and how we treat ourselves and each other," and declared: "You have really challenged the whole country to sit up and think."

Such candid words, spoken in a spirit of goodwill by the head of government of a radically secularist European country, are a source of hope. They indicate an openness to the Pope's message and a willingness to do some serious national self-examination. More broadly, they also suggest that the dictatorship of relativism across Western Europe may be less secure than is often thought.

A good deal of negative publicity and virile attacks on Pope Benedict XVI in the British press preceding his visit to the UK had raised fears among many observers, including myself, that the papal visit would be a disaster for the Pope and the Church. Yet it was a great success. As it turns out, the media had focused undue attention on shrill voices of bigotry and hatred aimed at our Holy Father and the Catholic Church, which were representative only of an isolated minority of the British population. Supporters of the Pope far outnumbered protestors on the streets throughout his stay in the UK, with signs reading "We Love Our German Shepherd" visible among the crowds.

British security and police forces really had their act together for the papal visit, ensuring the safety and mobility of our Holy Father throughout his tour. Enclosed in his bulletproof popemobile and surrounded by a fleet of armed security vehicles, the Pope was smoothly whisked from one place to another, with an occasional last-minute detour in his route or slight delay in his arrival at an event to throw off any possible conspirators. Moreover, the government consistently treated the Holy Father with respect during his visit, refraining from attacks on His Holiness or the Catholic Church.

Furthermore, the weather for the pope's visit was as if scripted for the event. London fog retreated and sunny skies prevailed the first two days. On Sunday morning, just before the beatification Mass for Cardinal Newman, a rainbow framed the papal platform. Thick clouds heralded the Pope's departure.

Divine Providence was obviously arranging the details of Pope Benedict XVI's historic state visit to the United Kingdom. The visit was a resounding success, not just because all the details went well, but because the Vicar of Christ achieved his most important goal: reaching the hearts of the people of England and Scotland with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even the British press and government have had to acknowledge that the Pope's visit was a "triumph." I would like to call it a miracle of God's grace. The seeds planted by the visible head of Christ's Church on earth will surely sprout under the influence of the Holy Spirit in the coming years, bringing a new springtime for Christianity to the historic island of Great Britain.

Copyright © 2010 by Justin Soutar. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without the written permission of the author.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

ElectionWatch: More Republican Victories

On September 14, more new names and faces burst onto the rapidly changing American political scene. The following Republican candidates who represent the American people were nominated to, and are now officially running for, public office in the United States:
  • In Delaware, Christine O'Donnell for the U.S. Senate. (Note that the Senate seat for which O'Donnell is competing was formerly occupied by current U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.)

  • In New York, Carl Paladino for state governor.

These candidates join a slew of Republican Senate nominees, most of whom are now leading in the polls:

  • Marco Rubio in Florida
  • Sharron Angle in Nevada
  • Rand Paul in Kentucky
  • Ken Buck in Colorado
  • Joe Miller in Alaska

I hate to spoil the upbeat attitude of our ElectionWatch coverage with a sour note, but integrity and respect for the truth demand that I do so briefly. Note that a few of the Republican nominees present serious objections for the conscientious voter. For example, I would definitely not vote for Linda McMahon in Connecticut because, although an outsider to Washington, D.C., she is pro-abortion and represents values I disagree with. A few other of the Republican nominees, although definite improvements over the Democratic incumbents they are challenging, do have some drawbacks. For example, Kelly Ayotte, who narrowly won the Republican Senate nomination in New Hampshire, is pro-life but favors allowing abortion in cases of rape or incest. By contrast, Ovide Lamontagne, who narrowly lost nomination, is pro-life "without exception." I would have preferred to see the latter win this Senate nomination. Nonetheless, despite these exceptions, the overall political trend we are witnessing in the United States is a positive one.

Many of the Republican candidates now running for U.S. House and Senate seats, including those named at the top of this post, are outsiders to Washington, D.C., which is quite refreshing. More importantly than that, however, is what they stand for and the quality of their character. Collectively derided as the "Tea Party" and dubbed "right-wing extremists" in the major media, this remarkable group of individuals actually represents the main stream of the American people--a people who are utterly disappointed with the broken promises of the corrupt Obama administration. These new candidates are pro-life, they stand for limited government, and they favor tax cuts to help reinvigorate the economy. Political outsiders, they represent a rising new generation of God-fearing, conscientious statesmen and women who are devoted to public service and determined to make things right in Washington. This historic movement is the Republican Revolution of 2010.

Praised be God, who exalts the humble.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

ElectionWatch -- Focus on Ohio

As our nation prepares to vote in the upcoming general elections on November 2, 2010, certain states stand to gain or lose more than others. Ohio will be an interesting state to watch because of the multiple races underway there. In addition to electing all twenty of their representatives to Congress, residents of the Buckeye State will be choosing a new senator and casting their ballots for governor. Right now Ohio has two senators, Republican George Voinovich elected in 2004 and Democrat Sherrod Brown elected in 2006. The state's governor, Democrat Ted Strickland, was also elected in 2006. Given the current mood of the nation, it's likely that Ohioans will pick another Republican to fill the Senate seat left by Voinovich. In fact, polls show Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman with a clear lead over the Democratic contender, outgoing lieutenant governor Lee Fisher.

Even more significant, however, would be a Republican takeover of the state's governorship. Strickland is running for a second term with lots of money, political experience and support among his age group; however, he has several strikes against him. He is pro-abortion and has failed to cut taxes during the worst economic recession in 40 years. Strickland faces a good challenge from pro-life Republican candidate John Kasich. Both gubernatorial candidates have picked women as their running mates for lieutenant governor: Strickland has chosen Yvette Brown, while Kasich has selected Mary Taylor, the current state auditor. I don't know anything about Brown, but Taylor appears to be pro-life and is also an advocate for homeschooling.

Another reason why Ohio will be an interesting state to watch on election night is that it serves as a barometer of the country as a whole. Unlike most states, Ohio's population is split pretty evenly between Republicans and Democrats, city and country folk. As Ohio goes, so goes the nation. A recent poll of registered voters in the Buckeye State showed the needle tipped way over to the Republican side there, with 75 percent of Republicans determined to vote compared to 56 percent of Democrats. It looks like a powerful storm is brewing for Democratic politicians in Washington. If Republicans take over Ohio, including the governorship, it will spell definite bad news for the Obama administration in 2012.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to our Blessed Mother.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I'm Registered to Vote...

...How about you? If your voter registration status for the upcoming election is in doubt, find it out. If you're already registered, good for you. If not, get on the rolls. Most states have deadlines for voter registration prior to an election. This upcoming election will be important, especially for the unborn and for our economy. Be sure to participate in it.

"The very least a loyal son of his country can do is to cast his vote for good men." --Father F. X. Lasance, The Young Man's Guide, p. 446