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!