Friday, November 30, 2012

Over and Under Cliffs

Do we fall off of cliffs by accident?  Do we stand at the precipice and weigh the pros and cons of jumping?  Do we leap with purpose, trusting that God will sustain us as we cross the chasm?

In recent discussions of the 'fiscal cliff', I can't help but think of all of the cliffs we already are falling from as a nation, a church, a world.  A brief  list:

  1. The demise of respect for all life.
  2. The demise of families with a father and mother.
  3. An assumption that fertility is bad.
  4. An assumption that people will be hurt or killed while buying Christmas presents.
  5. An acceptance of  atheists and communists as our primary educators.
  6. A fear of speaking about God.
  7. Debt, personal and national.
  8. A complete lack of decorum in public discourse.
  9. An extension of childhood well beyond any reasonable end to actual human growth and development.
  10. A dependance on government entitlements rather than charitable giving.
If you are reading this, you probably say something like, "I can see those things happening, but I'm fighting it in my own life."  Yeah, me too.  But my point isn't that we aren't trying to deal with these issues, but that we've already fallen off of the cliffs.  If we are alive now and care at all about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we are on our backs, bruised, dizzy, slowly regaining consciousness at the bottom of the cliff.

What about #2, when now 40.8% of all births, according to the CDC, are to unmarried women?  Our government created welfare because they were alarmed back in the day by a spike at 5%.  We are raising a generation who will never be able to understand the phrase shotgun wedding. 

Or think about #6.  We started by taking prayer out of schools, and now we think we are radical if we say Merry Christmas in a store while buying Advent candles.  We put our money down and hear the Walmart employee say happy holidays, and we look them in the eye and say Merry Christmas.  That is so in-your-face!

 Or #10, while 47% of our population receives government assistance.  The charitable deduction (ie: when we are actually allowed to spend money in a way that Obama and  his cohorts can't control) is almost certain to be modified (read abolished) in an attempt to increase tax revenue (take money from your local StVP and give it to a overpaid bureaucrat).A grammar note, sometimes the only way to describe the byzantine plans of our foes is with a run-on sentence.

We fell off the cliff a long time ago.  My question is this:  As we are regaining consciousness after the fall, do we lay here and hope someone will help us, or do we pull ourselves up and try to aid other survivors?  I think we should do the latter.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Regarding LGBTQ Laws for Special Protections

The City of Omaha passed a special city ordinance last March that I can only assume was intended to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination.  What it really does is create an environment in which the faithful may be required by law to not just love and care for the sinner, which we already do, but to stop calling a sin a sin.  Otherwise, we will face fines, and possible jail time.  Below, my Pastor's article from today's bulletin.  He is truly a Courageous Priest!!!  Please join me in praying for him.

Thoughts from Our Pastor
Fr. Damien J. Cook

As you sit down to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal with your family or friends, please do not forget to offer grace and to beseech the Lord to protect the very right that allows you to pray legally and publicly in the first place.

Thoughts lead to words. Words lead to actions.  This has been true of the human experience throughout all of our earthly existence.  The founders knew this, and wrote the First Amendment to the Constitution to reflect the importance of being able to think, speak and act freely:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The first part of the First Amendment addresses our freedom to think, to believe freely, and to live in an active faith.  In our country today, our religious freedom is in peril. Rather than legislate away what we think, our elected representatives, Federal, State and Local, are trying to limit the ways in which we can express our thoughts in word and deed.

This is particularly apparent in the passage of the 2012 Omaha City Ordinance extending special “protections” to the GLBTQ community. Rather than protect the rights of all of those who call Omaha home, four members of the city council in conjunction with Mayor Jim Suttle, voted that those who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered, or questioning any of the above, must be able to speak and act on that gender identity without any interference. 

For those in the business community, this means that choices about employees, the work environment, and the customers you serve will be affected. When it really counts, sexual liberty will effectively trump religious liberty with regard to these matters, as those with conscientious or religious objections may be forced to violate their beliefs in order to stay in business. For example, the wedding photographer who refuses to participate in a same-sex ceremony, the daycare provider who wishes not to hire a transgendered employee, the physician who does not wish to facilitate pregnancy for a same-sex couple, or an attorney who does not wish to facilitate adoption by a same-sex couple, may all find themselves to be in violation of the ordinance.

And even those not engaged in business may be affected.  For example, consider recent events concerning locker room access by a transgendered individual, as reported on November 6 by Eric Owens in the Daily Caller: “Citing non-discrim-ination law, officials at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, are standing by their decision to let a 45-year-old (transgendered) student... use the women’s locker room, and walk in front of girls as young as six.” According to the report, the police were called by parents of young children present in the locker room. The parents were told to apologize, and no arrests were made. You see, this transgendered person’s rights trumped the rights of all other persons, even young children. 

These are the actions being protected in Omaha. This is the regrettable policy our city has adopted. 

The First Amendment also gives us all the freedom to speak and write openly about the dangers of sin and the harm it does to all members of the family, the community, and our society. Let us be clear that the Church does not think that any person should be mistreated. Christ calls us to lovingly serve all of His creatures in His name. 

However, this city ordinance, in trying to protect a small group from discrimination, will necessarily infringe on the rights of others. By doing so, it will inhibit our duty as the Church, the Body of Christ, and people of good conscience from being able to speak and act freely in expression of the thoughts and teachings of the Catholic Church, the Fathers of our Faith, and their own consciences. 

We are not calling for persecution or discrimination against persons who do not share our faith or beliefs. We are simply asking that our community standards, as well as our cherished rights to exercise our religious liberty, be considered and protected. 

Legal precedent is being set in courtrooms across the country.  In numerous cases where discrimination has been claimed by members of the GLBTQ community, Catholics and Christians have been penalized for acting on their beliefs in their private businesses (See, for example, information accumulated by the Omaha Liberty Project, available at Please step out and defend religious liberty by signing the petition requesting that this city ordinance be put to a vote of the whole community, rather than the decision of four city council representatives. Community standards should be truly representative of our community.

If You Voted for Obama...

This is your fault.

Everyone is making noise about the demise of the Twinkies, but the impact of this election is going to be greater than anyone who voted for entitlements foresaw.  In the short-term, people will be talking about how awful it is to lose a job during the holidays.  Of course it is horrible any time to lose a job.  Charities will use this as a reason to give more toys and other non-essentials for those in need.

May I suggest we all take the long view, and give essentials like food, money for heating homes, clothing...?  Christmas for many families this year will be about deeper issues than the latest cool gift.  Hopefully, in their suffering, families will refocus on faith.  To non-believers this will seem like slim pickings, but it would be a great gift. 

I know I'm guilty of worrying more about giving a gift that causes nothing more than a few laughs.  This year, the need for greater gifts will be apparent. We may even find ourselves truly grateful for socks while the liberal intelligentsia  continues to look on us with pity.  Truly the ones who should be pitied are those who are so surrounded with stuff that they can't see their emptiness.

It has only been 12 days since the election.  Companies are cutting workers, or workers' hours, because of the cost of Obamacare.  As more people are added to the system, the rest of us will incur the cost.  Those of us incurring the cost will have less to spend.  The loss of consumers will cause more layoffs.  This will be a truly vicious cycle.

Get ready.  It will only get more difficult.  But taking responsibility for your vote would help.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

May I Smack You in the Head?

Dear Catholics,  Medical Professionals, Teachers, and Women who voted for Obama;

I am praying for the salvation of your eternal souls, but...

I'm done trying to be nice to you.  Being nice and reasonable, presenting you with clear information about the dangers of your political views has not worked.   While I'm smiling at you in the grocery store, shaking hands with you before receiving the Eucharist, and cooking for you at any parish get-together, you think that your views are equal to the views of those of us who strive to form our consciences with the guidance of the true Catholic Faith.  Being nice in the face of your advancing evil is wrong.  I will no longer be able to act as though I am not afraid of you and your ideas. 

Your views are not equal to the teachings of the Catholic church.  Your views are poorly formed, dangerous, shallow, and self-serving.  You have religiously promoted the virtues of organic foods, recycling, and population control, while pumping yourselves full of carcinogenic hormones, and complaining about a 10 minute homily on Sundays. 

You have promoted the sexualization of your children through the music, movies, and clothing you purchase for your children. Your boys wear sports uniforms and your girls dress like harlots. My son must now avert his eyes when he sees your daughters at Mass.  Where will he find a virtuous bride ten years from now? 

You have guided your decisions by your maggot-minded consciences, always choosing bread and circuses over the greater good.  You are, in short, hedonistic heretics. 

You have created a crisis, the magnitude of which you still do not understand.  Those of us who wish to practice the true faith will see our beloved Catholic institutions close, or be forced to leave them when we can no longer live our faith. 

Catholic doctors, in the emergency rooms of Catholic Hospitals, will soon be presented with women demanding the 'morning after' pill.  If they refuse to provide it, they will be sued.  The doctor may be forced out, or the hospital may be forced to close. Families will suffer when jobs are lost.  Patients will die without healthcare. That will be your fault.

Catholic teachers in Catholic schools will face a similar problem.  Those of you who teach in public schools may have voted for Obama.  You may also send your children to Catholic schools.  When Catholic schools are closed, because real Catholics refuse to comply with the HHS mandate, your children will be sent to over-crowded public school classrooms.  Teachers will lose their jobs and families will suffer.  That will be your fault.

Women who do not have their heads in the sand are already seeing the results of their bad choices.  They have elected a president who insists that we are nothing more than our 'lady-parts.'  They want birth control more than they want anything else.  Planned Parenthood exists to dole out contraceptives and abortions, not mammograms.  Their demolition services cause breast cancer, so it would be, what? A conflict of interest?  You are legion in your contraceptive numbers, and are polluting our water with your chemical castration.  When you are sterile following the extended use of chemical birth control, and have had your mastectomy because of your breast cancer, it is clear that your 'lady-parts' did depend on the decisions you made.  Sadly, that too is your fault.

I can no longer be nice because you scare me.  In your ignorance, or in your selfishness, I don't know which, you have destroyed much that is dear to me.  I  forgive you.  I pray for you.  But I will not be nice to you.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Voting Day; An Extended Metaphor

The day started at 3 a.m. when our mutt Daisy was whining at the bedroom door to go out.  She had already pooped in the bedroom, so I picked that up with toilet paper and flushed it away before I could open the bedroom door and let her out.  Our old-lady cocker-spaniel went out with her.  Then I kenneled the dogs and went back to bed.

At 6 the day started in earnest.  Coffee, raisin bran, laundry, shaving my brother, getting my son to finish his Latin homework, and then out the door with my husband to vote.

We stood in line.  A woman who I recognized as someone who has lived in this neighborhood for decades, was told she had to wait to vote because there was a 1 digit typo in her address, a home of many years time.  We voted without incident.

As we walked to our car, we saw a neighbor entering to vote.  She's a public school teacher, a mother of a 4-month-old boy, Catholic, and she told us she was undecided.  Since she's been driving and walking past our yard, growing nothing but Republican yard signs in this drought, I'm certain she's voting for Obama.

At Latin class with my son, the moms were quietly optimistic.  We all had plans for extra rosaries, time in adoration, and watching the news.  We were doing our job.

At the grocery store I ran into an old friend I haven't seen in years.  We immediately started chatting.  We've both become estranged from our classmates over their views on a variety of things religious, political, educational and practical.  I kept stopping to hug her.  I've been thinking about her often lately.   I hope this will be the start of a strengthened friendship.  I will do what I can to make it so.

Once the groceries were put away, I was back in the car to head to our parish.  I admit it was hard to focus during my time in adoration.  I offered the Sorrowful Mysteries for our country.

We have become so comfortable in the U.S. that we expect it to never end.  It is going to end.  It will end no matter who our next president is.  It will end because we have become a decadent, debt-ridden, culture of death. 

The mood is somber in many voting booths.  We have large work ahead.  We can stretch it out to mitigate the pain, but I really hope we don't.  I hope our new leaders, state and federal, will choose bold moves.  We need boldness, brashness, attacking our culture with an energy in direct opposition to the uneasy sloth with which we slid into this pit.

We are going to have to pick up the poop, and flush it, before we can open the door.  We may be able to sleep a little more before we have to face the rest of the day, but we must face the day.  The work must be done.

P.S.  Obama has been re-elected.  Pastors in my city have said they will close schools rather than comply with the HHS mandate.  That is good.  Apparently the threat of real religious persecution wasn't enough.  We will have it in earnest.  May God protect us and preserve us.