September 18, 2013
Some readers may be scratching their heads at this point. That is understandable. No reasonable person could claim that the institution of marriage is healthy in America today. It has been declining for some time, particularly among the poor. Charles Murray has documented this quite dramatically in his recent bestseller, Coming Apart, which examines marital trends in America from 1960 through 2010. Murray’s analysis shows that wealthier and better-educated Americans became highly divorce-prone in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. After that period, marriage made a modest recovery in this demographic, which gradually became less tolerant of divorce and cohabitation. Today marriage is still an institution of great social significance among the elite, and college-educated women who bear children overwhelmingly do so within the bonds of wedlock.
For the poor and less educated, the story is quite different. Among this demographic marriage declined in the 1970’s, and then declined further. There has been no recovery. We now live in a world in which approximately a third of prime-age working class men have never married, and women without a high school education are substantially more likely to have a child out of wedlock than in it.
The social consequences of this cultural shift have been grim, especially for children. As Murray points out, the children of married, biological parents who are living together have the best chance to thrive and succeed in life, according to virtually every measurable indicator. For poor children in America, the decline of marriage has been nothing short of catastrophic. Murray regards it as the single most significant dividing line between the privileged elite and the struggling underclass in an increasingly class-segregated United States.
These are sobering facts. Still, the social dissolution comes with a silver lining. Americans may be inept at making their marriages work, but most now agree that it is worth trying. This is particularly true among the rich and educated, who have the most influence on our cultural institutions. Far from sneering at marriage as a repressive and bourgeoisie institution, they have become enthusiastic advocates.
Dr. Ed Peters’ blog
From Providence College’s website:
“The Catholic and Dominican character of Providence College precisely as a college is most evident in its approach to faith and reason.”
Inviting a speaker to a college campus to address a volatile issue and offering (if belatedly) to provide a rebuttal speaker, but then cancelling the whole event apparently because management doesn’t like the views to be expressed by the original speaker, is the stuff of which higher education public relations disasters are made. But while Providence College works through its image problems (and, given the institutional identification with the Catholic Church, while the Church faces yet another PR mess not of her own making), it might help to step back and ask, what exactly was to be debated at the Providence ‘gay marriage’ debate in the first place?
Considering her age (+2,000 years), her membership (+1,000,000,000), and her range of concerns (eternal salvation and human civilization), the Catholic Church has a remarkably short list of non-negotiable assertions. Some of these non-negotiable assertions deal with dogma (e.g., Jesus is divine and human, or, there are exactly seven sacraments) and some of these non-negotiable assertions deal with doctrines (e.g., the Church has no power to ordain women to priesthood, or Thomas More is a saint) but in both cases, the assertion being made is, Catholics hold, being made with infallible certainty.
Now, among the assertions made by the Church with infallible certainty, I have argued, is this one: God made marriage to exist between one man and one woman. Catholics could debate, say, whether this assertion is a dogma to be believed or a doctrine to be held, or whether the assertion is knowable by reason alone or requires the gift of faith. Catholics could even debate whether civil unions of one sort or another between two persons of the same sex are good for society or bad. But Catholics cannot, I suggest, argue whether true marriage exists only between one man and one woman. To debate whether marriage can exist between two persons of the same sex is to imply that some Catholic non-negotiables can be negotiated by Catholics.
|Dr. Ed Peters, canon lawyer|
CBN News: The Brody File
Friday, September 27, 2013 1:00 PM
Here’s a shot of Sen. Ted Cruz praying in front of The White House yesterday.
No, he’s not praying that Barack Obama will overturn Obamacare and no, he’s not praying that he will occupy the presidency one day. Instead, he’s alongside Rev. Rob Schenck (from Faith and Action) and Rev. Frazier White (a Democrat and Obama supporter) praying for Saeed Abedini, who has been in an Iranian prison for one year. He is being persecuted for his faith to Jesus Christ.
Who says Ted Cruz isn’t bipartisan?
I have not only interviewed Ted Cruz many times, but I have spent time with him and his family. He is true Bible-believing Christian who is not ashamed of the Gospel. Of course the liberals don’t want to hear that nonsense. They’ll now be busy trying to figure out how to distort this picture in Adobe Photoshop.
Below are the words of Rev. Rob Schenck, the man who organized the prayer.
“In the image you see me at the center with my prayer stole as we intercede in Jesus’ name for our brother in Christ and imprisoned pastor, Saeed Abedini, who has suffered in an Iranian prison for one year because of his faithful witness to Christ. Kneeling with me on my left (the significance of the placement should be noted) is the U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a tea party Republican from Texas. Sen. Cruz just made wall-to-wall headlines for his 20+ hour filibuster opposing Obamacare, the President’s signature legislative achievement.
On my right (again, note the orientation) is Rev. Frazier White, a Democrat community organizer from my neighborhood of Capitol Hill, and a huge supporter of President Obama. At the moment the photo was taken, though, the politically polar opposite positions of the Senator and the Pastor were irrelevant.
We were bowed before the Holy, the Supernal, the highest Lord in the universe, and the One and Only Eternal King. Everything else: party labels, policy positions, job descriptions, accents, zip codes, skin color, filibusters and organizing, were all utterly and completely dwarfed. In that moment of prayer–especially for a fellow Christian, a persecuted believer, whose circumstances are for most us unimaginable–our political and cultural squabbles seemed petty.
Pastor White, Sen. Cruz, Rev. Pat Mahoney, Jordan and Anna Sekulow, myself, and so many others, were there in front of the White House to do the really and truly important business of crying out to God for one of our own that was suffering for his faith.”
Passage of MSPs required one other major finesse from Democrats on the Hill. In order to deal with the abortion coverage MSPs might provide, the law stipulated that each state must have at least two MSPs and that at least one of them must be a plan that confines its abortion coverage to situations defined by the Hyde Amendment, which are, to simplify a bit, cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is in danger. While the law provided no specific assurance that the other MSPs (one or possibly many more) would cover elective abortion, it has seemed clear from the start (and blisteringly obvious from observing its past patterns) that the Obama administration would ensure that abortion-covering state plans (let’s call them ASPs) would be available everywhere possible (especially inasmuch as the MSP program might ultimately prove a gateway to single-payer).
The only obstacle standing in the way of this is substantial, a separate provision of Obamacare that recognizes the right of the states to exclude ASPs from their exchanges. On the eve of opening the exchanges for consumers to choose a plan and gain a major tax break in 2014, where do MSPs stand?
by Steven Ertelt, Brian Mayes | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 9/24/13 5:16 PM
The former lead singer of Kansas, whose amazing video for his new single tells the story of his adopted daughter’s birth and surviving an abortion, has gone viral.
Elefante released a music video for the song, “This Time,” which was inspired by his adopted daughter Sami’s birth. Posted to YouTube and announced on September 16th, the video quickly went viral, with more than 100,000 views in just the first five days.
The song’s lyrics are based
on the true story of what Sami’s 13-year old birth mother might have experienced as “she sat cold in a waiting room, frightened and all alone / knowing that her baby would soon be gone.” As the video unfolds, we see the dreams she had of a little girl celebrating her third birthday and growing into a woman through the years, and we hear the voice she heard telling her to “run away / you’re not taking her / this time.”
by Shawn Carney | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 9/25/13 10:40 AM
I just spoke at a 40 Days for Life kickoff event in California, David Bereit, our national director, helped get things started in Birmingham, Alabama, Steve Karlen, our North American outreach director spoke at the Dallas, Texas kickoff event, and Robert Colquhoun, our international outreach director, is launching campaigns in London.
To celebrate the launch of this campaign, here’s a BRAND-NEW short video that shows what God is accomplishing through 40 Days for Life — and how YOU can make a lifesaving impact over these 40 days.
In this short video, you’ll meet people whose lives are forever changed … because of faithful, prayerful volunteers … during 40 Days for Life.
In the video, you’ll meet people whose lives have been forever changed … thanks to faithful 40 Days for Life volunteers.
You’ll hear from former Planned Parenthood managers — and a woman who chose life for her baby, simply because people were outside the abortion center praying for her … and her child.
Please share this video with everyone you know … so they can discover what 40 Days for Life is all about — and so they can join you in this worldwide movement to end the injustice of abortion!
“To say that these are simply questions of Catholic faith which have no part in politics is just false and wrong,” Cardinal Burke said in an interview with The Wanderer, a Catholic newspaper. “This is a person who obstinately, after repeated admonitions, persists in a grave sin — cooperating with the crime of procured abortion.”
|Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke|
“For Catholic institutions or individuals to give recognition to such persons, to honor them in any way, is a source of grave scandal for which they are responsible,” he continued. “In a certain way, they contribute to the sinfulness of the individuals involved.”
The cardinal said he feared for Pelosi “if she does not come to understand how gravely in error she is” and called on her to look to St. Thomas More as inspiration; More was a 16th-century member of Parliament who was executed for defending his Catholic faith.
Read the rest here: http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/359511/vatican-official-pelosi-shouldnt-receive-communion-andrew-johnson
“We cannot violate our vows by participating in the government’s program to provide access to abortion-inducing drugs,” Sister Loraine Marie said of a class-action lawsuit filed against the mandate on behalf of multiple religious organizations that provide health benefits.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the plaintiffs, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado.
The choice of jurisdiction is critical: The Colorado district court falls under the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and thus is governed by that court’s precedent in most cases.
A 10th Circuit panel ruled earlier this year that the owners of Hobby Lobby did not have to comply with the HHS mandate (that lawsuit was also filed by the Becket Fund). President Obama’s attorneys have asked the Supreme Court to overturn the 10th Circuit’s ruling.
“The Sisters should obviously be exempted as ‘religious employers,’ but the government has refused to expand its definition,” Becket Fund senior counsel Mark Rienzi said.
“These women just want to take care of the elderly poor without being forced to violate the faith that animates their work. The money they collect should be used to care for the poor like it always has — and not to pay the IRS,” he said.
|Father Greg Reynolds: Defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and gays.
Photo: Angela Wylie
Dissident priest Greg Reynolds has been both defrocked and excommunicated over his support for women priests and gays – the first person ever excommunicated in Melbourne, he believes.
The order comes direct from the Vatican, not at the request of Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, and apparently follows a secret denunciation in the best traditions of the inquisition, according to Father Reynolds.
The excommunication document – written in Latin and giving no reason – was dated May 31, meaning it comes under the authority of Pope Francis who made headlines on Thursday calling for a less rule-obsessed church.
Father Reynolds, who resigned as a parish priest in 2011 and last year founded Inclusive Catholics, said he had expected to be laicised (defrocked), but not excommunicated. But it would make no difference to his ministry.
”I’ve come to this position because I’ve followed my conscience on women’s ordination and gay marriage.”
According to church teaching, excommunication is the strongest sanction and means one can not hold any office or receive any sacraments. Being laicised means one is no longer a priest.
Fairfax Media understands that the only other Melbourne priests laicised against their will have been notorious paedophiles.
Archbishop Hart was widely criticised after his appearance at the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled child sexual abuse when he replied to a question about why it took the church 18 years to ask the Vatican to defrock paedophile Desmond Gannon: ”Better late than never.”
As with the removal of Bishop Bill Morris from Toowoomba, the Vatican moved much more swiftly on Father Reynolds over women priests.