Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Our Sad Times: Ethicists Propose Post Birth Abortions

Two ethicists working with Australian universities argue in the latest online edition of the Journal of Medical Ethics that if abortion of a fetus is allowable, so to should be the termination of a newborn.

Alberto Giubilini with Monash University in Melbourne and Francesca Minerva at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne write that in “circumstances occur[ing] after birth such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.”

The two are quick to note that they prefer the term “after-birth abortion“ as opposed to “infanticide.” Why? Because it “[emphasizes] that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child.”

The circumstances, the authors state, where after-birth abortion should be considered acceptable include instances where the newborn would be putting the well-being of the family at risk, even if it had the potential for an “acceptable” life.

Keep reading…

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Britain’s HealthCare Disaster; Our Model

Britain’s HealthCare Disaster; Our Model

Written by Gary Isbell

Britain imposed socialized healthcare in 1948 with the creation of the National Health Service [NHS]. Then Labor Minister Dr. David Owen predicted, “We were going to finance everything, cure the nation and then spending would drop.” This was pure blind hubris. Sixty-four years were wasted in an attempt to prove that socialized medicine could work. So far, it has been an utter failure.

It seems at least one person in Britton is beginning to see the light. The current Prime Minister David Cameron, along with some conservatives, are suggesting to outsource healthcare to the private sector circumventing the NHS. It is cheaper, higher quality and faster.

Joseph A. Morris is a board member of the American Conservative Union and a former White House lawyer under President Reagan, has told the Daily Caller: “Europe’s message to the world is no longer that the socialist dream of the cradle-to-grave welfare state is an easy achievement,” Morris said. “Rather, it is the shouted warning that it is a fool’s paradise. The bills are coming due and the only real alternatives — serious financial reform of government or national bankruptcy — are not pleasant.”

He added that the British government, “unlike the Obama administration, is hearing the warnings, identifying its greatest vulnerabilities and trying to race ahead of the deluge.” So why are we following their failed attempt of socialized healthcare?

American health policy expert Sally Pipes, head of the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco thinks she has an answer: “President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will likely ignore any changes in U.K. health policy. Their allies in the U.S. media and public policy establishment would follow suit.… They are ideologues, they don’t care whether the system really works or not. They have an ideological goal in mind.”

She further states “the system of socialized medicine in the U.K., and Canada is viable only for routine visits to the doctor, but not for chronic illnesses like cancer or kidney disease.”

A few years ago in Canada, Pipes’ mother could not get a simple colonoscopy scheduled for several months in spite of excruciating abdominal pain. When her mother started bleeding, she was rushed to the emergency room and finally given the colonoscopy, which indicated colorectal cancer. At this point it was too late for treatment and she died shortly thereafter. This is a tragic example of how socialized healthcare denies the end user of quality treatment and keeps costs down by rationing medical services while it passes on exorbitant administration fees to taxpayers.

If efficiency, perfection and overall quality are not the driving force behind socialized healthcare, what ideology could be the motive behind such a decision — other than to make everyone equally miserable?

Nearly 1.8 million Britons are waiting for hospital or outpatient treatments at any given time. In 2002–2004, dialysis patients in the U.S. waited 16 days on an average for permanent blood vessel access, 20 days in Europe and 62 days in Canada. In 2000, Norwegian patients waited an average of 133 days for hip replacement, 63 days for cataract surgery, 160 days for a knee replacement and 46 days for bypass surgery after being approved for treatment.

Studies have shown that short wait times for cataract surgery produced better recovery rates, prompt coronary artery bypass reduced mortality and rapid hip replacement reduced disability and death. Currently, only 5 percent of Americans wait more than four months for surgery, compared with 23 percent of Australians, 26 percent of New Zealanders, 27 percent of Canadians and 36 percent of Britons. This accounts for a 700 percent increase in wait times comparing the U.S. to the UK.

The founder of the NHS, Aneurin Bevan declared, “The essence of a satisfactory health service is that rich and poor are treated alike, that poverty is not a disability and wealth is not advantaged.” This is the socialistic argument of equality applied to healthcare, and if it were true, there would be abundant evidence to support the rationale that when all people are treated equally, they will have an equivalent health after socialized healthcare is implemented. This is simply not true. In a study done by the National Center for Policy Analysis [NCPA] titled Equality,[1] it clearly shows that the powerful and wealthy have significantly greater access to medical treatment. More than 30 years after founding the NHS, an official task force discovered little evidence that it had equalized healthcare access across the board. Another study done 20 years later concluded that “access had become even more unequal in the years between the two studies. High profile patients enjoy more frequent services, shorter wait times and greater choices of specialists.” National Review Online, Socialized Failure.[2]

Non-elderly, white, low income Canadians are 22 percent more likely to be in poor health than their U.S. counterparts. It appears likely that the personal characteristics that ensure success in a free market economy also enhance a degree of personal success even in overly bureaucratic systems. Unfortunately, socialism destroys the essence of the free market initiative anywhere it is imposed in the futile attempt to force equality and thus, the consequence is failure.

Britton’s 64-year-old socialistic healthcare fiasco started in 1948, ours is promised to begin in 2014.

1.
http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/livesatrisk/Ch02.pdf
2.
http://www.nationalreview.com/nrd/article/?q=MDFjODUzM2E0ZTdmMGM4NzgyZDE0M2QzNGYwMDI1MGQ=

Monday, February 27, 2012

VIDEO: Catholics React to Mandate

Catholics are upset by HSS Mandate and this video shows some of that discontent... and the typical media slant on the issue.

Friday, February 24, 2012

How Obamacare Forces Americans to Pay for Abortions They Don’t Want

Submit to Google Bookmarks Submit to Twitter Submit to LinkedIn

Give back Our Moral Freedom!


The current debate on Obamacare’s contraception mandate is focused on forcing Catholic institutions and all pro-life Americans to violate their consciences and pay for insurance policies that provide sterilization, and contraceptive and abortifacient drugs. The uproar tends to make us forget another egregious and immoral abuse inflicted by Obamacare upon Americans…

Obamacare forces unwilling, pro-life Americans to PAY for the
abortions requested by others



Tricking Americans to Pay for Abortion-on-Demand
A March 25, 2010 Legal Analysis prepared by the Office of the General Counsel of the


The Hyde Amendment


• In 1973, the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade made abortion legal in the U.S.
• An immediate consequence was that Medicaid funds (taxpayers’ dollars) were used to pay for procured abortions. This changed in 1976 when a bill introduced by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) was enacted into law by Congress.
• The Hyde Amendment forbids the use of certainfederal funds — typically Medicaid — to pay for procured abortions.
• In the years 1973-1976, before the Hyde Amendment was enacted into law, Medicaid funds were used to pay for some 300,000 procured abortions.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops points out that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) violates the Hyde Amendment in two ways.

First, Obamacare’s nearly 1,000 pages does not include Hyde-type language that forbids certain federal funds from being used to pay for abortions.

As the Legal Analysis observes, Obamacare “makes a separate appropriation of billions of dollars for [Community Health Centers] without including Hyde Amendment language to cover that appropriation.” This omission has consequences, since “courts are highly likely to conclude that the CHC program must provide tax-funded abortions.”[1]

Abusing the Conscience of Millions of Americans
The second way Obamacare circumvents the Hyde Amendment is when it dictates that abortion-on-demand is to be paid for by forcing individual insurance enrollees, even when these individuals are morally opposed to abortion, to pay for abortions procured by others.

Obamacare provides that health plans can choose if they will cover elective abortion or not. For plans choosing to cover abortion, Obamacare stipulates that abortion costs cannot be funded with federal dollars and the plans should bill enrollees for this service on a regular basis.

This directive makes the abortion surcharge tantamount to a federal tax, and its tortured way of being collected amounts to an accounting gimmick to circumvent Hyde Amendment restrictions.

Pro-life Americans enrolled in health plans that cover abortion will be compelled to pay for a “service” they do not want, did not request, and are morally opposed to.

The Legal Analysis prepared by the Office of General Counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had already denounced this socialist violation of the moral freedom of pro-life Americans:

“[U]nder Section 1303, the tax credits are still used to pay overall premiums for health plans covering elective abortions.…

“This part of [Obamacare] would also impose a serious burden on the consciences of millions of Americans. Any family having to buy such a subsidized plan — for example, because its coverage or provider network are necessary to meet the family’s health needs — will be forced by the Act to provide a separate payment, on a regular basis, solely to pay for other enrollees’ abortions. The Act specifies that a plan including elective abortions “shall” obtain this fee from every enrollee, allowing no accommodation for conscientious objection. PPACA, § 1303(b)(2)(B).

“Thus, even if this mechanism succeeds in preventing taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortions through their federal taxes, it does so at the cost of forcing them to pay for abortions directly from their own pockets.”[2]


As Family Research Council’s Cathy Cleaver Ruse observed in her February 8, 2011 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, “The abortion surcharge is, arguably, an even more egregious violation of the Hyde Amendment principle.”[3]

Pro-life organizations who signed on to an incisive Friends of the Court brief submitted on February 13, 2012 to the U.S. Supreme Court in connection with U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services v. State of Florida mention this threat to the moral freedom of millions of Americans. Their legal brief states: “Found in Section 1303 of the Act, the infringing provisions impose inescapable requirements upon millions of Americans who will be, even unwittingly, enrolled in employer or individual health plans that happen to include elective abortion coverage.”

No Conscientious Objection Allowed
Obamacare does not allow conscience protections for these Americans. The legal brief continues: “Such enrollees are compelled by the Act to pay a separate premium from their own pocket to the insurer’s actuarial fund designated solely for the purpose of paying for other people’s elective abortions. As explained below, the Act denies enrollees the ability to decline abortion coverage based on religious or moral objection.”[4]

The Sexual Revolution and Socialism
Both contraception and procured abortion are part of a mindset obsessed with immediate self-gratification and immersed in hedonism and idolatry of sexual pleasure. This mindset is in full harmony with a socialist and materialistic mentality.

Socialists like Herbert Marcuse, Wilhelm Reich and Simone de Beauvoir were the mentors of the Sexual Revolution (which has tormented society since the sixties). They transposed the premises of socialist class struggle to a fight between the sexes and linked the “liberation of the proletariat” to the abandonment of “bourgeois” sexual morals based on marriage and chastity. Morals began to be seen as an instrument of “oppression” of men’s natural instincts, above all the sexual instinct, which they claim, must not be subject to any rule, norm or limit.

This revolution gradually spread from groups of hippies or rebel students to the rest of society and influenced fashions, customs, and ways of thinking, without the vast majority of people perceiving.

Sexual Freedom, Contraception and Abortion
If sexual intercourse should be free from all responsibility, the conceived child is eventually seen as a “violence” or “illness” to be avoided by all means.

Contraception and abortion then become the normal means to avoid this “tragedy.” Conceiving a child becomes the enemy of limitless pleasure, of pleasure without responsibility.

This is the mentality behind “Obamacare.” More than a mentality, it is a socialist ideology which has instrumentalized the power of government to impose itself on the whole of society.

Repeal Obamacare
In light of this socialist abuse of the sacred right to follow our right conscience — doing only what is good and avoiding all that is evil — the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property — TFP calls on all Catholics and Americans of good will to sign a pledge to fight Obamacare at www.TFP.org/pledge:

I am a free American;


Free to follow God’s commandments,

Free to do what is good and right,

Free to oppose the culture of death,

Free to fight Obamacare’s religious persecution against the Catholic Church, and so…

I pledge to fight socialist State control over healthcare.


Seeking the Help of St. Michael the Archangel
To the diverse legal and peaceful efforts that must be used to repeal Obamacare, we must add the power of prayer. Thus, the TFP urges all Catholics and Americans of good will to pray to St. Michael the Archangel. He who thrust Satan and the fallen angels out of Heaven is always ready to come to the aid of Christians in distress. He will only do this if we ask, pray, and pray with all our heart!

With St. Michael’s help, and that of the Blessed Mother, Obamacare will be repealed.


February 20, 2012
The American TFP

1.
Legal Analysis of the Provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Corresponding Executive Order Regarding Abortion Funding and Conscience Protection, Mar. 25, 2010, p. 3, http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/upload/Healthcare-EO-Memo.pdf. (Emphasis in the original.)
2.
Legal Analysis, Mar. 25, 2010, p. 4, http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/upload/Healthcare-EO-Memo.pdf. (Emphasis in the original.)
3.
Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Feb. 8, 2011 at http://www.frc.org/testimony/cathy-ruse-testimony-before-the-house-judiciary-committee.
4.
Brief of amici curiae American College of Pediatricians, Christian Medical & Dental Associations, American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Catholic Medical Association, Physicians for Life, National Association of Pro-life Nurses, and Medical Students for Life of America in support of Respondents and Affirmance on the individual mandate issue, United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al. v. State of Florida, et al., p. 6., http://www.bdfund.org/uploads/file_606.pdf. (Our emphasis.)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Do We Want a Religious Exemption?

Written by John Horvat II

It has been said that “the road to Hell is paved with religious exemptions.” There are always those who are willing to cut a deal with the devil to avoid having to confront a thorny moral issue.

This is certainly the case of the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate which would now force employers to provide medical insurance that guarantees free birth control, tubal ligation, and morning-after abortifacients. There are those who hope to avoid the whole issue by rallying around the idea of a religious exemption.

In fact, the whole debate is even being framed by the liberal media as a mere question of religious exemption. What is at stake, they claim, is the question of a few stubborn religious employers such as Catholics hospitals and universities that object to supplying birth control to their employees. When the Administration agreed to “accommodate” them by ordering the insurers to provide these “services” free of charge, Catholic institutions, unwilling to cut a deal, are made to look unreasonable.

Such a vision is completely false. This is not just a case of religious employers. This is a case of any American, Catholic or non-Catholic, religious employer or factory owner, who refuses to act as an accomplice to a policy that treats pregnancy as a disease and sexual promiscuity as a right.

What this mandate essentially does is open the virtual equivalent of a Planned Parenthood clinic inside every factory, workplace, school, university or hospital in America. It forces employers to provide the virtual space inside their enterprises for these clinics to operate – free of charge.

Thus, we do not want a religious exemption. We cannot narrow the problem to specific religious institutions since it does nothing to address the problems of countless non-religious insurers, employers, self-employed and, yes, even employees who do not fall into the very narrow religious category and yet object to participating in any way in this travesty of health care. We do not want any exemption since exemptions are by their very nature “privileges” that are just as easily taken away as they are granted.

Revoking the mandate will not solve this problem. The problem lies in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly dubbed “Obamacare.” Its provisions allow for unprecedented government intervention and socialist control over the private health care decisions of all Americans. We cannot cut a deal. Until this act is revoked, we can expect to see a string of stern government measures steamrolling the rights of all since the road to socialism has always been paved by the discarded promises, special deals – and, yes, religious exemptions.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

14-Year-Old Girl Gets Death Threats for Defending God-Ordained Marriage

Zero tolerance


Written by John Ritchie

“If I ever see this girl, I will kill her. That’s a promise.”


Wake up America. The voices that preach tolerance are turning violent. This time the target is an innocent young girl, Sarah Crank, who testified before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in support of traditional marriage.

The calm, truthful testimony of a 14-year-old minor – without profanity or harsh language – generated vulgar attacks, threats of violence and even death wishes divulged on numerous pro-homosexual websites, blogs, and comment entries. In fact, pro-homosexual activists unleashed a campaign of harassment against the Maryland family, including a call to have the mother’s parental rights revoked for simply encouraging her daughter to defend the reality of marriage between one man and one woman.

Violent Reactions

“And now everyone knows her name, so hopefully she will feel what its like to be harassed and bullied…” reads a comment posted on LGBTNation.com

From YouTube: “My god I hate people like this. Most (not all) Americans are [expletive] retards. If I ever see this girl, I will kill her. That’s a promise.”

Other entries: “Her parents should be exterminated.”

“The [sic] is why abortion must stay legal – to prevent little bigots like this from being Born…”

“Kill this child and his [sic] parent, for my 11 birthday would be a wonderful gift, thanks.”

“Her belief is hurting other people. I will attack her as much as I please.”

“Parents like hers should be sterilized…”

“I’m gonna kill ‘er!”

That is only a small sample. The vitriolic tone of over 2,600 comments posted on The Huffington Post alone, reveal how the “tolerance” promoted by the homosexual movement is anything but tolerant, nothing more than an empty slogan to silence most Americans. In fact, hundreds of additional comments posted across the blogosphere demonstrate just how willing pro-homosexual activists are to deny traditional marriage supporters their freedom of speech.


Transcript of the Testimony


Listen to the audio recording
“Hi, I’m Sarah Crank. Today’s my 14th birthday, and it would be the best birthday present ever if you would vote ‘no’ on gay marriage. I really feel bad for the kids who have two parents of the same gender. Even though some kids think it’s fine, they have no idea what kind of wonderful experiences they miss out on. I don't want more kids to get confused about what's right and okay. I really don't want to grow up in a world where marriage isn't such a special thing anymore.

"It's rather scary to think that when I grow up the legislature or the court can change the definition of any word they want. If they could change the definition of marriage then they could change the definition of any word. People have the choice to be gay, but I don't want to be affected by their choice. People say that they were born that way, but I've met really nice adults who did change. So please vote ‘no’ on gay marriage. Thank you.” (January 31, 2012)

The teenager’s sixty-second testimony points out two things: First, homosexual behavior is not inborn, but a choice. And second, many of those who have fallen into homosexual sin can and do change.

May God protect and bless this brave Maryland girl and her family for speaking up in defense of God-ordained marriage, and may He protect America from the homosexual agenda and its violent dictatorship of tolerance.

Post your comments below to support Sarah Crank
and her parents and family.


To see some of the over 700 comments posted at TFP Student Action, go here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why We Need the Spirit of Penance

Written by Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

It is said that today’s world is profoundly against penance and mortification. This is quite true. However, the main reason why we have this aversion is not that we want to avoid the physical pain of penance (which does exist). Rather, we tend to be against penance because of the principle behind it. This consists in the fact that man is a sinner. All sin is an insult to Divine justice and majesty, and therefore the sinner must make reparation by suffering in proportion to the delight that he should not have had but did.

Penance therefore is a kind of restitution. Just as a thief who steals money is required to repay it, so also from the standpoint of the designs of Divine Providence, the sinner who steals illicit pleasures to which he is not entitled must also pay something back. According to the scales of Divine justice, this is done by suffering in proportion to the harm that was done. In the act of penance, we find a recognition of sin, the gravity of sin, and God's offended majesty. We realize that our offense cannot be appeased with empty words and ideas but with self-control and self-imposed suffering in reparation for what was done.

More importantly, penance recalls to mind that we are conceived in Original Sin and thus have disorderly instincts that must be overcome and fought. Even when there is no fault of our own, it is often advisable, and many times indispensable, to crush the impulses of these disordered senses by doing something that breaks the cravings of the flesh and thus to practice penance. There is nothing more opposed to the modern mentality than the idea that man is weak, inclined to evil, and must fight his instincts and senses.

Watch any modern movie, open any novel or romance or enter any public place and we see that the idea of penance is far away. Human pride, even more than sensuality, rebels against penance.

One of the characteristics of a true counter-revolutionary is precisely to possess the spirit of penance. This spirit is even more precious than acts of penance themselves. Take, for example, a lay brother in a religious order, who wears a penitential hairshirt because the rule of his order prescribes it. He accepts this penance by default, and with time becomes accustomed to it.

If this lay brother does not have a clear notion of what penance really is, he risks going astray. He actually practices penance less than a layman who is unable to wear a hairshirt but who nevertheless has this spirit of penance. God wants us to have the right spirit, principles, the ideas of penance and not just the concrete acts. When penance is done in the right spirit, it above all punishes our pride and makes us bow to the reality of human misery in general and also our individual misery.

The sackcloth and other similar devices in the Church are precious treasures. However, they are particularly valuable when used as an element to call to mind an attitude of distrust of self and fighting against oneself. This spirit of penance characterizes the counter-revolutionary and causes revulsion in the revolutionary.

The following text is taken from an informal lecture Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira gave on February 23, 1964. It has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. –Ed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Shariah Billboard in Kansas City


On I-70, just past downtown KC, there is this new billboard, which is still up. On the left side of the sign there is the Liberty light and at the bottom it says, “Sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America.”



Friday, February 17, 2012

Bishop Vital: Unafraid to Excommunicate

Bishop Vital: Model for Our Times


In an article commemorating the centennial of the birth of Bishop Vital Maria Gonçalves de Oliveira(1844-1878), commonly known as Dom Vital, Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira extols the virtues of this prelate who resisted and excommunicated the secular authorities of his time.

Generally speaking, Brazilians have a confused notion of who Bishop Vital Maria Gonçalves de Oliveira was.


We know that he was a bishop of rare valor, who faced great perils in order to overcome the sworn enemies of the Catholic Church. Valor in defense of good and truth, however, is not a popular virtue. If there were holy cards and pictures of Dom Vital kissing babies, smiling to multitudes, giving blessings, and distributing alms (all attitudes proper to a bishop), he would bask in popularity.

Instead, his photo (above) depicts a young Dom Vital of pleasant yet strong features: his broad, high brow portrays audacity; his deep, serious gaze twinkles with intelligence and strength; he wears a manly beard, black and long; his bearing is noble and energetic. He has the air of a fighter, of a miles Christi (soldier of Christ). The photo seems to capture the moment when he was seated on the defense stand, as majestic as though he were in his palace, with his serene and penetrating eyes transfixed on the confused and indecisive judges. If it is true to say “Christians should be other Christs” then, a fortiori, “Bishops should be other Christs.”

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira


The adorable moral profile of Our Lord Jesus Christ manifests the full spectrum of virtue, from the ineffable tenderness with which He said “let the little children come to Me” to the terrifying majesty which hurtled His enemies to the ground when He said the words “I am He” in the Garden of Olives. Similarly, the moral profile of a bishop of the Catholic Church should also encompass all aspects of virtue, from tenderness to pastoral severity. However, Our Lord grants each one of us the grace of illustrating the Church by reflecting a particular spiritual facet. For instance, He calls some to edify Christianity by the splendor of their tenderness like Saint Francis de Sales. He calls others to defend Christianity by their pugnacity and their strength, as did Pope Saint Gregory VII and Dom Vital.

The latter's heart was overflowing with tenderness and kindness. It was precisely this kindness that compelled him to rise up like a giant, by staking everything he possessed: his life, health, tranquility, reputation, losing close friends, and gaining endless enemies, all to defend the souls which were being draged to hell by the enemies of the Church. There are times when authentic and genuine pastoral tenderness requires on to imitate Job: “I broke the jaws of the wicked man and out of his teeth I took away the prey” (Job 29:17). Job also boasts: “I had delivered the poor man that cried out; and the fatherless that had no helper” (Job 29:12). When Dom Vital was appointed to the archiepiscopal see of Olinda, many were the innocent victims who were caught “in the jaws of the wicked man” and numerous were the “poor that cried out, and the fatherless that had no helper”.


If Dom Vital had excommunicated men who had caused material damages to widows and orphans, he would have been applauded by the whole country and everyone would have acknowledged that his just severity was inspired by charity.


Church enemies cause moral damages, however, not material ones. We live in a materialistic era that only acknowledges as evil that which harms the body. It was precisely spiritual and immortal souls, redeemed by the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ that were being lost daily. The loss of a single one of these souls would be a disaster far worse than if the sun were to be extinguished, if the Earth were to crash into the moon or if the entire city of Recife were to disappear beneath the ocean. Likewise, it would have been incomparably worse if Dom Vital had closed his eyes to this spiritual tragedy than if he would have shut himself within the comfort of his palace to shield his ears from the cries of indigent widows and orphans. It was to fulfill his duty of pastoral charity — of spiritual charity — that Dom Vital stood tall and firm.


There are no emotional, material symbols for this kind of charity. One can be moved by a painting portraying someone distributing bread to the poor, but not many would be moved by a painting portraying someone in the act of “breaking the jaws of the wicked man”, with a dislocated jaw and teeth strewn on the ground blood dripping. It is easy to grasp how noble, just, Christian, and praiseworthy alms-giving is: no explanation is necessary. It requires long reflection, though, to grasp when it is good and praiseworthy to meddle with “the jaw of the wicked man.” If there is one thing modern man detests more than reflection, it is long reflection over a matter. It comes as no surprise, then, that the average person today increasingly fails to grasp the significance of acts of charity like those practiced by Dom Vital. Herein lies the most providential aspect of Dom Vital's mission in my view.


By his example, Dom Vital teaches us that the soul is worth more than the body; hence we must do more to defend the soul than we would do to defend the body. He also teaches us that, while all true Christians should prefer harmony over discord, meekness over pugnacity and conciliation over conflict, nonetheless there are circumstances when it is our duty to cause discord, where conflict is inevitable and where pugnacity is a moral requirement.


A human soul is so valuable that all valor, all energies and all licit means of resistance must be employed in its defense. When it comes to fulfilling our duty, we must go to extremes, just as Our Lord did; He never cast aside His Cross; rather He carried it to the top of Calvary where He then lay down upon it and allowed Himself to be nailed to it and upon which He died — all because He wanted to do His duty: to obey His Father's will.

* * *

The preceding article written by Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira has been translated and adapted for publication without his revision. —Legionário, June 8, 1944. Ed.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Muslim’s Remarkable Conversion to Catholicism

A Muslim's Remarkable Conversion to Catholicism


Written by Luiz Sérgio Solimeo

The fascinating autobiography of Muhammad Moussaoui, who narrates his conversion from Islam to Catholicism, shows miracles of grace and of human correspondence, on the one hand, and on the other hand the terrible harshness of Islamic mentality and persecution of Christians. The book’s title, The Price to Pay, summarizes well what this privileged soul had to go through in order to be faithful to the call of grace. After his conversion, he took the name Joseph Fadelle.

A Muslim from an Important Family

Fadelle belonged to one of Iraq’s most important Shiite Muslim families, the Moussaoui clan. As head of the clan, his father was a kind of judge and solved disputes between clan members. He also had great wealth and prestige.


In 1987 Fadelle was drafted into the Iraqi army, then under the rule of Saddam Hussein, right in the middle of the war with neighboring Iran. By this time he was 23 years old and single.

Sent to a garrison on the border with Iran, he was housed in a room with a Christian. He became indignant on learning he was going to be lodging with a Christian, an insult to a born Muslim whose family also descended from the Islam’s founder Muhammad.

The Challenge: Do You Understand the Koran?

However, the Christian, called Massoud, was older than him and welcomed him with kindness, so that little by little his prejudices began to fade. Fadelle conceived a plan to convert him to Islam. One day, when Massoud was absent, seeing among his books one titled The Miracles of Jesus, he became curious and began reading it. He had no idea who it was, because in the Koran Jesus is called Isa; but he was delighted to read about miracles such as the one during the Wedding at Cana, and was attracted by the figure of Jesus.

Still intending to convert Massoud to Islam, he asked him if Christians also had a sacred book like the Koran. After being told that Christians had the Bible, he asked to see it, thinking it would be easy to refute.


To his surprise, Massoud refused to show him the Christian book and asked an even more surprising question: if he had read the Koran. This question was offensive to one who had been brought up in Islam, but he simply replied he had. Then came a new and rather embarrassing question: “Did you understand the meaning of each word, each verse?”

The future Christian recounts that this question pierced his mind like a fiery dart, since according to Islam what matters is not to understand the Koran, but just to read it. Seeing his embarrassment, his room mate proposed that he read the Koran again, but this time trying to understand each sentence; and then Massoud would lend him the book of Christians.

Disenchantment with the Koran And a Mystical Dream

Muhammad accepted the proposal that completely changed his life. Indeed, as he tried to understand the meaning of what was written in the Koran, he realized that much of it was absurd and meaningless. A consultation with an iman failed to solve his doubts and he became increasingly disenchanted with the book of Islam.

It was as if scales fell from his eyes and he began to see for the first time what the Koran really said. Having finished this keen, meditative reading, he came to the conclusion that this book could not be of divine origin.

It was then a mystical episode took place, which prepared his conversion. He dreamed he was in a meadow on the edge of a creek and saw on the other side a very imposing, extremely attractive man. He tried to jump to the other side, but remained still in the air until the mysterious person took him by the hand and said to him: “In order to cross the creek, you need to eat the bread of life.” Then he woke up.

Conversion Shock: Jesus is the Bread of Life

No longer thinking about the dream, he got Massoud to loan him the Holy Gospels. He happened to open the book on the Gospel of Saint John. He was totally absorbed reading it and felt a great well-being. At one point, he was deeply moved to find the mysterious words of his dream: “the bread of life.” The words of Jesus in the Gospel were clear: “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger” (John 6:35).

Fadelle recounts: “Then something extraordinary happened in me, like a violent explosion that blows everything in its path, accompanied by a feeling of well being and warmth ... As if a bright light suddenly illuminated my life in a whole new way and gave it all its meaning. I had the impression of being drunk, even as I felt in my heart an indescribable feeling of strength, an almost violent, passionate love for this Jesus Christ of whom the Gospels speak!”

The Price of Conversion: Death

His conversion was complete, total and lasting. He wanted Massoud to help him become a Christian, but met with resistance. According to Islamic law, a Muslim who leaves Islam and becomes Christian should be killed along with those who led to his conversion.

At any rate, Massoud taught him to pray and the two spent their free time reading the Gospels and praying.

Massoud was released from the army while Muhammad was on leave and he did not find him on his return. Shortly after he too was discharged and returned to his parents’ house.

Years of Trial

For Fadelle, that was the beginning of a great ordeal that would last for years, requiring unparalleled loyalty.


As Massoud had recommended, he sought to conceal his conversion from his family, while avoiding, under various pretexts, to participate in their common Muslim prayers. At the same time he tried to approach the Christians, but they were afraid to accept him in their churches since they did not know him and were fearful due of the climate of persecution in which they lived.


Fadelle’s consolation was to read, covertly, the Bible he had received from Massoud, meditating especially on the Gospels. Finally he succeeded, through a Christian with whom he had made friends, to attend a church; but the eagerly awaited baptism had still not happened.


Time went by and in 1992 his father told him he had arranged a bride for him and that he should get married. It was a girl from the same social environment, and naturally a Muslim, called Anwar.


After his marriage and the birth of a son, Fadelle, who continued to attend church secretly, met a foreign missionary in Iraq who agreed to prepare him for baptism. But then something unexpected happened. One day, when he returned from Mass, his wife, who did not understand where he went every Sunday, asked if he had been going to see another woman. Caught by surprise and without thinking about what to say, Fadelle replied that he was a Christian and went to Mass every Sunday.


Wife Converts

His wife was totally shocked by the news that she was married to a Christian. Discombobulated, she locked herself in her room. Later, in the absence of her husband, she took their son and went to her mothers’s house.


Fadelle then realized he was in danger. She would tell her family that he was a Christian and he would be sentenced to death. However, miraculously, his wife said nothing to her folks and agreed to go back to her own home. Even more, she asked Fadelle to explain what Christianity was. He employed the same method that Massoud had used with him. He asked her to reread the Koran trying to pay attention to the meaning of its words and the doctrine it expressed. As had happened with him, she was shocked, especially with the way the Koran deals with Muslim women.


After reading the Gospels, Anwar secretly began attending Church with her husband and taking religion classes with the missionary.

Threats of Death and Imprisonment

In 1997 an episode of capital importance took place in Fedelle’s life. His family finally realized he had taken a distance from Islam and became suspicious that something was afoot. When the couple went to church, his brothers searched his home and found the copy of the Bible. And when they questioned his young son, he crossed himself as he had learned from his parents.


The next day, at dawn, Muhammad was taken to his parent’s house on an urgent pretext. As he entered the main room, he was immediately beaten by his brothers and uncles in the presence of his father. The latter, furious with indignation, accused him of being a Christian. His own mother shouted, “Kill him and cast his body in the sewer!” Although he was not killed on that occasion, Fadelle was taken by a cousin to one of Saddam Hussein’s political prisons to be tortured in order to reveal the name of the Christians who had “corrupted” him. For three months he was severely tortured, lost almost half his weight, and then was released. The family pretended it had all been a mistake, but put one of his sisters in his house to watch him.

Flight from Iraq, Baptism

Finally, in April 2000, after many vicissitudes, the couple and their two children managed to escape to Jordan, where he realized his longed-for dream of being baptized, along with his wife. He took the name John (but became known as Joseph) and she, Maryam.

Assassination Attempt

However, they were still unable to practice Catholicism in peace. When his family realized he had fled, they started looking for him and eventually found him in Jordan. In December of that year, four siblings and an uncle managed to lure him to a deserted place where, after a brief argument, they demanded that he apostatize from Christianity and attempted to execute the fatwa that condemns a person to death for leaving Islam.

Miraculously, despite being shot at point-blank range, the bullets narrowly missed him and he heard an inner voice telling him to run. Already some distance away, a bullet hit his ankle and he fell in the mud, fainting. His attackers thought he was dead and fled. Fadelle was taken by a stranger to a hospital and later treated by Christian doctors in his home, but Church authorities ordered him to leave Jordan in order not to endanger the Christian community. He took refuge in France, where he lives to this day.

The Beauty of a Righteous Soul

The way Fadelle was attracted by Catholicism shows how his soul had a profound righteousness and how his adherence to Islam was merely the result of circumstances of birth and family. He was actually prepared, once in contact with the truth, to accept it even at the cost of losing all the comforts and privileges of a high social position and suffering terrible persecution.


His and his wife’s conversions show how Muslims can convert and how many of them actually yearn, though unknowingly, for this “bread of life,” which is Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Let us pray for these souls and for Christians so harshly persecuted in Islamic countries.Joseph Fadelle,

Le Prix à Payer, L’oeuvre Editions, Paris, 2010. Unfortunately the book has not been translated into English.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Send Your E-protest against a Blasphemous Exhibition that Mocks Our Crucified Lord

The Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon, is exhibiting the blasphemous work by Martin Kippenberger, Feet First, a four foot high wooden sculpture of a crucified frog in loincloth, brandishing a mug of beer and an egg.

The Vatican denounced a 2008 showing of this as “…provocative and blasphemous…”

SEND YOUR PROTEST EMAIL NOW

You can make a difference in the halls of heaven and in your own life.

This world-wide group of like-minded spirits, who proclaim themselves as ‘progressive’ people, allow and promote such insults to Our Lord at every opportunity they have and are never satisfied with expressing insults to God, Our Lord, Our Lady, Catholicism, and purity.

VATICAN DENOUNCES

You are in great company when you protest this macabre “exhibit”. According to press reports, the Vatican denounced this so-called “art” when it was exhibited in Bolzano, Italy, in 2008.

• artforum.com, August 29, 2008, the work “was condemned by the Vatican as blasphemous.” [emphasis added – Ed.]

• again, according to the artforum.com article mentioned above, a regional government representative (South Tyrol, Italy), Franz Pahl, did a week long hunger strike, and said the exhibit was a “grave offense to our Catholic population.” [emphasis added – Ed.]

• according to post.thing.net, Stephen Kaplan’s art review blog, Sept. 1, 2008, “various clergy, government functionaries [Italian – Ed.], and Vatican spokesmen…have denounced it as provocative and blasphemous, and demanded its removal.” [emphasis added – Ed.]

• again, post.thing.net, in the same article, stated that to support the removal “there have been various actions, including a hunger strike by a local politician, a petition signed by 10,000 citizens, and a protest march.” [emphasis added – Ed.]

• and arcadja.com (Arcadja Art Magazine) June 10, 2008, reports “the case has also been assessed by the ecclesiastic apex. The general secretary of the Cei, Mons. Giuseppe Betori, … said that ‘this episode cannot be left unspoken about.’” [emphasis added – Ed.]

Are we to do less?

It’s a vile thing. They promote bigotry and hatred using one of the holiest of objects, while disclaiming that the “art” in question is just a matter of opinion and perspective, with them, of course, holding the better, more “open” opinion.

If all of the above isn’t enough to get you to protest this blasphemy, consider the link to satanic ritual that Nicole Davis brings up in her October, 2005 article "I Love Kippenberger" (Artnet.com).

In it she says “The Cross of a Frog [an even more impure representation of this same work by Kippenberger – Ed.] is also a satanic ritual outlined by occultist Alistair Crowley in his book of “Libers.” In reference to the frog he orders, ‘During the day thou shalt approach the frog whenever convenient, and speak words of worship. Also thou shalt promise to the frog elevation fitting for him; and all this while thou shalt be secretly carving a cross whereupon to crucify him.’…The ritual continues its instructions uncannily ‘Then shalt thou stab the frog to the heart with the Dagger of Art.’”


It’s time for us, as devotees of Our Lord to protest and pray in reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Our Lord’s crucifixion and its meaning are off limits to such profanation and mockery.

SEND YOUR PROTEST EMAIL NOW

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Discriminating Against Discrimination

Written by Gary J. Isbell

The Federal Supreme Court has ruled on a case brought by the Christian Legal Society [CLS] at Hastings College that appealed an “accept-all-comers” policy, which mandates all campus organizations to accept anyone as a member and even allow them to run for office - no matter what they believe. Or so it seems.

To put this in simple terms, the accept-all-comers policy is the dictatorship of political correctness that prohibits any freedom of expression that might offend the current PC standards in our institutions of higher education. So far this policy has only been enforced with a Christian organization that requires its members to uphold traditional Christian doctrine about pre-marital sex and homosexual activity.

The essential flaw with this ruling is that it implies that discrimination is inherently evil. This could not be further from the truth. To discriminate is to differentiate, and this is exactly what must be done in order to make a choice. If one has made a choice, discrimination has taken place. Everyone who has chosen a spouse has implicitly discriminated against every other possible spouse. When we choose one product over another, we discriminate against all others. How can this not be applied when choosing an ideology or faith? The proponents of “free choice” are taking away the very essence of choosing by discriminating against discrimination.

Now, judicial activism is endangering the identity of civic organizations by doing away with their right to impose requirements of loyalty upon their members regarding beliefs and behavior. With this ruling, we can see the application of the French Revolutionary cry of equality applied in the name of discrimination. Freedom of speech seems to apply only to liberals and liberal causes.

In Justice Alito’s dissent, he offers this analysis. “Only religious groups were required to admit students who did not share their views. An environmentalist group was not required to admit students who rejected global warming. An animal rights group was not obligated to accept students who supported the use of animals to test cosmetics. But CLS was required to admit avowed atheists. This was patent viewpoint discrimination. … It is no wonder that the Court makes no attempt to defend the constitutionality of the Nondiscrimination Policy[1].”

Carol Swain, a professor of political law at Vanderbilt says, “If this policy is allowed to stand, it will be difficult for any group to be able to move forward, but there will be grand opportunities for aggressive evangelism[2].” While Swain is correct in stating there are equal opportunities for both sides, she fails to address the inherent problem of the destruction of identity, and definition of an organization. This ruling will only produce a quagmire of ideas and behavior in every organization that is forced to accept it.

On another note, we can only imagine what would happen if the military and police were forced to accept all comers. Both institutions have strict intellectual and physical requirements that must be met to join. To do away with these requirements would endanger the identity and effectiveness of these institutions. The final result can only be chaos.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shock: People of All Religions Abandoning Democratic Party

As the 2012 presidential election approaches, the partisan affiliations of the electorate have shifted significantly since 2008. In surveys conducted in 2011..., 34% of registered voters described themselves as Democrats, down four points compared with 2008 (38%). Over the same period, the percentage of voters describing themselves as Republicans has held steady at 28%, while the total saying they are politically independent or have no partisan preference has risen four points (from 34% in 2008 to 38% in 2011).

...A new analysis shows that the share of voters identifying with or leaning toward the GOP has either grown or held steady in every major religious group. This includes both religious groups that are part of the GOP’s traditional constituency as well as some groups that have tended to be more aligned with the Democratic Party, including Jewish voters...

Among white evangelical Protestants (a traditionally Republican group), support for the GOP has grown from 65% in 2008 to 70% today. The GOP has also posted gains among Mormons, with 80% now saying they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. Republican gains are also apparent among white mainline Protestants (who were evenly divided between the parties in 2008 but who now favor the GOP by a 12-point margin) and white non-Hispanic Catholics (among whom an eight-point Democratic advantage in 2008 has become a seven-point Republican advantage at the end of 2011). Even Jewish voters, who have traditionally been and remain one of the strongest Democratic constituencies, have moved noticeably in the Republican direction; Jewish voters favored the Democrats by a 52-point margin in 2008 but now prefer the Democratic Party by a significantly smaller 36-point margin. There has been less change in the partisanship of black Protestants and the religiously unaffiliated, two other strongly Democratic groups.

The analysis shows that across several religious groups, the move toward the GOP has been at least as large – if not more pronounced – among those under age 30 as among those 30 and older. White evangelicals under 30, for instance, are now more heavily Republican than those over 30 (82% vs. 69%); in 2008, by contrast, the partisan preferences of younger evangelicals closely matched those of evangelicals over age 30. And among white non-Hispanic Catholics under age 30, support for the GOP has increased from 41% in 2008 to 54% in 2011.