26 October 2010

Opinion: Leaders or Scoundrels? 2010 Election Could Change Everything

at Catholic Online


There’s nothing quite election season to leave a bitter taste in your mouth, is there? This election season is particularly acidic.  I’d say I’ll be relieved when it’s over but the problem is it never seems to end.

When I take note, state by state, of the weaselly, dishonest, greedy, smug, power-drunk creeps that are being elected and re-elected to our government’s chambers, I am both disgusted and flabbergasted.  It’s appalling that so many men and women without honor are rising to positions of consequence; it’s downright mystifying that having shown their true colors they are rewarded for their disgrace with another opportunity to be publicly disgraceful.

It’s tempting to think that the virtue of leadership has been all but eradicated.  What has happened to honor?  What has happened to our appetite for it? What about integrity?  What of self-control, decency, respect, graciousness, humility, or honesty?  It’s a lazy, drowsy, ignorant and disinterested electorate that does not require virtue and good character from its officials.

Oodles of our public servants routinely cheat, lie, and steal to their hearts’ content.  They break their private and public vows again and again.  They make excuses and justify and hold a press conference to perform a tearful apology and then cheat, lie and steal some more.  They have no honor.

It’s not perfection I’m looking for, and certainly not a savior.  I have a Savior.  I’m simply longing for a genuine leader.  Someone who will remember who works for whom here.  Remember Barbara Boxer’s tantrum earlier this year when a senior military officer had the decency to call her “Ma’am” and she dressed him down like he was a snotty adolescent?  “I’ve worked so hard for that title,” she whined.  Boxer desperately needs reminding that if indeed she has worked hard, it’s supposed to have been for the people, not to get herself a title.  She’s a public servant, not the Queen of Sheba.  (And if military protocol is so offensive to her, by all means we should make sure she’s never subjected to it again.)

I’m longing for a leader who doesn’t explain away his own failures by intimating the masses are just too stupid to understand what he’s trying to do for us.  The condescension coming from the President toward Americans is unbelievable.  Those who don’t agree with him and aren’t thrilled with his policies and plans are just “not thinking straight.”  Anyone not voting for Democrats next week is accused of being “scared” and giving in to fear instead of facts. 

He goes on the radio and makes a pitch to African-Americans to get out and vote for Democrats, implying they may not understand the importance of this election.
“Everybody in the barbershops, the beauty shops, and at work — everybody’s got to understand: This is a huge election; if we turn out in strong numbers, then we will do fine. If we do not, if we are depressed and decide, ‘well, you know, Barack’s not running right now, so I’m just going to stay home,’ then I’m going to have my hands full up here on Capitol Hill.”
Naturally, it’s all about him.  Isn’t it just a tad insulting that the President assumes the only reason African-Americans will get out and vote is to support him?  And “we’ll” be just fine as long as Democrats are re-elected?  Who’s “we?” 

He continues to insist the reason Americans aren’t skipping with glee over the new health care law is that we still don’t understand it; we either didn’t listen or he didn’t talk about it enough or didn’t use small enough words for the peasants to comprehend.  (Well, there may be a grain of truth to that – Nancy Pelosi herself said the bill had to be passed in order to find out what was in it.)

Again and again, this President shows his arrogance and his contempt for those who aren’t falling in line with his agenda.  It seems in his mind it just can’t be possible that we have seen him clearly, heard him clearly, understood him clearly and rejected all of it soundly!

The snobbery continued this week when he said that if Republicans wish to come along for the economic recovery ride, “they gotta sit in back.”

Where are the leaders who are willing to place themselves under the same laws and penalties they wish to inflict on us?  If the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Health Care Extravaganza is so fabulous and benevolent, why isn’t everyone on Capitol Hill joining in the party?  They grouse at the mere suggestion that those who write the law should be subject to the law.  No, the peasant citizenry must applaud the Royals new prescription even as the Royals refuse their own medicine.

This year we’ve seen ordinary Americans assert their right to question and criticize their government officials, doing it peacefully and legally and yet those citizens are regularly caricatured by this arrogant administration as racist, bigoted, dim-witted crazies who are a dangerous threat to the country.  Since when is protesting over-taxation and too much government interference a sign of being unhinged?  I seem to remember another group of citizens who got tired of being taxed to death by an overbearing government…George, Tom, Sam, John, Ben, Richard, Stephen, Charles, etc.  They pledged to each other, “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

My, how things have changed.  It seems the only things sacred today are “tolerance” (meaning everything must be tolerated except the belief that some things are immoral and just plain wrong), political correctness (we mustn’t call something what it actually is), “choice” (legal child extermination) and the right to demean Christianity, especially Catholicism.

Give me a man who would rather die than behave dishonorably.  Give me a woman who will not degrade herself or spill her own child’s blood.  Give me a man who is faithful to his wife and family.  Give me a woman who prizes true femininity.  Give me a leader who elevates our discourse with his speech.  Give me a leader who inspires by virtue of his character and actions.

I’ll take a man who’s made a mistake, acknowledged it honestly, taken responsibility, and worked to correct it any day over one who passes the blame, covers it up or tries to rewrite history.  I’ll take a man who has failed once or twice over a pompous prince.

Give me a leader who serves.  Give me a leader whose strength is his humility and integrity; whose gift is her savvy and wisdom and grace.

These men and women will be the reward of the citizens who diligently seek them, support them, demand them, and frankly, become them.  How long will we punish ourselves with tyrants, thieves and scoundrels?  I still believe there are men and women with honor out there and they could be our elected leaders.  (I’ve made my choice for our 45th President!)  The question is, will we choose them?

9th Circus Court of Appeals is Anti-American

The 9th Circus has done it again.

I can't scream loud enough.

Does citizenship mean NOTHING anymore to anyone? Why don't we just hold open elections where the whole world can vote? Who cares, right? We're halfway there now.

If you're not a legal American citizen, YOU DON'T GET A VOTE. PERIOD.

When will this madness stop? What is wrong with these people?

24 October 2010

Praise!



"Every day I will bless thee, and praise thy name for ever and ever."  Psalm 145:2

Praise the Lord for this glorious autumn dayThe drive to church this morning was so colorful and beautiful!  Every day more and more green is giving way to orange, yellow, red and gold.  Just gorgeous.


Praise Him for the cooler weather, which I can't get enough of.  I'll have to suffer through this coming week, however, since our forecast calls for 80 degrees again!  Yuck!

For a wonderful day yesterday, baking and decorating pumpkin and leaf cookies with my girls and a good friend.  Plus, my husband became a 4th degree Knight!  I truly have a knight in shining armor.  And he's surrounded by fair maidens!

For a fun week ahead... my aunt is visiting which will be lots of good times for everyone.

For His steadfast love and patience and mercy that is always new.  For the way He is chipping away at the hardness around my heart, so gently, and teaching me how to love.

For the joy of knowing so many truly good men... good men are becoming too rare, and it's such a blessing to a woman to know them and be cared for by them.  I pray for three good men to make wonderful husbands for my girls someday.  Or maybe two... I'm still hoping one of my girls will become a nun.  :)

Enjoy the week ahead.  The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you!

22 October 2010

Don't Call Her Ma'am: Call Her Former Senator, Please!

I love this!  Brilliant!  Barbara Boxer is an arrogant, condescending, rude woman.  She dressed down a senior military officer like he was a stupid adolescent.  No respect whatsoever. 
Yet I fear it'll take a miracle for the people of California to vote her out of office.  CA seems to love rude, condescending, man-hating feminists.


Call Me Senator from RightChange on Vimeo.

17 October 2010

Praise!



"Praise the Lord!  Praise him from the heavens, praise him in the heights!  Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!  Praise Him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens!"  Psalm 148

I want to Praise Him today for being faithful and patient and generous.  He is tender and gentle and compassionate.  He gives wonderful gifts.

For the love He shows me through my husband, and the blessings He has brought me because of my husband.  Not the least of which is my husband!

For the temperature outside... 50 degrees!  I'm loving it!  Hubby said this morning, "Jen, I think Fall has really, truly fallen."  AMEN!


For warm stew, warm bread, good wine, and a comfortable home.

For my little ladies and the awe of watching them grow.  (Too fast, if you ask me!)

For peppermint mochas.  Mmmmmm...

For the chance to use my voice for His glory and the good of His church and witness to the truth in a world overshadowed by lies.  Here am I, Lord.  Send me.



Share your Praises with me this beautiful day!
God bless you this coming week with more joy than you can hold.

14 October 2010

"Potential Human Beings": Bill O'Reilly Slams Abortion Euphemisms, Then Uses One

at Catholic Online



Words have great potential.  They can build up or just as easily tear down; heal as easily as harm; unite as easily as divide.  They can also manipulate and conceal the truth.

Words twisted out of their proper meaning into a refashioned one have perhaps the greatest potential of all – the potential to convince untold numbers of well-meaning yet vacillating people to accept a lie they would otherwise reject.

Nowhere in our society is this played out more clearly than in the abortion battle.  The pro-aborts depend on verbal shenanigans to persuade and give moral cover to the evil act of killing the child in the womb.  Among the abortion peddlers’ favorite euphemisms are “terminating a pregnancy,” “choice,” and “reproductive rights.”  These deceitfully constructed terms are preferred over the word abortion itself because they brainwash people into forgetting all about the baby.

Everyone who saw The O’Reilly Factor on October 7th got a double helping of this dehumanizing rhetoric, and sadly some of it came from Bill O’Reilly himself.  In a segment with Alan Colmes and Monica Crowley about “nanny state” government intrusion, Colmes argued that Republicans are the worst offenders because they want to prevent homosexuals from marrying and take away “reproductive rights” from women.

O’Reilly started out strong by saying that abortion is about life and death, not “reproductive rights.”  Colmes countered, “It’s giving women the right to do with their bodies as they choose.”  Then, to my dismay, O’Reilly offered up the latest euphemism du jour:  “That sounds good,” he said to Colmes, “but what happens to the potential human being in the process?” 

The discussion concluded with O’Reilly asking Colmes whether the government should protect the lives of potential human beings, and Colmes replied, “No, because you cannot tell when it’s a potential human being, you cannot answer when that becomes a human being.”

There it is:  potential human being.

Not 30 minutes later in his Culture Warriors segment, while discussing that horrible woman in England who said she’d be the first to put a pillow over the face of a suffering child, O’Reilly told Margaret Hoover that abortion sloganeering has desensitized people to the seriousness of abortion through the use of euphemisms like “reproductive rights.”  When Hoover objected to him conflating “reproductive rights” with a woman suffocating a child to death, O’Reilly sternly told her, “Whether you believe in abortion or not, it is a very serious issue.  And to cloud it under the euphemism ‘reproductive rights’ is insulting – insulting – to the potential human beings who lose their lives.”

Bill, you may have meant well, but Pot, meet Kettle.  By calling your preborn neighbors only “potential” human beings, you are guilty of the very same sloganeering and deceptive euphemisms you properly denounced on your program.

There are no “potential” human beings.  Only human beings, with the potential to grow and change and come closer every day to being the person God created them to be.

The pro-abort strategy now is to insist that we cannot know exactly when life begins and therefore, whatever classification you put on the occupant of the womb (zygote, embryo, fetus, baby), it is only a “potential” human being, not an actual one.  As such, it’s not a matter of life and death, but solely a matter of a woman’s personal choice and “rights.”  Therefore, no need to question the ethics or legality of abortion or consider the life being killed, since what is being destroyed was only “potential.”

Now genetically and scientifically, the matter is settled.  Immediately upon conception there exists a new and unique member of the species Homo sapiens.  Is there any time from conception to birth when the child is a cat or a whale or a potato?

So now come the ambiguous, subjective definitions of what makes us human and when we become fully human and when a human deserves the right to his/her own life.  Some will contend that intelligence is required, or independence, or utility. 

The pro-aborts insist that a human being is only an actual human being deserving of life if and when the mother decides so.  If she wants the child, the child is a human being.  If she doesn’t want the child, it is at best a “potential” human being, but more likely just an insentient parasite.  For the abortion propagandists, humanity is irrelevant.

I expect the abortion peddlers to perpetuate this false and dehumanizing notion that the child in the womb is merely a “potential” human being, but not O’Reilly.  O’Reilly is Catholic, and a high profile one to boot.  The responsibility of his faith obliges him to know better and to defend the humanity and right to life of every child in the womb from the moment of conception, period.

In fairness, O’Reilly has on many occasions been a vocal advocate for the preborn and I appreciate his willingness to speak out when no one else in the media would dare.  He helped Jill Stanek put the spotlight on Christ Hospital’s infanticide over a decade ago.  He was willing to call the late Dr. George Tiller exactly what he was – a baby killer.  He didn’t shy away from pointing out the funding of abortion in Obamacare.  In many ways, O’Reilly is an ally in the fight to protect the preborn.

Yet, like so many Catholics, he seems to be either ignorant of authentic Catholic teaching or uncomfortable defending it.

For all our sakes, let’s review what the Church teaches about the human person:  “Man exists as a unique and unrepeatable being, he exists as an “I” capable of self-understanding, self-possession and self-determination…However, it is not intellect, consciousness and freedom that define the person, rather it is the person who is the basis of the acts of intellect, consciousness and freedom.  These acts can even be absent, for even without them man does not cease to be a person.”  (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 131)

As to the cowardly tendency of many to say that abortion is “between a woman and her God,” we should remember this: 

“Certain sins, moreover, constitute by their very object a direct assault on one’s neighbor.  Such sins in particular are known as social sins…Social too is every sin against the rights of the human person, starting with the right to life, including that of life in the womb…”  (CSDC, 118)

Regarding the alleged “right” to abortion, the teaching is crystal clear; there is none.  There IS a right to life: 

“The right to life, from conception to its natural end…is the condition for the existence of all other rights and, in particular, implies the illicitness of every form of procured abortion and of euthanasia.”  (CSDC, 155)

“Concerning the ‘methods’ for practicing responsible procreation, the first to be rejected as morally illicit are sterilization and abortion.  The latter in particular is a horrendous crime and constitutes a particularly serious moral disorder; far from being a right, it is a sad phenomenon that contributes seriously to spreading a mentality against life…” (CSDC, 233)
 
In truth, birth does not elevate the humanity of the child to a new, previously unattained status. The child in the womb is fully human from the moment of conception and as Catholics, we are gladly burdened with the duty to proclaim and defend this truth against the deceptive euphemisms of our time.  We’re not lacking in this country for public Catholics who don’t know and don’t live their faith, or worse, flaunt their open disregard for Church teaching.  What we need are more Catholics who know their faith thoroughly and profess it unapologetically. 

Bill O’Reilly has great potential to become such a Catholic.  Each of us has that potential.  Here’s hoping we all exceed our potential.

(By the way, the Compendium is available on Amazon.com and Catholic bookstores everywhere.  Every Catholic should have one.)
---------------------------------------------------------------

10 October 2010

Praise!



"If we have died with him, we shall also live with him; if we endure, we shall also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful -- for he cannot deny himself."  2Tim 2:11-13

I am horribly late posting this today, but better late than never.  It is never too late to Praise our God!!

I Praise Him today for His faithfulness.  Though I am faithless and fickle and easily swayed and distracted and prone to wandering, He remains faithful.  He cannot be otherwise.

Praise God for the gorgeous days we've had, though it's been far too warm for my taste.  You know how I love the cold weather and it's been in the 80's this week.  Much too warm for fall.  But later this week it is supposed to cool down, which means I'll be praising Him even more!

For the joy of my family, for being home with my children, teaching them, playing with them, and hopefully building a good home for them.  I so often feel like I'm failing at all of the above, but I'm the only mom they've got, so I better keep trying!

For my husband's love and affection, and his willingness to do things that make me happy.  He loves me better than I deserve.  Lord, make me a worthy wife.

For pumpkin spice waffles... with homemade whipped cream.  Yum.

For hot cocoa... with homemade whipped cream.  YUM.

For the brownie recipe I found last week and tried.  Let me just say - YUM.

If you're new to My Chocolate Heart, I post this meme every Sunday.  It's the Lord's Day and I want to give Him praise for all He's done and all He's given.  Please join in by linking up below and share your Praises!  You can borrow the picture of the heart and use it on your blog and link back here.  I look forward to reading them.  God bless you!

04 October 2010

U.S. Soldiers Committing Suicide: The War After the War

at Catholic Online



Do you recall President Obama’s speech last month on the Iraq war?  Vaguely?   I remember hearing some TV pundit saying that night after the speech, “The problem for Obama is that he delivered good news on a topic nobody cares about.” 

Is that true?  After so many years, are we just so weary of hearing about the war and the billions of dollars spent that we’re not interested anymore?  With all due respect, we don’t have the right to not care anymore. 

June, 2010 was an historic month for U.S. soldiers and not in a proud way.  The Army reported a record number of suicides – 32 total.  Every day during June, at least one of our soldiers took his or her own life.  That knowledge grieves me.  I hope it grieves all of us.   

Just last week the news from Fort Hood, TX was once again senseless and tragic.  It seems four soldiers took their own lives; one of them also killed his wife first, leaving their two young children orphans.

The simple fact is after 9 years of war, the Army is severely stressed.  Troops have faced multiple and extended deployments that have taken a harsh toll on soldiers and their families.  Long separations can strain even good relationships and troubled ones may crumble under the stress.  But the bottom line is there is simply no way a soldier goes off to war and returns home untouched by what he saw and experienced on the battlefield, and the hidden wounds may be the most deadly.  Too many of our heroes are coming home only to fight the war after the war – the battle for their peace of mind, their self-worth, and their lives.

(This article is not meant to be a referendum on the war.  I’m not interested in trashing President Obama or President Bush or Democrats or Republicans.  Nor am I interested in criticizing the Army.) 

The Army is well aware of the problem and they are taking it very seriously.  I recently had the opportunity to speak directly with COL Christopher Philbrick, director of the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force.  He readily acknowledges the extraordinary stress the troops are under and the reality that many of them need help dealing with the psychological, physical and emotional effects of a brutal war.

When I asked him about the stigma attached to behavioral and mental health needs, the reluctance of many military members to seek help for fear of harming their careers, he admitted such a stigma has been around a long time, but today’s Army is aggressively working to eliminate it.  “Is the stigma gone?  No, it is not,” COL Philbrick told me.  “Is it less prevalent than in the past?  Yes, it is.”

New standards being implemented across the board call for every soldier of every rank to receive a series of behavioral health consults before deployment, during deployment, and upon returning home.  The Army is even taking advantage of Skype technology to provide long-distance help to soldiers – even those in theater – when counselors are not immediately available in person.

I asked him if there was one message he’d like to communicate loud and clear to every soldier, no matter their rank or circumstances, and he replied without hesitation, “Raising your hand and asking for help is a sign of strength, not of weakness.  The days where help could not be found are over.  You are not alone, and there is hope and help.  You can get better.”

COL Philbrick directed me to a new video recently released and posted on the Army’s suicide prevention website, called “Shoulder to Shoulder: I Will Never Quit On Life.”  I’ve watched the entire video and I share COL Philbrick’s hope that it will be widely viewed and utilized to reach soldiers who need to know that they’re not broken or weak or unwanted – they can heal and their lives can be good again.

I’m very glad to hear about what the Army is doing to take care of its soldiers, but is that the end of the story?   What about the rest of us?  What about the community of faith?  Can we provide more than just moral and patriotic support, more than care packages?  Indeed, we can. 

After 9 long years, human nature dictates that war-fatigue easily takes over and if we do not have a loved one serving, the battle can seem very far from us and impersonal.  It’s easy to put it out of our minds.  It’s gone on for so long now that it just blends into the background of our daily lives.

(Again, this is not a referendum on the war!  The point of this discussion is to rally the troops – by that I mean the Prayer Warriors.)

May I urgently beg you to bring it back to the forefront?  Bring it back to your private prayer times and bring it back to your parish’s mass intentions if it has been absent lately.  

We need to pray for our heroes’ protection against depression and the spirit of suicide and hopelessness.  Even after they have returned home to “normal life,” Satan is still working to destroy them through despair, guilt, anger, grief, and fear.  Let us do what we are uniquely equipped to do and carry them to Jesus, imploring the intercession of the angels and saints.   We owe them that.

Let the rest of the world read this and scoff and say, “How stupid and meaningless!”  I don’t care.  We know the reality of the spiritual realm; we know the truth of things unseen.  It’s not a battle against flesh and blood; it isn’t fought with rifles or bombs.  It is fought on our knees with persistence and faith. 

October is the month of the Rosary – what better way to pray for our heroes than to place them in Mary’s arms.  Offer your rosary for them.  If your parish prays a communal rosary, offer it for them.  Remember them when you spend time in Adoration.  Pray the chaplet of St. Michael for them.  Get specific and pray that our heroes’ hearts and minds will be kept safe from suicide and despair, fear, hate, guilt, anger and every other device of the enemy.  Pray that the families waiting at home will remain strong and faithful.

Look around you and see the soldiers in your community, in your church and pay attention.  It may sound surprising, but soldiers who’ve been there say that when someone actually asked them whether they were thinking of hurting or killing themselves, they were honest about it.  If you think there’s a soldier or family in your midst who needs help, be brave enough to say something.  You might save a life. 

Most of all, please keep praying.  Do battle for our troops as they fight the war after the war. 

For more information and resources, go to http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/suicide/

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