Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Neal Boortz' Attitude about Abortion

Neal Boortz is no longer on the air. We will probably never know whether or not he retired of his own free will, or was booted off. He certainly was obnoxious.
He was also a coward. He was adamant that he would never take calls from pro-life people. That did not stop him from bad-mouthing them, and ranting on and on favoring abortion. As I said, that is cowardice.
It also shows that he may not have been convinced that his position was right, so did not want to be put into a place where he'd have to defend it.

Response to USCCB's Strangers no Longer on Illegal Immigration

In January 2003 the US and Mexican Catholic bishops issued the pastoral document, Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope (SNL), and the bishops of both countries called for an overhaul of the US immigration system. They outlined several criteria for its reform. I comment on several of the paragraphs. I recommend reading each paragraph online, then my comment.


Documents like this are usually written by a small group of people in a committee. It does not seem unreasonable for them to identify themselves, so that one can study their other activities and come to some conclusions. Toward that end I sent an email to the USCCB on June 29, 2013, but to date have received no answer.

#7. It’s too simplistic to say, “We invite Catholics and persons of good will…to welcome the stranger…”. Mt 25:35. This article will explain why.

#8. The illegals become a drain on our “social services”. Why should they be given benefits for which they did not work? St. Paul says, “If you will not work, you should not eat.”

Why should we have “intercultural communion”? They’re in America now; they should assimilate. E pluribus unum has been our motto since our founding. The Mexican episcopacy should be working to eliminate the system of graft and corruption that keeps their society backward. It should be educating Mexicans in the Faith and its application to daily life. Pope John Paul II’s, Ecclesia in America, which SNL quotes, seems to imply that immigrants are coming to stay.

#9. The bishops call the Mexican immigrants, whether legal or not, “people of faith”. My experience is that they do not attend Mass once they get here.

#28. “Catholic social teaching states that the root causes for migration: poverty, injustice, religious intolerance, armed conflicts, must be addressed so that migrants can remain in their homeland and support their families.” Mexican bishops: what are YOU doing about these things so that your flock can “remain in their homeland”? Your people are poor due to graft and corruption. Your upper class cheats the poor of their wages, or gets the men to gamble it away after they are paid, counting on “machismo” to force them to play. Your constitution was written by Masons who put into place a bloody persecution between 1926-29. What are you doing to change it? You hope to send your poor to us and have us solve the problem. We are under no obligation to do what you should be doing.

#30. Heretofore American immigration quotas have been kept low so that the newcomers may be blended into the body politic of American citizens. Hispanics, whether legal or illegal, have shown resistance to assimilating. There’s no reason why someone should say, “My name is José, or Antonio, or Felipe”. In America you are Joe, Tony or Phil, resp.

A UPI story published Feb. 4, 2013 said that 64% of legal Mexican immigrants have not sought naturalization; and the 36% who have is about half of all the other legal immigrants combined, quoting from the Pew Research Center. (1) What is the incentive? They get all the benefits that citizens get.

Like any individual human being, a state has a right to continue in existence. Flooding the existing body politic with unrestricted immigration is quite likely to lead to the state’s demise, or at least a permanent, undesirable change in its character. The Virgin Mary predicted in 1917 at Fatima that several small states would lose their identity. After the USSR took over Estonia in 1941 a flood of Russian immigrants entered the former country: 40% of the population is actually now Russian, and their voting pattern has permanently altered the future of “Estonia”.

In 1984 the magazine, Homiletic and Pastoral Review (HPR) ran an article, which gave the research indicating that an overwhelming percentage of the American bishops and priests was still voting Democrat. I’ve been unable to find a current one that gives statistics for the entire US. On December 1, 2003 HPR published an article stating that in Chicago, in 2002, 24.5% of priests voted Republican, and 75.5% voted Democrat. (2) These percentages applied to those who actually voted. Another source, CatholicCitizens.org on November 4, 2002, said that 7 out of 10 Chicago priests did not vote in the primary election. (3) An interesting side note is that 100% of recorded votes by Chicago’s auxiliary bishops were Democratic. (4)

There is no doubt that Hispanic immigrants will begin to vote Democratic. That party has turned socialistic, and leaves no lie unsaid, no dirty trick undone, to promote its march to making America a one-party country, like Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s USSR. Hence, it makes a play for these illegals, by promising them that the government will take care of all their needs. Many of them are already voting. There is now a $17 trillion debt. It is said that if every penny was taken away from every American, there would still not be enough money to pay this debt. And yet the bishops want us to take on supporting these illegals.

“…provided that the public wealth, considered very carefully, does not forbid this.” Our public wealth DOES forbid this.

#32. Strangers No Longer uses the politically-correct term, unauthorized migration, or the like, in more than one place. Paraphrasing Ecclesiastes, there is a time to use language poetically, and a time to use it legally or strictly. We’re talking law here. It amazes me that men who spent 4 years studying philosophy so that they could make fine distinctions so as to arrive at the truth should deliberately obfuscate. It reminds me of the word newspeak, which comes from George Orwell’s futuristic novel, 1984, published in 1949.

“…eliminating global underdevelopment is the antidote to eliminating illegal immigration…” This again leads me to ask, “Mexican bishops, what are you doing in Mexico to bring this about?” SNL quotes JPII’s encyclical, Ecclesia in America, that migrants from Latin America have a right to respect and dignity “even in cases of non-legal immigration”. No one disputes that. Pressure should be applied to make them go home, and they should be treated kindly but firmly as they leave. Once home, they apply at the American embassy, pay a large fine, and get at the back of the line to enter legally.

#34. What are Mexican bishops doing to eliminate the class system that prevails in Mexico? At the top there are still the rich hacienda-owners, priding themselves on the amount of pure Spanish blood they have flowing in their veins. When will you convince them to give up some of their 1000-square-mile+ ranches and give it to the descamisados? At the bottom of the caste structure there are still poor Indian villages where no Spanish is spoken. There are still bishops living in rococo palaces, anachronisms from the Baroque era when bishops were princes. What are the bishops doing about the drug trafficking, which grows worse and worse? (5)

#35. This paragraph brings up the topic of guest workers: people who come to harvest crops, but then return to their countries. It remains to be seen whether or not there are “jobs so demeaning that Americans will not do them”, such as stoop labor on farms. Let’s say that there are. I can see a guest worker program. We wouldn’t expect them to act like American citizens, but we would expect them to obey our laws. They needn’t learn English. We would treat physical emergencies, like getting hurt in an accident, but for long-term treatment, such as for cancer or leukemia, they would need to return to Mexico. They would not get welfare or food stamps. They would not get free education in our schools.

#38. Often the illegal found north of our border is a drug trafficker. They are even known to kill our border agents. (5)

#40. The average Mexican crossing our border illegally does not go to Mass, or make any attempt to join the local parish. To say they have a “rich faith tradition” is poetry, not objective truth. In fact, Latin Americans remain a largely uncatechized population, little more Christian than when the Spanish and Portuguese left in the 18th century. This is why Protestant groups are having such massive success there. The violence, the lack of law and order, are vestiges of the pre-Columbian past.

There is an “either-or” in this paragraph. We are told not to accept migrants as “foreboding aliens, terrorists or economic threats, BUT rather as persons with dignity and rights…” Foreboding means “having a presentiment of something bad”. Many of these illegals are criminals. Forty % of the inmates of our American prisons are Hispanic. 27% of the inmates of our American prisons are illegal Hispanics. (6) Bishop Estevez of St. Augustine says that there are only 10,000,000 illegals in the US. If the entire population is 360,000,000 that means that they constitute 2.8% of the population. Compare that with the 27% of our prisons who are illegal Hispanics. The website for La Raza makes the organization sound pro-American, but stories that circulate tell a tale of La Raza as anti-American.

Americans are justly suspicious of statements put out by the Obama government. His labor department claims that unemployment is about 7.7%. UnionofUnemployed.com says that it is more like 14.6%. (7) Unbridled immigration IS an economic threat to our unemployed citizens. If we had lawmakers who believed in less government, less regulation, and a moratorium on spending, we’d have a booming economy, and hence, we could absorb a larger amount of immigrants. Still, we cannot take so many that we would be inundated with people who would change the culture, as in Estonia. No, we DO regard them as “foreboding aliens, terrorists or economic threats, AND as persons with dignity and rights…”

#42. Why should WE pay for legal services for illegal immigrants when they get caught? They are citizens of Mexico, and Mexico should come to the aid of its citizens.

#45. Mexican pastors should be counseling their parishioners not to cross into the United States illegally.

It makes no sense to permit the Tohono and O’odham Indians to move back and forth across the border as they see fit. In this day of terrorists there needs to be some control.

#46. “Special encouragement should be given to migrants to be faithful to their spouses and families and thereby to live out the sacrament of marriage.” They frequently abandon their wives and children and simply start over in the USA.

#49. If Mexicans are so very religious, where are the vocations?

#57. “Both governments have recognized the integration of economic interests thru NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.” But read #60.

#60. “NAFTA has harmed small businesses in Mexico, especially in the rural sector.” It has its disadvantages for Americans, too. (8)

#65. The family member who is residing legally in the United States can return home to visit family members. He can make telephone calls. Let us say that the maximum quota of Mexicans has been allowed in. Let’s say it consists of husbands/fathers. If we then allow his wife and perhaps 8 children in (and I am not advocating smaller families), then multiply by the total number already here, we expand the max. quota by 9!

#68. Estimates of the illegal population start at 11.5-12,000,000 (9) and go as high as 20-38,000,000. (10) There is a tendency for those who push for legalization to use small numbers, as the bishops do here. The truth is, we really don’t know how many there are.

#69. “A broad legalization program of the undocumented (sic: illegal) would benefit not only the migrants but also both nations.” It would not benefit the United States and would benefit Mexico only in the short run, by getting rid of people whom that country can’t – or won’t - feed or house. In the long run the societal structures that lead to their poverty would still not be addressed. Dumping the problem north of the border is not the solution.

“Making legal the large number of undocumented workers from many nations who are in the United States would help to stabilize the labor market in the US...”
This article shows how it would de-stabilize it.

“Making legal the large number of undocumented workers from Mexico…who are in the United States would …preserve family unity...”
It would be the green light for an unprecedented horde of newcomers –each person’s entire clan - and because of their sheer numbers, they would never assimilate, thus changing the character of the American psyche, probably for the worse.

“Making legal the large number of undocumented workers from many nations who are in the United States would …improve the standard of living in immigrant communities.”
The US is a unique nation: to achieve a unified people (e pluribus unum) we expect newcomers to give up their previous allegiances. Previous immigrant groups have taken a generation or two, but they have done it. Mexicans expect to come here and set up little permanent Mexican enclaves and bi-lingualism. We expect more of migrants other than that they want to make a lot of money: we expect allegiance to the USA. They indicate no such allegiance, as illustrated by the fact that, during soccer games between the US and Mexico, they root for Mexico. There is also the famous photo of their stamping on both the US and Arizona flags. (11)

#70. Actually, the flow of remittances back to Mexico is a drain on our economy, and should be stopped, not enhanced.

#72. It is not obvious that the United States needs Mexican laborers. We allow our children to begin work at age 16. At that age they are robust; their bodies are flexible, and they don’t expect much in the way of pay. Our own teen-agers can fill a lot of these jobs that “Americans won’t take”.

But let’s grant that we may need foreign labor. “Labor protection and appropriate benefits” ought to be saved for legal migrants, those who have at least applied for citizenship. There’s no point in being a citizen if any illegal gets the same benefits.

I agree with a temporary visa for laborers.

“Arrangements could be made with the organizations that process these remittances (money sent back to Mexico) to channel some of their earnings from the fees to support community development in Mexico, such as road construction, sewers, health clinics etc.” Mexico is thoroly corrupt, and the money would never get to these projects if given to officials. The church itself needs to engage in these activities, until you finally wean the people off the graft system.

#73. This paragraph advocates the US creating a class of legal permanent residents. In what way would it be in the interests of the USA to create such a class? If one is going to live here permanently, enjoying the products of citizenship, he ought to be a citizen. Someone who lives here but is not, is bad for the morale of those who are. For example, if there are enough of them, their lack of interest in elections can keep would-be voters from the polls.

#75. “The USA and Mexico should conclude a Social Security agreement that allows workers to accrue benefits for work performed in the (temporary worker) program.” I disagree. SS ought to be a privilege of citizenship. Social-Security-type support ought to be given to these workers by Mexico, the country of which the migrants are citizens. They can pay Mexico when they pay their taxes there for SS insurance, same as we Americans do.

#76. “A properly constructed worker program would reduce the number of undocumented (sic: illegal) persons migrating from Mexico to the US, lessening the calls for border enforcement, and the demands for the services of unscrupulous smugglers.” I agree. And if our American bishops and priests would do their homework, stop supporting the Democratic Party’s platform of enlarging government, and advocate smaller government and less laws and restrictions, we’d get our economy not only back to work, but booming. This would in turn create the need for more workers.

#80. “…migrants are often treated as criminals by civil enforcement authorities.” They ARE criminals. They are breaking our federal law.

#82. What are we supposed to do with unaccompanied minor illegals? They are too young to work. Why are their parents sending them here alone?

Why would illegals need a lawyer? They are caught in the act of entering illegally.

#83. This paragraph admits to some of the bribery that goes on in Mexico. Bribery permeates the entire society. You Mexicans who contributed to this document are telling me what I must do; I will tell you what YOU must do: get rid of the graft.

#84. “Corruption continues to weaken the Mexican migration system and to hurt the common good.” I’m glad that you admit it. The first step in solving a problem is to describe it accurately.

#85. The problem is that our border patrol agents have been instructed to let illegal immigrants alone. This is because Obama and the Democratic Party see them as potential Democratic voters. Oh, yes: illegals vote. There is an old Democratic saying: “Vote early and vote often”.

#86. Increasing the number of border patrol agents just becomes a bigger drain on the American economy. Tripling the amount of people who will do nothing amounts to the same old: nothing is being done. 3 X 0 = 0.

#87. If illegals die in the process of trying to enter the US at remote locations, that certainly is a risk that they are responsible for. Smuggling Mexicans into the US seems to be a Mexican problem. What are the Mexican bishops doing about that?

#89. Why should care “be taken not to push migrants to routes in which their lives may be in danger”? How very liberal to put the blame on those trying to enforce the law, rather than on those who are breaking it. No one is pushing them. And why should US enforcement authorities “abandon the type of strategies that give rise to migrant smuggling operations and migrant deaths”? Rather, shouldn’t Mexico crack down on the smugglers? Word circulating back in Mexico that no one is going to rescue you if you get in trouble, will be a big deterrent to making the try.

#94. “Once apprehended, migrants often are held in unsanitary and crowded prisons, jails and detention centers…sometimes alongside serious criminal offenders.” They ARE serious criminals: entering the country illegally is a federal crime. Forging documents, passing forged documents, stealing an ID, and using a stolen ID are felony crimes. Illegals caught in the act should not be held in luxurious environments, but rather in accommodations which are minimal. It is not unfair to place them in with other criminals. Both of these things should serve as deterrents. When the illegal gets back home, he can inform others not to try it.

#103. The document quotes JPII: “…the church is the place where illegal immigrants (Note that the Pope is not afraid to use the correct term) are also accepted as brothers and sisters. It is the task of the various Dioceses actively to insure that these people, who are obliged to live outside the safety net of civil society, may find a sense of brotherhood in the Christian community.”
The paragraph goes on to say, “The church must, therefore, welcome all persons regardless of race, culture, language and nation with joy, charity, and hope.” It must do this for legal migrants; it owes nothing more than justice to illegals. Treat them decently while deporting them.
I have limited myself to illegal immigration coming across our southern border.
Often during the length of Strangers No Longer it is not kept clear whether it is speaking of legal or illegal migrants. I have no problem agreeing with what the document advocates when it comes to legal immigrants. There should have been three separate documents: one dealing with illegals crossing the border, another dealing with illegals who have been living here for some time, and another dealing with legal immigrants. There are times in the document when it is clear that illegal immigrants are the subject. Then there is a lapse into speaking of “migrants” and advocating certain things for them. I’d be in favor of those things for legal migrants, not in favor for illegal ones.
Before we say one word about Charity, we need to make very sure that all the demands of justice are fulfilled. I hope to have shown that going soft on illegal immigration is grosssy unjust to citizens who are already here.

(1) http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2013/02/04/Mexicans-slow-to-become-US-citizens/UPI-78841360021893/
(2) http://www.hprweb.com/2003/12/party-politics-and-the-priesthood/
(3) http://catholiccitizens.org/platform/platformview.asp?c=2927
(4) ibid.
(5) Follow the activities of the multi-state 18th Street Gang, to which many illegals belong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18th_Street_gang
Follow the activities of the international Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang to which many illegals belong, and which aids in migrant-smuggling from Mexico.
It would be of benefit to read the many websites about these 2 groups, as this paper doesn’t have room to go into them.
(6) Book on CDs: What the (bleep) Happened? By Monica Crowley
(7) http://www.unionofunemployed.com/blog/homepage/real-unemployment-rate-february-2013/
(8) http://useconomy.about.com/od/tradepolicy/p/NAFTA_Problems.htm
(9) On April 26, 2006 the Pew Hispanic Center (PHC) estimated that in March 2005 the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. ranged from 11.5 to 12 million individuals.
-Pew Hispanic Center Factsheet PewHispanic.com April 26, 2006
(10) Californians for Population Stabilization -CAPS – estimates the illegal alien population at 20 to 38 Million. Capsweb.org. 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
(11) http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=photo+stomping+on+Arzona+flag&qpvt=photo+stomping+on+Arzona+flag&FORM=IGRE
(12) http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080614143232AAhD4bM
(13) ibid.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Response to Bishop Estevez' Advocacy of Gang-of-Eight Immigration Bill

       I am a practicing Catholic who love my faith. I am NOT disgruntled, seeking to get even for some imagined grievance. I earned a Master of Arts in Theology from Franciscan University in 1996, so do know what the Catholic faith teaches. I was born in 1937, so do the math.
       Bishop Estévez was born February 5, 1946 in Havana, Cuba and arrived in the United States on a Pedro Pan flight as a teenager. He was ordained a priest in 1970 and has done extensive studies in Spiritual Theology, earning a doctorate from Gregorian University in Rome. He is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Italian. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Miami on November 21, 2003. He became bishop of the St. Augustine diocese on June 1, 2011.
       Before the Senate voted to pass S7444 bishop Estevez had our local Catholic radio station air a PSA calling on Catholics to contact their lawmakers to pass the Gang of Eight Bill, or a similar one which would legalize the illegals living in the USA.
       Here is a transcript of his radio message:
      “The Catholic community stands in support of immigration reform which is presently being considered by our Congress and I invite every member of this diocese of St. Augustine to support that immigration reform. There is such a need for a broad comprehensive immigration reform that provides for a legal guest worker program so that it offers an earned path of legalization for 10 millions or so workers already in the country as well as fixing an acceptable backlog of family reunification visas that keep families separated for intolerable lengths of time. Regretfully at times some people see immigration just from the perspective of enforcement and billions of dollars have been spent in that enforcement, which is necessary because each country must have control of its borders, but we need a comprehensive outlook in which the laws are made to serve the human being, to serve families and particularly when we are dealing with workers who want to work hard for the benefit of our economy. Please let your voice be known to the congress, the 2 US senators, so that this immigration law we may not miss the opportunity that is in front of us, that we may take advantage of this moment to solve a very important need for our country which is the legalization of so many workers and families that need to be legally in our country.” -Bishop Estevez

     Bishop Estevez is a good man, a sincere man. He tries to get away from the old-style bishop who arrived in his limo to confirm kids, and when it was over, was whisked away without any contact with the people. When he is to say Mass in e.g., my parish, he comes early, sits off to the side inconspicuously and prays, getting himself ready spiritually for what he is about to do. Afterwards, if there is a reception, he mingles with the crowd. He’s humble. So I’m sure that he comes to his conclusions from a motive of Christian Charity. But we have to satisfy the demands of justice before we can begin to talk about Charity.    
       He also comes to his conclusion as a member of the American episcopate: the bishops of our 269 dioceses. That body is riddled with liberals. In January, 2003, a committee of American bishops collaborated with a similar committee of Mexican bishops in writing, Strangers no Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope. In another post I will give my rebuttal of many of the ideas advocated in that 107-paragraph document. Our American committee was most probably composed of liberal bishops. So far the US Council of Catholic Bishops has not responded to my request for the identities of the authors.
       Bishop Estevez is of Hispanic culture. Anglo-Saxon culture, of which the USA is part, is superior to Hispanic culture in one respect: we pass laws, and place ourselves under them. Hispanic countries pass laws, and immediately circumvent them by a process of graft and corruption. In my humble opinion, this is one of the big reasons why Latin America has made so little economic progress. No matter how much we may “love” the illegals living in the USA, the big fact remains that they broke our law getting into our country, and continue to break our laws for the 30 years that they may stay here. To the Hispanic mind this is no big deal; to the Anglo mind it is a very big deal.
       The Catholic community does NOT stand in support of the legislation of the “gang of Eight”, as the bishop states. Only liberal Catholics support it. Let’s be clear. There can be no debate on principles; there can be debate on policies and methods of applying those principles. This is such a case. I don’t know any orthodox Catholics who support this bill, because it is very unjust to the Americans who are already citizens.
       It is truly ironic: our bishops and priests almost never enunciate principles either before or between elections; and now, when one does, he is on the wrong side, despite his sincerity.
       Our bishops and priests are afraid of losing their tax-exempt status. The prohibition on political speech from the pulpit did not become part of the Internal Revenue Code until 1954, when an amendment to section 501(c) (3) was introduced by then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson during a Senate floor debate on the 1954 Internal Revenue Code. The prohibition was added to the code without hearings, testimony or comment by any tax-exempt organizations.  (1)  To my knowledge this abridgement of the clergy's First Amendment rights has never been challenged.
       Why did Johnson do this? Endnote 3 says,
       “Hypotheses about the origins of the political activity prohibition abound. See Deirdre Halloran & Kevin Kearney, Federal Tax Code Restrictions on Church Political Activity, 38 Cath. Law. 105, 106-108 (1998), which suggests that the prohibition represented Johnson’s response to support provided by certain tax-exempt organizations to Dudley Dougherty, Johnson’s challenger in the 1954 primary election.”  (2)
       I agree with the bishop that we need a guest worker program, but let’s be careful to add that this does not entitle guest workers to Social Security benefits, or free medical care, free food stamps, and free education. Such things are the duty of the countries of which the guest workers are still citizens. Only those with American citizenship should be entitled to these.
       They could get drivers’ licenses for which they would pay, and the license would state their status clearly. They would get insurance, like any American has to do.
       Regarding his statement that there are a mere 10 million illegals already living in our country (3), I must counter that Californians for Population Stabilization says that there are between 20-38 million illegals here.  (4)      
       As to the bishop’s claim that illegals want to work hard for the benefit of our economy, that needs to be proved, for the evidence seems to be otherwise. As it is, 40% of our American prison population is Hispanic, 13% legal, 27% illegal.  (5)   If the bishop’s figure of 10 million illegals residing in the USA is correct, and if the population is 360,000,000, then the illegal population is 2.8%. There is quite a discrepancy between 2.8% and 27%.  (6)  The problem is precisely that those who want to work do NOT want to work for our economy, but to earn money to be sent back in the form of “remittances” to Mexico, etc. This money drain is bad for our economy. Those who do not want to work have been told of the various government programs that they will get free. The Obama regime even advertises these programs in Mexico.
       Bishop Estevez admits that countries have a right to control their borders. (7)  Controlling the border is one issue; another is making sure that the amount of foreigners being admitted is no more than a certain number so that they can be assimilated into the existing citizenry. It’s too bad that we can’t control the % of Mexicans in large cities, for they set up foreign enclaves and resist assimilation. (This is hyperbole; I am not seriously advocating this.)  Other immigrant groups huddled together when they came, but they grew out of it.
       Granting amnesty to 20-38 million (or 10 million if you wish) illegals puts them in competition with citizen-workers. In fact, now that Obamacare is a fact, employers will prefer illegals, as they are less hassle. Is that treating citizens with justice? John Carney and Jeff Cox of CNBC say that the Congressional Budget Office’s view that S744 will be good for the economy is misleading. They say that enactment of this bill will increase unemployment and drive down wages for American workers.  (8)
       Passing this bill will be the signal for an increase in both illegal- and attempted-legal- immigration, and the country cannot absorb all that.
       Contrary to what bishop Estevez says, these illegals don’t need to be in our country. We should impose a heavy burden on employers to investigate their employees who entered our country over the Rio Grande River and if they are found to be illegal, to dismiss them. They will then return to Mexico on their own dollar, where they will “be reunited with their families”. They can then apply at the American consulate, pay a heavy fine, and go to the back of the line. That is the just way of handling things.
       It is a mistake to think that all those Mexicans or Hispanics who played by the rules and waited for years are unanimous in wanting amnesty for illegals, for they are not. There is no one comprehensive source of opinion on this; there are many websites such as, You Don’t Speak for Me! which bear me out.
*               *               *
       Now Senate bill S744 has been passed. Sen. Ted Cruz, who, like bishop Estevez, is of Cuban descent, filed an amendment that would have corrected one of the most egregious aspects of the gang of eight bill as it intersects with Obamacare legislation, namely a penalty imposed on U.S. employers for hiring U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. S744 says if an employer hires a citizen or a legal immigrant, the IRS can impose a $5,000 penalty on that employer, but if the employer instead hires someone with RPI status, that penalty will go away. Cruz called it, “Utterly and completely indefensible”.
       He says that if the Senate bill becomes law, Black unemployment, legal Hispanic unemployment, union household unemployment, all will go up.
       Glenn Beck and conservative talk show hosts say that if amnesty is granted and the border is not sealed, a permanent, irreversible change away from the vision of the Founding Fathers in the form of a one-party system is sure to follow. That is the way of Nazi Germany, the USSR and its satellites, and - yes, Cuba.  I don’t believe bishop Estevez wants this.
       The fight is not over. I ask listeners to support tough - not soft - immigration reform, as described in this email.
(1) http://www.pewforum.org/Church-State-Law/preaching-politics-from-the-pulpit-2012-answers.aspx

(2)  ibid., endnote 3.

(3) The Pew Hispanic Center (PHC) estimated that in March, 2005 the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. ranged from 11.5 to 12 million individuals.

(4) Pew Hispanic Center Factsheet PewHispanic.com April 26, 2006

(5) Californians for Population Stabilization -CAPS – estimates the illegal alien population at 20 to 38 million. Capsweb.org. 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
Book on CDs: What the (bleep) Happened? By Monica Crowley

(6) Follow the activities of the multi-state 18th Street Gang, to which many illegals belong. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/18th_Street_gang
       Follow the activities of the international Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang to which many illegals belong, and which aids in migrant-smuggling from Mexico.
       It would be of benefit to read the many websites about these 2 groups, as this paper doesn’t have room to go into them.

(7) 2241 of the Catholic Catechism says, “Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially in regard to the immigrants’ duties toward the country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens”. This assumes legal immigration, but it applies just as well to illegals until they cross the border back into Mexico.

(8) http://www.cnbc.com/id/100839831

(9) http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/06/ted-cruz-exposes-amnesty-bill-5000-penalty-for-hiring-citizens-over-legalized-aliens/#ixzz2XTHDPlUL

Monday, October 3, 2011

On Prudishness

There’s a subject that one doesn’t hear about these days in Catholic circles. It’s Prudishness. One could give as reason for this that the culture has become so sex-obsessed that prudishness is a concept belonging to a past era. Well, I have news: prudishness is alive and well among some orthodox Catholics.
My thesaurus defines a prude as: “a person who is excessively or priggishly attentive to propriety or decorum.” As synonyms for prudish it lists “goody-goody, prim, prissy, narrow-minded, over-refined, fastidious, stuffy, strait-laced, over-scrupulous, finicky, squeamish, old-maidish.”
I went online and googled-in the word. Many people there have opinions on the subject. Unfortunately, all of them think that if one is holding back any restraints on complete sexual license he’s a prude.
What occasions this article is that recently I came across several Catholic women who exhibit signs of prudishness. One spoke of reading a book until she came upon the phrase, “…and they had sex.” The book in question was one which ultimately fulfills the criteria listed below. I have read the book and there is nothing salacious in it, in my judgment. She actually told the author that he needed to “recall all the books that are out there, and get someone who knows how to write to re-write it.”
This parish has a large number of such people in its congregation. Many of the parents are in their late thirties. They have two children, the older of which is of one sex and is maybe 12; the younger is of the other sex and is maybe 10. In other words, they seem to be practicing birth control. One boy, one girl. These people are choking on a gnat and swallowing a camel.
The pastor of this parish describes his prudes as “more sensitive Catholics.” That kind of denial is masking the problem. That enables them to continue on in their malfunction. A truly “sensitive” Catholic would turn out for doing God’s work in some way, such as the Legion of Mary, instead of sitting warming a pew weekly (even daily!), and limiting her “Catholic action” to sniffing out things over which to act offended, and to report on. Then the pastor is supposed to admonish the “offender” while she remains anonymous.

Examples of Prudishness
I was never much of a fan of the TV series, “Mash.” On the few times that I watched it I was struck by how prudish the priest was portrayed. Mild-mannered, he would blush at the mention of certain things. In my experience, both the mild-manners and the blushing show the formative influence of an excess of women and a lack of the influence of men in a boy or man’s life. Prudishness does seem to be mostly a feminine trait.
When I was a junior in high school we took a course called “Health”, taught by a very young nun. She asked us to start reading newspapers and magazines looking for articles on news about health and to keep a “Health notebook”. I ran across one that described new findings about menopause and glued it in. When I got it back the article had been savagely ripped out and a long paragraph in red told me I should be ashamed of myself for pasting in such dirty material. So much for aspiring to adulthood.
A man meets a group of women whom he knows on the street. “We haven’t seen you for a while,” one of the women says. “I was in the hospital,” he replies. “Oh, really? What was it for?” they ask. “I had an operation on my prostate,” he answers. The face of one of the women turns red. She begins to look very ill-at-ease. “Let’s change the subject, shall we?” she orders. There was nothing dirty in the reply of the man; nothing even vaguely suggesting the beginning of some kind of sexual advance on the women. Besides, if one is not prepared to hear an answer to the question, “Why were you operated on?” she should refrain from asking it.
There is a tendency to call a toilet a bathroom, even tho it is in a public building and there is no bathing facility. The word “toilet” is not a bad word; it’s already an attempt to be delicate about the need to relieve oneself. It comes from the French and means “little work.”
There is no subject that adults cannot discuss, provided that they use appropriate language and in the appropriate location. A woman may be rightly annoyed if at a party of mixed men and women the subject turns to the genital area, and the language is that of the gutter. She may be all the more annoyed if the subject becomes her genital area. If, however, she is visiting her female gynecologist, and the latter attempts to discuss the patient’s genital area in sophisticated terms, and the woman feels embarrassment, that’s a case of prudishness.

I think that Prudes believe their prudishness is a higher form of orthodoxy, or a higher form of spirituality, and that they are, therefore, holier. I challenge that belief. I believe that Prudishness is rather emotional immaturity, arrested emotional development, infantilism. Prudes are stuck in puberty.
There are three types of conscience: scrupulous, which holds almost everything to be sinful; lax, which holds almost nothing to be sinful; and right, which holds the proper balance between the two. Prudishness is allied with the scrupulous conscience.
It may be that the mothers of prudish women raised them to think that sex is dirty, that it had to be endured. Their husbands may have seen them as mere lust-objects, and roughly demanded sex whenever they wanted, and paid no attention to their wives’ satisfaction. As a result they may have cut off their husbands from the marital act a long time ago. Because they fear their husbands they become inordinately attached to their children, who they really don’t want to grow up, so that they will always be there for them. Consequently, and subconsciously, they sabotage their children’s maturation.
I have an MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Our moral theology book explained that when two people marry, each owes the other the “debitum”, i.e., that when A asks for sex, B has to grant it, given that the circumstances under which it is asked are reasonable. (A husband asking for it when the wife has a 104 deg. fever would not be). Such withholding is usually done by women. And it’s a sin.
I know a man whose wife cut off her husband over twenty years ago for some infraction. I know him to be faithful to her in his enforced continence. She plays the organ at a Catholic church! Obviously either she has not confessed this sin or the pastor has not dealt with it in a homily. She may not know its sinfulness.
Prudes read a book until they come to a word to which they object, and then slam the book shut, blushing. Someone taught them this behavior. If something is learned, it can be unlearned. If they were to read to the end, they would establish things in context. It would make an interesting exercise to snip passages out of the Bible, change names of people and places to American ones, and read them to these folks. “Porno!” I can hear the shouts.

Can a bad word be used in an otherwise chaste book?
I believe it can. These would be some criteria under which bad words may be used, in my opinion. Perhaps this incomplete list will lead to some additional criteria from readers.
1. The intended audience is definitely mature. Perhaps twenty-one should be considered the bare minimum age. Parents in their late twenties will read right by a bad word, looking for the big picture, whereas that same word, read by a seventeen-year-old, may have an arousing effect.
Of course a person has to be honest with himself. If he picked up a book in good faith, looking for entertainment only, and comes across a word, phrase or situation that he finds sexually stimulating, he needs to discontinue reading it. This isn’t at all the case I’m dealing with in this article. As I said above, a prude is: “a person who is excessively or priggishly attentive to propriety or decorum.” There’s nothing stimulating in that definition.
2. The bad language is kept down to a bare minimum. Let’s say that to shock the reader with the Devil’s vileness, the author has a man possessed by the Devil let out some profanity when he sees a priest. This happens once, maybe twice, in a book. A book with bad language on every page ought to be rejected.
We all know men who use f--- every second word. Let’s grant just for the sake of argument that that word can be used to show real disgust. If he uses it often, what does he do when he really needs to show disgust? It’s a matter of relativity.
3. Ultimately good triumphs over evil; God’s ways triumph over the Devil’s; Catholic truth triumphs over error.
4. The mere fact that there are low-life types who use bad language in daily life does not justify employing it in a book.

Prudes would exclude words like f---, s--- and the like from the dictionary. I disagree. They should be in there, with an explanation as to what kind of words they are, and that they are not used in polite society. Pity the poor newcomer to the English language who hears f--- somewhere and uses it at Lady Buffwharpington’s tea party because it was not in a dictionary.

Now for Some Praxis.
How should a man react to dirty speech? Should he blush, turn away, and squirm uncomfortably? That’s not manly and it makes religious men look ridiculous. Certainly he should not, out of human respect, participate. But that’s still passive. He should be pro-active: “Look, you guys, I don’t appreciate that kinda talk” would be more like it.
How should a woman react to dirty speech? Should she blush, turn away, and squirm uncomfortably? That’s what they would have taught her at Miss Lydia Pinkerton’s Ladies’ Seminary in 1878. No. What she should do is to say, “Look: I don’t appreciate such talk. If it doesn’t stop, I’m outa here.” There is a legitimate feminism whose premise is that women are capable of far more than we men have thought them capable of.
What should a woman do if she comes upon a pair of animals mating? Should she blush, turn away, and squirm uncomfortably? I can tell you from my own experience living on a farm in Poland that women who are raised on a farm are not prudish. Generations of European peasant families of – say twelve children - were raised in one-room huts. They learned the facts of life naturally. They came upon animal matings frequently. They didn’t regard it all as dirty; they just regarded it as part of life and moved on.

Aristotle believed that every ethical virtue or positive character trait can be described as a pleasant intermediate activity between a painful excess and a painful deficiency. There is a spectrum on which modesty is the golden mean; libertinism is the deficiency, and prudishness is the excess.
It should be of some interest to chart the course of history leading down to our American Catholic prudishness. On the continent of Europe John Calvin launched Calvinism, which was very puritanical. The citizens of Geneva, Switzerland were ruled in a joyless, prudish way for a while. Calvin’s puritanism spread far and wide. It spread to England, where the Puritan movement, led by Oliver Cromwell, overthrew the British monarchy. Cromwell and the Puritans passed laws imposing a strict moral code on the people. The Puritans went so far as to abolish Christmas: having fun was looked on as sinful in itself. Our own American Puritans were rigid prudes. Then the monarchy was restored, and the pendulum swung to the other extreme: libertinism. This was particularly characteristic of the way people regarded the later Hanoverian monarchs who immediately reigned before Queen Victoria. (Interestingly, George III, against whom our Revolutionary War was won, was a Hanoverian.)
Our American prudishness is an outgrowth of Victorian morality. Victoria mounted the throne in 1837. It is said that Victorian prudishness held it improper for a man to say "leg" in front of a woman; instead, he had to say “limb”. And let’s not forget that it was during these days that the word “ain’t” was totally outlawed, whereas it does have one legitimate use: “I ain’t”, or “Ain’t I?” Remember that “ain’t means “am not”. It is absolutely ridiculous to say, “Aren’t I?” One wouldn’t say “I are”. Women going bathing had to wear a heavy, and dangerous, bathing costume. Middle- and upper-class girls were sent to “ladies’seminaries” or “finishing schools” or off to Switzerland to acquire these prudish attitudes.
Ireland had for 800 years been a part of the British Isles, and as such, fell under the hegemony of prudery. It should not be surprising that in my long life (born 1937) prior to about thirty years ago I ran across many Irish, chiefly women, who exhibited prudishness, even to the marrying at advanced ages like 38 and up. The prudish women I refer to in this article are Irish. Ireland made a great mistake in allowing-in our American movies and syndicated TV programs, for the pendulum now has swung to the other extreme: Irish youth are very sexually promiscuous.
Back to Calvin. His Puritanism spread far and wide, so much so that it was bound to infect Catholicism. This resulted in the heresy known as Jansenism. Jansenism was extremely rigorous, so much so that Catholics felt unworthy to receive Communion more than about once per year. They didn’t even make their First Communion until at least the age of 15. I’ve seen enough quaint faded Communion photos with the date shown on a little table to prove this.

What can be done to help the person who suffers from prudishness?
1. Instead of passively catering to prudes, a clergyman should meet with them individually, find out their stories, and get them psychological help to grow up. He should not be a prude himself. The prudish person should see a spiritual director regularly. She should follow his directions obediently.
2. Most prudes have a TV. Every night they sit and hear the f-word, the s-word, and a host of others, not to mention our Lord’s name taken in vain. They watch erotic situations, or the beginning of such situations. If they’re going to be consistent, clergy need to mount a campaign to get them to get rid of their TVs. At the very least, they need to mount a campaign to get the stations to air wholesome programs. The USCCB needs to use its clout to achieve this latter end.
3. Clergy might consider preaching homilies on the subject of wives withholding the debitum from their husbands, or hold classes on the morality of marital intercourse. And certainly they need to work on eliminating their own prudishness.

It’s sad: there is a dichotomy between orthodox- and liberal- Catholics. Orthodox Catholics have true doctrine but are frequently mean-spirited, and downright cruel in their prudish zeal; liberal Catholics do not hold true doctrine but are usually kind and friendly in their indifference. Would that we could raise up a generation of Catholics that are orthodox and kind and friendly.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Book: The Strange Life of Walenty Karnowski, the Rabbi's Illegitimate Grandson

My new book, The Strange Life of Walenty Karnowski, The Rabbi's Illegitimate Grandson, was published on May 27, 2011. It is available at http://www.amazon.com Simply type in my name, Gerald R. Schmidt, and hit Search. You can find a synopsis there.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Debriefing re: Police Visit Wed. Morning, Jan. 12, 2011

I was working upstairs at my computer when the doorbell rang. I thought it was Garrett, a neighbor with mental problems who frequently asks for money or a ride somewhere. I could see thru the open blinds that there were a woman and man, neither of whom I recognized. I opened the door.
She was shorter than he, and in front. They both flashed legitimation, but she was at least 4 feet away, and he 10 and I could not read it. The woman took the lead in speaking. (Much of what follows is the meaning of their words, not always the exact words.) She said that I was implicated in some kind of plot, and that they wanted to ask me a few questions. I still had not the slightest idea what she was referring to. My adrenalin shot all thru my body. I had all I could do to appear calm.
I am a Catholic: I believe that I need to show kindness to others, especially when they threaten, and this certainly seemed threatening. So I invited them in. They entered my living room. The man took a seat on one sofa; the woman on the other, unbidden. These sofas are arranged at right angles to each other. The woman told me to sit down. “This is MY house; it is the height of rudeness for a guest to be telling me what I may do in it” I thought, but said nothing. I sat down in a chair meant to be placed at a desk, but which I keep a few feet away from my TV. (I like to watch up close.) So there was a kind of triangle. When she spoke, I swiveled toward her; when he spoke, I swiveled toward him.
They stated their names, but I was concentrating too much on staying composed to have caught them. They said that they were part of the Intelligence something or other. (A week later I called 630-7600 and asked for the full name of the department which began with the word, “Intelligence”. The man at the other end acted as tho he did not know what I meant, but when pressed said there was something called the “Intelligence Unit”. I asked for the name of the person who headed it. He wouldn’t give it. Instead, he gave the phone number: 630-2185.)
She produced a dossier which she opened. It appeared to have data that she had accumulated, at least 1/8” thick, presumably on me. The first sheet had a colored picture of me about 3” square, in the upper left corner. I could see, as she folded it back, that the next sheet had a colored picture of an acquaintance of mine, Al Lamoureux. She asked if I had sent an email in which I stated, “Audrey Moran must be scotched right now.” I said that I had. She asked if by that word “scotched” I intended to kill Audrey. I said that I did not. I am a practicing Catholic; go to daily Mass and Communion. Killing someone would be totally inconceivable for a practicing Catholic. I said that she could find out what sort of person I was by consulting my pastor. She ignored this and went on.
She said that she had looked into a dictionary, and had determined that the word “to scotch” means to kill, harm, maim and the like, and that it was often used to kill a snake. (I have retold this story to many people by now. Some of them have looked up the word, unrequested by me. They came up with innocuous meanings. The inquisitor seems to have limited her meanings to those which would damn me.) She asked how I meant it. I said that the image that I had in mind was a long wooden stick with a Y at the end, which is placed behind a snake’s head to stop it. (After the inquisition I went to my own dictionary and read, “to cut or maim. To put down, to stifle, as, to scotch a rumor.” My dictionary was published in 1963. I believe that the word has evolved since then to the exclusive meaning of “to put down or stifle”. My three thesauruses do not even contain the word.) I explained that there is a time when language is used strictly, and another when it is used loosely, and that writing an email is generally considered a time to use it loosely. I said that I do not consult a dictionary when I write an email.
There has been ample time since then to re-run the entire interrogation in my mind. I wish I had thought to say that I am a writer, and that writers try to avoid hackneyed ways to say things.
The man asked if I were a member of the “organization” known as 40 Days for Life. His tone and demeanor conveyed the message that he thought that this was some kind of sinister society. I explained that it is not an organization at all, but an idea. There are no dues, meetings, initiation. The word goes out and we show up to pray at abortion mills. I said that I had shown up a few times this year, more last year.
“Forty Days for Life sinister!” I thought to myself. “Everyone I ever met there is mild-mannered. They stand and pray. They hold signs. There are websites to which these two could have gone to learn that the most violence re: abortion is that perpetrated by pro-aborts against pro-lifers. I believe it was Janet Napolitano who implanted this canard against pro-life people in American society. And these two have fallen for it.”
When referring to the places where unborn babies are killed the man referred to them as clinics. A clinic is a place where health is dispensed. He thereby showed a bias toward abortion.
The man said that their visit was made necessary by the shooting of the six people in Tucson, Arizona, on Jan. 8th. I have thought about his seeing a connection to me since then. It was established almost immediately on the radio, at least, that the shooting was the work of an insane person, Jared Loughner, and unconnected to any right-wing group; that, if anything, he was more influenced by the left-wing, since he extolled the Communist Manifesto, and hated George Bush, to name just two things. People in the left wing have been doing their best to divert attention from themselves and to create a connection between Loughner and right-wing causes, hoping to shut them down. I wondered if anyone from Planned Parenthood, or the ACLU, or Andy Johnson was being grilled. So when police come to me and suspect me of wanting to kill a pro-abortion mayoral candidate, and believe that 40 Days for Life is a malignant organization, they have succumbed to being partial to one side and biased to the other. Police work should be neutral.
The man gave me a lecture as to how the police have to be impartial. “You’re preaching to the choir”, I thought. “And you can say that with a straight face after your bias in favor of the Left?” I told him that heretofore it seems that relations between pro-lifers and the police here in Jacksonville HAVE seemed to be good. I told him about my experience with the police of Pittsburgh, which used to level trumped-up fines against pro-lifers, and how judges who were partial to the abortion cause would uphold those fines, how I was twice personally assaulted by a pro-abort with the police looking on, doing nothing.
At the end of their probe they seemed satisfied and more relaxed. The woman asked if this is a condo. I said that it is. She seemed surprised. (I thought: “I don’t seem to be fulfilling the profile of a deranged killer.”) I told her that it is “under water”. She said that she had owned a condo, too.
At the very end I said that I fully expect that someday I will be hauled before a judge and accused of being a Catholic, and I hope that there is enough evidence to convict me.
We still have a First Amendment. When the Judeo-Christian ethic was in the driver’s seat, one could say the most outlandish things and be protected by it. Now that Socialism is in control, we are becoming like Nazi Germany or the USSR. It doesn’t matter what I said; I do have a right to say it.
I am disappointed in Sheriff Rutherford. He is supposed to be a practicing Catholic. If one IS a practicing Catholic, he practices all the time, and that includes at work. (Otherwise, he has two faces: a church face and a work face. During the grilling I told the woman that I used to have three faces, but that I had consolidated them all into one.) The sheriff seems to have permitted this interrogation. Perhaps his organization is so large that he was unaware that some under-chief did this. He needs to investigate.
I have to assume that my emails are now being intercepted. My phone conversations may be listened to. It used to be that when a phone conversation is recorded a beep was necessary. Now, in this brave new post-1984 USA, that is probably not required. I wish that I had asked if they were carrying a recording device.
It is so hypocritical: a woman’s “right” to an abortion is based on her right to “privacy”, a right which is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. My privacy will be routinely violated, even tho my right to speak anything I want is guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Reply to Tad’s Atheism Essay

       I was approached recently by Joshua, whose friend Tad had recently decided against Christianity, opting instead for atheism. Tad wrote a short apologia what led to his decision. Joshua asked me if I would like to write a 45-minute talk and deliver it to a group of LifeTeens. I was delighted to do so. It occurred to me that you might like to read it.

       I approach this topic as a Catholic, not as a representative of generic Christianity. Only the Catholic faith embodies all truth; the 38,000 Christian sects have varying degrees of Truth. Much of my talk is derived from the audio book, “What’s so Great about Christianity” by Dinesh D’Souza. You all need to listen to this book several times, as he gives great answers to questions raised by today’s atheistic authors.
       Tad says that neither he nor his family were particularly religious. I suspected that this was the case. An old proverb says, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” He was probably sent to public schools, which in our day tend to turn students against religion in subtle ways. If teachers are not teaching goodness, they are teaching badness. There is no neutral ground: they have to be teaching SOMETHING. So Tad’s decision is less his own and more a result of the way he was raised.
       Tad says, “I took a fancy to biblical prophecy at a young age, thinking it to be a fascinating matter of mystery.” Biblical prophecy exists to point the way to fulfillment in Jesus, not to be mysterious. We say the Old Testament points to fulfillment in the New.
       Tad says he had a generic understanding of the (religious) matters at hand. He needs to expand this at some length. What did he know exactly? Where did he learn it? How long did he study? Who were his teachers?
       Tad says, “Biblical prophecy being dense, however, I looked to the work of Nostradamus for easier-to-digest work.” Going to Nostradamus for knowledge about religion is like going to Madonna for knowledge about Relativity. Nostradamus dabbled in the occult, a practice forbidden by the 1st Commandment. Even if lots of Catholics paid attention to his predictions, that does not make him a Catholic in good standing. Catholics believe that there IS objective truth, that the Holy Spirit keeps the Catholic Church teaching it. So even if a majority of Catholics wind up believing a certain error, that does not change error into truth. Truth is not decided by “majority rules”. It’s possible to be the only one with the truth in a stadium of 70,00 people.
       I quote Tad: “Anything written as cryptically as the Bible can be interpreted any way at all”. Cryptically means obscurely. Well, there are many books that are hard to understand. One doesn’t throw up his hands and look for easy books to read. One develops a life-long habit of study, especially of a book like the Bible that makes the claim that it has the way to life eternal. When Martin Luther and the other “Reformers” broke away from the Catholic Church, they invented the new idea that anyone could go to the Bible and interpret it without the interpretation of the Catholic Church, and that the Holy Spirit would give all readers the same interpretation. Clearly this has not worked, as it has led to the existence of 38,000 Christian sects, each in good faith thinking it has the true meaning. Some of them were founded just last week. So, yes, an interpreter of the Bible is needed, and Jesus has made the Catholic Church IT.
The Bible is not a book of universal knowledge. Fundamentalist Protestants believe that. If you want that, go to the encyclopedia. It’s a book whose purpose is religious. We Catholics say that God used human authors to speak His thoughts. That means that the authors of the Bible used their own literary styles, their choice of genres, their understanding of the physical world around them. One writes in a very descriptive style, another uses few words. One writes a romantic poem (The Song of Songs), another writes a short history (the book of Samuel). One describes a great dome in the sky keeping rain water up there; another believes that having sheep and goats mate in front of poles whose bark has been removed in alternating strips - will produce striped offspring. Gen 30:35-43. God allows such idiosyncrasies (personal peculiarities) to show that He is making use of individuals’ uniqueness. That is why we call them, “The Gospel according to St. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John”. When re-telling a story, no two people will get all the little details the same. That doesn’t invalidate the story.
       Tad confuses Intelligent Design with Creationism. They are not the same. Creationism holds that everything that the Bible says about how the world was created is exactly as the Bible describes it. This is what Protestant Fundamentalists believe. In a moment I will explain the Catholic view on Creation. Intelligent Design says that when you look at, e.g., the way the body works, it shows that some intelligence must have put it all together. To believe that such a complex organism just evolved out of nothing is really not very intelligent. Look at all the things that the skin does, for example. Look at the marvel that is the eye. Or take the fact that certain things in nature can be reduced to a mathematical formula. We call these the Laws of Nature. That shows intelligence. Scientists that refuse to look at Intelligent Design are really not being open-minded.
       As far as ID advocates forcing their views into classrooms, isn’t it really a case of atheistic scientists forcing their view - that kids can’t look at both sides of things?
       Tad says, “I realized there are many creation stories out there.” There ARE many creation stories out there. When one accepts the Catholic faith, he accepts all that the Catholic faith prescribes. So what DOES the Catholic faith say about Creation? It holds that at one time there was nothing beside God, not even time or space. At a certain “moment” God decided to create angels, the universe, then Man. Science says that the universe evolved out of “space dust” that was always there. It’s funny: they can’t believe in a God who had no beginning, but they CAN believe in “space dust” that was always there. We believe that He created the first Man and Woman. Whether their names were Adam and Eve is unimportant. We believe that Man may have evolved from apes, so long as you grant that at a certain point God put a soul in two of them. I believe OUR creation story because I believe that Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to His church to keep it in the truth. All those other creation stories are false in varying degrees.
       Tad says, “Creationism could not be tested as a science”. There are lots of things that we hold valuable that are not “science” if by that term you mean, “It needs to be put under a microscope”. Take Sociology, Art, and Literature. And think about Paleontology. How do we REALLY know what happened to the earth millions of years ago? We’re in the area of speculation, and today’s theory is replaced by next year’s.
       Tad says, “…it doesn't hurt anyone physically to consider that something had to start the process…” The pagan philosopher Aristotle was a great thinker who lived about 300 BC. He saw that there is a kind of chain in which one thing causes another. He deduced that there had to be a beginning to that chain; there had to be a prime mover. He called that prime mover God.
       Tad brings up the harm that religion does, citing the Inquisition. Those who hate the Catholic Church love to trot out the Inquisition, hoping to embarrass the Church. The common ideas about the Inquisition are myth, shaped mainly by 19th century English writers who hated Spain. The English had already regarded Spain as an enemy for a long time before that. When England went Protestant, there was all the more reason to hate Catholic Spain and vilify it.
       All kinds of claims are manufactured from thin air. I’ve heard that “95 million people were burned at the stake during the Inquisition’s heyday”.
       Finally, a historian (Would you call a Historian a scientist?) by the name of Henry Kamen – a Jew, so he has no reason to whitewash the Church – wrote most recently a book called, “The Spanish Inquisition, a Historical Revision”. I read it, and found it written in a very well-balanced way, ie, without hidden persuaders, without the author’s showing hostility. Much of the Spanish Inquisition was aimed at certain Jews, so this is very remarkable.
       One of Kamen’s chapters is called, “Inventing the Inquisition”. He means that much of what has been received was made up. Inquisition trials were fairer and more lenient than their secular counterparts, says Kamen. Frequently the only form of punishment was fasting or doing “community service”. Torture as a means to get information was a method that went way back in history. You can’t entirely blame the church for using it, for not rising above it. To do so is to apply 21st century standards to the Middle Ages. As it was, very few heretics were burnt at the stake. The figure given in the book is about 2,000, and that is over a 350-year period. I recommend reading the book. It gives the historical background out of which the Spanish Inquisition evolved.
       Another area that Tad brings up of the harm that religion does, is The Salem Witch Trials. I believe that the number of people executed was less than 25. There are some authors who say that it was no more than 17.
       But what of the harm that atheists have done? First of all, there was the hunting down and killing of priests, nuns and nobility in France during the French Revolution. They even enthroned a statue of the goddess of Reason on the main altar of Notre Dame Cathedral.
       There is the hunting down and killing of priests and nuns in Mexico in the 1920s. The same thing was carried on by the “Republicans” during the Spanish civil war of 1936. “Republicans” refers to a group that wanted to replace the Spanish monarchy with a republic. There is no relation with our American Republican party.
       Then there is Adolph Hitler. It is ludicrous for Tad to call him a Catholic. If you want to see how a practicing Catholic talks, read the works of St. Francis of Assisi or St. Faustina. Hitler’s parents were nominal Catholics; they probably had him baptized only out of social custom. But he declared an all-out war against Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. Why would he go against his own religion? Hitler regarded Catholicism as a religion for slaves. He detested its ethics.
       In his climb to power he sought the support of German Catholics and Lutherans, so he occasionally used rhetoric such as Tad quotes from Mein Kampf: "I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” This is said without any real conviction and has to be viewed in the context of Hitler’s whole life. It shows that Hitler has lost sight of reality. Hitler’s leading advisors – Goering, Goebbels, Himmler, Heydrich and Bormann - were atheists who hated religion and sought to eradicate its influence in Germany. There was the SS and the Gestapo.
       Working for Hitler was Dr. Josef Mengele, who experimented on living people in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
       Hitler was responsible for 10 million deaths.
       Then there is Joseph Stalin and the millions he has murdered. After invading Poland in 1939 he rounded up all the Polish generals and upper brass of the army – 14,500 men, and had them shot in the back of the head in the Katyn forest near Smolensk. That plane that went down with the Polish president and 95 government officials was on its way to a commemoration of that event. Stalin set up a string of slave labor camps all over the USSR, called the Gulag. He starved to death about 10 million Ukrainians during the 1930s. He set up show trials and firing squads of his enemies. He relocated entire populations. Besides Stalin there were the other atheistic murderers Lenin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev. There was the NKVD and later the KGB. Stalin is responsible for the deaths of 20 million people.
       Let’s not forget other atheistic murderers from the satellite nations. Enver Hoxha of Albania, Nicolau Ceaucescu of Romania, Fidel Castro of Cuba, Ho Chi Minh of North Viet Nam, Kim Jong Il of North Korea.
       Or Pol Pot of Cambodia. He set up “Killing fields”. There was a movie made about this. For 4 years he carried on mass relocations and killings, eliminating 1/5 of the Cambodian population: 1.5 – 2 million people.
       Chairman Mao is responsible for the deaths of 70 million people. Even today, China practices the “one-child” policy. If a woman gets pregnant a second time, they kill the baby in the womb. If somehow the baby gets born, they inject poison into the soft tissue of the skull, killing it. They even have restaurants where human fetuses are served up in a variety of ways. They harvest the internal organs of prisoners without their consent and sell them. Much of the goods we buy these days are made by slave labor. Girl babies are undesirable, so they are killed. There is now a serious woman shortage in China.
       All in all, atheistic regimes in just one century are responsible for the deaths of over 100 million people. Religion-inspired killings don’t come anywhere near the murderous atheistic regimes. Taken together the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and the witch burnings killed perhaps 200,000 people. Adjusting for population increase, that’s the equivalent of 1,000,000 deaths today. Now I’m sure that Tad is not going to give up atheism after hearing these statistics, but I’ll bet he thinks Christians should give up Christianity because some of its members did not practice its principles. Remember: the atheists WERE living up to their principles, for if there is no God, do what the 19th century atheistic philosopher Nietzsche suggests: go for it. Do whatever you please.

Let’s look at the good that religion does: Science as we know it owes its origins to the theological reasoning and philosophical debates held in medieval universities. Science was originally called “natural philosophy” there. In fact, Universities owe their existence to the Catholic Church.
        But there are good things at the heart of the Catholic religion itself. I will list only 6.
       1. Love of neighbor. Look at Maximilian Kolbe giving his life for another prisoner at Auschwitz, or Mother Teresa, gathering up the dying in Calcutta so that they could spend their last days in clean, safe dignity. I very much doubt that if Christianity, more specifically Catholicism, were removed from the earth, that Atheists and Agnostics would practice love of neighbor.
       2. Deriving meaning out of suffering. I can use my sufferings to alleviate my time in Purgatory, or to ask God to give grace to someone else. If one doesn’t have God, suffering is something to be avoided. It has no meaning. Hence, one can become addicted to drugs, or resort to suicide.
       3. Servant leadership. Jesus told His disciples not to imitate the pagans who see being in leadership positions as an opportunity to lord it over the masses. Remember His washing of the feet at the Last Supper.
       4. Helping the needy. When I left Chicago in 1992 Catholic Charities supported over 107 agencies. All this charity is given without trying to turn the recipients into Catholics. Call the diocese of Jacksonville and ask them how many agencies are supported here. I attend 12:10 Mass almost daily at Immaculate Conception church. Catholic Charities shares the block. Daily I rub shoulders with lines of people coming for free food. It’s hard enough to get Catholics to give to charity or to put themselves out to help the needy. I can’t imagine atheists doing this at all.
       5. The exaltation of women. In the world before Christianity women counted for little. Christ changed that. He accepted their ministrations. He talked with the woman at the well. Look at all the religious orders founded by women in the last 2000 years. Look at all the women saints and their writings that have influenced the Church. Radical feminism has turned women into little more than sex objects.
       6. The idea that all men are created equal. It is interesting to study atheistic Communism, esp. as practiced in the USSR, to see the reverse of all these Christian ideals.

       Tad devotes some time to Homosexuality.
       One doesn’t have to go to religion to see that homosexuality is a disordered condition. All one needs to do is to study Nature itself. Let’s say that you ARE an atheist. You would have to agree that the inborn goal of animals as well as plants is survival and to multiply. The human race is no different. A man’s body has a penis, and a woman’s has a vagina. These complement each other. This means that they complete each other. They fit. Not to mention that a man’s personality is to provide, to lead, to analyze, while a woman’s is to be provided for, to be led, and to be intuitive/nurturing. When two men try to make a marriage, you have 2 with the same equipment, physically and emotionally. There is bound to be conflict. One of the things that is operative for the male homosexual is the search for the daddy who is perceived to have rejected the boy, or whom the boy has rejected. When 2 homosexuals try to get together, you have friction, since both are looking for the same thing. Each resents that the other will not act as father.
       “Well, speaking of complementarity, there is anal intercourse”, you say. The anus is the expulsion chute of corrupt matter that the body needs to eject. It is full of germs and disease. Unprotected anal intercourse can guarantee a host of lesser diseases and many major ones, not the least of which is AIDS. And the act does not result in a child.
       Let’s look at heterosexual intercourse between a married man and woman who came to marriage as virgins. The marital act is the fruit of their love and is open to a child. Not only is marital intercourse of penis and vagina not harmful, but it is beneficial. A man’s semen and a woman’s vagina produce hormones that benefit the spouse.
       Tad says, “Many of my friends at the time were gay rights supporters”. Gays already have the right to vote, to hold office, to live with each other, to have sex with each other, to rent an apartment or own a house, to hold a job, to be evaluated fairly on how well they do that job. Gays occupy a substantial part in the entertainment industry, the hairstyling, art, dance, librarianship and interior decorating industries and other fields. Many, many laws are written with a provision that “no discrimination will be exercised on the basis of sexual orientation”. There is no right that they do not have.
       Tad really should be talking about What Gays Want. They want our schools to teach that the practice of homosexuality is OK. No society - going way back into history - has considered homosexuality OK, except the Greeks. They want to deprive Christians of their 1st-amendment rights to free speech. They want priests and ministers not to speak out against gay sexual practices. They want to shut them up. They want to force landlords to rent to them, even tho their lifestyle offends their consciences. They want to call their couplings Marriage and to be given all the benefits of Marriage. They want priests and ministers to be forced to perform these “marriages”. They want gays who desire to go straight to be deprived of that right; they want mental health professionals - who treat homosexuals wanting to recover their heterosexuality - to be prevented from doing that. How are gays being suppressed? Seems to me that THEY want to do the suppressing.
       Homosexuality is a mental/emotional disorder and the compassionate thing is to do what one can to see that gays receive treatment. Contrary to Tad, it’s not just “the archaic standards of a 2000-year old book” that condemn the practice of homosexuality; as I said, that condemnation is much more universal. By the way, the Catholic Church doesn’t say that a person is going to hell merely because he IS homosexual. Certain Fundamentalist Protestant sects say that. The Catholic Church condemns the practice of homosexual acts.
       Tad implies that Christians say, “Gays are ‘different,’ so what harm is there in hurting them?” Homosexuality is a protected lifestyle in our politically-correct culture. The media - newspapers, magazines, movies, TV - blow up and milk incidents of crimes against homosexuals and ignore incidents of homosexual crimes against straights. The handout will lead you to a website where you can learn about a case in which 2 gays in Arkansas threw a young boy face-down onto a bed, to which they duct-taped him, stuffed his shorts into his mouth and repeatedly sodomized him. He eventually died of asphyxiation.
       There was a time in the past when police made raids on gay bars, and names of the habitués were printed in the paper. Of course that was unjust. There was nothing particularly religious about that. The situation has completely reversed itself today. I doubt that Tad knows any gay who has suffered harm.
The media deliberately misled the public in the recent Sexual Abuse Scandal among Catholic clergy, slyly calling it pedophilia. The latter is sex between an adult man and a pre-pubescent boy. This was true in less than 1% of cases. The fact is that the overwhelming number of cases was between homosexual priests and teen-age boys, ie., boys between 13 and 19. The media had to hush that up because homosexuality is a protected lifestyle.

       It is sad when Christians harm abortionists. They are acting against Christian principles. There have been just a few incidents of violence against pro-abortion people; there is far more violence against pro-lifers. The media refuse to report this. Abortion is another protected practice in the USA. Every year on January 22nd there is a march of about 700,000 people in Washington, DC. You won’t see any reference to it on TV or in the newspapers. Check me out next January in the media. Then turn on EWTN. I was active in the pro-life movement in Pittsburgh and was the victim of pro-abortion violence myself. The handout will give you 3 websites where you can learn about violence against pro-lifers.
       Tad says, “Worse, however, were the crimes and violence committed in the name of that book (the Bible).” People DON’T commit atrocities in the name of the Bible. Jesus told us to love our enemies.
To my mind, Agnosticism makes more sense than Atheism. Atheism is a religion, for it relies on the FAITH that there is no God. That is Atheism’s main dogma. Some of its other dogmas appear in this paper. Agnosticism says it just doesn’t know.
       Tad says, “…so I began to study religion itself…” I wish he had studied the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It puts things that are all over the Bible into a logical, systematic form, with one idea flowing naturally out of the last. It saves a lot of time.
       Tad says, “…People see some happy event, a coma patient waking up after 10 years for example, and are all too eager to praise god (sic) for it, but when something goes catastrophically wrong, it's the doctors (sic) fault.” That isn’t necessarily true. Still, God has described Himself as good in various places in the Bible. It’s natural to attribute good things to Him. But He permits evil so that good can be drawn out of it. It may not have been God’s will that the coma patient woke up, and God doesn’t have to grant success to a doctor. We don’t know His actual will in any particular case. All we know is that He does not wish evil; He wishes good.
       I have never understood the problem people have with evil in the world (Theodicy). God, in His extreme goodness, gave us free will. He wants to be loved by choice, not force. But man can misuse his free will. Much of the horror in human history arises precisely out of man’s not using his free will correctly.
I agree with Tad that natural disasters – tornadoes, tidal waves, earthquakes – merely happen; they are not punishment for anything. Pat Robertson famously said that the Haiti earthquake was God’s punishment on Haiti. He is a Fundamentalist; of the 38,000 Christian sects, Fundamentalists comprise a small number. He doesn’t speak for Catholics.
       Tad refers to books that were burned or banned. He should give instances. Gay activists would ban the Bible because it condemns the practice of homosexuality. No Catholic opposes the printing or distribution of books like The Golden Compass. We oppose its being taught in schools. Atheists would oppose the Bible’s being taught in schools. Atheists oppose Intelligent Design’s being taught in schools. Seems atheists have a double standard here.
       We Christians will use all legal means at our disposal to fight books or ideas that we find harmful. That’s how politics is supposed to work. Do atheists see something wrong with that? When I was a pro-lifer in Pittsburgh we took our 4’x8’ signs showing what an aborted baby looks like to West Virginia U. An opposition quickly formed of people planting themselves in front of our signs so as to keep the truth from the students. In Vancouver at a Provincial university pro-lifers set up a large display like a maze involving many huge free-standing signs and tables with literature. The students came in and destroyed everything. No one from the University did a thing to stop the rampage. So much for freedom of speech.
       When the Judeo-Christian ethic was in the driver’s seat at universities, speakers with disagreeable views would be invited in to speak. Audiences were polite and asked courteous questions. Now that an atheistic ethic is in control, such a speaker would more than likely not be invited in the first place, and if he were lucky to get by the thought police, instead of polite questions he would be mooned.
       Tad says, “…the church does quite a lot to halt progressive thinking…” Tad needs to spell out the “progressive thinking” that the church is against. Truth does not change. The Catholic Church has been teaching the same truth for 2000 years. Just because the mores of a society degenerate and some people want to call that “progressive” is no reason for the Church to go along with that.
       Tad says that the church interferes in fields that some people feel they should have no hand in. There are no areas that are outside of the purview of the Catholic religion, and that includes politics. Who are the people who think the church interferes? Religion is a total way of life.
       Tad says, “Atheists are not rebelling against God”. If Tad were not rebelling against God he would not have written his paper; he would have just let believers believe. Why didn’t he write a paper against Zeus or unicorns? Atheist writers like Hitchens, Dawkins et al are NOT content just to live and let live; they attack Christianity. Atheistic organizations like the ACLU hammer Christians.
       Catholics don’t go around hurting others who don’t believe in hell. Remember Pascal’s wager: Let’s say that I live according to Jesus’ teachings but there is no heaven or hell. Well, I’ve had a pretty happy life and that’s the end of it. Let’s say that there IS a heaven and hell. I live according to Jesus’ teachings as found in His church and I go to heaven. Let’s say I don’t and I go to hell. So the best bet is to live according to His teachings whether there is a hell or not.
       Tad says, “The Golden Rule is a secular guideline as much as a religious one.” If there is no God, it makes the greatest sense to follow the teachings of Nietzsche, who said, “Use your fellow man. To hell with everyone but ME.” Hitler followed Nietzsche. Both of them went mad.
       Tad says, “…Faith has, in my opinion, very little bearing on a moral standard…” I’m not quite sure what he means here. For me as a Catholic, my opinion has nothing to do with getting to heaven. God has revealed certain things that He wants believed and practiced. We believe those things. That’s Faith. If I did not believe that there is a God, or that there would be a reward in heaven, or a punishment in hell, I might not be very anxious to comply with The Golden Rule, especially when what is required is tough.
Is human reason the only way to comprehend reality? Atheists think so. There was a philosopher named Immanuel Kant. He came up with 2 words. The first one is phenomenon. It means what a thing seems like to me by using my 5 senses. Joshua, what color is this? I call it black, too. Now how do you or I know what true black looks like? Only God knows. So that leads to the 2nd word: noumenon. That means what a thing really is. Science can only deal with the world of the phenomenon – what a thing appears to be, based on our 5 senses. All they know about reality is their experience of it.
       We Catholics believe that there is another world not accessible to the 5 senses. God has been revealing it for several thousand years, and that revelation is found in the Bible. We would never be able to figure that out by our reason alone, or by consulting our 5 senses.
       Catholics believe in Reason and Faith. Thomas Aquinas and the Schoolmen used their reason to work out much Theology in the Middle Ages. St. Augustine said, “Fides quaerens intellectum”: faith seeking understanding. Or “I believe so that I may understand”, meaning that once a person believes, there is so much knowledge open to him from then on. There is another saying: “Intellectum quaerens fidem.” Translated strictly it means, “Understanding seeking faith”. Translated roughly, it means “I will believe only when I understand everything”. This would be a good motto for Unitarians, or atheists, who may be said to think there is nothing that a human being should not be able to understand. The wise person realizes that there may be things that we will never understand.
       One atheistic scientist advocates their calling themselves “Brights”, (You know, as in “He’s such a bright boy!”) to show that they’re smarter than we are. But Christianity exalts the common man. Certain atheistic writers advocate indoctrinating kids away from the beliefs of their parents. They would like to use the power of the state to impose their religion on our school kids.
       Western civilization was built on Christianity, specifically Catholicism. Christianity is responsible for many of the values atheists treasure most. You’ll have to read What’s so Great about Christianity? for examples of this. A state has to be based on some philosophy. Ours was based on Judeo-Christian beliefs, but it grants to all believers, including atheists, the right to practice their religion. Our founding fathers believed that we can’t maintain morality without religion.
       Separation of Church and State is actually a Catholic idea. This idea has been wrongly interpreted in the USA as, “Get rid of religion”. Christ said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s”. Later, St. Augustine wrote 2 books: “The City of God”, and “The City of Man”.
       How can we say that the Catholic Church is holy when some of its members have done so much bad? It is holy because its Head - Jesus, its Teaching, its Sacraments, its Grace, its Saints in heaven and Purgatory - are all holy. Yet on earth it is composed of sinful human beings.
       Jesus wanted everyone in the world to become Catholic so that everyone would be following the same standards. That’s why Catholics put themselves “under the book”. This means that we put ourselves under the authority of the Bible, Sacred Tradition and the teaching authority of the Church (the Magisterium). In the political realm it means that we put ourselves under the Constitution and the rule of Law. Atheists don’t agree among themselves as to what standards to follow. If atheism became the official religion of the land we’d have one atheist conflicting with another to try to impose his will on the people.
       We Americans don’t know what living in a completely atheistic society would be like, but we get hints from the Obama regime. He may call himself a Christian, but he – and those he puts into political positions – are in practice atheists. They don’t follow our Constitution. His judges interpret laws arbitrarily. They make laws, in clear violation of their designated duties. Obama forced his health care on a society, 63% of which did not want it. Senior citizens like me will be called before “Death Panels” who will determine whether we are worthy to continue to live.
       Those who control our media are in practice atheists, too. Like atheist Karl Marx they and the Obama regime promote class warfare: the poor against the rich, Blacks against Whites, gays against straights, women against men. They all promote the state coming between parents and their children. Are they “doing unto others as they would have done to themselves?” I think not.
       It’s interesting that all the atheistic regimes mentioned in this paper were also totalitarian regimes. I think it is inevitable that totalitarianism follows on atheism. The Bible preaches “servant leadership”, “I must decrease; He must increase”; “Love thy neighbor as thyself”; “Turn the other cheek”; and that there will be a reward for such behavior in heaven. Obviously if there is no heaven, one has to get his reward in this life, and that means imposing my will on my fellow man. We are seeing this develop in our country under the current regime.

       Atheists are fond of stating that religion is against science.
       The greatest ideas in modern science are based on one article of faith that comes from Christianity. It is this: that the universe is rational, that this is true everywhere in the universe and has been true, and will be true, for all time. Another way of saying this is that there is order in the universe based on laws such as E=mc2. There is no way to prove this article of faith.
       The myth of a warfare between religion and science was begun by 2 men.
       1. John William Draper in his 1874 book, “The History of the Conflict between Religion and Science”.     
       2. Andrew Dixon White, president of Cornell University in his 1896 study, “The History of Warfare of Science with Theology and Christendom”.
       The atheists Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin both persecuted scientists. And by the way, BOTH banned and burned books.
       Evidence has been found in physics and astronomy for the creation of the universe. Modern scientists have discovered that the universe was created in a huge explosion, now called the Big Bang, calling to mind Creation in the book of Genesis. The universe was created in a burst of energy, manifest in the form of light. Since then the planets etc. have been traveling apart from each other. We call this the expanding universe. The sun was created later, so Genesis is right, for it describes the creation of light in Gen 1:3, and the creation of the sun in Gen 1:14.
       Much more detail about all this is given on Disk 5, tracks 1-17 of “What’s so Great about Christianity?”
       When the universe was just the right age, and had expanded to just the right vastness, life began. It couldn’t have begun before, and it would have been too late afterwards. This shows Intelligent Design. Physicists call this the Anthropic Principle. (Anthropic comes from Anthropos, Greek for Man.)
Anthony Flue was an atheistic scientist; now he believes in God.
Darwinism is not the same as the theory of Evolution because it includes the notion that there is no God. Darwinism is the atheists’ spin on evolution. Catholics are not opposed to evolution, as this paper shows.

       Why do people REALLY go atheistic? In my experience it is because they don’t want to be constrained by morality. The biggest part of morality that they object to is in the area of Sex. That’s why atheists try to reduce us to being no more than animals. The 19th C atheistic philosopher Nietzsche insisted that the “death of God” would signal the end of morality. He explained it in a book called, “Beyond Good and Evil”.

       I will conclude by asking, How Is Catholicism Better than Atheism? I’ll give you 5 points. There certainly are more.
       1. Catholicism has a better way to deal with suffering in the world, either personal suffering or natural catastrophes. Where are the atheist agencies, like Catholic charities, that respond to tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes? Religion “works” at a time of tragedy. Where are the atheist chaplains on the battlefield telling a dying soldier, “That’s all there is; there ain’t no more”?
       2. Catholicism infuses life with a powerful sense of purpose, while atheism posits a universe without meaning, a universe that is irrational.
       3. Catholicism offers a solution to the cosmic loneliness that we all feel.
       4. Catholicism helps us to cope well with death.
       5. Catholicism enables us to become the better persons we want to be.

       I want to thank Tad for giving me the opportunity to gather my thoughts on this subject. Thank you for your attention.

Pertinent books I’ve read:
What’s so Great about Christianity?, by Dinesh D’Souza. Excellent defense of Christianity against its modern critics, e.g., Christopher Hitchens CD 230 D’Souza
Best work on the Inquisition is by Henry Charles Lea. 4 volumes, 1870s.
The Formation of Christendom, by Christopher Dawson 261 D
Progress and Religion, by Christopher Dawson 201 D 1929
Religion and the Rise of Western Culture, by Christopher Dawson 901.9 D
Ten Books that Screwed up the World, by Benjamin Wiker 909.09821 Wiker
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, by Thomas J. Woods
Pedophile Priests, by Philip Jenkins
The Spanish Inquisition, a Historical Revision, by Henry Kamen. Jax Cat #272.20946K.

Basic Library on Homosexuality:
Homosexuality: a New Christian Ethic, by Elizabeth Moberly
Reparative Therapy, by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi
The Battle for Normality, by Gerard van den Aardweg
The Politics of Homosexuality, By Jeffery Satinover

For information on the rape and killing of Dirk Hising

Violence conducted by pro-abortion people against pro-lifers:
http://www.abortionviolence.com/ http://www.lifenews.com/nat1519.html http://sflillinois.org/1127/violence-against-pro-lifers

Atheist Authors attacking God
The End of Faith, by Sam Harris
God, the Failed Hypothesis, by Victor Stenger
The God Delusion
God Is not Great, by Christopher Hitchens
The History of the Conflict between Religion and Science, by John William Draper, 1874.
The History of Warfare of Science with Theology and Christendom, by Andrew Dixon White, president of Cornell University, 1896.

Atheist Authors Saying Things Favorable to God
Just Six Numbers, by Martin Reese

Other authors
Paley, an Anglican theologian who proposed a famous argument that the universe shows signs of design, 1802
Lee Smolen, Fred Hoyle, astronomers. Owen Gingrich, biologist
Steven Hawkins, Robert Jastrow, Theodosius Dobrzanski