Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Only Way to Start A New Year

Political Resolutions - Only in an Election Year

If Ian Fleming Wrote About ObamaCare to explain it to Children

This is adopted from a scene from the 1968 movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang based on the book written by Ian Fleming of James Bond fame. Yes, he did write a children's book. He was also a news reporter so this works on so many ways for me.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Detroit - Going, Going Gone!!!!!

Is Catholic Health Association President, Sr. Carol Keehan, Talking Out of Both Sides of Her Mouth Again?????

It sure sounds like it to me!!!!! This reminds me of her appearances earlier this year on EWTN's The World Over when she tried the same runarround w/ Raymond Arroyo & he wasn't buying it.


by Steven Ertelt Editor

Washington, DC ( -- The president of the Catholic Health Association is saying in a new interview today that her organization agrees with the bishops on banning abortion funding in the health care bill. However, the organization released a statement recently that made it appear otherwise.
On December 17, Sister Carol Keehan, the president of the CHA, released a statement obtained showing it praising a phony compromise on abortion funding
Sen. Bob Casey floated a compromise in an attempt to get Sen. Ben Nelson to withdraw his then-objection to the Senate bill because of its abortion funding. The measure would have forced pro-life advocates to opt out if they objected to their tax dollars paying for abortions. Otherwise, Americans would be forced to pay for abortions under the legislation.
The proposal was thoroughly trashed by pro-life groups with the National Right to Life committee and other organizations calling it "unacceptable" and Richard Doerflinger, a spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, saying the bishops appreciated the goals of some of Casey’s proposal, but that they did not actually stop taxpayer funding of abortion.
But Keehan said in the statement that, although she hadn't seen the text of the Casey proposal, "we are encouraged by recent deliberations and the outline Senator Casey is developing."
Keehan claimed that "now that a public health insurance option is no longer on the table, we are increasingly confident that Senator Casey’s language can achieve the objective of no federal funding for abortion."
"It is our understanding that the language now being written would prohibit federal funding of abortion," Keehan said.
The language did not ban abortion funding and it left some Catholics -- and the New York Times -- with the impression that CHA was at odds with the Catholic bishops.
In a Christmas Day news story, "Catholic Group Supports Senate on Abortion Aid" the Times reported that there is "an apparent split with Roman Catholic bishops over the abortion-financing provisions of the proposed health care overhaul" and that "the nation’s Catholic hospitals have signaled that they back the Senate’s compromise."
The Times exploited the supposed divide with quotes from pro-abortion Representative Diana DeGette, who said “We have known for quite some time that the Catholic hospitals and also the nuns are really breaking from these hard-line bishops."
Today, Keehan talked with the Catholic News Service about the dustup.
She said CHA has never wavered in its commitment to health care that protects "from conception to natural death" and she disputed the Times' report.
"There is not a shred of disagreement between CHA and the bishops," Sister Carol said. "We believe there is a great possibility and probability that in conference committee we can work toward a solution that will prevent federal funding of abortion."
She told CNS that CHA, representing over 600 Catholic hospitals, "brings a lot of expertise with funding structures in the marketplace" to the debate and hopes to "bring that to bear" during the conference committee process.
Keehan also commented on the December 17 statement praising the Casey amendment, that was not ultimately adopted.
"I felt they were making progress and were getting where we needed to be," she said. "I understand that it doesn't make a good story to say (CHA and the USCCB) are working together. But it would have been an honest story."
Catholic Culture, a pro-life web site that follows Catholic and pro-life issues, commented on the tenuous situation -- which clearly saw CHA have a different take on the Casey language than the Catholic bishops, even if Keehan doesn't want to describe it as a difference of opinion.
'The Catholic Health Association has not endorsed the health legislation that was passed by the Senate," it noted. "Nor did it endorse the Casey compromise language that was later opposed by the bishops’ conference."
However, the web site pointed out that "a Catholic Health Association officer made significant contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Obama campaign."
"One or more of the officers of the Catholic Health Association, then, may privately support the health care bill that was approved by the Senate and opposed by the bishops," it contended.
Whether the CHA is in disagreement or not, Catholic Culture appeared to urge CHA officials to do a better job of crafting its take on the abortion-health care process to help avoid future confusion.
"The failure of the Catholic Health Association to follow the bishops’ conference’s lead in opposing the Casey compromise and the eventual Senate legislation lends plausibility to the idea of a private parting of ways on the issue," it concluded. "Reports of a public split, however, seem premature."
That may be good advice because Keehan's December 17 statement also alleged: "As we understand it, the Senate intends to keep the President’s commitment that no federal funds will pay for abortions and in addition, provide significant new support for pregnant women."
But President Barack Obama has repeatedly violated that commitment and the Senate actually rejected the Nelson amendment to ensure no federal funds pay for abortions.
Also, the CHA statement made it appear to many pro-life Catholic stalwarts -- including respected writer Deal Hudson -- that it had endorsed the phony Casey compromise.
This isn't the first time Keehan has raised eyebrows within the Catholic community.
She caused controversy last December when she defended President Barack Obama against criticism from pro-lifers and praised his choices of pro-abortion Health and Human Services secretary Tom Daschle and deputy health care director Jeanne Lambrew.


Susan B. Anthony Would Approve of This

by Steven Ertelt Editor
Adams, MA ( -- A pro-life advocate has been hired to run the museum at the home of renowned pro-life women's rights leader Susan B. Anthony. In 2006, Carol Crossed, a longtime New York pro-life advocate who has been a leader with Feminists for Life of America and Democrats for Life, purchased the historic home.
Crossed purchased Anthony's historic Massachusetts birthplace on the 100th anniversary of her death and turned it into a museum.
Now, former Feminists for Life vice president Sally Winn has been hired as the museum's executive director.
Crossed told the local iBerkshires news web site that the hire helps the museum focus on communications and promotions as it prepares to open this winter.
"We are grounded and rooted in history, we have 10 exhibits that are near completion [and] now it's a matter of promoting the museum and educating the public about Susan B. Anthony," she told the web site. "Since 2010 is the 90th anniversary of the Anthony [19th] Amendment; it's a very appropriate time to take it to a new level."
Winn starts her new position in January and Crossed said she brings communications, administrative and fundraising skills to the museum.
"Part of communication is getting our message out that will attract donors. We know have a museum [and] that it will be up and running; now its [focus is] education and [Anthony's] legacy," she told IBerkshires.
Crossed said the museum will include information on Anthony's pro-life views -- which run contrary to the abortion advocates who use her for their efforts.
"We have pro-life articles and statements, those kinds of things are going to be one-tenth of the museum," she said. "That is a particular part of her legacy that is unsettled, that attention will be drawn to ... we're not going to censor her comments in that regards."
Anthony referred to abortion as "child murder" in her publication The Revolution and she refused to accept advertisements for drugs that would cause an abortion.
She also foresaw the problems women who had abortions would face, saying abortion would "burden her conscience in life."
The museum plans a ribbon cutting ceremony for its grand opening on February 14.
The museum held an initial open house in February where Crossed announced that two phases of renovation and preservation were completed.
"We have a new roof, a state of the art heating system and site stabilization. The second floor is a modern space for an office and storage. Guests will have an opportunity to register as friends and supporters of the museum and to offer written suggestions," Crossed said at the time.
Feminists for Life of America promoted the open house, which celebrated the suffragist's birthday on Sunday, February 15.
Serrin Foster, the group's president, told at the time that she appreciated Crossed's hard work in preserving the home.
"Our congratulations and sincere thanks go to Carol Crossed, who purchased this important home for generations to come, and the Birthplace Museum’s board of directors for their efforts to restore the home and their exciting plans to create a museum worthy of Anthony," she said.
Susan B. Anthony was born in the Adams, Massachusetts home in 1820. Linda and James McConchie purchased the home in 1998 with the intention of turning it into a museum but they were unable to complete the project.
Located at 67 East Road, the Federal style home was built by Anthony's father, Daniel, in 1818 and his famous daughter was born there two years later. The house has been on the National Register of Historic Places for 24 years; the dream of making the house into a museum has persisted since 1910.
Related web sites:Susan B. Anthony Birthplace -
Feminists for Life of America -

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We the People

When Ray Stevens starts speaking out against ObamaCare you know that it is bad.

Ray Stevens

H/T: Jill Stanek (Lunch Break: We the people)


Obama's Real Daddy

Add Another 1 to the Adult Stem Cell Column, Embryonic Stem cells Still at Zero

& we are not talking about something down the road in 5 or 10 years. As you will note in the last paragraph, this could very well be approved as a NHS (National Health Service) proceedure next year. FYI: NHS is the publicly funded healthcare system in Great Britain. So at that point it will be available as a treatment for anyone who suffer from "limbal stem cell deficiency" (LSCD). (Sadly, the institute doing this reseacrch still sees the need for embryonic stem cell research while admitting there are already plenty of treatments out there. They do so by failing to admit the truth about what has or hasn't suceeded & even offer the same pie in the sky promise that their truly successful research belies.)

Stem cell treatment restores sight to partially blind man
Stem cells grown on a special membrane were used to treat the patient and seven others with sight loss

A man who was partially blinded when ammonia was squirted in his eye during an attack 15 years ago has regained his sight after receiving a pioneering stem cell treatment.
Russell Turnbull, 38, suffered massive damage to his right eye when he was caught in a scuffle after a night out in Newcastle in 1994. On the bus home, Turnbull had tried to intervene in a fight between two men but was injured when one of them began squirting passengers with ammonia.
The chemical severely scarred Turnbull's cornea, the clear membrane that covers the front of the eye, and destroyed stem cells that usually help keep the cornea healthy.
"I was in unbearable pain. It burned my eye shut," Turnbull told the Guardian. "I was in hospital for two weeks and eventually I was able to open the eye again. It was like looking through scratched perspex."
Turnbull was left with "limbal stem cell deficiency" (LSCD), a condition that seriously impairs sight, and was in pain every time he blinked or saw bright lights.
In an experimental treatment devised by doctors at the North East England Stem Cell Institute in Newcastle, stem cells were taken from Turnbull's healthy eye and grown on a layer of amniotic tissue, which is routinely used as a burn dressing. The NHS banks amniotic sacs donated by women who have had a Caesarean section.
When the cells had covered the membrane, a piece the size of a postage stamp was transplanted onto Turnbull's damaged eye. Two months later the membrane had broken down, leaving his damaged eye with a fresh supply of healthy stem cells, which repaired the cornea.
Eye tests six months after surgery showed that Turnbull's vision was nearly as good as it had been before the attack.
"I had a lot of anger inside me for a long time after the attack. I lost my job because of it and I had always been a keen jet skier, which I wasn't able to do. It ruined my life and I went through a really difficult time. But then this treatment came along," said Turnbull.
"The pain and discomfort were better almost immediately and I started to get my sight back a month or so later. I used to be able to see only the largest letter at the top of the eye chart, but now I can pick out letters on the bottom row," he added.
Doctors led by Majlinda Lako and Francisco Figueiredo treated seven other patients, all of whom had LSCD in one eye. Some of the patients fully regained their eyesight, while others had more serious damage and experienced only limited improvement in their vision.
The study is published in the US journal Stem Cells.
Sajjad Ahmad, a member of the team, said 25 more patients will be treated before the results are submitted to Britain's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), which could approve the procedure for use in the NHS next year.


Planned Parenthood Opposed to Truth In Labeling

Yet you saw the same pro-aborts applaud when Baltimore recently passed a so called "truth about crisis pregnancy centers ordinance" requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to put up a sign saying they do not do abortions. I guess that what is good for the goose is no longer good for the gander. Of course, requiring crisis pregnancy centers to put up those signs won't drive women away, it will only enable the city to act as an arm of PP et al to harrass those centers for taking away women from their murder chambers & reducing their profits.
PP's buddies at NARAL have this to say about what occured in Baltimore(taken from their 2009 Hall of Fame poll webpage): "Baltimore City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake: Baltimore is leading the nation to end the deceptive practices of many so-called "crisis pregnancy centers." Thanks to a new local measure, crisis pregnancy centers in Baltimore must be honest with women about the services they do – and don't – provide. A woman facing an unintended pregnancy should never have to face scare tactics and intimidation, and the Baltimore City Council could win Hall of Fame of the year for instituting strong protections." (emphasis mine)
On the other hand the SD law will take away business from PP by requiring them to tell the truth about the emotional damage abortion does to them. Honesty only counts when it won't drive away business from PP's murder chambers. But anything that will require PP to be honest so that women understand what an abortion really does, like ultrasounds or this law, they oppose. But PP & the abortion industry as a whole's unwillingness to be honest is nothing new as I have noted in many a post before this.
IMHO the law doesn't go far enough. It should require PP to take their ill-gotten blood money & put it into a fund for women to get help in dealing with the emotional damage abortion has done to them. The fact that so many women & men suffer from post-abortion trauma is evident from how many people are seeking help from Post-Abortion Healing groups like those I have listed at the right. These actions once again prove that PPs claims that they care about women are lies plain & simple. PP is about making money at the expense of other peoples lives &/or emotional well being.

AUL Files Brief Detailing Abortion’s Suicide Risk
by Melanie Johnson on December 22, 2009

Washington, D.C. – Today, Americans United for Life (AUL) filed an amicus brief in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, detailing the links between abortion and the increased risk of depression and suicide. The brief seeks to overturn a lower court’s decision that abortion providers in South Dakota are not required to inform women of these risks.
“Abortion is not a safe choice for women,” noted Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President of AUL, “and the mounting evidence of its negative physical and psychological impact cannot be ignored. We have a legal and moral responsibility to inform them about the well-documented, increased risks of depression and suicide associated with abortion.”
In June 2005, Planned Parenthood filed suit against a newly-enacted South Dakota law requiring abortion providers to inform women that abortion increases the risk of suicide, that women have an existing relationship with an unborn child, and that abortion terminates “the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” Later, in August 2009, a federal district court invalidated the first two requirements, but permitted the requirement that women be told that abortion ends a human life to be enforced.
AUL Attorney Mailee Smith explained, “In challenging this law, Planned Parenthood has demonstrated – yet again – that it is not a defender of women’s health. If this were the case, Planned Parenthood would fight for laws that protect women rather than advocating for laws that attempt to hide risks from them.”
On the brief, AUL is representing several well-respected medical groups: the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA), the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), the Catholic Medical Association, Physicians for Life, and the National Association of Pro-life Nurses.
AUL’s brief in Planned Parenthood v. Rounds is available at

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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Difference Between A US Democratic Senator & A Hooker

After the recent goings on in DC about Health Care, even the most expensive a hooker is cheaper these days.


3 Holy Innocents Saved From Rockford Equivalent of King Herod

I cannot think of a more appropriate story to post on this day when we celebrate the feast of the Holy Innocents. Herod killed only about 20 young males under the age of 2. Given his track record of murder this made barely a wave. The Emperor Augustus supposedly said it was safer to be Herod's pig (hus) than his son (huios).
The abortion industry has become the modern equivalent of King Herod with their willingness to kill as many unborn as they can. 3200+ unborn a day are being murdered. & with the way many animals have more protection than the unborn not much has changed other than the methods.

Three Christmas miracles at Rockford killing center on Broadway

The Victory of the Christ Child Over Sin, Satan, and the Culture of Death in Rockford
Just as Herod slaughtered countless innocent children in his attempt to wipe out God, life, and love and hold onto his place in this passing world - so Rockford's abortion mill spent the Christmas holiday in the fashion of Herod by killing ten of God's children.
The Glory of the Lord will be revealed. (Is 40:5)
At this same killing center a few short hours before Christmas in Rockford over 50 followers of Jesus Christ, like the shepherds and wise men, "went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger." These people came because they love the Christ child and to pray and sing Christmas carols for every child ever killed at this place of death in the heart of our city.
On this cold and windy morning at a building where over 50,000 children have been killed the power and grace of Christmas was experienced in the hearts of at least three young families. As the beautiful sound of Christmas carols was filling the air three mothers chose life for their children! When all three mothers entered the killing center parking lot they heard the sound of people praising "The news of great joy, today a Savior is born for us, Christ the Lord."
The "truth and grace" of these Christmas carols touched the hearts of these mothers. One young woman stayed in her car with tears in her eyes but the Lord "turned her mourning into joy" as she quickly left this "valley of tears" in Rockford.
For countless Christmases yet to come three families will experience the life and joy that always comes when we respond to the grace and love of Jesus Christ.
And as long as children are killed at the Northern Illinois Woman's Center in Rockford Christians will not only pray at the manger of Jesus we will also "Stand by the cross of Jesus" until we all see the final and eternal victory, in the fullness of time, of the child born to a Virgin over those who reject God and destroy life.


Who Is This Dude??? I Thought My Mommy Was Taking Me to See Santa Claus!

Senator Casey Liar & Betrayer of His Father's Memory

In a recent Fox News interview:

VAN SUSTEREN: With the language about abortion, what's your level of certainty federal funds won't be used either directly or collaterally or through the back door for abortions?
CASEY: I think you can achieve that in the context of an exchange, which is much different than we had prior to this. We...
VAN SUSTEREN: So 100 percent?
CASEY: I think we've done it...
Sen Casey, explain this from HHS Secretary Sibelius then:

On What Day of Christmas????

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dehumanizing the Unborn, Dehumanizing Us All???

Don't forget that during the 1930s & 40s the Nazi regime forcibly sterilized hundreds of thousands of people whom they viewed as mentally and physically unfit. When you start defining someone as not being human unless he or she a certain mental standard or racial standard then you can justify saying a person made in the image & likeness of God can be killed for any reason. So who sets the standard? Who decides blacks or Jews or Italians or Catholics are or aren't human? Unless a person is human from the moment the sperm & egg unite then the door is wide open to for another Hitler to decide you or I aren't human. It is as plain & simple as that. The same is true if that person is cognitively disabled or in a coma or doesn't have the right hair color. Does the Dept of Health & Human Services determine that your age makes you less than human & not deserving of health care? This is what the "culture of death" is pushing us towards. If abortion is OK that anything is on the table, with the government's blessings.

No Human Rights for Fetuses because of Undeveloped Nervous System: Ethicists

By Kathleen Gilbert
December 22, 2009 ( - While the unborn child could be considered a "patient," such a status should not be confused with having human rights - something the child would only gain later thanks to a more developed nervous system, insist the authors of a new report justifying the ethics of abortion. In a response to the article, however, a director at the National Catholic Bioethics Center said that the authors "really ought to learn to pick on those their own size," saying that "human fetuses or newborns do not need to be able to balance a checkbook or have a nervous system" before being given human rights.
The article, entitled "An ethically justified practical approach to offering, recommending, performing, and referring for induced abortion and feticide" and written by Frank A. Chervenak, MD and Laurence B. McCullough, PhD, was published in the online American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology in September 2009.
The article's goal is to craft an ethical framework that allows for the killing of unborn children - and requires doctors to refer for the procedure - by making distinctions between "autonomy-based and beneficence-based obligations" and "professional conscience from individual conscience."
"Because of the immaturity of the fetal central nervous system, the fetus lacks the capacity to generate a perspective on its interests," write the doctors. "The ethical principle of respect for autonomy and the concept of autonomy-based rights therefore do not apply to the fetus."
The authors state that "one of the concept's main advantages" is that "it prevents ethical analysis of induced abortion and feticide in medical ethics from being paralyzed by divisive debates about a fetal right to life that have been going on for decades, indeed centuries, without any basis for resolution."
"Beneficence-based obligations to the fetus exist when the fetus is reliably expected later to achieve moral status as a child and person," they continue.
The paper argues that, in the case of a viable child's severe disability, physicians and mothers also have "a beneficence-based obligation" to prevent risk of live birth by killing the child in the womb before expulsion. Should the woman allow early induction but refuse feticide, the authors conclude, "such contradictory thinking suggests significant impairment of autonomous decision making," and thus "it is reasonable for the physician to require that the pregnant woman accept feticide as a condition for performing termination of her previable pregnancy."
Killing in the womb in such circumstances, they note, "exonerates the physician from being accused of performing a so-called partial-birth abortion."
In the matter of conscience rights, the authors maintain that all physicians, if unwilling to arrange an appointment with an abortionist, have an "obligation" to give women seeking abortions information about local abortion providers. At the same time, the doctors claim that "providing information about fetal development or showing images of fetal development to prevent remorse or regret" is an "ethically impermissible distortion of the physician's professional role in the informed consent process."
(The full article is available here.)
In response to the article, Rev. Tadeusz Pacholczyk, Ph.D., the Director of Education at the National Catholic Bioethics Center, said that "Chervenak, McCullough, and other academicians of their stripe really ought to learn to pick on those their own size, rather than leveraging their age and educational advantage to mount unjust attacks against those younger and not-yet-educated human beings still in the womb."
"Human fetuses or newborns do not need to be able to balance a checkbook or have a nervous system before we will 'grant them moral status,' since their moral status and dignity doesn't depend on us granting it in the first place," Pacholczyk told (LSN) in an email Tuesday.
"Only the most pride-filled academician could ever suppose that he had the ability to grant moral status to a fellow human being who happens to be very young."


St. Joseph - Father Extraordinaire

Usually we hear St. Joseph refered to as the foster father of Jesus to make it clear that he wasn't the biological father. But Scripture doesn't use that term. In fact Luke who tells the story of Gabriel appearing to Mary, specificly refers to Joseph as the father of Jesus.
"when the parents brought in the child Jesus" Luke 2:27
"And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him;" Luke 2:33
"Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover," Luke 2:41
"the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it." Luke 2:43
"When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, 'Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.' " Luke 2:48
Clearly Luke knew that Joseph wasn't the biological father. But under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he didn't make any differentiation. So there has to be a reason. I think there were 2. The 1st is the most obvious. For Jesus to be the Messiah he had to be a legal descendant of King David & then only through the father. So just being a biological descendant as he was through Mary wasn't enough. So Luke was establishing Jesus' bonefides to being the King of the Jews.
Matthew doesn't use the term father for the realationship between Jesus & Joseph. But it does acknowledge Joseph's legal fatherhood in another way. The father was the person who gave the son his name at the circumcision. In Matthew 1:21 we read where the angel tells Joseph "She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus".
So we have Joseph established as the legal father to fulfill the prophecies.
But the other purpose is so that we can see what it truly means to be a father. Except for biologically Joseph was the father of Jesus. I am friends with a couple who adopted a son back in the mid 80s. Dan is the father of Jon. He didn't do anything differently, nor does he feel any differently, because Jon was adopted. The same is true of Joseph.
That is why I say that we can look to Joseph to see what it means to truly be a father.
So what can we learn from the example of St. Joseph. Granted there is very little mention of Joseph, but what is there speaks volumes.
In every reference we can see that Joseph took his responsibilities as a father seriously. When his child was threatened by King Herod, Joseph didn't hesitate, he took them immediately to Egypt so that Jesus wouldn't be killed. After Herod's death the returned to their home in Nazareth where Jesus was raised by Joseph. Joseph's actions made it clear that he was doing all the things expected of a father. In Matthew 13:55 we read the residents of Nazareth ask "Is he not the carpenter's son? " & then we read in Luke 4:22 where those neighbors say "Isn't this the son of Joseph?"
The fact that they refer to Joseph a carpenter (tekton, which could also be a builder). Clearly Joseph worked hard to provide for his family.
Another part of being a good father was the example he provided by being a faithful Jew. We see that by the previously mentioned references from Luke at the start of this post.
So does Joseph have to teach us about being a good father? I will give a few thoughts that will provide plenty to chew on.
1st & formost we learn that a good father must live out his faith. & not just perfunctory. He does so in response to God's love & does it out of love for God. Clearly Joseph's willingness to immediately respond to the angel's messages, etc show that. Jospeh took his responsiblities to be the Spiritual head of the famly seriously
As I pointed out he also took seriously his responsibilities to physically provide for & protect his family. He was doing all God expected of him. Joseph raised Jesus to be a good Jew, a good citizen, Joseph helped Him to learn a trade & Joseph showed Jesus what it means to be the man God expects all of us to be.
& while I have focused on Joseph as father, every man can learn from the example of Joseph on what it means to truly be a man. Joseph shows us what it means to be a truly loving husband. & Joseph shows us that living our faith out fully is definitely manly. He is an example for all of us of what it truly means to be a Godly man.


Obama Baby

Source: Fr. Erik Richtsteig @ Orthometer ("Merry Christmas To The White House.")

Great parody but I still prefer the original:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Playboy Philosophy of Health Care

The Playboy Philosophy and Your Health Care

by David Bozeman
Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s take on the Tiger Woods saga is that monogamy is over-rated. Of course, that randy old coot does not speak for the majority of Americans — at least not yet. And a large proportion of those with whom his philosophy does resonate fully understand that it goes hand in hand with the ultimate goal of all on the left: massive government intervention into every aspect of the individual’s life.
The parallel ascensions of government intervention and a highly permissive, sexualized culture are not coincidental. One buttresses the other. The last line of defense against creeping statism is the traditional family. Renowned economist and social critic George Gilder wrote in 1986’s Men and Marriage that, “women transform male lust into love, channel male wonderlust into jobs, homes and families; link men to specific children; rear children into citizens; change hunters into fathers. . . “
With the weakening of the family unit over the past forty years, big government invariably seeps in to fill the void. It is true of the socialist, sexually sophisticated states of Europe, notably France, which liberals sneered was laughing at the uproar over the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. Observers have noted that the account of Mary Kay Latourneau, the teacher who had an affair with and married a student, while shocking to Americans, is considered a love story in the land of brie and beaujolais.
Meanwhile, Americans instinctively perceive government-sponsored health care as the death knell of a free society, thus the impassioned opposition. We consider ourselves autonomous individuals, united by family, community and work, not by the frills and fashions of a continental culture where self-gratification and government-mandated summer holidays are the highest ideals. The U.S. has accepted many tenets of the Playboy Philosophy, but has yet to embrace it in totality.
Admittedly, to some, Hugh Hefner is lovably naughty cavorting through the entertainment channels with his current trio of twenty-something girlfriends. Is it telling that two in his current crop — twins — frequently sport Obama t-shirts? They, as well, will pass their sexual expiration dates somewhere in their twenties. And then, if they don’t find real work, they may eventually end up turning to one of the Big Government welfare programs to find another yet benefactor to pay their ways.
For ordinary people, the love ‘em and leave ‘em lifestyle is a recipe for social disaster. Hef is not the object of envy he fancies himself — many Americans are repulsed at the notion of leaving women and children to either fend for themselves or become wards of government bureaucracies. Not just conservatives but, no less a Democratic icon than the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan noted, in a 1965 report on the “State of the Negro Family,” the alarming rates of unemployment, welfare dependency — and illegitimacy.
Of course, not all or even most welfare recipients are African-American. The over-riding point is that divorce and unwed motherhood have been the most common reasons people apply for welfare. Once government has stepped in and assumed the roles of husband and father, is health care provider not a logical next step?
One could argue that it’s a stretch to link the latest sex scandal to far-reaching government policy, but culture sets the tone for what is and is not permissible. The mores of an if-it-feels-good-do-it, who-am-I-to-judge culture invariably bleed into national politics.
Fortunately, in America, as in golf, the standards of gentlemanly and ladylike behavior remain high, and we still depend on ourselves and our families for our welfare. Despite his fortune, Hugh Hefner is just a soft-core pornographer and not a statesman, and we will fend off the Nanny state by promoting not his definition of cool but what we think is right.
David Bozeman is a Liberty Features Syndicated writer for Americans for Limited Government.

A Kingly Way to Celebrate the Feast of Stephen

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me bread and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

Planned Parenthood: Being Evil for Evil's Sake

What We Can Learn From the Feasts Between Christmas & New Year's Day

The Catholic Church after Vatican II basicly kept the same feasts & memorials that were there in the old calendar. With a couple exceptions. They moved the Feast of the Holy Family from the Sunday after Epiphany to the Sunday between Christmas & New Year's Day. New Year's Day used to be the Circumcision of the Lord. They kept the same readings but changed it to a variation of the older title for the feast. It was originally the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (now Mary the Mother of God). While there is so much I could say about that feast, I want to focus on the days between Christmas & 1 Jan.
It is interesting that the Church opts to take 1/2 of those days to focus on martyrs. Not exactly what we would like to think about at this time of year. But the Church does so to remind us that there is much more to Christmas than merely the Birth of Jesus. Something we have lost on modern times by the way certain Christmac Carols have been edited.
I want to look at 3 in particular before I get to the feasts. The 1st is We 3 Kings. While it hasn't been rewritten we rarely get to the fourth verse where gift of Myrrh.
Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb
Then there is this line from the 5th verse: King and God and Sacrifice
Then there is the rewrite of What Child is This. Most people (except those who prayer the Liturgy of the Hours) don't realize that This This is Christ the Lord . . . . The Babe, the Son of Mary is actually the 2nd half of the 1st verse, not the chorus. The 2nd half of the 2nd verse actually goes like this:
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
I think you see where I am heading, but before I do, I want to bring up 1 rarely heard Christmas carol, I Wonder as I Wander. Here is the important part:

I wonder, as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the saviour had come for to die
For poor orn'ry creatures like you and like I
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
We don't like to think of the reality of why jesus came, esp at this time of year. But unless we remember why jesus was born, Christmas is devoid of its meaning. Jesus came to die on the Cross for our sins. & that death (& resurrection) requires a response from us. That response means that we who are called Christians are called to die to ourselves & follow Him. & that may mean laying our lives down as well.
That is why 26 December is the feast of the proto-martyr, Stephen the Deacon. St. Stephen shows us how to live a life of service as well as how to fully surrender our lives. That includes forgiving those who persecute us.
On 29 December we celebrate the feast of St. Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. St. Thomas stood up to King Henry II of England when Henry tried to interfere in ecclesical matters. He provides an example for us these days as we are seeing laws being passed the will force the Catholic Church to do things against what it teaches. For example in DC where the law will require all adoption agencies to allow gay couples to adopt. Then there is the threat of requiring Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. St. Thomas was not afraid to pay the cost.
There are 2 other saints we celebrate that are not martyrs, but they paid a cost for proclaiming the truth. The 1st is St. John the Apostle, the Beloved Disciple & author of the 4th Gospel, 3 Epistles & possibly the Book of Revelation. early on we read of how John was thrown in prison with Pope Peter. As the years went on he was again & again persecuted. According to tradition John was finally brought before Emperor Dometian in Rome. There he was beaten, poisoned, & finally thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil Like the 3 young men we read about in Daniel God protected John from harm. He stepped out unharmed. He was banished to Patmos instead. Patmos was a penal colony & John was getting up in age by this time. John lived his entire life proclaiming the truth & refusing to comprimise with the culture of death at that time.
Next we come to Pope Sylvester 1. He survived the last persecution of the Church under Diocletian. After Constantine became emperor he was elected Pope in 314. During his time in office he battled the Arian heresy. The Ecumenical Council of Nicea was held during his reign. He sent 2 legates to represent him. they signed the decrees in his name. There was also the Council (synod) at Arles that condemned the heresy of Donatism. He approved the decision & promulgated it throughout the rest of the Church. This is why the Church celebrates his feast at this time of year. He challenges us to be faithful to the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church even in the face of persecution. Also, Arius & Donatus who gave their names to heresies were Bishops. Sadly we have many Catholic Bishops who fail to stand up for the truth & a few that even work to undermine it (Gumbleton for instance). Sylvester faced the same problem. He did what he could to put an end to the errors even though, in the short run, he didn't always suceed. But we see in the end that he ended up on the right side of history, not the heritics. We can draw encouragement in the face of what are similar circumstances.
As the culture is pushing laws that will try & silence us from speaking out on things like gay marriage, abortion & the like these saints are very important examples for those of us in the Pro-life movement. Despite the claims to the contray, it is the pro-abortion "culture of death" that is willing to do whatever it can to get its way. & that includes persecuting & even killing those who stand up for the truth. These saints should encourage us to continue the good fight to defend the truth & especially to work to defend life at all stages. That includes putting an end to the murder of thousands of unborn daily via abortion.
This brings me to the next group of martyrs, the Holy Innocents. They have come to symbolize those millions of children murdered by abortion. There were probably only about 20 male children under the age of 2 that were murdered. But it isn't the number, it is the why that is important. They died in an attempt by King Herod to maintain power. He defied God's plan to do so as he was attempting to kill the Messiah. & we see the same rebelious spirit operating in those who promote the murder of the unborn via abortion. they know that under natural & divine law, abortion is murder. The pro-aborts reject the rule of the Messiah by saying like Herod, not God's will but mine.
This brings us to the final feast, that of The Holy Family. That feast stands out as a countercultural sign to our culture. We have seen the courts in several states declare that marriage can between 2 men or 2 women. There has also been many laws that define them as families with the same rights to children. Yet, in the Holy Family we see what is God's definition of a marriage & a family. It consists of a man & a woman who are married & love one another. We see in the Holy Family the example of what it means to be a parent. Mary & Joseph put their plans aside when God sent the angel to Mary telling her she was to bear a son, the Messiah. We see Joseph's spousal love for Mary & we see Joseph's willingness to say yes to being a father. he provides the perfect example of what it means to be a husband & father, putting aside his plans to protect his family. He is also a great example for those who adopt.
This is just a short look at these feasts, but we can see the message God gives us in them. They challenge us to live our faith no matter the cost. the challenge us to defend authentic Catholic teaching & the especially challenge us to live out those teachings that call us to build the "Culture of Life". It included defending marriage as being only between a man & woman. It tells us we must defend life from that moment when the egg & sperm join together to form a new life until natural death. It calls us to reject anything that runs counter to that, abortion & artificial birth control as well as In-vetero fertilization & embryonic stem cell research.
In short, the Church challenges us to make Jesus, the Messiah our Lord & savior. It calls us to repentance of our sins & those of the nation. It then calls us to evangelize, sharing the good news of the Gospel & living it out by building the "culture of life".
The question is Will you say yes to that challenge?

Friday, December 25, 2009

What Really Happenned When Washington Crossed the Delaware:

Don't beleive this is how it really happenned?

Perche would a nice Ragazzo Italiano lie????

Time for the Razzleberry Dressing

Fr. Pavone - Christmas 2009 Message

Buon Natale - edizione gatti freddi

Tu scendi dalle stelle

It wouldn't be Christmas without me posting a video or 2 of my favorite Christmas carol/hymn. Once again I start with this version:

As I did last year, after that bit of fun here is a more serious version. This year we have Luciano Pavarotti's version with pictures of several presepi. Italianos have a huge love for them ever since San Francesco set up the 1st presepio in the town of Greccio near Assisi, around 1220/3.

Tu scendi dalle stelle,
O Re del Cielo,
e vieni in una grotta,
al freddo al gelo.

O Bambino mio Divino
Io ti vedo qui a tremar,
O Dio Beato
Ahi, quanto ti costò
l'averci amato!

A te, che sei del mondo
il Creatore,
mancano panni e fuoco;
O mio Signore!

Caro eletto Pargoletto,
Quanto questa povertà
più mi innamora!
Giacché ti fece amor
povero ancora!
(text & lyrics by Saint Alfonsus Maria de' Liguori)
Auguri di Buon Natale


Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's Christmas at Our House

This song captures the happy memories of growing up in an Italiano household at Chritmas time:


Silver Bells

From The Lemon Drop Kid

Sung by Bob Hope & Marilyn Maxwell
(Aided & abetted by William Frawley)

Have A Merry Christmas Celebrating the Birth of Jesus - I Triple Dog Dare You

Some Thoughts From Archbishop Sheen for Christmas

"The mark of the Christian is the willingness to look for the Divine in the flesh of a babe in a crib, the continuing Christ under the appearance of bread on an altar, and a meditation and a prayer on a string of bead."
"The purpose of God's coming to man was not to make us nice people, but to make us new creatures."
"There were only two classes of people who heard the cry that night; shepherds and wise men. Shepherds: those who know they know nothing. Wise men: those who know they do not know everything. Only the very simple and the very learned discovered God. . ."
"When the shepherds and wise men came to the Crib, they saw a Babe whose tiny hands were not quite long enough to touch the huge heads of the cattle, and yet were the hands that were steering the sun and moon and stars in their courses. They saw Baby Feet that did not walk, and yet one day would bear the weight of Divine Omnipotence; they saw eyes that might have read the secrets of every living heart that hour; under the Baby Brow they knew was beating a mind and an intelligence that fashioned the universe and with it a human intelligence that would grow in age and grace and wisdom before God and man."
- Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Drawing source: Fulton Sheen

Home for the Holidays

In this case, Jesus' childhood home. Maybe. While we don't know who's home this was, it does give us a good idea of what Jesus' life was like growing up in Nazareth. & a reminder that, despite what some of the PC wacko leftists will try & claim, Jesus, Mary & Joseph were not homeless. Jesus was born in Bethlehem because they had to go there for the census. OK they were refugees from Herod when they went down to Egypt, but they still had a home to come back to.

First Jesus-era house discovered in Nazareth

NAZARETH, Israel – Just in time for Christmas, archaeologists on Monday unveiled what may have been the home of one of Jesus' childhood neighbors. The humble dwelling is the first dating to the era of Jesus to be discovered in Nazareth, then a hamlet of around 50 impoverished Jewish families where Jesus spent his boyhood.
Archaeologists and present-day residents of Nazareth imagined Jesus as a youngster, playing with other children in the isolated village, not far from the spot where the Archangel Gabriel revealed to Mary that she would give birth to the boy.
Today the ornate Basilica of the Annunciation marks that spot, and Nazareth is the largest Arab city in northern Israel, with about 65,000 residents. Muslims now outnumber Christians two to one in the noisy, crowded city.
The archaeological find shows how different it was 2000 years ago: There were no Christians or Muslims, the Jewish Temple stood in Jerusalem and tiny Nazareth stood near a battleground between Roman rulers and Jewish guerrillas.
The Jews of Nazareth dug camouflaged grottos to hide from Roman invaders, said archaeologist Yardena Alexandre, excavations director at the Israel Antiquities Authority. But the hamlet was so far off the beaten path that the caves were apparently not needed, she said.
Based on clay and chalk shards found at the site, the dwelling appeared to house a "simple Jewish family," Alexandre added, as workers carefully chipped away at mud with small pickaxes to reveal stone walls.
"This may well have been a place that Jesus and his contemporaries were familiar with," Alexandre said. A young Jesus may have played around the house with his cousins and friends. "It's a logical suggestion."
The discovery so close to Christmas pleased local Christians.
"They say if the people do not speak, the stones will speak," said the Rev. Jack Karam of the nearby basilica.
Archaeologist Stephen Pfann, president of the University of The Holy Land, noted: "It's the only witness that we have from that area that shows us what the walls and floors were like inside Nazareth in the first century." Pfann was not involved in the dig.
Alexandre said workers uncovered the first signs of the dwelling last summer, but it became clear only this month that it was a structure from the days of Jesus.
Alexandre's team found remains of a wall, a hideout, a courtyard and a water system that appeared to collect water from the roof and supply it to the home. The discovery was made when builders dug up the courtyard of a former convent to make room for a new Christian center, just yards from the Basilica.
It is not clear how big the dwelling is. Alexandre's team has uncovered about 900 square feet of the house, but it may have been for an extended family and could be much larger, she said.
Archaeologists also found a camouflaged entry way into a grotto, which Alexandre believes was used by Jews to hide from Roman soldiers who were battling Jewish rebels for control of the area.
The grotto could have hidden around six people for a few hours, she said.
However, Roman soldiers did not end up battling Nazareth's Jews because the hamlet had little strategic value. The Roman army was more interested in larger towns and strategic hilltop communities, she said.
Alexandre said similar camouflaged grottos were found in other ancient Jewish communities of the lower Galilee, such as the nearby biblical village of Cana, which did witness battles between Jews and Romans.
Archaeologists also found clay and chalk vessels likely used by Galilean Jews of the time. The scientists concluded a Jewish family lived there because of the chalk, which Jews used to ensure the ritual purity of the food and water kept inside the vessels.
The shards also date back to the time of Jesus, which includes the late Hellenic, early Roman period that ranges from around 100 B.C. to the first century, Alexandre said. The determination was made by comparing the findings to shards and remains typical of that period found in other parts of the Galilee, she said.
The absence of any remains of glass vessels or imported products suggested the people who lived in the dwelling were simple, but Alexandre said the remains did not indicate whether they were traders or farmers.
The only other artifacts from the time of Jesus found in the Nazareth area are ancient burial caves that provided a rough idea of the village's population at the time, Alexandre said.
Work is now taking place to clear newer ruins built above the dwelling, which will be preserved. The dwelling will become part of a new international Christian center being built close to the site and funded by a French Roman Catholic group, said Marc Hodara of the Chemin Neuf Community overseeing construction.
Alexandre said limited space and population density makes it unlikely that archaeologists can carry out further excavations in the area, leaving this dwelling to tell the story of what Jesus' boyhood home may have looked like.
The discovery at "this time, this period, is very interesting, especially as a Christian," Karam said. "For me it is a great gift."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Came That They Might Have Life. (John 10:10)

Over the last few days I have posted several stories of how the "culture of death" is doing its best to advance its agenda. I have also shared several stories of hope & how the "Culture of Life" is being promoted as well. At times though, it seems like the "culture of death" is having more success.
But in 2 days we will be celebrating an event that reminds us of the fact that their victories are only temporary. While we don't know the exact date, we do know that Jesus was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We know that He grew up died on the Cross & rose from the dead. The result, as St Paul points out, is that now we can say "O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?" (1 Corinthians 15:55)
I don't know what will happen in the short run. At times things do seem darker than ever. But I do know that my hope for total victory is not in vain. The Cross is my guarentee of that. & that is why I will continue to pray & work for that day to come to pass. I must respond to the love that was shown me by Jesus by bringing that love to others.
The next couple of days I am going to take it easy & just put up some seasonal posts. But before that I pray that this Christmas will see many women touched by the love shown us by God the Father in sending us His Son Jesus, & chose life for their child they are carrying. May the know the truth that abortion does not offer hope only death. May they know that it is Jesus who is the true hope & the 1 who truly offers life.
I also pray that God will bless everyone of you with a joyfilled & blessed Christmas. May the true Light that came into the world shine that same light on each & every one of you. May you know the joy that comes only from knowing the love of God that was manifest as a child in a manger who came to give us life.

Why We Have the 2nd Amendment

It was in response to this concern:
"[W]hereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it."
--Federal Farmer, Antifederalist Letter, No.18
In other words, well regulated militia means that everyone has the right to bear arms.

DMPA is Harmful to Women

How many other drugs would already be off the market if this came out about them? Yet birth control methods get a pass that other drugs don't. But when you are dealing with the "culture of death" & their agenda, this is just another means by which they will accomplish their goals.

Study Finds Half of Women on "Birth Control Shot" Suffer Bone Problems

GALVESTON, Texas, December 21, 2009 ( - Nearly half of women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as the birth control shot, will experience high bone mineral density (BMD) loss in the hip or lower spine within two years of beginning the contraceptive, according to researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
The study, reported in the January 2010 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, was the first to show that women on the birth control shot who smoke, have low levels of calcium intake and never gave birth are at the highest risk for BMD loss. The researchers also found that high risk women continued to experience significant losses in BMD during the third year of the use of the contraceptive injection, especially in the hip - the most common facture site in elderly women.
DMPA is an injected contraceptive administered to patients every three months. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, more than two million American women use the birth control shot, including approximately 400,000 teens. DMPA is relatively inexpensive compared with some other forms of contraception and doesn't need to be administered daily, which contributes to its popularity.
The study followed 95 DMPA users for two years. In that time, 45 women had at least five percent BMD loss in the lower back or hip. A total of 50 women had less than five percent bone loss at both sites during the same period.
By and large, BMD loss was higher in women who were current smokers, had never given birth and had a daily calcium intake of 600 mg or less - far below the recommended amounts. Moreover, BMD loss substantially increased among the women with all three risk factors.
The researchers followed 27 of the women for an additional year and found that those who experienced significant BMD loss in the first two years continued to lose bone mass.

A Tale of 2 Shephards

This shows that hate crimes are not about protecting people but enforcing PC thought.

Hate Crimes and a Tale of Two "Shephards"
Many violent assaults of heterosexuals by homosexuals ignored in hate crime discussions

by Peter J. Smith
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania, December 21, 2009 ( - Both Matthew Shephard and Jason Shephard are alleged to have been victims of hate crimes. Both are alleged to have been targeted by their respective assailants over their sexual orientation. But unlike the former Shephard, Jason Shephard was murdered for his heterosexuality by a homosexual assailant, and one pro-family group wants to know whether the new federal hate crimes law would be applied in both cases.
The American Family Association of Pennsylvania argues that heterosexuals targeted by homosexuals over their sexual orientation should receive the same charges as heterosexuals targeting homosexuals. The new federal hate crimes law, "Matthew Shephard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act," applies special federal protections for victims of crimes who are targeted by their assailants over their "actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity.'
Homosexual activists fought for passage of the bill, which Congress passed as an amendment to a must-pass defense bill and President Obama signed in October.
But what about heterosexuals targeted by homosexuals over their sexual orientation? The AFA of Pennsylvania says that if the law were taken at face value, then homosexuals should also face prosecution for brutally assailing victims targeted for their heterosexuality. However these names get little recognition, especially in the national media.
Unlike Matthew Shephard - whose attackers confessed to brutally murdering over drugs and not his sexual orientation - Jason Shephard of Philadelphia was strangled to death in 2006 by William Smithson, 44, for resisting his homosexual advances and rape. Smithson worked at the firm where Shephard was interning, and premeditated the sexual assault on Shephard, slipping a date-rape drug into Shephard's drink during a dinner. To cover-up the crime, Smithson personally filed a missing person's report, and even introduced himself to Shephard's family, before police finally caught him red-handed trying to dispose of the decomposing corpse.
On Friday, the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld Smithson's first-degree murder conviction and life sentence.
And unlike Matthew Shephard, the murder of the heterosexual Jason Shephard by a homosexual has little recognition beyond Pennsylvania and no major legislation or public initiatives invoking the tragedy of his death. The young man who described himself as "a kid from Cavalier going to see what the world had to offer" has a simple Facebook page dedicated to his memory for the sake of those who knew him.
"Who in America recognizes their names or now the name of Amanda Collette?" asked Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA, demanding to know whether the cases of heterosexual victims would also get the same special protections accorded to homosexuals targeted for sexual orientation under the hate crimes law.
Collete, a fifteen-year old student at a Miami high school, was murdered by a sixteen-year old lesbian classmate for rebuffing her homosexual advances. The Miami Herald reported that Teah Wimberly, 16, confessed to police that she shot Collete in November 2008 "so she would feel pain too."
In Prairie Grove, Arkansas, Joshua Brown and David Carpenter tied up 13-year old Jesse Dirkhising and sodomized him to death. WorldNetDaily reports that Dirkhising died in his own vomit while Brown and Carpenter took a lunch break from their savage sexual assault. Nicholas Gutierrez of Chicago raped, battered, stabbed and strangled Mary Stachowicz, 51, before stashing her body under the floorboards of his apartment, for the simple reason that Stachowicz had asked him to leave his homosexual lifestyle.
For Gramley, those brutal cases - no less brutal than Matthew Shephard's murder - seem well-qualified for hate crimes charges. But as AFA of PA points out, only homosexuals as "hate crimes" victims need apply for national attention: Matthew Shephard's murder generated over 3,000 stories in the month after his death, while only forty stories developed in the month after Dirkhising's brutal rape and murder.
"Just the fact that the hate crime bill signed by the President in October is named after homosexual Matthew Shepherd reveals the true intent of its advocates - give special protections to homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender individuals," commented Gramley. "I predict the murders of heterosexuals by homosexuals will continue to be ignored."
Many pro-family groups suspected that the Matthew Shephard Act was intended to make homosexuals and transgenders a protected class under federal law. But other serious concerns remained.
Opponents of the hate crimes legislation in general have charged that the law violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution by making an individual's thought as much a factor as the nature of his act in prosecuting a crime.
The US Commissioners on Civil Rights wrote letters to US House and Senate leaders condemning the legislation, saying they "regard the broad federalization of crime as a menace to civil liberties." The commissioners also pointed out that the law creates a legal loophole to the Constitution's prohibitions to double jeopardy, because it allows the federal government to try an individual for a second time, who has already been acquitted in a state trial, for the same crime.

What NOT to Get Someone for Christmas

No, this time I am not talking about the Planned Parenthood gift certificate that many locations offer. Although you clearly should not give them.
Instead I am talking what its promoter calls the "peaceful pill" that contains Nembutal, the favored drug for ending life. You may remember that it was an OD of Nembutal that killed famous actress Marilyn Monroe. For the most part it is used by veterinarians as an anesthetic & euthanasia drug for animals.
This pill is being promoted by Dr. Philip Nitschke, founder of Exit International (Australia) & author of "The Peaceful Pill Handbook". At a a "peaceful pill" seminar on 16 December he said "There are people here in this room who I know have bought that (euthanasia medication) for their loved ones as Christmas presents."
As Right to Life Australia Queensland coordinator Graham Preston said, "A pill to kill yourself and your loved one as a Christmas present is absolutely reprehensible."
Speaking of reprehensible Nitschke's "The Peaceful Pill Handbook" also includes information on the use of an "exit bag." & on His website you can find a video called "Doing it with Betty," in which a nurse explains how to assemble a plastic hood used to place over a suicidal person's head. & get this, she even suggests people get their hair done if they "want to look nice."
This is the sick mentality that is the "culture of death" folks. This is what we are up against. I remind you again that Jesus came to bring life. We must bring that gift to those out there who see what the "culture of life" calls a "good death" is anything but.

Mission to Magadan - Christmas 2009 Update

It has been a while since I have posted an update. But with Christmas only a couple days away, there is definitely plenty to celebrate.
The 1st thing is the fact that on Christmas day, Mission to Magadan will celebrate the 2oth anniversary of the 1st public Mass celebrated in the former prison city. It was held in the former Communist Workers' hall.
Fr. Michael Sheilds describes what was going on. "A deep conversion was taking place with the fall of communism. Praise shifted from the creature to the Creator. That day, we praised God and have not stopped giving thanks for all the Lord has done here. Our parish would be called the Nativity of Jesus in honor of that first Mass. A new hope was born and Jesus Christ is Lord. The Word Incarnate, the Word made flesh, Emanuel, God is with us, is the most important truth we could receive."
Many good things have occured over the past year. Back to Fr. Shields. "It is the Word that over forty women received this year as they received help with their children: God is with you, love the child in your womb. It is the Word the elderly who suffered in the prison camps hear every month at the gathering of the Repressed: we sing songs of faith, pray for the beloved dead and promise to be with these saints until they go home to the Father. It is the Word that helps the alcoholic come to recognize that God and his Church can help them to stay sober. It is the word that attracts people to the Church: the athiest, disillusioned, the ub-baptized, the young and the old proclaim 'God is with me'."
If I add nothing more, the above should be enough to show that they are truly living out their faith. Not by trying to entertain people, but by raising up Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior. & that is what is drawing people there. Everything they do is to live out the Gospel. Not the social gospel you hear so often that offers a Christ-less, Cross-less feel good hand out.
1 of the things they have recently been given permission t do is to send counselors to the Magadan Women's Center to tell the pregnant women that there are life-giving alternatives to abortion available. Sadly, these women are often told that abortion is a harmless alternative to having their baby. Over there the cultural norm is abortion as birth control. (Sound familiar????) Women that are unmarried, poor & desperate have very little education about the life they carry so they seek abortion as the only alternative. Their being allowed in is truly a great victory as mistrust of the Church & others offering pro-life counseling has kept them out in the past. Their being allowed in is truly an answer to prayer. They now have an officer where 3 trained volunteers are able to tell the truth about abortion. They are now able to help these women keep ther babies as well as offering many services to help them be successful mothers.
There are so many wonderful storid of families they have helped. 1 of those families is Misha, Nastia & their family. Misha originally came to Church of the Nativity at age 15. After discerning he didn't have a vocation he met Nastia. She had a daughter Alena. 4 years ago they married. 2 years ago Veeka was born. The place where they live is 2 rooms in a dormitory. the conditions there are horrible. The building is a haven for alcoholics & prostitutes. But it is all they can afford as he is unemployed & ineligible for unemployment. He had been a police officer but could not bear the unethical & illegal actions within the department. Nastia has a night job, but it isn't enough.
However, the family remains hopeful as well as happy. Fr. Shields is bringing the Word to them so that they are filled with hope for a better future. That hope is being nurtured through what the Church is doing in Magadan.
1 of the changes that occured this past year was the loss of 1 of their priests. Fr. David Means was called back to his home diocese by his Bishop. (FYI: Fr. Shields is in the process of becoming a Russian citizen & will be there permanantly.) Fr. Means spent 13 years at Magadan & will be missed. Fr. Shields acknowledged that Fr. Means had done many things. But for him, the greatest gift Fr. Means gave Fr. Shields was to hear his confession nearly weekly. In doing so Fr. Means offered him "the greatest gft from the cross of Jesus Christ and that isthe forgiveness of my sins."
These are just some of the stories of what God is doing in Magadan. It is important that we keep praying. But they also need financial support as the people they minister to do not have the money to keep the many works Church of the Nativity is doing. Money cannot be sent directly to Russia so the Archdiocese
Mission to Magadan
Archdiocese of Anchorage
225 Cordova Street
Anchorage AK 99501-2409
I conclude with more words from Fr. Shields: "My loving and dear friends, if I could wrap up one present for you to open on Christmas it would be a huge box full of joy. If you saw the joy in the faces of the children on Christmas Eve as they hear the story of the birth of Jesus; if you saw the joy in the family helped with clothes and food through our centers for the care of women; if you saw the joy that comes with a heart open to the taste and the goodness of the Lord as the Holy Eucharist is received for the first time, you would know how important you are to us here--both your prayers and your generous help.
This is my Christmas wish for you: open the joy that Christ is here, there and everywhere. We do not greet each otheri n Russia with 'Merry Christmas' rather we say 'Christ is Born--Praise Him.' And we shall all the days of our life and beyond."

All I can add is to echo Fr. Sheilds. "Christ is Born--Praise Him!!!!!"

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