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Speaking of raising kids…. February 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, sickness, silliness.
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…..and trying to insulate them from the numerous bad influences in the culture (or becoming immersed in that culture), Fr. Reginaldus, taking a break from pounding on poor Lila Rose, addresses the problems parents face in dealing with a sick and immoral world, especially in the form of pernicious media:

When we speak of the means of social communication, we are thinking not only of television, film, radio, and the press (which the Council had specifically in mind), but also of the Internet (especially social networking sites), mobile phones, personal data assistants, and the many other technological spheres of human life where ideas are communicated en masse.  One is easily overwhelmed by the availability and extent of such means of communication and by their normalcy in the life of our young people.  It seems more difficult than ever for parents to fulfill their duty to govern and regulate the exposure of their children to the means of social communication.  And yet they must.

Speaking generally, we do ourselves no favor if we bury our heads in the sand and deny that the odds are stacked greatly against the possibility of raising Christian children in our Western/American society.  Rather, fathers and mothers must be realistic about the challenges and understand that they will often feel “weird” or “out of place” or “over-protective” in their parenting habits, if they are truly fulfilling the role of Christian parents in the 21st century.  This is especially true in the area of the regulation of their children’s access to the means of social communication. 

And yet it seems, sadly, that we are most neglectful of this aspect of Christian parenthood.  How many Christian parents give their children cell phones (even before the age of ten!), justifying it by their concern for their physical safety, while ignoring the spiritual harm that is wrought by such unregulated exposure to evil? [The other day, I saw a girl, about 6, on a scooter in our neighborhood with an I-PHONE!  Not just a phone, but an I-PHONE!  What was she doing?  TEXTING!  She’s 6!  Give me a break! – ED]  How many Christian parents allow their children to have television or Internet in their bedrooms, naively overlooking the evils so often produced by their unsupervised or solitary use?  [Over half of all webpages belong to porn sites]How many Christian parents consider the means of social communication to be “necessities” of life which must be present in the home at any cost and which ought not be denied to a “well-adjusted” child?  We must be honest about these things.  Many Christian parents – today – right now – right here – are neglecting their solemn duty to “guard carefully” the exposure of their children to the means of social communication.

The purpose of this entry is not to brow-beat or to berate.  Neither is it meant as a statement of certain moral absolutes about how much TV or Internet or cell phone is too much.  There is room here for much “parental prudence,” as St. Thomas might say.  Some parents will judge wisely that a certain amount of television and Internet and cell phone use (et cetera) will be appropriate for the healthy moral development of their children.  Others will wisely judge that they must rid their homes of these things in order to create a space free from their potentially evil influence. [That would be us, at least regarding TV.  I don’t miss TV at all.  I can watch movies or other things on DVD anytime.  We closely regulate what our kids do on the computer]. Still others will take an active and participatory role in a more widely extensive use of the media in the home.  There is no one proper course of action. 

There is, however, no question that the neglect of this duty by Christian parents is a grave sin and a serious evil for the Church, society, and the individual children.  To assume that the market or the government or the culture, or some other protagonist outside the home, will be able to set properly the object and extent of the use of mass media by our children is to be naive to the highest degree.  Fathers of families especially should be vigilant to protect the home from evil communications from without, while mothers of families should strive to purify and regulate whatever use of the means of social communication is in fact permitted to their children.

I know I’m no fun!  But seriously, our kids actually have alot of fun, too much at times, but they do it outside, or by destroying the house (it happens), but by playing and using their imaginations and not on the internet of vegged out in front of the TV.  By homeschooling our kids, we have removed the most common source for the desire for things like watching certain TV shows, having a phone, being on Facebook, whatever.  It’s a huge benefit in that regard. 

Anyhoo…food for thought.  Something to pray on, perhaps.

OT – for my pops February 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, silliness.
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My dad reads this blog fairly frequently.  He worked in the oil industry his entire adult life.  He was never a roughneck, but painting tanks at a refinery doesn’t make for exciting videos.   Hopefully he’ll see this – drilling in the Barnett Shale:

And then there’s these guys – not sure where they’re working at.  They sure trip that pipe fast, not sure they torqued it very good:

This could be very good…. February 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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….teaming Abby Johnson’s in-depth knowledge of all Planned Barrenhood’s dirty secrets with the daring journalism of LiveAction.  This could yield some tremendous results – if we don’t cut ourselves off at the knees worrying whether undercover journalism is THE perfect tactic to use. 

Today Live Action announced the addition of Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director and employee of eight years, to the Live Action team as Chief Research Strategist.“Abby Johnson has seen the abuses inside Planned Parenthood with her own eyes and confirms the danger its clinics pose to women and young girls,” stated Live Action President Lila Rose. “She is a courageous trailblazer despite Planned Parenthood’s desperate attempts to attack her and silence the truth. We are thrilled and very thankful to have Abby join our team and are confident that her first-hand experience, conviction and guidance will provide invaluable counsel to Live Action as we advance our common goal of protecting women and children from the abuses of Planned Parenthood.”

Why the ‘JustFaith’ social justice program is problematical February 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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Or, really, heterodox and difficult if not impossible to reconcile with Catholic social doctrine.  I will remind readers that last June, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Plano, named after a true adherent to Catholic social doctrine, hosted a “social justice” conference which was organized and led by an organization called JustFaith, which is tightly bound up with CCHD, Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, and various liberation theology sects in protestantism.  I stated at the time that “JustFaith, along with Call to Action and Pax Christi, draws strongly from marxist liberation theology which was condemned by Pope John Paul II.”  Now, the excellent blog Unam Sanctam has a post that reviews JustFaith materials in depth.   Suffice it to say, the JustFaith materials, including four books those entering JustFaith are asked/required to read, are heterdox, reject Church moral and social doctrine, and are steeped in Marxist liberation theology:

“I had already heard a little about the JustFaith program and some concerns regarding it just prior to the time that two members of our parish came to me to share their concerns. One of them had enrolled in the course and brought to me the full set of materials she purchased for the course requesting that I review it [The JustFaith program is VERY expensive and requires a form of “immersion” in their doctrine which is highly scripted and organized over a period of a 7 months.  Such indoctrination is required to shuck off the thinking of the oppressive capitalist overlords and their running dog lackeys and join the vanguard of the Marxist-Leninist revolution! – ED]. I submit herein the results of my review in a spirit of fraternal correction and concern and to assist pastors and lay persons who lack time to read all the materials; a close examination of the program by the competent ecclesiastical authority is warranted to determine the advisability of its continued use.
 
The very opening sessions of the JustFaith program are problematic. For example, in week 2, the opening prayer invokes 21 “witnesses of hope,” including Mohandes Gandhi–“great soul of peace,” Flannery O’Connor (note: from my acquaintance with the life and writings of this great American writer, I submit that she would strenuously object to JustFaith and being prayed to for she was a devout Catholic), Thomas Merton (much of his later work was heterodox), Martin Luther King, Jr., Joseph Bernardin, Albert Schweitzer, concluding with, “All you holy men and women, salt and light for our world, Pray for us.”Attachment B of the same week lists discussion and dialogue goals, including the search for the best “view,” incorporate varied perspectives, etc. There is no reference to seeking, teaching, or understanding the truth as taught by the Church. As Pope Benedict has reiterated, “real education is not possible without the light of truth.”
 
There are 4 books in the program: Cloud of Witnesses by [well known leftist Jim] Wallis and Hollyday, Compassion by Nouwen, et al, The Challenge and Spirituality of Catholic Teaching, by Mich, and Amazing Grace by Kozol. None of them has a Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur despite the pretensions of this course to present the “rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.” An examination of the content of the texts reveals significant reasons there is not and should not be an official stamp of the Church’s stamp of approval on any of these books or the program. [The books also  make scant reference to encyclicals, Papal statements, etc., on Catholic social teaching, because those documents woudl not support the agenda of JustFaith – ED]
 
The Cloud of Witnesses book is most revealing of the agenda of this program and of content contrary to the authentic social teaching of the Catholic Church. It is clearly stated that, “The articles and interviews in this book have been adapted from material originally published in Sojourners magazine.” The author, Jim Wallis, was founder and executive director of Sojourners. He has written in favor of gay “marriage.” The author, Joyce Hollyday, is a minister in the United Church of Christ. Sojourners is described as non-denominational according to its website, but includes left wing Catholic peace activists and dissenters, a Masonic veterans group, favors gay/lesbian partnerships, has a policy statement in favor of recognition and legal protection for the same, including gay “marriage,” and favors ordination of women, claiming five female ordinations and female bishops. [!! Isn’t that grounds for discipline/exclusion right off the top?!?  This is why I cannot support Catholic Charities or CRS at ALL anymore! – ED]  This background should constitute sufficient cause to question inclusion of the book as a source of authentic Catholic Social teaching.
In addition, out of 35 articles, only 11 appear to be about known Catholics. I say “known” because the faith of some was not identifiable. For certain, most were not Catholic at all and included a Living Waters pastor, Georgia minister, Episcopal minister, Martin Luther King, Jr., Sojourner Truth, a Presbyterian pastor, a Quaker, three Baptists, one now non-denominational former Methodist then Presbyterian, a Dutch Reformed preacher and a number of others not Catholic but whose denomination was not mentioned. Among the persons featured were a draft-dodger, proponent of the ordination of women in the Episcopal Church, one pastor and his wife imprisoned for non-payment of taxes, one whose “consciousness” came from liberation theology and another who said the truth was not the captive of any enterprise or religion.
Among the Catholics featured in the book were many known dissenters such as Father Daniel Berrigan, Sr. Joan Chittister, Father Pedro Arrupe and others who criticize the Church rather than advance her authentic teachings. Some examples will suffice:
  • Joan Chitttister’s unabashed advancement of the ordination of women is championed. She said, “There’s either something wrong with the present theology of ministry, or there is something wrong with the present theology of all the sacraments. If women qualify for baptism, confirmation, salvation, and redemption, how can they be denied the sacrament of ministry?” [In short, God is wrong] Her arguments that women are ignored in church language and for the feminization of God are given ample play in the text.
  • Jesuit superior general Pedro Arrupe openly rejected Humanae Vitae and his “restructuring” of the Jesuits did much harm to the Order; the circumstances of his removal are unclear to me, but Pope John Paul II passed over Arrupe’s designated successor for another. [I don’t think I need to comment too much on the present state of the Jesuits]
  • Father Miguel D’Escoto is not permitted to celebrate the Eucharist in public or private.
  • Father Elias Chacour, a Catholic priest and pacifist in Israel, attacked the wealth of the Church and described his despair of the institutional Church and its hierarchy.
  • Archbishop Dom Camara, who certainly sacrificed for the poor of his native Brazil, was a devotee of Gandhi and criticized the Church for its programs and priorities; at the closing session of Vatican II, he proposed that all the bishops surrender their crosses of precious metals for meltdown and distribution of the proceeds to the poor.
  • Father George Zabelka is an extreme pacifist who accuses Christianity of seventeen hundred years of terror and slaughter. [whereas Islam is the religion of peace]
  • Journalist Penny Lernoux had distanced herself from the Church but returned in the “awakening” of Vatican II, which she described as “set to turn the Church on its head,” while she was herself under the inspiration of liberation theology.
The magisterial authority of the Church was not recognized in this book. There was a nice article on St. Francis of Assisi, who was called the “greatest saint.” This book would be perfectly suited to a study of liberation theology, which, of course, has been soundly refuted by the Church beginning with Divini Redemptoris. Pope Pius XI stated that the Church could not cooperate with Marxists. Liberation theology would divert the Church from her mission of salvation to one of social welfare agency. [I’ve noted this about socialist catholics before – their goal is the Church as social welfare agency and vehicle of the revolution]
One of the authors of Compassion was Henri Nouwen, who was described in Cloud of Witnesses as a Dutch priest and contributing editor to Sojourners. His funeral Mass was described in the book as a “carnival atmosphere” where actors and actresses “breathed life into the gospel reading.” In the Preface, the tone of the book is set with a quote from theologian, Gail O’Day, “Just as it is false to the richness of the Christian tradition to use father language as generic language for God, it ….” This book does more to diminish than to advance the true faith, for example:
  • The authors assert that the Gospels support reference to the “womb” of God (pp. 14-16).
  • They say we should see compassion not in moralistic terms (emphasis added; the implication is that we should disregard sin, p. 28).
  • They wrote that choosing to suffer as “an obedient response to our loving God” is, for Christians, a “false belief that in so doing they were following the way of Jesus Christ.” [I guess we can throw out the Carmelites, the Carthusians, and all that “take up your cross and follow Me jazz…..]
  • The section on the breaking of bread omits all reference to sacrifice and the Holy Eucharist as the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, the real presence; the sole emphasis is on community and eating bread and drinking wine as a memorial, where we become intimately connected “to the compassionate life of Christ.” (p. 111).  [Of course, because JustFaith is run by leftist “protestants”]
  • Our “bread connections” are a “call to action.” He writes that when people eat bread and drink wine in his (Christ’s) memory, “smiles appear on strained faces” (p. 132).
The Mich book has some good quotes, including some references to encyclicals and Saints, but they are interlaced with error. For example, St. Boniface’s challenge to the god Thor inspired conversions but led to the unintended consequence of “diminished awe for the sacredness of nature.” (p. 34). We are instructed that every creature, animate and inanimate, can be a “sacrament.” Life issues are discussed with no reference to the evil of contraception.
We are told that there was an early Catholic attitude, still present, that saw humans as the apex of creation and this too often led to exploitation of nature (p. 41). Quoting Sister Elizabeth Johnson, the author explains that “previous theologies would have human beings with their rational souls as superior to the natural world.” Such a ranking, he writes, easily “gives rise to arrogance, one root of the present ecological crisis.” We are told that we need ‘species humility’ (p. 43). I read this and wondered whatever happened to Genesis: man is made in the image and likeness of God and has dominion?
On pages 43-44, we read that we must “reimagine our place in creation” with these questions, each of which is directly or by implication in conflict with the truth:
  • How to preach salvation as healing and rescue for the whole world rather than as solely an individual relationship with God?
  • How to let go of contempt for matter, contempt for the body and sexuality, and how to revalue them as good and blessed?
  • How to interpret human beings as primarily “earthlings” rather than as pilgrims or tourists whose real home is elsewhere?
  • How to recognize the sacraments as symbols of divine graciousness in a universe that is itself a sacrament? [Gaia worship!]
  • What kinds of new spiritualities will emerge as we become creation-centered?
The author references Familiaris Consortio, then trashes it and exposes his real agenda:
“Today, Catholic theology and spirituality does not view the love of another human being as distracting from our love of God. In fact, love of a spouse and child is viewed as participation in divine love. Sexuality is viewed in more positive terms as a gift of God to be enjoyed and celebrated within committed love and not only tolerated for the sake of procreation. These positive themes provide the starting points for a reinterpretation of marriage and family within the Catholic tradition. This revisioning is only in beginning stages. Catholicism and other Christian denominations are still working on understanding the role of women in the church and society and the meaning of committed homosexual relationships.” (p. 81, emphasis added)
I think this establishes that the JustFaith materials and the program put in place at Seton are highly problematic.  I’m sure the best of intentions abounded when seeking to expand Seton’s social justice ministry, but unfortunately far too many Catholic organizations in this country are sorely infected with socialist/communist thought and reject much of the Doctrine of the Faith.  One must be extremely selective in preparing any social justice organization.  I add that Seton has long ties to other problematic organizations, such as Dallas and Collin County Area Interfaith.  JustFaith simply has no place in a Catholic Church.
I think at this time, it is advisable to provide some contact information at Seton and the Diocese.  If you feel this JustFaith program is unacceptable, please be charitable in saying so!  Don’t cuss, and don’t call the pastor satan!  That doesn’t help!  Simply state that these programs are incompatible with the Faith, that you are sure the best of intentions drove the use of these materials, but ask for a prayerful reconsideration based on the evidence available that JustFaith is incompatible with an authentic Catholic faith.  I have never found a direct contact for Bishop Farrell.  Anyone who has one, please share!

Monsignor Henry Petter – hpetter@eseton.org   Pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton  By far the best person to contact.

Vicar General/Moderator of the Curia: Auxiliary Bishop Douglas J. Deshotel; Vicar General: Auxiliary Bishop Mark J. Seitz, 214-528-2240, Fax: 214-528-0287

Chancellor: Mary Edlund, J.C.L., 214-528-2240, Fax: 214-523-2436
  chancellor@cathdal.org

Vicar for Clergy: Rev. Gregory Kelly. Phone: 214-379-2826, Fax: 214-521-0258, e-mail: gkelly@cathdal.org.

Be polite!

Daddy’s, don’t let your daughters be turned into objectified, uh….objects February 16, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, disaster, General Catholic, sadness, sickness, Society.
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I’ve never had any respect for this guy.  I hated “Achy Breaky Heart” and all the awful, awful line dancing that came with it (and hung around in some spots even until today – blech).   I thought he was using his family to get back into the limelight with that Hannah Montana disaster on Disney.   In established Disney fashion, the show with the cute little girl soon morphed, over the course of a few seasons, into the show with the 14 yo sex vamp.  The influence this program, and others like it on Disney, cannot be overstated – they teach very young girls, girls as young as 3 and4, to want to be “sexy” and turn their bodies into objects of pleasure for leering men.   I have lost all respect for Disney over the last decade and a half, as they have produced show after show that has ruined not only the lives of the stars (Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Hilary Duff, Miley Cyrus), but have deleteriously affected the lives of countless young viewers.  I can’t imagine this is what Walt Disney had in mind.

At a fundamental level, almost all Disney programs are wrong – even those that do not objectify their young stars.  My problem with so much youth programming today is this: they put children on an intellectual and moral plane at least equal, if not superior, to that of their parents.  So many TV programs today feature the incredibly smart and hip kids, the wry and a bit cynical mother, and the bumbling, stupid father.  Unfortunately, many men today do fit this role, but the TV programs definitely do not help.  Instead of having the steady, wise influence of a Ward Cleaver or Steven Douglas, we get idiots like Raymond Barone and Doug Heffernan.   

I apologize for my uncharitability towards Mr. Cyrus.  I cannot imagine making the choices he made.  If by some bizaare happenstance one of my children were offered a part in a TV show, I’d chase the agent or producer off with a shotgun.  But so that you may have a glimpse into the mind of someone who admits destroyed his family through this TV show, here are a few quotes:

Hannah Montana‘s final episodes began. “Season four, it was a disaster,” he says. “I was going to work every single day knowing that my family had fallen apart, but yet I had to sit in front of that camera. I look back and I go, How did I ever make it through that? I must be a better actor than I thought.”

“Every time something happened in Miley’s career, every time the train went off the track, if you will – Vanity Fair, pole-dancing, whatever scandal it was – her people, or as they say in today’s news, her handlers, every time they’d put me… ‘Somebody’s shooting at Miley! Put the old man up there!’ Well, I took it, because I’m her daddy, and that’s what daddies do. ‘Okay, nail me to the cross, I’ll take it….’ ”

 ‘This whole thing’s falling apart up there and they just want to blame all of this stuff on you again.’ I’m staying out of it.”

He says he isn’t on regular speaking terms with his daughter. “You know, it seems at this point there’s not a lot that I can say she doesn’t already know,” he says. “And of course I’ve sent her the texts of ‘I’m here if you need me,’ ‘Always still love you,’ those kind of things.”

Uhhhh……because nothing says “I’m truly concerned about your well being” like a text message. 

Look, folks, sorry about this post, I’m sorry for being snarky, but I have 5 daughters, I have a young son, and while I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, at least I know that putting a very young person on a massive pedestal with all the adulation and fame and money the world can provide is not a way to raise a happy, well adjusted adult.  It’s a way of misery, as we have seen demonstrated time and again with “child stars” whose later lives are nothing short of disasters.  Very few are able to make it through this.  And this scourge, this desire for “fame” even to the point of sacrificing one’s fundamental dignity, is spreading through our culture.  It’s a cancer.

And it won’t stop with this latest disaster.

Billy Ray Cyrus’ youngest daughter, Noah.  I pray for all of them, I really do.