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Kids forced to praise allah, local Catholic homeschooling getting noticed December 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, Dallas Diocese, Domestic Church, family, General Catholic, scandals, secularism, Society, Tradition, Virtue.
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Two more articles for your consideration during the long, cold winter of my absence from this blog.  First, students in Virginia were directed to make the shaddat, or irrevocable statement of faith in islam, in a calligraphy class:

Students at Riverheads High School in Greenville, Virginia, were told to practice calligraphy by writing out the statement “There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” The assignment was given by classroom teacher Cheri Laporte. [They were told to “practice” writing this. Did they write it three times?  If they did, whether they meant it or not, they are now considered muslims for life, and leaving that religion could expose them to a death sentence. I can see why parents would be enraged]

…….Parents told The Schilling Show that their children were not given the translation of what they were writing.

Riverheads High School Principal, Max Lowe, did not directly acknowledge an inquiry requesting confirmation of the incident, clarification of policy, and disciplinary measures, if any, taken against Ms. Laporte.

The school district defended the assignment…….[Of course they did. Bureaucrats are loathe to admit a mistake]

………But parents say that other religions were not represented. Parents told The Schilling Show that “the Koran was presented to students, the Bible was not. The teacher reportedly declined to provide a Bible because all the students have either read or seen a Bible.”

Female students were also encouraged to wear a hijab, it was reported[Now this, to me, tips it from being possibly innocent, to likely deliberate attempt to either win kids to islam, for whatever reason, or at least, to indoctrinate them in a multi-kulti “islam is the religion of peace” kind of mentality]

When asked about the hijab, the district explained the students were merely being taught about “modest dress adopted by many in the Islamic faith and were invited to try on a scarf as a part of an interactive lesson about the Islamic concept of modest dress.” [Can you imagine the school/teacher inviting students to wear veils, to learn about the Catholic concept of modest dress?  They’d rather die that do that]

“The scarf used in the activity was not an actual Islamic religious hijab,” the district stated.

Directly related to the above, the Dallas Morning News has an article about the burgeoning homeschooling movement in the area.  They don’t single out Catholics as being leaders in this movement, even though we are, and their primary subject for the article is a Catholic family.  While the desire to instill the Faith into children is cited as a prime reason for homeschooling, and one I certainly agree with, I am dubious as to the cost factor associated with Catholic schools as an alternative. Yes, it is significant, even crippling, but much more significant to me, and to many other Catholic homeschoolers, is the fact that if you care about your kids keeping the Faith, Catholic schools are the dead last place you want to send them:

For Kahlig and her husband, their decision to home-school their children came down to finances and religion.

“We felt that home schooling was the best option for our children,” Kahlig said. “We would love to have them in one of the local Catholic private schools, but they are just too expensive. We could probably send one student there, but it just wouldn’t be financially possible to send all of our children there.” [Well, whatever.  By hook or crook, you made the right choice, maybe better than you know.  No educational cohort loses the Faith to a greater degree than those who are the product of Catholic schools.  Combined with Catholic college, over 80% fall away]

The Kahligs are one of many Frisco families who face a financial challenge when trying to find an academic option that also incorporates spiritual enrichment.

Bonnie DeAtley, a mother of three, estimated that she and her husband save roughly $25,000 a year by home schooling their children instead of sending them to a private Catholic school. But to have the religious community that comes along with such a school, DeAtley and Kahlig joined Catholic home-schooling groups to supplement their children’s at-home education.

Sarah Griffith, founder of Catholic Homeschoolers in Frisco, decided to home-school her children in 2009 and “realized I needed a support group. So I got together with another home-schooling mother and used a room at our local church for our group to meet once a month.”

CHF, which meets once a month at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Frisco, now has 20-30 families that meet for religious enrichment classes, field-trip outings and mothers-night-out events. It is one of dozens of home-school social groups in the area. [These groups are numerous and tremendously helpful.  I do recommend them, generally.]

“We don’t have anything against public schools,” [???] said Kim Martin, who along with her husband moved from Dallas to Frisco. “We just recognize the benefits from the individual attention and direction that a home-school environment provides.” [Whatever. I’m a product of public schools. I have loads against them, especially now.  Why are there so many little leftists running around?  Indoctrination in the schools]

…….“No teacher — public or private — can give a student a better education than a dedicated and motivated parent.”

Totally agree, and that’s an extremely important factor.  Even more important, to my wife and I, at least, is the ability to form our children in the Faith according to our lights and the guidance of the constant belief and practice of the Faith.  For a variety of reasons (and going back decades – you can quote Fulton Sheen on this from the 60s), Catholic schools are poison for the retention of the Faith into adulthood.  Public schools are increasingly problematic, from a spiritual/moral as well as educational perspective.  Some protestant private schools are OK, provided you can deprogram your kid every day or week from the errors they’ve been exposed to.  But when it comes to instilling the Faith, having strong oversight over who my kids interact with (all the efforts to family and educator can be undone by one disastrous peer influence), and teaching them according to classical means and with a strong emphasis on history, literature and the greatness of Catholic Christian civilization (Christendom), homeschooling is really the only alternative.

God bless all those parents who make the sacrifices to do it.

The climate crisis in a nutshell December 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, martyrdom, Revolution, scandals, secularism, sickness, Society.
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I was reading the other day – lost the link, sorry – that the British government is estimating that, by the year 2030 – only 15 years away! – that Britain will have to cease use of all natural gas for cooking, home heating, etc., in order to meet emission targets set at the recently concluded Paris confab of the rich and powerful to rape the (relatively) poor and powerless on climate.  Have fun shivering in the dark, guys.  At least I have lots of firewood.  Even though many governments are now moving to outlaw use of firewood in cooking and heating, too.

All because of this, terrible, horrible, no-good, unimaginable crisis:


So about 1.2 deg F rise over the past 130 years. Heavens to betsy, what will we do?

I’m trying to set you up with all kinds of posts for my upcoming long absence.  I will try to do a little posting over the break, but it usually doesn’t work out so well.  And I will be off for nearly 3 glorious weeks.  So, I’m doing what I can to leave you as many posts as possible before I go away for a while.


Ever been there?  I got sent there for a “scared straight” program back in 1984, and I hadn’t even done anything wrong!  That anyone knew of.  For some reason some bonehead Methodist youth leader thought scaring the tar out of innocent middle school kids by exposing them to hardened felons would be a good idea.  They also sent us to a youth reformatory near Waco and some home for pregnant teen girls.  Sheesh. Very weird.

Jet fuel doesn’t melt steel, but it does dramatically weaken it December 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, Basics, catachesis, foolishness, fun, huh?, non squitur, scandals, sickness, silliness, Society, technology.
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A corollary to the below.  Aircraft aluminum melts at about 1150-1200 Fahrenheit.  But aluminum structure in aircraft is limited to speeds below Mach 2.3 continuous, or 2.5-6 for short bursts of time.  At those speeds, aircraft skin reaches temperatures around 350-400 F.  That is the maximum temperature that aluminum can be used without significant weakening.  All metals weaken greatly at temps well below their melting point.  That is why the SR-71, to travel at Mach 3.5 or so, had to be made almost entirely of titanium and exotic steels, to handle the 500-800 degree temps experienced.  Likewise, the X-15 rocket plane, to travel at Mach 6 and endure temps up to about 12oo F (or about 650 C) had to be constructed from exotic steels like Inconel X.  Regular steel would have softened too much even at those low temps to be used effectively in aircraft design.

Now, a building is not an aircraft, but the same basic principles do apply.  Aircraft, to save weight, are typically designed with safety factors of about 1.5 (that is for commercial aircraft, military aircraft, to obtain more performance, generally have lower safety factors).  This means the structural design is set to withstand 50% more load than the aircraft is ever expected to experience in even the most severe service.  Buildings generally have safety factors of more like 2.  This means there is more redundant structural strength, so that more structure can be lost, fail, or severely damaged before the overall design is compromised.

It is estimated that the jet fuel conflagration in the Twin Towers burnt at about 1500 F.  While it is true that steel does not melt until much higher – 2500~2800 F – at 1500 F low carbon steel of the type used in building construction will be structurally useless.  That’s the point of the video below. I, too, don’t want to get into the endless back and forth over 911 truthferism – I exhaust myself arguing one set of religious beliefs already, thank you –  but it’s a quite valuable demonstration all the same.

Another factor not mentioned is creep.  Creep is the (relatively) slow stretching out of a substance – typically member of some kind under load.  Creep is directly related to operating temperature.  The higher the temp, the larger the creep. A steel beam that doesn’t creep a micron at 200 F creeps like crazy at 1200 F.  That can also cause structural collapse, as members creep in a fashion that causes things like rivets to pop as holes no longer align, or welded joints to give way.  That can also precipitate structural collapse.

Creep also occurs when structural loading suddenly increases.  A beam that normally operates at 50% design stress that suddenly goes to 110% – say, because other members were caused to fail by impact – will start to elongate.  Over time, say, 12 hours or so, that could cause a structure to collapse even without the impact of heat.

I designed some plastic parts that worked like champs up to about 155 F.  But go to 160, and over 24 hours they would creep into frankenstein shapes.  And that was under no other load but gravity.  I know plastic is not steel, but the same principle definitely applies.


Dallas gets a new auxiliary bishop, Greg Kelly December 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, episcopate, General Catholic, huh?, North Deanery, Papa, priests.
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The appointment of Fr. Greg Kelly, formerly vicar for clergy in the Diocese for many years, to auxiliary bishop was announced yesterday.  He is, in essence, replacing former auxiliary Mark Seitz, who departed to El Paso a little over a year ago:

Bishop Kevin J. Farrell announced Wednesday that Monsignor Greg Kelly will serve as the Diocese of Dallas’ new auxiliary bishop. The news followed the official announcement of the appointment by Pope Francis earlier in Rome.

Kelly will be Dallas’ second auxiliary bishop, joining with Bishop Doug Deshotel in assisting Farrell with leading the diocese’s nearly 1.3 million Catholics.

“Christmas came early to the Diocese of Dallas,” Farrell said at a press conference. “I could not think of a better person. He is one of the most hardworking priests.”

“I’m very grateful to the pope for this appointment,” Kelly said. “I’m looking forward to looking with [Farrell] in this capacity.”

Kelly has served in the diocese for over 34 years. Trained at Holy Trinity Seminary in Irving, he was the chaplain at the University of Dallas for 10 years before serving as pastor at St. Gabriel the Archangel in McKinney. He has acted as the vicar for clergy for the diocese since 2008.

Upon learning of his appointment, Kelly said he was glad to stay in the diocese.

“I thought, ‘Great. I don’t have to go anywhere,’” he joked…….. [Whew.  What a doozy.  My side hurts]

………In his new position, Kelly expects to continue his work with the diocese’s clergy in addition to other roles.

Kelly will be ordained as bishop Feb. 11 at the Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Someone has already asked about Bishop-elect Kelly.  He was pastor at St. Gabriel in McKinney for a while, but departed in 2008 under what I understand was a bit of a cloud.  Or that was the scuttlebutt, anyway, could just have been rumor.  He’s been at the chancery ever since.  Maybe some longtime McKinneyites can inform us.

I’ve only ever had one interaction with him, he served as go-between when the former Novus Ordo Latin Mass in Plano was undergoing one of its many struggles.  I think he faithfully reported my concerns, not that they had any impact. He seems a likable enough guy.  He’s a product of Holy Trinity Seminary in the 70s, so I wouldn’t expect a traditional firebrand.

Other than that, you got me.  Love to learn more, feel free to share in the comments.

Gueranger’s suggestion to pious souls over Christmas, plus O Antiphons December 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Art and Architecture, awesomeness, Basics, fun, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgical Year, sanctity, Tradition, Virtue.
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It’s very easy and quick: Christmas is an obviously joyous season, when we celebrate the Nativity of the Lord.  Join in the joyfulness, and honor Our Lord, by assisting at Mass every day, at least during the Octave, if not until the Epiphany.

Sounds like a good idea to me.  I will try it.  I usually go to Mass 4-5 days a week.  But I’ll be off work, so I’ll have no excuses not to go every day.

The other topic.  I love the O Antiphons, which start today and run through Dec 23. These antiphons will be sung daily during the office.

Two of my favorites.  O Sapientia (wisdom), and O Rex Gentium.  For the O Antiphons, I prefer plainchant to polyphony.

Sort of a brief post, but what the heck.

Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell: “The Saints don’t need Jesus” December 17, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Dallas Diocese, different religion, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, Revolution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.
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So, a reader apparently attended the Mass offered by Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell at the Sacred Heart Cathedral Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe opening the “holy door” of the year of mercy for the Diocese of Dallas.  They kindly sent me a link to a video of Bishop Farrell’s sermon, posted on the Diocesan website.  I think they did so because they felt the sermon problematic.  I must agree with their surmise.

The comment in the lede is certainly dramatic, I’d even say shocking.  I’ll go ahead and try to contextualize it, by quoting the words preceding and following the quote:

And Jesus is there to forgive us.  The situation of our lives, perhaps, may be inconsistent with the Church’s teaching today.  But that does not mean that Jesus does not welcome us back into the Church. We are the ones, the sinners, Jesus came to save, not those, who are Saints.  The Saints don’t need Jesus. Anyone who considers himself free from sin does not need Jesus, and certainly does not need the Church.

I needed a moment to pick my jaw off the floor, and put my brain back in my head.  This sermon……it’s really messed up.

Wow.  I mean, wow.  What kind of ecclesiology is this?!?  I can try to be nice, and read into these frankly clumsy and very unfortunate words what Bishop Farrell is trying to say, which is that we all are guilty of sin, and all have need of God’s mercy and forgiveness.  Of course, such forgiveness is not handed out willy nilly to those who continue to sin unrepentantly, but only to those who exhibit contrition and have penitent hearts. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that points gets clearly made.  Bishop Farrell does later say we can’t go on sinning forever, that while Christ will forgive our sins at some point (????) we must stop.

My larger problem is this: Bishop Farrell never gets around to saying just how sins are forgiven. We never hear words like contrition, conversion, penance, Confession, or any of the rest.

But this statement regarding the Saints……whaaaa?  The Saints don’t need Jesus?  Everything in the created universe needs Jesus/God to sustain them in existence from one moment to the next.  But with regard to holiness, how do you think the Saints became saintly, Bishop Farrell?  Sanctity flows from cooperation with Grace, not from just being super awesome humans.  We hear much talk of Pelagianism from certain quarters today, but these comments reek of Pelagianism.

I am also amazed at the language tying Saints to the concept of sinlessness.  Virtually all Saints were incredibly cognizant of their sinfulness, and the degree of their unworthiness from the great torrents of Grace Our Lord showered on them.  They never pretended to be holier than thou.  They had heroic humility, that’s what made them Saints.

However, I’m not sure if a later bit is not even more problematic.  It speaks to the great abdication of duty that has riddled the episcopate as false, humanistic concepts of mercy have come to the fore.  Another quote:

We have to be compassionate, we have to be forgiving. How often we want to excommunicate people out of the Church, we want to put them out of the Church because their sinners or they’re public sinners, or they’re this or they’r ethat.  I don’t have a month go by where I don’t get a letter telling me to put such and such a person out of the Church because they are public sinners.  That’s what the Church is for, it’s to welcome those people back in.  We can’t be announced I’m puttin’ them out of the Church.  Welcome them back into the Church.

A fundamental error of protestant – and modernist – scripture scholarship is to take individual bits of Scripture as stand alone declarations, completely cut off from both context and the entirety of Sacred Scripture.  This is especially true of the Gospels.

That’s what Bishop Farrell is doing in this sermon.  He is sharing all the bits of the Gospel the world has always liked, the bits about endless mercy and forgiveness, communicating a sense that the Church has erred in the past when souls were excommunicated for grave public sin or promotion of error (ahem).

Also unclear throughout is quite what he means by “welcoming back,” this phrase used throughout the sermon – does he mean assisting at Mass?  And if so, does that mean these individuals guilty of what he terms “abominable sins” should, along with the other 90% else who haven’t been to Confession in years, receive the Blessed Sacrament?

What is entirely left out, of course, are those “hard sayings” of Jesus, which greatly modify the great truth of God’s Mercy by making it plain that receiving this mercy is dependent on our cooperation with Grace and our complete refusal to countenance any sin in our lives.  But for those who refuse this, for those who refuse to convert or who continue to sin, Christ has a much different message:

But if thy brother offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone.  If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother.

And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more; that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.

And if he will not hear them, tell the Church. And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as a heathen and a publican.

Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in Heaven. [St. Matt. xviii:15-18]

As I pointed out quite recently, excommunication has been part of the Church since Apostolic times.  Excommunication of those who persist in obstinate public sin and/or heresy is a direct command of Christ.  Does Bishop Farrell believe that he is either above that command, or that it is no longer operative?  This has in fact been perhaps the definitive failure of the episcopate over the past 50 years, the manifest abdication of solemn duty with regard to safeguarding the deposit of Faith by excluding those who promote error or who give grave scandal through public sin.  

Bishop Farrell is doing something else throughout the sermon, which I pray is not intentional. He is actually spreading great confusion, conflating individual acts of private sin, which we all commit, with continual acts of public sin which continue even after counsel and rebuke.  Here the insidious nature of the episcopal failure to maintain discipline is truly revealed in its devious intent: most bishops refuse to correct those in error or grave public sin, and on that basis pretend, because the correction has not been made, that they cannot act to apply disciplinary measures such as denying reception of the Blessed Sacrament or even excommunication, which, once again, is not a “hard” or “cruel” discipline, it is a profoundly loving one whose intent is to bring the soul back to their senses, to reject their sin or error, and back into the loving bosom of Holy Mother Church and the life of Grace!!!!!

This is the fundamental error of the sermon: that protecting the deposit of Faith and avoiding the grave SIN of scandal among the faithful by applying the Church’s constantly practiced disciplinary measures is somehow being “judgmental” or “unmerciful.”  He applies the lesson of the prodigal son wrongly, once again conflating events mid-sentence: from a soul with great contrition who has stopped sinning and begged forgiveness of the Father and asked for permission back into His House, the Church, there is a mental/rhetorical switch to public sinners and heretics indicating no contrition and who continue in their public sin and scandal. These are two very different things.

Tragically, many in Church leadership have found it very convenient over the past several decades to pretend otherwise, as the world, and especially powerful Katholyc political masters, capable of doling out millions to Church coffers, have descended into lives of abject immorality, including the promotion of heinously evil policies.  Instead of opposing these evil acts with all the resources Holy Mother Church provides, they clothe their refusal to call these men to account – FOR THE SAKE OF THEIR OWN SOULS – with an aura of false virtue, contending they are being “merciful” and “non-judgmental,” while what they are really doing is failing totally in their duty as shepherds of souls and heirs of the apostles.  It’s the wolves in sheep’s clothing writ large.

This sermon gets a maximum of four problematics: