Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patrick's Day

Today the Church throughout the world celebrates the life of the Apostle to the Irish, St. Patrick. This feast day is especially important to so many of us in America and in other parts of the world because many of us can trace at least part of our ancestry back to that beautiful island. It is no wonder that each year on this day we swell with pride over our heritage, as Ireland gave so much to the world and gave the Church so many saints, not to mention matyrs for the faith.

Like so many other important Church feast days, St. Patrick's Day has become an excuse for some to engage in debauchery, and many who do so don't even go to Mass on a regular basis, and not a few of those aren't even Irish! However, as with most things negative about the Irish, we can justly put at least some of the blame for this on the English. Realizing that too much of the Wearin' of the Green could instill a little pride in the Irish, the post-Williamite Crown forbade the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. Penal Laws also forbade the Holy Catholic faith from being celebrated openly for years, and Catholics were denied the rights of citizenship under British rule (It was not until the 19th Century that Catholics were even allowed to vote...and that is the overwhelming majority of the Irish population). When so many Irish fled the Great Hunger and went to England, Australia, and America, they wanted to do freely what they could not do at home: Celebrate their faith, and celebrate being Irish.

The celebration of Irishness has been divorced from the celebration of the faith in recent years, and that isn't really fair. This is a special day because a man who we know as Patrick, who was once a slave in Ireland returned to the very land of his captivity to preach the Gospel, and what was a nation with only a scattered few Christians when he arrived there became one so brimming with faith that she sent missionaries to preach around the world.

Today is a wonderful day to celebrate Irish culture, and to be proud of its influence on our society. We shouldn't forget, however, that March 17th is first and formost about a Saint whose name was Patrick, who brought the message of Christ to some of our distant ancestors. Because of that message, we too can have new life in the Lord.

Raise your pints high to St. Patrick, and to the long life of the Pope!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Something you never thought you'd see: Democrats recruiting pro-lifers!

Well, I am disappointed in Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. Speculation abounds that she may run for the Republican nomination for President in 2008. In this vein, she has told the Washington Times that she is "mildly pro-choice." What if I attempted to tell people that I was "mildly racist" or "mildly bigoted." Saying you are "mildly pro-choice" is essentially saying that you are "mildly pro-death." Between the current love affair with Rice and Rudy Guiliani (a man who also got the Mayoral nomination of the New York LIBERAL Party), the GOP is the party that is showing that they aren't learning the lessons of the 2004 elections.

The Democrats, however insincere they may be, are getting it! They are looking for pro-life candidates to run in tight races. In several cases, such as Rhode Island, the Dems are running a pro-life candidate against a pro-abortion Republican opponent who is vulnerable in 2006. (What do you want to bet the pro-lifer wins?)

As a Catholic and a Christian, there is no circumstance justifies me to support a pro-abortion candidate, regardless of party, when there is a pro-life alternative, regardless of the pro-life person's position on anything else. If you are pro-life, you will likely get my vote. If you are pro-death you absolutely will not get my vote. There are many other Christians and Catholics who think just as I do on this score, and these people saw to it that George W. Bush was re-elected. If the GOP abandons the pro-life ship, will the Democrats take the survivors? If Rice or Guiliani get the 2008 nomination, could this be the beginning of another paradigm shift in U.S. politics?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A lesson in Christian forbearance and forgiveness

I have an upstairs neighbor who apparently thinks that no noise at all should be made by us. Nicole and I make it a point to try and be good neighbors..we don't like it when people are overly loud, so we try purposefully not to be loud ourselves. Last night my upstairs neighbor, after repeatedly banging on the floor (which is our ceiling) accused me of having the TV on too loud.

I might be able to accept that, except that Nicole and I gave up TV for Lent. Our television was not even on. We do have the radio on, but it is often barely audible, and it is always on talk radio, never music. If our neighbor heard anything, it was our shared voices in normal daily conversation. We can't help it that the walls of the building are so thin. Having lived in an apartment building before, I know that you will hear "noises" all the time. There is a difference between routine noises and disturbing ones. (No other neighbor has complained about being disturbed by noise coming from our apartment, and if we are as loud as our neighbor claims, our next-door neighbors would surely be bothered.) In the most hateful tone I can ever remember being spoken to in he accused us of "disturbing his serenity" and said the building was much quieter before we moved in...then he slammed the door in my face!

As awful an experience as this was, it is a lesson in Christian patience, forbearance, and even forgiveness. At first, it was a hard thing not to have rotten feelings toward my neighbor for treating us the way he did, and having so little understanding. As difficult as it is, though, I refuse to hold bad feelings against the man. Every time they seep in, I remind myself that maybe he also feels this way, and that bitterness repaid in kind does not reap less bitterness, but creates more. Pray for us, and for our neighbor, too...that somehow in his life he can come closer to God and learn to love his neighbors. Pray that we may continue to love this neighbor in spite of himself.

Monday, March 14, 2005

What's good for the goose is good for the gander

Liberals often talk a lot about "academic freedom" and what they deem to be "free speech." They very much value these rights which they say are sacrosanct, but in the past they have done everything they can to deny them to others (branding those who hold ideologies they find abhorrent as the perveyors of "hate speech," for example), while attempting to preserve those rights for themselves. They can talk all they want, advancing Marxism and disparaging Christianity and free societies as they go, but speech which promotes ideologies the Left doesn't like, why that is "hate speech" in the Liberal lexicon.

If I publically stated on this blog that the Anti-defamation League (ADL) was a tool of Satan, whose goals were to water-down and subvert Christianity with ideas based on modern liberal Jewish thought, and try and tell Catholics and other Christians who they should or should not hold in high esteem according to the dictates of their faith (ahem...Pius XII), why I'd be labeled by just about everyone on the Left and not a few of the pro-Israel element on the Right as an anti-Semite and a Jew-hater. (Funny how nobody labels people at the ADL and others who are Hell-bent on trying to politically correct Christians "Christ-haters" or "Christian bashers," isn't it?)

However, if you are Professor Ward Churchill at the University of Colorado, you can call victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, whether they are Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, or people of no faith at all, "little Eichmanns," likening them to the master planner of the Nazi Holocaust! The reason, says Professor Churchill, is because they were a part of the "mighty engine of profit," just like the Nazis. Such a statement is filled with hate, and is rediculous on its face, but in the world of the Left, it is protected because of "academic freedom."

Well, what is good for the goose is good for the gander, and in the case of Dr. Churchill, the University of Colorado is looking for a way around his tenure so that the Trustees might dismiss him. If a conservative can be robbed of tenure and work because they refuse to accept Marx, it is about tim a liberal is robbed of tenure for comparing conservatives to Nazis. Let the left finally have a dose of their own medicine.

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