Friday, April 30, 2010

Bono: Without Bill Clinton 'Universe Just Wouldn't Be As Friendly To Humans'

On Thursday, Time magazine published a love letter from activist and musician Bono to former President Bill Clinton.

"There are professors who pretend to be populists and populists who pretend to be professors," the U2 lead-singer began his piece in the Heroes section of the 2010 Time 100 list.

"But there have never been a head and heart so perfectly matched as the pair within William Jefferson Clinton," he continued...

they have all the best grisly doodads....

"Sometimes I truly wish that I could be a believer -- they have all the best grisly doodads. This is magnificent."

"I know, they have the best stuff. At one church in Florence, we found a museum near the rear, and it was just bursting with mummified fingers in ornate reliquaries. So cool."

Thursday, April 29, 2010


In the afterlife
You could be headed for the serious strife
Now you make the scene all day
But tomorrow there'll be hell to pay

People listen attentively
I mean about future calamity
I used to think the idea was obsolete
Until I heard the old man stamping his feet.

This is a place where eternally
Fire is applied to the body
Teeth are extruded and bones are ground
Then baked into cakes which are passed around.

Beauty, talent, fame, money, refinement
Top skill and brain
But all the things you try to hide
Will be revealed on the other side.

Now the d and the a and the m
And the n and the a
And the t and the i-o-n
Lose your face, lose your name
Then get fitted for a suit of flame
A greedy chipmunk crams a peanut into its mouth. The ravenous 
rodent has become a regular sight after plucking up the courage to be 
fed by hand at the house where she has set up home.  Christian Stepien 
took thise hilarious picture in his mother's backyard in Mississauga, 
Ontario, Canada
A greedy chipmunk crams a peanut into its mouth. The ravenous rodent has become a regular sight after plucking up the courage to be fed by hand at the house where she has set up home. Christian Stepien took thise hilarious picture in his mother's backyard in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
h/t Belinda

Mystery Science Theater 3000: X Marks the Spot

Vladimir Putin saves the Arctic polar bear in latest animal adventure

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin assists in polar bear 

He has put a tiger to sleep, ridden bare-chested on horseback and even saved baby seals from being clubbed to death. Yesterday it was the turn of polar bears to feature in Vladimir Putin’s latest animal adventure.

The action-man Prime Minister was filmed attaching a tracking device to a sedated polar bear and helping scientists to measure and weigh the animal during a visit to Franz Josef Land in Russia’s Arctic far north.

Wearing a monogrammed red winter jacket, Mr Putin stroked the 230 kilogram (507 lb) bear and shook its paw, saying “be healthy”, while a commentator for state television told viewers that it could “wake up at any moment”.

Mr Putin, who asserted Russia’s “profound interests” in the region during his visit, declared to the camera: “The bear is the master of the Arctic...."

'Thelma Lou' Actress from Andy Griffith Show Robbed in Town that Inspired Mayberry

Dan Lehr

The actress who played Thelma Lou on "The Andy Griffith Show" was robbed in the town that inspired the show's idyllic Mayberry setting, after moving to the area to avoid big city crime.

Betty Lou Lynn had her wallet stolen at a shopping center in Mount Airy, the birthplace of Andy Griffith.
The Mount Airy News reports that police arrested Shirley Walter Guynn of Cana, Va. He's being held in Surry County Jail on a $10,000 bond. It was not immediately clear Thursday if he has a lawyer.

In an earlier interview with the newspaper, the 83-year-old Lynn said she moved to Mount Airy after being robbed three times in Los Angeles. In the TV series, Thelma Lou was the girlfriend of Deputy Barney Fife, played by Don Knotts.

Can DOD really defeat PowerPoint?

Military leaders launch an offensive against slideshow presentations, but is it a winnable war?
IF TORQUEMADA HAD A LAPTOP. The Defense Department has declared war on PowerPoint. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who heads U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, told the New York Times, “It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control. Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”

To prove his point, McChrystal’s been displaying an indecipherable slide of the United States’ military strategy. “When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war,” he’s said.

Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, Joint Forces commander, put it more succinctly: “PowerPoint makes us stupid.”

Kudos to military leaders for fighting the good fight, but is this a winnable war? It’s not as if the coma-inducing effects of slideshows haven’t been known for years. Back in January 2000, Peter Norvig created his classic send-up of PowerPoint, putting the Gettysburg Address into a stultifying set of bullet points. A 2003 New Yorker cartoon depicts the devil conferring with one of his minions: “I need someone well-versed in the art of torture — do you know PowerPoint?” A few years ago, a military forum posted “The Ballad of the PowerPoint Ranger,” a tribute to the downtrodden grunts who spend their time making slides for the brass. Graphic design guru Edward Tufte, now working for the Obama administration, has railed against PowerPoint for years.

And yet slideshows soldier on, as persistent as zombies in a horror movie. A Google search for “PowerPoint torture,” for example, produces plenty of discussion on the pain of sitting through slideshows — and no shortage of torturous PowerPoint presentations on the very subject of torture.

Is there any escape? Or is there still no better way to make your point at a meeting or conference?
Admittedly, PowerPoint has become snappier over the years, adding moving images and interactive capabilities. But it’s still the business equivalent of somebody’s vacation pictures. And military leaders make a valid point about the dangers of oversimplification. Our guess is that, for now, we’re pretty much stuck with it.
Meanwhile, for the sake of posterity, we’d like to create a sort of rogue’s gallery of bad presentations, a museum of slideshow atrocities. If you have a “good” one, include the link in the comments section below. Future generations will thank you.

Give it all to Mary

Friends, readers of Vultus Christi, and others often write me asking for intercessory prayer for a particular intention, for the resolution of a crisis, or for the healing of an affliction of soul or body. I take these requests seriously. They can, however, become overwhelming at times. I have, however, found a solution. I entrust them all to Our Blessed Lady. She is our Mother of Good Counsel, ever ready to guide us into the best way of interceding, the wisest way of intervening, the purest way of loving. She is also our Mother of Perpetual Help; that means that she is available everywhere and all the time. She is never far from us, never otherwise occupied. The other evening as I was praying for the many intentions recommended to me, this prayer rose in my heart. I' happy to share it with my readers.

O Mother of Good Counsel,
Mother of Perpetual Help,
I turn with confidence to thy maternal Heart,
and I renew my total and irrevocable consecration to thee.

I am all thine, Most Holy Mary,
and all that I have is thine.
I give thee my past with its burdens.
I give thee this present moment with its anxieties and fears.
I give thee my future and all that it holds.

There is no part of my life that is not open to thee,
no place so secret, or so darkened by sin
that thy presence and thy influence
are not wholly and ardently desired there.

I want to be completely transparent with thee,
utterly simple, guileless, and childlike.
Thou knowest, O Mother,
all my preoccupations,
all my intentions,
and all those recommended to my prayer.
Take them, I beseech thee, to thy Immaculate Heart
and, as my Advocate and all-powerful intercessor and Mediatrix,
present them to thy Son.
Seeing them presented by thee
and held in thy maternal Heart,
there is nothing that He will not do
to give to each intention the one response
worthy of the infinite mercy and love of His Sacred Heart.

Praying in this way, I can be at rest,
for thou art my Mother,
and all that I entrust to thee will be,
I am sure,
received, and considered, and cared for
with a Mother's love.

A New Type of Terror Approaches

 Posted on Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:33:07 AM by PalestrinaGal0317
April 28, 2010 | Chuck Fain

There are terrorists among us.

Not terrorists like those who attacked us on Sept. 11, but ones just as dangerous.
Terrorists who destroy lives, skirt the law and prey on the innocent. These terrorists aren’t just among us here in America either. They are a multi-national force that has been around for thousands of years.
These terrorists are the Catholic Church – and they need to be stopped
We’re all familiar with the scandal; so much so, in fact, that all one has to do is mention “Catholic priest,” and people instantly know to what scandal you refer.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...
"I am a student at Texas Wesleyan University. This is the student-run (but school-sponsored and faculty-supervised) school newspaper to which I'm linking. I picked up a copy of The Rambler today while getting my morning coffee and nearly spewed coffee across the shop when I came to this headline. The author, while this column is listed on the "Opinion" page, is a newspaper staff member (the Opinion Editor, to be precise) of The Rambler. 

I don't post on here very often at all anymore, but I admit that once I stopped grinding my teeth my first thought was that this is a situation in which I could use a good FReep.

So, FReepers, your assistance would be most welcome. Do you find this article irritating? Ill-informed? (The letter referenced a few paragraphs into the article was written by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, not then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.) An example of ludicrous journalistic (if this article can be dignified as such) bias? Even, perhaps, bigoted? Let your opinions be heard!

Chuck Fain (Author of the article, Opinion Editor of The Rambler):

Dr. Harold Jeffcoat, President, Texas Wesleyan University:

Dr. Steven Daniells, Dean of the School of Arts and Letters:

Dr. Kay Colley, Student Media Director (Dr. Colley interviews and hires the student editors):

Kelli Lamers, Faculty Advisor to The Rambler:

Prefer to let your disgust be "heard" via pen? 1201 Wesleyan Street, Fort Worth, TX 76105

Perhaps you communicate best via telephone? In that case, dial 817-531-4444 and ask to speak to whichever administrator you'd prefer. The Rambler's number--answered Monday and Wednesday 10-5 and Friday 10-3--is 817-531-7552.

Your assistance is most gratefully received. Should anything occur publicly about this (a statement in The Rambler, perhaps?) I will, of course, put up a link to it here on an update post.
Thank you all for your assistance.

1 posted on Thursday, April 29, 2010 12:33:07 AM by PalestrinaGal0317"

Suffering Defines Modern Culture, Says Bishop

Celebrates Mass for Benedict XVI's 5th Anniversary

WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 28, 2010 ( The culture of our modern secular age is defined by suffering, according to the bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma, in a Mass celebrating the fifth anniversary of Benedict XVI's inauguration.

Bishop Edward Slattery addressed an overflowing crowd in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on Saturday in a solemn high Pontifical Mass.

The prelate had only recently been asked to preside over the traditional Latin Mass, which was celebrated in the extraordinary form. He was replacing Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos, retired president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, who had originally been asked to celebrate the Mass.

Cardinal Hoyos came under fire this month when the French news agency Golias publicized a 2001 letter in which he expressed support for a bishop who failed to report a priest who had sexually abused children.
The Paulus Institute, which organized Saturday's event, expressed concern that this scandal would take center stage and detract from the "solemnity, reverence and beauty of the Mass."

The institute's president, Paul King, noted that the presence of Cardinal Hoyos could also give rise to significant security concerns, which they were unprepared to handle.

Bishop Slattery, who has experience celebrating the traditional Latin Mass, was asked to step in as the celebrant for the anniversary event.

Bishop Slattery acknowledged in his homily that "we gather together in the glare of the world's scrutiny to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the ascension of Joseph Ratzinger to the throne of Peter."


He spoke about the "enormous suffering," which "is all around us and which does so much to determine the culture of our modern age."

"From the enormous suffering of His Holiness these past months to the suffering of the Church's most recent martyrs in India and Africa, welling up from the suffering of the poor and the dispossessed and the undocumented, and gathering tears from the victims of abuse and neglect, from women who have been deceived into believing that abortion was a simple medical procedure and thus have lost part of their soul to the greed of the abortionist, and now flowing with the heartache of those who suffer from cancer, diabetes, AIDS, or the emotional diseases of our age, it is the sufferings of our people that defines the culture of our modern secular age," the bishop said.

He continued, "Our pain and anguish could dehumanize us, for it has the power to close us in upon ourselves such that we would live always in chaos and confusion -- if we do not remember that Christ -- our hope -- has been raised for our sakes."

The prelate affirmed that Our Lord "reveals himself to those who suffer in Christ, to those who humbly accept their pain as a personal sharing in his passion and who are thus obedient to Christ's command that we take up our cross and follow him."

He explained that suffering, "yours, mine, the Pontiff's, is at the heart of personal holiness, because it is our sharing in the obedience of Jesus which reveals his glory."

"It is the means by which we are made witnesses of his suffering and sharers in the glory to come," Bishop Slattery added.

"Do not be dismayed that many in the Church have not yet grasped this point," he noted, "and fewer still in the world will even dare to consider it, but you know this to be true."
"And it is enough," the prelate affirmed, "for ten men who whisper the truth speak louder than a hundred million who lie."

Speaking about the present situation in the Church, he concluded that "we must -- all of us -- become saints through what we suffer."

--- --- ---

On the Net:
Full text:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bl. Pope John XXIII

popejohn.jpg picture by kjk76_95

Apostolic Letter of Pope John XXIII


To his Venerable Brother Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops and other Local Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See

Venerable brethren: greetings and apostolic blessings.

From the very outset of our pontificate, in speaking of daily devotions we have repeatedly urged the faithful (often in eager tones that frankly hinted our future design) to cherish warmly that marvellous manifestation of divine mercy toward individuals and Holy Church and the whole world redeemed and saved by Jesus Christ: we mean devotion to his Most Precious Blood.

From infancy this devotion was instilled in us within our own household. Fondly we still recall how our parents used to recite the Litany of the Most Precious Blood every day during July.

The Apostle's wholesome advice comes to mind: "Keep watch, then, over yourselves, and over God's Church, in which the Holy Spirit has made you bishops; you are to be the shepherds of that flock which he won for himself at the price of his own blood."[1] Now among the cares of our pastoral office, venerable brethren, we are convinced that, second only to vigilance over sound doctrine, preference belongs to the proper surveillance and development of piety, in both its liturgical and private expressions. With that in mind, we judge it most timely to call our beloved children's attention to the unbreakable bond which must exist between the devotions to the Most Holy Name and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus -- already so widespread among Christians -- and devotion to the incarnate Word's Most Precious Blood, "shed for many, to the remission of sins."[2]

It is supremely important that the Church's liturgy fully conform to Catholic belief ("the law for prayer is the law for faith"[3]), and that only those devotional forms be sanctioned which well up from the unsullied springs of true faith. But the same logic calls for complete accord among different devotions. Those deemed more basic and more conducive to holiness must not be at odds with or cut off from one another. And the more individualistic and secondary ones must give way in popularity and practice to those devotions which more effectively actuate the fullness of salvation wrought by the "one mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ, who is a man, like them, and gave himself as a ransom for them all." [4] Through living in an atmosphere thus charged with true faith and solid piety the faithful can be confident that they are "thinking with the Church" and holding fast in the loving fellowship of prayer to Christ Jesus, the high priest of that sublime religion which he founded and which owes to him its name, its strength, its dignity.

The Church's wonderful advances in liturgical piety match the progress of faith itself in penetrating divine truth. Within this development it is most heart-warming to observe how often in recent centuries this Holy See has openly ap proved and furthered the three devotions just mentioned. From the Middle Ages, it is true, many pious persons prac ticed these devotions, which then spread to various dioceses and religious orders and congregations. Nevertheless it remained for the Chair of Peter to pronounce them orthodox and approve them for the Church as a whole.

Suffice it to recall the spiritual favours that our predecessors from the sixteenth century on have attached to prac ticing devotion to the Most Holy Name of Jesus, which in the previous century St. Bernardine of Siena untiringly spread throughout Italy. Approval was given first to the Office and Mass of the Most Holy Name and later to the Litany.[5] No less striking are the benefits the popes have attached to practising devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, whose rise and spread owe so much to the revelations of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.[6] So highly have all the popes regarded this devotion that again and again in their official acts they have expounded its nature, defended its validity, promoted its practice. Their crowning achievement on this devotion are three splendid encyclicals.[7]

Likewise the devotion to the Most Precious Blood, which owes its marvellous diffusion to the 19th-century Ro man priest, St. Gaspar del Bufalo, has rightly merited the approval and backing of this Apostolic See. We may recall that by order of Benedict XIV the Mass and Office in honour of the divine Saviour's adorable Blood were composed. And to fulfill a vow made at Gaeta Pius IX extended the feast to the whole Church.[8] Finally, as a commemoration of the nineteenth centenary of our redemption, Pius XI of happy memory raised this feast to the rank of first-class double, so that the greater liturgical splendour would highlight the devotion and bring to men more abundant fruits of the re deeming Blood.

Following our predecessors' example we have taken further steps to promote the devotion to the Precious Blood of the unblemished Lamb, Jesus Christ. We have approved the Litany of the Precious Blood drawn up by the Sacred Congregation of Rites and through special indulgences have encouraged its public and private recitation throughout the Catholic world. Amid today's most serious and pressing spiritual needs, may this latest exercise of that "care for all the churches"[9] proper to our sovereign office awaken in Christian hearts a firm conviction about the supreme abiding effectiveness of these three devotions.

As we now approach the feast and month devoted to honouring Christ's Blood ---- the price of our redemption, the pledge of salvation and life eternal -- may Christians meditate on it more fervently, may they savour its fruits more frequently in sacramental communion. Let their meditations on the boundless power of the Blood be bathed in the light of sound biblical teaching and the doctrine of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. How truly precious is this Blood is voiced in the song which the Church sings with the Angelic Doctor (sentiments wisely seconded by our predecessor Clement VI [10] ) :

Blood that but one drop of has the world to win

All the world forgiveness of its world of sin. [11]

Unlimited is the effectiveness of the God-Man's Blood -- just as unlimited as the love that impelled him to pour it out for us, first at his circumcision eight days after birth, and more profusely later on in his agony in the garden,[12] in his scourging and crowning with thorns, in his climb to Calvary and crucifixion, and finally from out that great wide wound in his side which symbolizes the divine Blood cascading down into all the Church's sacraments. Such sur passing love suggests, nay demands, that everyone reborn in the torrents of that Blood adore it with grateful love.

The Blood of the new and eternal covenant especially deserves this worship of latria when it is elevated during the sacrifice of the Mass. But such worship achieves its normal fulfilment in sacramental communion with the same Blood, indissolubly united with Christ's eucharistic Body. In intimate association with the celebrant the faithful can then truly make his sentiments at communion their own: "I will take the chalice of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. . . The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul for everlasting life.

Amen." Thus as often as they come worthily to this holy table they will receive more abundant fruits of the redemption and resurrection and eternal life won for all men by the Blood Christ shed "through the Holy Spirit."[13] Nourished by his Body and Blood, sharing the divine strength that has sustained count less martyrs, they will stand up to the slings and arrows of each day's fortunes -- even if need be to martyrdom itself for the sake of Christian virtue and the kingdom of God. Theirs will be the experience of that burning love which made St. John Chrysostom cry out:

Let us, then, come back from that table like lions breathing out fire, thus becoming terrifying to the Devil, and remaining mindful of our Head and of the love he has shown for us. . . This Blood, when worthily received, drives away demons and puts them at a distance from us, and even summons to us angels and the Lord of angels. . . This Blood, poured out in abundance, has washed the whole world clean. . . This is the price of the world; by it Christ purchased the Church... This thought will check in us unruly passions. How long, in truth, shall we be attached to present things? How long shall we remain asleep? How long shall we not take thought for our own salvation? Let us remember what privileges God has bestowed on us, let us give thanks, let us glorify him, not only by faith, but also by our very works. [14]

If only Christians would reflect more frequently on the fatherly warning of the first pope: "Look anxiously, then, to the ordering of your lives while your stay on earth lasts.

You know well enough that your ransom was not paid in earthly currency, silver or gold; it was paid in the precious blood of Christ; no lamb was ever so pure, so spotless a victim."[15] If only they would lend a more eager ear to the apostle of the Gentiles: "A great price was paid to ransom you; glorify God by making your bodies the shrines of his presence."[16] Their upright lives would then be the shining ex ample they ought to be; Christ's Church would far more effectively fulfill its mission to men. God wants all men to be saved,[17] for he has willed that they should all be ransomed by the Blood of his only-begotten Son; he calls them all to be members of the one Mystical Body whose head is Christ. If only men would be more responsive to these promptings of his grace, how much the bonds of brotherly love among individuals and peoples and nations would be strengthened. Life in society would be so much more peaceable, so much worthier of God and the human nature created in his image and likeness.[18]

This is the sublime vocation that St. Paul urged Jewish converts to fix their minds on when tempted to nostalgia for what was only a weak figure and prelude of the new covenant: "The scene of your approach now is mount Sion, is the heavenly Jerusalem, city of the living God; here are gathered thousands upon thousands of angels, here is the assembly of those first-born sons whose names are written in heaven, here is God sitting in judgment on all men, here are the spirits of just men, now made perfect; here is Jesus, the spokesman of the new covenant, and the sprinkling of his blood, which has better things to say than Abel's had." [19]

We have full confidence, venerable brethren, that these fatherly exhortations of ours, once brought to the attention of your priests and people in whatever way you deem best, will be put into practice not just willingly but enthusiastically. As a sign of heavenly graces and our affection we im part our most heartfelt apostolic blessing to each of you and to all your flocks, and particularly to those who respond with devout generosity to the promptings of this letter.

Given at St. Peter's in Rome, the eve of the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood, June 30, 1960, the second year of our pontificate.

1. Acts 20:28.

2. Matthew 26 :2&

3. Encyclical "On the Sacred Liturgy," America Press edition (New York: 1954), No. 46.

4. I Timothy 2:5-6.

5. Acta Sanctae Sedis 18 (1886) :509.

6. Cf. Office for the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2nd nocturn, lesson 5.

7. "On the Consecration of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus," The

Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII (New York: 1903), 454-- 461; "The Reparation Due to the Sacred Heart," The Catholic Mind

26 (1928): 221-235; "On Devotion to the Sacred Heart," The Pope

Speaks 3 (1956): 115-149.

8. Decree "Redempti Sumus," Aug. 10, 1849, Decreta Authentica S.RC. (Rome: 1898), II, No. 2978.

9. II Corinthians 11:28.

10. Bull "The Only Begotten Son of God," Jan. 25, 1343, The Sources of Catholic Dogma (St. Louis: 1957), No. 550.

1. Hymn "Adoro te devote." Translation from Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Oxford: 1930), No. 89.

12. Luke 22:43.

13. Hebrews 9:14.

14. "Homily 46," Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist (Fathers of the Church, New York: 1957), 469, 471-472.

15. 1 Peter 1:17-19.

16. I Corinthians 6:20.

17. Cf. I Timothy 2:4.

18. Cf. Genesis 1:26.

19. Hebrews 12:22-24

Spock finally beams into Vulcan

VULCAN, Alberta (Reuters) - This Canadian small town has been obsessed about all things "Star Trek" for as long as anyone here can remember, but denizens always felt something -- or someone -- was missing. Until Friday.

Leonard Nimoy, who will forever be Mr. Spock from the 1960s TV series, finally fulfilled the dreams of the farming community that shares the name of the character's home planet by paying a visit.

His remarks to Vulcanites, many decked out in their homemade "Star Trek" uniforms, were, well, logical.

"I have been a Vulcan for 44 years -- I figured it was time I came home," the 79-year-old actor said to wild cheers at a ceremony at the center of the town..

Jan: Pontifical Mass in Washington DC “offensive... silly... undecorous”

Jan Larson, a senior priest of the Archdiocese of Seattle:

"I must be honest in saying that I find this rite offensive by todays’s liturgical standards."

'Noah's Ark' Found in Turkey

THE remains of Noah's Ark have been discovered 13,000ft up a Turkish mountain, it has been claimed.

A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers say they have found wooden remains on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey.

They claim carbon dating proves the relics are 4,800 years old — around the same time the ark was said to be afloat. 

Noah's Ark

Yeung Wing-Cheung, from the Noah's Ark Ministries International research team, said: "It's not 100 per cent that it is Noah's Ark, but we think it is 99.9 per cent that this is it."


He said the structure contained several compartments, some with wooden beams, that they believe were used to house animals.

The group of evangelical archaeologists ruled out an established human settlement on the grounds none have ever been found above 11,000ft in the vicinity, Yeung said.

Some great posts

1. A child's view from the pew...

2. I was fortunate enough to have been invited...

Japan's Beef Bans Hits Prime Eateries

Restaurants Scramble for Wagyu Cuts After Japan Suspends Exports; Butchers Field Frantic Calls

The $250 steak's days are numbered on some of the area's finest menus as Japan has temporarily banned exports of its prized Wagyu beef.

Japanese officials suspended beef exports last week after cows tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease at farms in the southern part of the country. That means no Japanese-imported Wagyu, the cattle breed that produces the premium beef famous for its flavor, tenderness and high price-tag.

"Everyone that buys from us has called up and said, 'How much do you have left, lock it up for me?' " said George Faison, chief operating officer at De-Bragga & Spitler, a meat supplier in the Meatpacking District. "We only have 500 pounds left."

Though a menu item on a select handful of restaurants in the region, chefs are bemoaning the loss of the pricey meat, sometimes referred to on menus as Kobe. "We buy beef from a distributor in Japan," said Oscar Martinez, chef at the Old Homestead Steak House. "It's going to affect us a great deal because we're known for Kobe. It's one of the more popular dishes, and we have regular customers and Japanese clientele that come to us just for that..."

Monday, April 26, 2010

San Francisco calling for a boycott of Arizona

Monday, April 26, 2010
(04-26) 18:35 PDT San Francisco -- San Francisco's supervisors are calling for a sweeping boycott of Arizona in the wake of that state's harsh new rules aimed at illegal immigrants.
A resolution that will go before the board Tuesday will call for San Francisco to end any and all contracts with Arizona-based companies and to stop doing business with the state.

"We want to send a message," Supervisor David Campos told a rally on the steps of City Hall this morning. "There are consequences when you target a whole people."

Last Friday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law making it a crime for an immigrant to be in the state without proof of legal residency and requiring police to seek out and detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.

The law, which will take effect this summer, is certain to face legal challenges. President Obama has called the bill "misguided" and ordered the Justice Department to determine whether it violates civil rights.

There's no way to tell yet how a boycott of Arizona would affect San Francisco.

"We're trying to figure that out now," Campos said. "We do know that we won't be sending any city employees to conferences in Arizona."

City Attorney Dennis Herrera also called for a wide-ranging boycott of Arizona and pledged to have attorneys in his office work with the city to identify contracts with Arizona companies and help break those contracts where possible.

The boycott resolution won't be the only immigration-based measure on the board's agenda Tuesday. The supervisors also are expected to pass a resolution condemning audits by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement designed to force local employers to fire undocumented workers.

The resolution calls for Congress to place a moratorium on "piecemeal" immigration enforcement efforts and encourages Congress and the president to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill "that prioritizes keeping families together, upholding civil and human rights and promoting economic justice."

Pope expected to create new dicastery to re-evangelize Europe, US

Vatican says case closed in gaffe over ... 
.- Pope Benedict XVI is about to release a letter announcing the creation of a new Vatican dicastery called the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. The new dicastery will be aimed at bringing the Gospel back to Western societies that have lost their Christian identity.

Andrea Tornielli, the Vatican correspondent for the daily Il Giornale who is usually well-informed on new appointments at the Vatican, wrote today that “Benedict does not cease to surprise: in the upcoming week the creation of a new dicastery of the Roman Curia dedicated to the evangelization of the West will be announced, and be presided over by Archbishop Rino Fisichella.”

The new dicastery is aimed at evangelizing “countries where the Gospel has been announced centuries ago, but where its presence in their peoples' daily life seems to be lost. Europe, the United States and Latin America would be the areas of influence of the new structure,” Il Giornale says.

According to Tornielli, the new dicastery would be “the most important novelty of Pope Benedict’s pontificate, a Pope that, according to the expectations, was supposed to slim down the Roman Curia.”

Tornielli says that the idea of such a dicastery was first proposed to Pope John Paul II by Msgr. Luigi Giussani, the late founder of the Italian-born movement Comunione e Liberazione (Community and Liberation), but the idea did not move ahead.

In response to the question of how the idea resurfaced, Tornielli says, according to “authoritative sources,” the proposal of the dicastery comes from the Patriarch of Venice, Italy Cardinal Angelo Scola.

During his tenure as Rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, Cardinal Scola promoted intense reflection on the loss of Christian identity in Europe. The Patriarch of Venice was also a member of Communion and Liberation, and in his current position has shown significant concern for the de-Christianization of Europe and the Western world.

Fisichella, the currently embattled head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, succeeded Angelo Scola as Rector of the Lateran University and as such, shared the same concerns of his predecessor.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bishop Edward Slattery's Sermon at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception


"Here is the audio of Bp Edward Slattery’s marvelous sermon at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Amazing."
icon for podpress  Bp. Slattery's Sermon [17:55m]:  Download

Full Text h/t to Te Deum laudamus!

Bishop Slattery's Homily at Solemn High Mass at National Shrine
4/25/2010 - EOC Staff 
Bishop Slattery's Homily at the Solemn Pontifical Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception - Washington, D.C.

Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the ascension of Benedict XVI to the throne of Peter - ad multos annos! 

We have much to discuss - you and I …

… much to speak of on this glorious occasion when we gather together in the glare of the world’s scrutiny to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the ascension of Joseph Ratzinger to the throne of Peter.

We must come to understand how it is that suffering can reveal the mercy of God and make manifest among us the consoling presence of Jesus Christ, crucified and now risen from the dead.

We must speak of this mystery today, first of all because it is one of the great mysteries of revelation, spoken of in the New Testament and attested to by every saint in the Church’s long history, by the martyrs with their blood, by the confessors with their constancy, by the virgins with their purity and by the lay faithful of Christ’s body by their resolute courage under fire.

But we must also speak clearly of this mystery because of the enormous suffering which is all around us and which does so much to determine the culture of our modern age. 

From the enormous suffering of His Holiness these past months to the suffering of the Church’s most recent martyrs in India and Africa, welling up from the suffering of the poor and the dispossessed and the undocumented, and gathering tears from the victims of abuse and neglect, from women who have been deceived into believing that abortion was a simple medical procedure and thus have lost part of their soul to the greed of the abortionist, and now flowing with the heartache of those who suffer from cancer, diabetes, AIDS, or the emotional diseases of our age, it is the sufferings of our people that defines the culture of our modern secular age.

This enormous suffering which can take on so many varied physical, mental, and emotional forms will reduce us to fear and trembling - if we do not remember that Christ - our Passover - has been raised from the dead. Our pain and anguish could dehumanize us, for it has the power to close us in upon ourselves such that we would live always in chaos and confusion - if we do not remember that Christ - our hope - has been raised for our sakes. Jesus is our Passover, our hope and our light. 

He makes himself most present in the suffering of his people and this is the mystery of which we must speak today, for when we speak of His saving presence and proclaim His infinite love in the midst of our suffering, when we seek His light and refuse to surrender to the darkness, we receive that light which is the life of men; that light which, as Saint John reminds us in the prologue to his Gospel, can never be overcome by the darkness, no matter how thick, no matter how choking. 

Our suffering is thus transformed by His presence. It no longer has the power to alienate or isolate us. Neither can it dehumanize us nor destroy us. Suffering, however long and terrible it may be, has only the power to reveal Christ among us, and He is the mercy and the forgiveness of God. 

The mystery then, of which we speak, is the light that shines in the darkness,Christ Our Lord, Who reveals Himself most wondrously to those who suffer so that suffering and death can do nothing more than bring us to the mercy of the Father. 

But the point which we must clarify is that Christ reveals Himself to those who suffer in Christ, to those who humbly accept their pain as a personal sharing in His Passion and who are thus obedient to Christ’s command that we take up our cross and follow Him. Suffering by itself is simply the promise that death will claim these mortal bodies of ours, but suffering in Christ is the promise that we will be raised with Christ, when our mortality will be remade in his immortality and all that in our lives which is broken because it is perishable and finite will be made imperishable and incorrupt. 

This is the meaning of Peter’s claim that he is a witness to the sufferings of Christ and thus one who has a share in the glory yet to be revealed. Once Peter grasped the overwhelming truth of this mystery, his life was changed. The world held nothing for Peter. For him, there was only Christ.

This is, as you know, quite a dramatic shift for the man who three times denied Our Lord, the man to whom Jesus said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” 

Christ’s declaration to Peter that he would be the rock, the impregnable foundation, the mountain of Zion upon which the new Jerusalem would be constructed, follows in Matthew’s Gospel Saint Peter’s dramatic profession of faith, when the Lord asks the Twelve, “Who do people say that I am?” and Peter, impulsive as always, responds “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Only later - much later - would Peter come to understand the full implication of this first Profession of Faith. Peter would still have to learn that to follow Christ, to truly be His disciple, one must let go of everything which the world considers valuable and necessary, and become powerless. This is the mystery which confounds independent Peter. It is the mystery which still confounds us: to follow Christ, one must surrender everything and become obedient with the obedience of Christ, for no one gains access to the Kingdom of the Father, unless he enter through the humility and the obedience of Jesus.

Peter had no idea that eventually he would find himself fully accepting this obedience, joyfully accepting his share in the Passion and Death of Christ. But Peter loved Our Lord and love was the way by which Peter learned how to obey. “Lord, you know that I love thee,” Peter affirms three times with tears; and three times Christ commands him to tend to the flock that gathers at the foot of Calvary - and that is where we are now.
Peter knew that Jesus was the true Shepherd, the one Master and the only teacher; the rest of us are learners and the lesson we must learn is obedience, obedience unto death. Nothing less than this, for only when we are willing to be obedient with the very obedience of Christ will we come to recognize Christ’s presence among us.

Obedience is thus the heart of the life of the disciple and the key to suffering in Christ and with Christ. This obedience, is must be said, is quite different from obedience the way it is spoken of and dismissed in the world. 

For those in the world, obedience is a burden and an imposition. It is the way by which the powerful force the powerless to do obeisance. Simply juridical and always external, obedience is the bending that breaks, but a breaking which is still less painful than the punishment meted out for disobedience. Thus for those in the world obedience is a punishment which must be avoided; but for Christians, obedience is always personal, because it is centered on Christ. It is a surrender to Jesus Whom we love. 

For those whose lives are centered in Christ, obedience is that movement which the heart makes when it leaps in joy having once discovered the truth. 

Let us consider, then, that Christ has given us both the image of his obedience and the action by which we are made obedient. 

The image of Christ’s obedience is His Sacred Heart. That Heart, exposed and wounded must give us pause, for man’s heart it generally hidden and secret. In the silence of his own heart, each of us discovers the truth of who we are, the truth of why we are silent when we should speak, or bothersome and quarrelsome when we should be silent. In our hidden recesses of the heart, we come to know the impulses behind our deeds and the reasons why we act so often as cowards and fools. 

But while man’s heart is generally silent and secret, the Heart of the God-Man is fully visible and accessible. It too reveals the motives behind our Lord’s self-surrender. It was obedience to the Father’s will that mankind be reconciled and our many sins forgiven us. “Son though he was,” the Apostle reminds us, “Jesus learned obedience through what He sufferered.” Obedient unto death, death on a cross, Jesus asks his Father to forgive us that God might reveal the full depth of his mercy and love. “Father, forgive them,” he prayed, “for they know not what they do.”

Christ’s Sacred Heart is the image of the obedience which Christ showed by his sacrificial love on Calvary. The Sacrifice of Calvary is also for us the means by which we are made obedient and this is a point which you must never forget: at Mass, we offer ourselves to the Father in union with Christ, who offers Himself in perfect obedience to the Father. We make this offering in obedience to Christ who commanded us to “Do this in memory of me” and our obediential offering is perfected in the love with which the Father receives the gift of His Son.

Do not be surprised then that here at Mass, our bloodless offering of the bloody sacrifice of Calvary is a triple act of obedience. First, Christ is obedient to the Father, and offers Himself as a sacrifice of reconciliation. Secondly, we are obedient to Christ and offer ourselves to the Father with Jesus the Son; and thirdly, in sharing Christ’s obedience to the Father, we are made obedient to a new order of reality, in which love is supreme and life reigns eternal, in which suffering and death have been defeated by becoming for us the means by which Christ’s final victory, his future coming, is made manifest and real today.

Suffering then, yours, mine, the Pontiffs, is at the heart of personal holiness, because it is our sharing in the obedience of Jesus which reveals his glory. It is the means by which we are made witnesses of his suffering and sharers in the glory to come.

Do not be dismayed that there many in the Church have not yet grasped this point, and fewer still in the world will even consider it. You know this to be true and ten men who whisper the truth speak louder than a hundred million who lie.

If then someone asks of what we spoke today, tell them we spoke of the truth. If someone asks why it is you came to this Mass, say that it was so that you could be obedient with Christ. If someone asks about the homily, tell them it was about a mystery and if someone asks what I said of the present situation, tell them only that we must - all of us - become saints.

Pope 'could cancel UK visit' over 'offensive' Foreign Office memo

The Pope could cancel his planned visit to Britain because of a “hugely offensive” Foreign Office memo mocking his stance on abortion and birth control, sources in the Vatican said. 

Pope Benedict XVI
The Pope could cancel his visit to Britain because of the "hugely offensive" Foreign Office memo, Vatican sources said. Photo: REUTERS/Osservatore 
Senior Papal aides suggested the Foreign Office had not taken strong enough disciplinary action against those responsible for the document, which suggested the Pope should open an abortion clinic, bless a homosexual marriage and launch his own range of condoms while he is here...

The Box


The red cube, according to Messa in Latino, is what is currently used as the altar in the church in the Camaldolese monastery of Montegiove, which is currently down to 7 monks and 1 nun. According to the monastery's website, Mass is offered in the church only on Sundays and feast days. Messa in Latino states that communion is always "self-service".

St. Joseph with Child Jesus

From Sancti Angeli, h/t to NLM.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Murdoch aims for the New York Times' jugular

Thomas Lifson

The jugular vein of the New York Times Company is local advertising in the New York editions, and the company just acquired a price-slashing competitor that is likely to cost it dearly. In early 2006, Jack Risko and I explained why local ads in the New York market are so important to the Times' revenues, and why they are highly vulnerable to competition from Rupert Murdoch of News Corp. In mid 2007, I predicted that with the Wall Street Journal under News Corp control, upscale New York readers were going to be targeted for circulation, and that eventually the WSJ was going after the Times' biggest local advertisers, and was likely to cut prices.

Yesterday came the announcement I have been waiting for. Jennifer Saba of Reuters writes:

The Wall Street Journal is offering some businesses firesale prices for full-page ads in its highly anticipated New York edition to seduce advertisers away from The New York Times.

Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson and other executives plan to unveil the edition during a press briefing on Monday morning.

The section will cover local news, culture and sports, and will be incorporated within the Wall Street Journal. It will be circulated in the New York area. [snip]

To entice advertisers onto the pages of the New York edition, the Wall Street Journal is deeply cutting the cost of a full-page ad and, as a bonus, throwing in a full-page ad in the New York Post, also owned by News Corp.

Some local businesses can buy a full-page ad for $19,000, according to a Wall Street Journal presentation to advertisers that was shown to Reuters by a source. That is a steep discount to full-page print ads in large newspapers that can cost up to $90,000.

Keep in mind that even if the Wall Street Journal doesn't win over a large percentage of NYT advertisers, those that stay with the Times will undoubtedly demand steep discounts in order to keep their business at the Times. In years past, the Times has managed to increase advertising rates considerably because it held a perceived monopoly on upscale readers in the New York metropolitan area. If you want to sell luxury goods to New Yorkers, you sued to need the New York Times. Now that there is a price-cutting alternative, the Times will have to cut prices to keep advertisers on board.

Last year, Pinch Sulzberger doubled his own compensation to $6 million, which did not improve morale among rank and filers who have had to accept layoffs, cuts, and expense account reductions. With advertising revenues under pressure, will Pinch continue to cash in?

Seattle cartoonist launches "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day"


EWTN - Father Z's Narrating the Pontifical Mass

More from Eyjafjallajokull

Shroud of Turin/Vilnius Divine Mercy Image Comparison

Art stuff.
Portraying The Lord in Art.


Mac writes:

"Sadly, I didn't get a mention on Gloria TV News..."

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Dawn of Demonic Deception

HLI welcomes Mrs. Jenn Giroux as our Spirit and Life guest writer this week. She is a dynamic mom of nine, a registered nurse and former Executive Director of One More Soul. She has been fighting birth control and the contraceptive mentality all her life and is therefore perfectly suited for HLI's mission!

The Dawn of Demonic Deception
By Jenn Giroux

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of "The Pill" the Wall Street Journal ran a lengthy and misleading article ("The Birth Control Riddle" April 20, 2009) by Melinda Beck, calling the arrival of The Birth Control Pill the "dawn of dependable contraception" which "ignited the sexual revolution, ended the post-war baby boom and helped millions of women enter the work force." Ms Beck then proceeds to lament all of the "unplanned pregnancies" which still occur today before detailing for us how safe it is now to use new and improved birth control methods.

Marshall McLuhan, the late, great expert on the media, who converted to Catholicism before he died said, "The major media are engaged in a Luciferian conspiracy against the truth." How true! Ms Beck's column is a prime example of this conspiracy, including such blatant lies and misrepresentations as:
"the benefits outweigh the risks" when taking "The Pill"
"...the longer a woman uses the pill, the lower her risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer", and
"...the pill does not seem to increase the risk of getting [breast cancer]".
Beck then goes on to reassure the readers with sources such as the Guttmacher Institute (Planned Parenthood's own research arm) and a quote from Planned Parenthood's VP of Medical Affairs who explains away the damaging side effects by saying, "We have to keep these things in perspective. A woman's risk for problems is substantially higher during pregnancy."

"The Pill" and the widespread use of other contraceptives in reality ushered in the 'Dawn of Demonic Deception' in America. One needs only to review some of the bitter fruits of "The Pill" to appreciate why.
  • A Mayo Clinic study said that women who use hormonal contraceptives for a minimum of 4 years prior to their first full term pregnancy have a 52% higher risk of developing breast cancer
  • Women who use a hormonal contraceptive for more then 5 yrs are 4 times more likely to develop cervical cancer
  • Prior to the sexual revolution and "The Pill" there were known to be 5 sexually transmitted diseases: Today there are more than 30.
  • There are over 50 medical studies which indicate that use of oral contraceptives and Depo-Provera place women at higher risk for almost all known risk factors of HIV.
As we look around today, we see how accurately Pope Paul VI predicted what would follow if contraception were adopted on a wide scale: a general lowering of moral standards, an increase in infidelity, ever-greater objectification of women, and the use of contraception as a weapon. Smaller and more broken families, rampant homosexuality, pornography, and China's coercive one-child policy are just some of the sad and obvious reminders of Pope Paul's wisdom in reaffirming the Church's perennial teaching against contraception in Humanae vitae.

Exposing the lies of contraception is, indeed, the great moral challenge of our day. It is not only a battle for life, it is a battle for souls.

When asked recently by a major publication to name her greatest regret, Martha Stewart replied, "Not having a dozen offspring." This neatly summarizes the widespread "post-contraceptive regret" that weighs heavily on the hearts and souls of women who bought into the lies of the abortion industry. Even Catholic families have since the 1960's dropped from 5.5 to 2.1 children today, increasingly rejecting the joys and challenges of larger families for the lesser goods of greater material comfort, "freedom," and professional accomplishment.

The 1920's-era story (ironically, the same time that Margaret Sanger was beginning her efforts to legalize contraception and abortion in America) comes to mind of the small boy who was peering out a window at dusk as a man came along to light the gas street lights.

His mother asked, "What are you looking at?"

As if explaining the obvious, the boy replied, "I am watching a man poke holes in the darkness."

Today as confirmed Catholics this is all that God is asking of us - to stand in bold witness and poke holes in the spiritual darkness that surrounds us. Encountering the demonic deceptions forwarded by Ms. Beck and others who ignore the devastation wrought by contraception, we must answer with the light of truth.

Our daily faithfulness to God's perfect plan for sexuality and marriage through the rosary and sacraments is the only way to reclaim the culture and our nation. Only by using these gifts can we help bring about a countercultural comeback of chastity and the family.

Death of 'Caveman' ends an era in Idaho Richard Zimmerman, known to all as Dugout Dick, succumbs at 94

Richard Zimmerman, known to all as Dugout Dick, succumbs at 94


Known as the "Salmon River Caveman," Richard Zimmerman lived an essentially 19th century lifestyle, a digital-age anachronism who never owned a telephone or a television and lived almost entirely off the land.

"He was in his home at the caves at the end, and it was his wish to die there," said Connie Fitte, who lived across the river. "He was the epitome of the free spirit."

Richard Zimmerman had been in declining health when he died Wednesday.

Few knew him by his given name. To friends and visitors to his jumble of cave-like homes scrabbled from a rocky shoulder of the Salmon River, he was Dugout Dick.

He was the last of Idaho's river-canyon loners that date back to Territorial days. They are a unique group that until the 1980s included canyon contemporaries with names like Beaver Dick, Cougar Dave and Wheelbarrow Annie, "Buckskin Bill" (real name Sylvan Hart) and "Free Press Frances" Wisner. Fiercely independent loners, they lived eccentric lives on their own terms and made the state more interesting just by being here.

Most, like Zimmerman, came from someplace else. Drawn by Idaho's remoteness and wild places removed from social pressures, they came and spent their lives here, leaving only in death.

Some became reluctant celebrities, interviewed about their unusual lifestyles and courted by media heavyweights. Zimmerman was featured in National Geographic magazine and spurned repeated invitations to appear on the "Tonight Show."

"I ride Greyhounds, not airplanes," he said in a 1993 Statesman interview. "Besides, the show isn't in California. The show is here."

Cort Conley, who included Zimmerman in his 1994 book "Idaho Loners", said that "like Thoreau, he often must have smiled at how much he didn't need. É What gave him uncommon grace and dignity for me were his spiritual life, his musical artistry, his unperturbed acceptance of life as it is, and being a WWII veteran who had served his country and harbored no expectations in return."

His metamorphisis to Dugout Dick began when he crossed a wooden bridge over the Salmon River in 1947 and built a makeshift home on the side of a hill. He spent the rest of his life there, fashioning one cavelike dwelling after another, furnishing them with castoff doors, car windows, old tires and other leavings.

"I have everything here," he said. "I got lots of rocks and rubber tires. I have plenty of straw and fruit and vegetables, my dog and my cats and my guitars. I make wine to cook with. There's nothing I really need."
Some of his caves were 60 feet deep. Though he "never meant to build an apartment house," he earned spending money by renting them for $2 a night. Some renters spent one night; others chose the $25 monthly rate and stayed for months or years.

He lived in a cave by choice. Moved by a friend to a care center in Salmon at age 93 because he was in failing health, he walked out and hitchhiked home.

Bruce Long, who rented one of his caves and looked after him, said the care center "had bingo and TV, but things like that held no interest for him. He just wanted to live in his cave.

"People said he was the only person they'd ever known who was absolutely self-sufficient. He didn't work for anybody. He worked for himself."

Born in Indiana in 1916, Zimmerman grew up on farms in Indiana and Michigan, the son of a moonshiner with a mean streak. He rebelled against his domineering father and ran away at a young age, riding the rails west and learning the hobo songs he later would play on a battered guitar for guests at his caves.

He punched cows and worked as a farmhand, settling in Idaho's Lemhi Valley in 1937 and making ends meet by cutting firewood and herding sheep. In 1942, he joined the Army and served as a truck driver in the Pacific during World War II. When his service ended, he returned to Idaho and never left.

He raised goats and chickens, tended a bountiful vegetable garden and orchard and stored what he couldn't eat or sell in a root cellar. A lifelong victim of a quarrelsome stomach, he survived largely on what he could grow or make. Homemade yogurt ranked among his proudest achievements.

He was married once, briefly, to a pen-pal bride from Mexico. The other woman in his life, Bonnie Trositt, tired of life in a cave, left him for a job as a potato sorter and was murdered by her roommate. He claimed to see her spirit in the flickering light of a kerosene lamp on the cave walls.

He rarely went to church, but read and quoted continually from the Bible.

Services are pending. A brother, Raymond Zimmerman, has requested that his remains be sent to Illinois.

Tim Woodward: 377-6409

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Radio Replies Second Volume - Causes of Unbelief

171. Do you think that religion is the one thing in which men deliberately set themselves against the truth?

Men deliberately set themselves against the truth in many things. But their opposition is certainly more in evidence where religion is concerned. For the more truth a given form of religion contains, the more opposed will that religion be to the corruption of human nature.

172. Why should there be animosity against the Christian religion?

It is not because there is anything wrong with Christianity. It is because there is something wrong with the people who experience the animosity.

173. It seems to me that people are ready to believe almost anything these days, so why don't they lap up your religion?

Because Christianity does not cater for people ready to believe "almost anything." It demands that they believe a very definite something, to the exclusion of many things which human beings might find more comfortable and pleasant.

174. If the Christian revelation were really credible, everyone would accept it.

That is not true. There is more than enough evidence to make acceptance of the fact that God has revealed the Christian religion reasonable. But men do not always behave reasonably. Yet even if a man admitted that the fact of revelation is credible, it does not follow that he would be willing to believe the contents of that revelation. For the contents of Christian revelation include supernatural mysteries which, though not in any way against human reason, are above it. And men, in their pride, can say, "We will not believe anything which is not within the reach of our full comprehension. We accept nothing on trust, no matter who says it." Above all, is this the case when the doctrines in question are not merely theoretical, but involve practical consequences distasteful to human nature.

175. Surely mankind is anxious to be saved?

If we take salvation as the promise of eternal happiness, and leave out all other considerations, men would certainly be anxious to get it. But if we view, not the promise of future joy, but the implication that men "need" to be saved, it is a different matter altogether. For the implication is that men have fallen into a rotten and depraved state from which they are incapable of escaping without the help of a savior. Human pride rebels. Men do not like to admit even to themselves that they are evil. They cry out against the doctrine of original sin, and boast that, far from having fallen, the human race has steadily risen, and has a glorious future before it, to be attained by its own efforts. And not only do men banish the thought of original sin. They try to banish the thought of their actual and personal sins. So a man with no religion is full of his own virtues. "I have no religion," he will say, "but I am a better man than many who profess to be religious." Pride is a great force in the world, and God Himself has said that He "resists the proud and gives His grace to the humble." But men do not like humbling themselves; and still less do they like being humbled. Despite their boasting, however, men have their vices and sins which they do not wish to abandon. And they are not prepared to sacrifice present tangible pleasures and interests for future invisible benefits. How many people are blind to future consequences of their actions, even in this life, when in the grip of a present and urgent temptation to alluring self-satisfaction! So mankind is not always anxious to be saved if we consider, not merely the future benefits of salvation, but present implications and the conditions required.

Steve Jobs Reiterates: “Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone”
by MG Siegler

Apple CEO Steve Jobs is on a roll. While he’s probably had better days than today, he’s lately been shooting off emails left and right in response to customers’ concerns. We just were sent what appears to be one such Jobs response, sent last week surrounding the whole Mark Fiore situation. And it’s a good one.
When questioned about Apple’s role as moral police in the App Store, Jobs responds that we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” Better, is what he said next: “Folks who want porn can buy and [sic] Android phone.