Saturday, November 14, 2009

Does this repulse you?

Let me show you a couple of recent headlines from the secular media. First, from the CBC: 

Life sentence in 30-year-old Longueuil murder

A 61-year-old Longeuil woman has been sentenced to life in prison for the first-degree murder of her sister and her sister's partner in August 1979... (Source)

Do you find that headline offensive?  Does it make you feel that the Quebec authorities are too strict and grumpy?  I didn't think so.  Grave crimes require grave punishment, right?  Let's try another headline from the UK:

Ben’s law: Knife murder minimum sentence raised to 25 yrs after Kinsella campaign

Knife killers will spend up to a decade longer in jail after a successful campaign by the family of victim Ben Kinsella. Justice Secretary Jack Straw announced the tougher new penalties yesterday. It means a minimum sentence in most cases increasing from 15 to 25 years – just five below the 30-year term for gun murder... (Source)

Does that headline scare you? Does it make you feel like the authorities in the U.K. are mean or negative people?  No?  Me neither. Murder is serious business and requires a serious penalty.

So what's my point?  You might be asking yourself what I've been smoking. Let me show you a third headline:

Spanish Bishop Says Catholic Politicians Who Vote for Abortion Excommunicate Themselves

The secretary general of the Spanish bishops' conference, Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino of Madrid, warned that Spanish Catholic legislators who vote in favor

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Muslims somehow become the victims after Fort Hood shooting

Disclaimer to protect myself from Human Rights Commissions (normal people need not read this paragraph):  I hereby solemnly declare that I do not harbour any hatred or anger towards any religion or religious group, especially not Islam or Muslims.  I do not advocate any form of violence, hatred or discimination against Muslims.  I am simply concerned by the statements made by Muslims themselves to the effect that they support terrorist acts.  I am therefore exploring the implications of their position on the public good of Canadians and the world.

It's the paradox of political correctness.  A Muslim man kills 13 innocent people in a shooting rampage in Fort Hood (he started shouting "God is great!" in Arabic as he opened fire) and now the media are treating Muslims as victims.  That's not a typo.  The media seem more worried about potential violence that might be committed against Muslims in retaliation for the shooting, than about the 13 real dead people

Read this great editorial on the topic by Father Raymond J. de Souza in today's National Post.


Outsource your own job!

Okay, I admit that this post is quite off topic for Catholic Dialogue.  But as an economist, I really got a kick out of this great video from The Onion.  Enjoy!

Dear ladies: would you like to share a changing room with a man?

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) has struck again. Sort of.

The latest case involves a gentleman who owns a gym in St. Catherine's Ontario.

The dispute began in the summer of 2006, when a man, calling himself Lisa MacDonald, sought membership in John Fulton's fitness club for women. The man insisted not only on joining the club, but on using the women's change room and bathroom, despite Fulton's efforts to offer alternative solutions. MacDonald refused, however, to consider any other possibilities and threatened legal action. (Source)

The rest of the story is pretty much a cut and paste from most other "human rights" complaints: "Lisa" filed a complaint with the CHRC; as the complainant, "Lisa's" legal fees were entirely covered by the government; the poor owner of the gym had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. In this case, however, "Lisa" decided to drop the charges. So technically, the owner was never convicted, yet he still dished out loads of cash or during the legal proceedings.

Does the system make any sense to you?  As Ezra Levant aptly remarked, the process itself is the punishment.  It doesn't matter if you're guilty or innocent. If somebody files a complaint against you, get ready to be wiped out financially.

Let me ask a hypothetical question to all the ladies who read this blog: would you feel comfortable sharing a change room and bathroom with a man who thinks he's a woman? How could you be sure that such a man is

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ask yourself: are you doing enough for the Kingdom of God?

Yesterday was the feast of St. Leo the Great.  The Gospel reading was Luke 17:7-10.  It presents us with a very challenging message. At the end of this passage, Jesus says:

"So you also, when you have done all that you are ordered to do, say, 'We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!'"

That's a pretty tough message. We all have a tendency to pat ourselves on the back when we've done good work. But Christ is reminding us that we are called to do more.  We're called to heroic virtue

Let's be frank. The vast majority of us are not doing enough for the Kingdom of God. Whether it be feeding the poor, proclaiming the Gospel, working on pro-life matters or helping the sick, we fall short. In fact, most of us are downright lazy and apathetic. I'm just as guilty as anybody on this.  

Through the prompting of the Holy Spirit, our conscience tells us that we need to get moving, but too often we settle for mediocrity. We'll cut a cheque to our local charity so that we can appease our conscience and pretend that we've done our share. Or perhaps we'll go to the March for Life once a year so that we can put a little check mark in our minds next to the requirement of doing some good pro-life work.  Sorry, but that's not good enough. 

Another frequent temptation is to persuade ourselves that we're powerless and that we can only pray. In some cases, this is true, but are we really praying as much as we could? Are we fasting and making sacrifices?  In most cases, however, we can do something, even if it's just a little. We can write a letter. We can make a phone call. We can visit somebody. It just takes a little will power.

Christ is asking us to look in the mirror and honestly ask ourselves what more we can do. It's useless to throw our arms up in the air and complain about the state of the world if we aren't doing anything to make a change. 

So what are you going to change in your life?


Kudos to Bishop of Providence on Kennedy Jr.

Some Bishops really do a good job.  They need to be supported and affirmed. Here's a good example.

Patrick Kennedy, the son of the late Ted Kennedy, received a sharp public rebuke from his bishop, Thomas Tobin (Providence, Rhode Island).

Like his father, Patrick Kennedy is a politician. Also like his father, he claims to be Catholic and pro-abortion. 

A few days ago, when the House of Representatives was preparing to vote on the new health care bill, pro-life Representatives proposed an amendment that would prevent the use of federal funds for abortions. Fortunately, this amendment was passed, but Patrick Kennedy voted against it. The pro-abortion politician was quoted as saying “the fact that I disagree with the hierarchy on some issues does not make me any less of a Catholic.”

Well, his local Bishop wasn't too impressed. He wrote an open letter because he felt that Kennedy's position "deserves a public response, lest it go unchallenged and lead others to believe it’s true.”

You can read the full coverage here.  Let me give you a delicious excerpt from the Bishop's letter:

[I]n confronting your rejection of the Church’s teaching, we’re not dealing just with “an imperfect humanity” – as we do when we wrestle with sins such as anger, pride, greed, impurity or dishonesty. We all struggle with those things, and often fail.

Your rejection of the Church’s teaching on abortion falls into a different category – it’s a

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rex Murphy recognizes Christian persecution

It doesn't happen too often that I get excited by an opinion piece published in the Globe and Mail.  They tend to have very liberal-leaning and anti-Christian views.  

I was pleasantly surprised by an excellent article from the pen of Rex Murphy regarding the "human rights" racket that is afflicting Europe.  Many of you have heard of the abuses inflicted by Canada's human rights commissions.  It's nice to see that we're not alone.  Misery loves company, as the saying goes.

Mr. Murphy's article focuses on two recent "human rights" rulings: the banning of crucifixes from Italian schools, which I wrote about here, and the promulgation of global warming-ism as a new religion, so to speak.  Here's an awesome quote from the article:

A case could be made that, whenever you hear of an action by a human-rights tribunal of any kind, you should mark it down that – quite likely – they are busy circumscribing the real rights or dignity of the various branches of Christianity, with a particular focus on Catholicism.

In this case, the European Court of Human Rights – in response to one complaint, from one atheist – told an entire country that has been the centre of world Christianity for 2,000 years to get rid of its most revered and cardinal symbol. It's the same old story: In the name of official tolerance, mandated intolerance.

Well done, Mr. Murphy.  Bring on the sanity.

Read the full article here.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Where are you, Msgr Gilles Lussier?

As recently reported by LifeSite, outspoken liberal priest Fr. Raymond Gravel has once again stirred up some controversy. This time, he appeared on a TV show claiming that people with homosexual attractions could never overcome those tendencies. This is an absurd claim, of course, made all the more ridiculous in light of the fact that he was sharing the stage with a man named Laurent Leclerc who was explaining his personal experience in successfully overcoming his own homosexual tendencies.

The most disturbing part of this incident was that Fr. Gravel dismissed the notion of homosexuality as being disordered. This is in direct contradiction of Church teaching, which is very clear on this matter:

Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must