Recently in Faith Category

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*Resident Biden issued this - from The White House:

A Proclamation on National Day Of Prayer
Throughout our history, Americans of many religions and belief systems have turned to prayer for strength, hope, and guidance.  Prayer has nourished countless souls and powered moral movements — including essential fights against racial injustice, child labor, and infringement on the rights of disabled Americans.  Prayer is also a daily practice for many, whether it is to ask for help or strength, or to give thanks over blessings bestowed.

Seven paragraphs and not one mention of God. Curious.

Pants on fire - Joe Biden in church

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Look at the dates - conveniently circled to draw your attention:

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No clue as to whom Mr. Jackson is but they like to play fast and loose with the truth. 
But wait.  It advances the narrative so it's OK.
Hat tip to My Pensieve

So true - great way to express it:

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Been feeling this way about the Episcopal Church - they used to have morals and standards.  From My Pensieve:

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Quite the letter. From the Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco:

Archbishop Cordileone’s Response to Speaker Pelosi’s Comments About Pro-Life Voters
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized prolife voters who voted for Donald Trump on the abortion issue, saying their votes cause her “great grief as a Catholic” and accusing them of “being willing to sell the whole democracy down the river for that one issue.”

Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop of San Francisco, issued the following statement in response:

“To begin with the obvious: Nancy Pelosi does not speak for the Catholic Church.  She speaks as a high-level important government leader, and as a private citizen.  And on the question of the equal dignity of human life in the womb, she also speaks in direct contradiction to a fundamental human right that Catholic teaching has consistently championed for 2,000 years.

“Christians have always understood that the commandment, ‘Thou shall not kill,’ applies to all life, including life in the womb.  Around the end of the first century the Letter of Barnabas states: “You shall not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shall you destroy it after it is born’ (#19).  One thousand, eight hundred and sixty-five years later, the Second Vatican Council affirmed: ‘Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes’ (Gaudium et spes, n. 51).  

“Pope Francis continues this unbroken teaching.  Addressing participants in the conference, ‘Yes to Life! - Taking Care of the Precious Gift of Life in Its Frailty’ on May 25, 2019, he condemned abortion in the strongest possible terms: ‘is it licit to eliminate a human life to solve a problem? ...  It is not licit.  Never, never eliminate a human life … to solve a problem.  Abortion is never the answer that women and families are looking for.’  And just yesterday (January 20, 2021) Archbishop Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, reiterated the declaration of the U.S. bishops that abortion is for Catholics the ‘preeminent priority.’  In doing so, he acted rightly and collaboratively in his role as USCCB President, and I am grateful to him for doing so.

No means no.  No matter how you try to work it. You can either be true in your faith to God or you can follow the progressive narrative and worship Mammon.  I get it.  Being faithful takes courage and conviction - something rare in politics. But still... You could at least try...

I bet there is quite the odor of sulfur and brimstone in the miasma of San Francisco and District of Columbia these days. Satan and his minions are walking the Earth quite openly. Harvesting souls. Open season 'ya know. No tag limit.

From The White House - a Proclamation

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Taking the long view - the very very very long view. From The White House:

Proclamation on 850th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket
Today is the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket on December 29, 1170. Thomas Becket was a statesman, a scholar, a chancellor, a priest, an archbishop, and a lion of religious liberty.

Before the Magna Carta was drafted, before the right to free exercise of religion was enshrined as America’s first freedom in our glorious Constitution, Thomas gave his life so that, as he said, “the Church will attain liberty and peace.”

The son of a London sheriff and once described as “a low‑born clerk” by the King who had him killed, Thomas Becket rose to become the leader of the church in England. When the crown attempted to encroach upon the affairs of the house of God through the Constitutions of Clarendon, Thomas refused to sign the offending document. When the furious King Henry II threatened to hold him in contempt of royal authority and questioned why this “poor and humble” priest would dare defy him, Archbishop Becket responded “God is the supreme ruler, above Kings” and “we ought to obey God rather than men.”

The aftermath of St. Becket's murder:

Thomas Becket’s martyrdom changed the course of history. It eventually brought about numerous constitutional limitations on the power of the state over the Church across the West. In England, Becket’s murder led to the Magna Carta’s declaration 45 years later that: “[T]he English church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished and its liberties unimpaired.”

Much more at the site.  Just go there and read the whole thing.  This is a very timely and powerfully written piece.

One more taste:

To honor Thomas Becket’s memory, the crimes against people of faith must stop, prisoners of conscience must be released, laws restricting freedom of religion and belief must be repealed, and the vulnerable, the defenseless, and the oppressed must be protected. The tyranny and murder that shocked the conscience of the Middle Ages must never be allowed to happen again. As long as America stands, we will always defend religious liberty.

Speaking truth to tyranny (masquerading as power).

From Summit News:

Top Catholic Cardinal Warns COVID-19 Being Used to Usher in “Evil” Great Reset
A top ranking Catholic Cardinal has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is being exploited by proponents of “The Great Reset” to “advance their evil agenda.”

Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the most powerful Catholics in the United States, gave a homily in which he savaged “secular forces” who want to “make us slaves to their godless and murderous agenda.”

“Then there is the mysterious Wuhan virus about whose nature and prevention the mass media daily give us conflicting information,” said Burke. “What is clear, however, is that it has been used by certain forces, inimical to families and to the freedom of nations, to advance their evil agenda. These forces tell us that we are now the subjects of the so-called ‘Great Reset,’ the ‘new normal,’ which is dictated to us by their manipulation of citizens and nations through ignorance and fear.”

He also addressed our subservience to China

“To attain economic gains, we as a nation have permitted ourselves to become dependent upon the Chinese Communist Party, an ideology totally opposed to the Christian foundations upon which families and our nation remain safe and prosper,”

See the whole thing here: (17:27)

Quite the letter - Reverend Warnock

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He is the Democratic Senate candidate from Georgia - he is an advocate of Critical Race Theory and an anti-Semitic bigot. Far far left. His mentor was Jeramiah Wright - that says it all. From The Daily Wire:

‘Scandal To The Faith’: Group Of Black Pastors Rebuke Warnock For ‘Open Advocacy Of Abortion’
A group of black pastors penned a letter rebuking Democratic Georgia Senate candidate Raphael Warnock for what they describe as his “open advocacy of abortion,” and urge Warnock “to fight against the systemic racism of abortion.”

Twenty-eight black leaders in the Christian community pushed back against Warnock’s hardline abortion views in the letter, including evangelist Alveda King, who is the niece of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Warnock presently pastors Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, a congregation which King also once pastored.

Warnock, whose runoff Senate race in Georgia is under intense national attention for the potential it has to swing the upper chamber to the Democratic Party, has before raised eyebrows among some Christians for comments he has made about Christianity, such as when he described Jesus Christ as “a poor Palestinian prophet” and a “Palestinian peasant.”

The text of the letter is there.  Wow!  Just one paragraph:

Couching abortion in the language of “reproductive justice” may be savvy marketing, but killing an innocent human life has nothing to do either with reproduction or with justice. Do American adults really need another public voice urging them to put their own short-term desires ahead of the needs of their children? As a pastor who speaks for the Christian community, we implore you to speak the plain truth about a practice as barbaric and destructive as abortion.

That will leave a mark. The fact that the authors are 100% correct makes it even more devistating.

Some good perspective on the election

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From Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò - November 4th, 2020 - The Remnant:

MESSAGE OF ARCHBISHOP CARLO MARIA VIGANÒ TO AMERICAN CATHOLICS AND TO ALL AMERICANS OF GOOD WILL
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As devout Christians and faithful citizens of the United States of America, you have intense and heartfelt concern for the fate of your beloved country while the final results of the Presidential election are still uncertain.

News of electoral fraud is multiplying, despite the shameful attempts of the mainstream media to censor the truth of the facts in order to give their candidate the advantage. There are states in which the number of votes is greater than the number of voters; others in which the mail-in vote seems to be exclusively in favor of Joe Biden; others in which the counting of ballots has been suspended for no reason or where sensational tampering has been discovered: always and only against President Donald J. Trump, always and only in favor of Biden.

In truth, for months now we have been witnessing a continuous trickle of staggered news, of manipulated or censored information, of crimes that have been silenced or covered up in the face of striking evidence and irrefutable testimony. We have seen the deep state organize itself, well in advance, to carry out the most colossal electoral fraud in history, in order to ensure the defeat of the man who has strenuously opposed the establishment of the New World Order that is wanted by the children of darkness. In this battle, you have not failed, as is your sacred duty, to make your own contribution by taking the side of the Good. Others, enslaved by vices or blinded by infernal hatred against Our Lord, have taken the side of Evil.

Do not think that the children of darkness act with honesty, and do not be scandalized if they operate with deception. Do you perhaps believe that Satan’s followers are honest, sincere, and loyal? The Lord has warned us against the Devil: “He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44).

Much more at the site - I quoted a bit less than half of the letter.  Now this is speaking truth to power.
This really is a battle between good and evil.

From the Archbishop of Philladelphia - a very smart cookie -  Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. writing at First Things:

MR. BIDEN AND THE MATTER OF SCANDAL
Readers may recall that during the 2004 presidential campaign, Sen. John Kerry led the Democratic ticket. As a Catholic, Kerry held certain policy views that conflicted with the moral beliefs of his Church. This led to internal tensions among U.S. bishops about how to handle the matter of Holy Communion for Catholic public officials who publicly and persistently diverge from Catholic teaching on issues like abortion. At the time, Washington’s then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, along with Pittsburgh’s Bishop Donald Wuerl, had very different views from my own regarding how to proceed.  

I believed then, and believe now, that publicly denying Communion to public officials is not always wise or the best pastoral course. Doing so in a loud and forceful manner may cause more harm than good by inviting the official to bask in the media glow of victimhood. What I opposed in 2004, however, was any seeming indifference to the issue, any hint in a national bishops’ statement or policy that would give bishops permission to turn their heads away from the gravity of a very serious issue. At the time, fortunately, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith resolved any confusion about correct practice in these matters with its July 2004 memorandum to then-Cardinal McCarrick, Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles. It includes the following passage:

5. Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

Much much more at the site - Chaput is always thoughtful and good to read. I doubt that Biden would be aware of what this would be about - the guy is drugged to the gills and is serving as a meat puppet for the communist wing of the democratic party. Still, this would be interesting if he tried.

Interesting - an opinion from The Vatican

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From CNS News:

Catholic Cardinal: 'It's Better to Vote for a Good Protestant Than a Bad Catholic'
When asked about the group "Catholics for Biden" and whether a Catholic can vote for someone who is pro-abortion and anti-family, Cardinal Gerhard Muller, the former doctrinal chief at the Vatican, said Catholics must have "the right understanding of life" and human rights and that it is "better to vote for a good Protestant than a bad Catholic."

A bit more - his reasoning:

“I think as we are citizens in a pluralistic state with religious freedom. And, I don’t support a candidate in Germany because he is Catholic but because he has the right understanding of life and the basics for human rights."

"And it’s better to vote for a good Protestant than for a bad Catholic," said Muller. "We must judge according to what they are doing and not only [according] to their words. That is biblical criteria. Look to the fruits.”

Solid logic - looks like a landslide for President Trump.

Got a good point - crosses

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We can all be gods

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Great philosophical musing from Eaton Rapids Joe this morning - short so here it is in full:

Marxist Jesus
Marxists will sometimes argue that Jesus was against private property. After all, the flipped the money-changer's tables in the Temple yard.

The most famous Christian prayer is the Our Father, also known as The Lord's Prayer.

His disciples asked him, "Teach us how to pray."

One line in the Our Father reads "..and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us..."

A literal reading of that translation is that we sin when we trespass or "infringe upon another's property". In fact, the prayer suggests that is the ONLY way we sin.

My body is my "property".

My reputation is my "property".

My land, my tools, my food are all my "property".

If you infringe on them then you harmed me and committed a sin.

The next line seems to anticipate Marxists. It reads "...and lead us not into temptation..." or in some translations "...and save us from temptation..."

Envy is the engine that drives Marxism. To engage in envy is to wallow in temptation. Marxists marinate their followers in envy.

The next line is "...but deliver us from evil..." The juxtaposition implies the two items "temptation" and "evil" are connected.

Earlier I wrote that the Bible seems to anticipate Marxism. Rather, it recognizes unchanging, human frailties. In the Garden of Eden, Satan promised Eve what God have if she ate from the Tree of Knowledge. He relentlessly stoked her envy and she weakened and then sinned.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Marxism is just the latest incarnation of Satan's empty promises that we can all be gods.

I am reminded of that wonderful scene between Loki and Bruce Banner - Puny god indeed.

A fantastic endorsement - Catholic Church

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They usually stay away from politics but not this time around - from CNS News:

Catholic Bishop Agrees: Repent From Supporting Democrat Party or 'Face the Fires of Hell'
Catholic Bishop Joseph Strickland, who heads the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, endorsed a video message by Rev. James Altman, who said that Catholics cannot be Democrats and that such "pretenders" must "repent" of their support for the party and its platform or they will "face the fires of Hell."

"As the Bishop of Tyler I endorse Fr Altman’s statement in this video," said Bishop Strickland in a Sept. 5 tweet. "My shame is that it has taken me so long. Thank you Fr Altman for your COURAGE. If you love Jesus & His Church & this nation...pleases HEED THIS MESSAGE."

And his reasoning:

In the 10-minute message posted on YouTube, Fr. Altman, pastor of St. James the Less Catholic Church in LaCrosse, Wisc., explains that the church is not a political power but is a "moral power," in the words of emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. And because "politics fundamentally should be a moral enterprise," the church "has something to say about politics."

Therefore, when politics and politicians act in immoral ways, we have a duty to speak up about it, says Fr. Altman.

"Here's a memo to clueless, baptized Catholics out there: You cannot be Catholic and a Democrat," says Fr. Altman. "Their party platform is absolutely against everything the Catholic Church teaches."

So true. I love that they are not afraid to call a spade a spade. Now, if only the other faiths would show similar backbone.

From Billlls Idle Mind:

And President Trump Lifted Up His Eyes And Prayed:
Oh Lord, I Thank Thee That Thou Hast Made Mine Enemies the Sorriest Collection
of Incompetent Boobs and Ass-Clowns That Could Ever Be Imagined.
Thou Couldst Not Possibly Make Them More Weak, Foolish, and Corrupt.

And The Lord God Saith Unto President Trump, Holdest Thou My Beer

Just say Non.  Wonderful news - from Breitbart:

No Glass Spire or Swimming Pool: Notre Dame Cathedral to be Rebuilt Properly Without Modernist Vandalism
Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, which was nearly totally lost to fire in April 2019, will be rebuilt as it was, the French government says, defying the calls of modernist architects to seize the opportunity to give the medieval masterpiece a glass and steel overhaul.

The French government has condoned a 3,000-page report by the National Commission for Heritage and Architecture calling for a full and faithful rebuild of Notre Dame cathedral, in a move which French newspaper Le Monde notes will annoy “the concrete lobby and iron lovers”.

Within days of the enormous fire that engulfed the landmark Paris building, architects were vying to release audacious design concepts for a potential modernist redesign of the cathedral, given its roof and interior had been totally stripped out by the blaze. The possibility that this insult could be added to the injury of the fire was made greater when French president Emmanuel Macron — himself given to grandiose and even absurd ideas — said he wanted the cathedral to have an “inventive reconstruction” with a “contemporary architectural gesture”.

The level of craftsmanship from 1,000 years ago needs to be honored and preserved. This is a monument for the ages, not a token of passing fancy. 

Christus vincit

With Lee Greenwood - a wonderful rendition of a Lee's great song:

True words - hymns

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The great hymns of the church are on the way out. They are not gone entirely, but they are going and in their place have come trite jingles that have more in common with contemporary advertising ditties than the psalms. The problem here is not so much the style of the music, though trite words fit best with trite tunes and harmonies. Rather it is with the content of the songs. The old hymns expressed the theology of the Bible in profound and perceptive ways and with winsome memorable language. Today’s songs are focused on ourselves. They reflect our shallow or nonexistent theology and do almost nothing to elevate our thoughts about God. Worst of all are songs that merely repeat a trite idea, word, or phrase over and over again. Songs like this are not worship, though they may give the church-goer a religious feeling. They are mantras, which belong more in a gathering of New Agers than among the worshiping people of God.
— James Montgomery Boice

So true - the Church is being dumbed down and stripped of its backbone. The people doing this do not see the increasingly empty pews as the consequence of their meddling.

Here is one that never fails to inspire me:

Once to ev'ry man and nation
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth and falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision,
Off'ring each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever
'Twixt that darkness and that light.

The final verse is chilling in light of recent events:

Tho' the cause of evil prosper,
Yet the truth alone is strong;
Tho' her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong:
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow,
Keeping watch above His own.

God is not always visible in the light. Sometimes, God stands in the shadow but is still keeping watch.

Let them try to arrest everyone

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Looks like civil disobedience is a thing. From Faithwire:

‘Not Asking for Permission’: Hundreds of California Churches Plan to Open May 31
Nearly 500 California pastors are preparing to open their doors on Sunday, May 31st — whether or not they have guidance from the state. 

“The churches are not asking for permission,” said Bob Tyler, a religious freedom attorney advising the pastors. “The governor is sitting here as a dictator, trumping the Constitution and is kind of hanging on to this state of emergency for as long as he can hold it.”

Good - let these tyrant wanna-be's understand that they may control the police but they do not control We The People. The Constitution spells out our liberties in very plain English.

Some great news at the end. From Louisville, Kentucky station WDRB:

Kentucky State Police record churchgoers' license plates at Hillview in-person Easter service
Troopers with Kentucky State Police arrived at Maryville Baptist Church on Easter Sunday morning to record license plate information of churchgoers who attended a mass gathering during the coronarivus pandemic. 

Dozens of families attended Easter service at the Bullitt County church despite an executive order from Gov. Andy Beshear that prohibits mass gatherings in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Beshear said Friday that anyone who participates in mass gatherings of any type during Easter weekend will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks

The troopers also placed notices under cars' windshield wipers that say, "This vehicle's presence at this location indicates that its occupants are present at a mass gathering prohibited by Orders of the Governor and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. As a result, this vehicle's occupants, and anyone they come into contact with, are at risk of contracting COVID-19, a respiratory illness that can be severe and lead to death, particularly for older adults and those with underlying heart, lung, kidney and immunity issues."

Freedom of assembly? Whatever happened to this line?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It is the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the cornerstone to our own Bill of Rights.

Great News: From PJ Media

DOJ: 'Expect Action' to Protect Churches From Tyrannical Local 'Social Distancing' Orders
On Saturday, Department of Justice (DOJ) spokeswoman Kerri Kupec announced that Attorney General William Barr would take action to protect churches from tyrannical local government orders that destroy their religious freedom.

"During this sacred week for many Americans, AG Barr is monitoring govt regulation of religious services," Kupec tweeted. "While social distancing policies are appropriate during this emergency, they must be applied evenhandedly & not single out religious orgs. Expect action from DOJ next week!"

The position of Governor is an elected one. Same for Police Chief.

Door. Ass. Bang.

In Christ Alone

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Just wow - 48 singers from 14 nations:

After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.
Rev 7:9 KJV

Home page here

Looks like the dogma of Papal infallibility is null and void. Time for a new Pope. From Breitbart:

Pope Francis Says Pandemic Is ‘Nature’s Response’ to Human Inaction over Climate Change
Pope Francis said he believes the Chinese coronavirus pandemic is “certainly nature’s response” to humanity’s failure to address the “partial catastrophes” wrought by human-induced climate change.

Asked by British journalist Austen Ivereigh whether the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity for an “ecological conversion,” the pontiff reasserted his belief that humanity has provoked nature by not responding adequately to the climate crisis.

“There is an expression in Spanish: ‘God always forgives, we forgive sometimes, but nature never forgives,’” Francis said in the interview published Wednesday. “We did not respond to the partial catastrophes. Who now speaks of the fires in Australia, or remembers that a year and a half ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted? Who speaks now of the floods?”

“I don’t know if it is nature’s revenge, but it is certainly nature’s response,” he added.

The Pope does not know whereof he speaks. He does not know that history has far greater fires in Australia (and that last year's fires were caused by stupid forest management practices). The North Pole has been recorded as ice free many times - this is a factor of winds and currents, not temperature.

I was raised in the Episcopal Church back when they had a moral compass and backbone. Now, they are just a pale shade and the churches are emptying. I was looking at Catholicism and decided against it just because of crap like this. A central authority who does not stay informed really grinds my gears. A willful lack of responsibility to ones constituents.

Hard to get motivated

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Thinking about getting back to work but sitting here looking out the window at the ocean and the Olympic Mountains in the distance peeking through the diaphanous clouds.

This two hour+ YouTube (audio only) has been my soundtrack for today. Music like this is why the word "Sublime" was coined:

Uplifting - Sunday Service

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Yesterday, I wrote about some tranny who got their whatever out of joint because the theater in Paris where xe was supposed to be performing cancelled their show in favor of bringing in Kanye West for one of his Sunday Services. Oh yeah, there were only 98 seats sold for the tranny's performance.

Here is a video of one of the hymns - crank the sound up, it is joyous and wonderful:

Looks like a pretty full house too - a lot more than 98 seats filled. Nice to see people coming around to conservative values.

Great quote from Albert Einstein

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The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery -- even if mixed with fear -- that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds: it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity. In this sense, and only this sense, I am a deeply religious man... I am satisfied with the mystery of life's eternity and with a knowledge, a sense, of the marvelous structure of existence -- as well as the humble attempt to understand even a tiny portion of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.

This is from a longer essay printed here: The World As I See It

Was looking for some Gregorian Chant last night and found a good three hour YouTube. It is not for critical listening as it has been edited, background music has been added and sections of the chant repeat every five to seven minutes. That being said, it was very well done and absolutely perfect as a background to reading or meditation.

The video was published by the Meditative Mind and they have a bunch of them (stopped counting at 100). Well worth checking out if you are looking for a soundtrack to a quiet and purposeful life. They have some videos that are as long as nine to eleven hours - to be played as you sleep.

What a clueless twit

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There is a very good reason he was Archbishop of Canterbury for only ten years (2002-2012). From Breitbart:

Former Canterbury Archbishop Warns of ‘Sinister’ Theories Behind Climate Change Denial
The former archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, said Thursday that climate change is humanity’s “largest challenge ever” while warning that some climate change skeptics are driven by “sinister” conspiracy theories.

Some people are reluctant to acknowledge the climate emergency because it would require them to change their behavior, Williams told Grayson Perry in an interview on BBC Radio.

“For some people, it is just too uncomfortable to face,” Williams said. “This will require me to stop doing a lot of things I like doing. It will require our society, our civilization to think again about the levels it expects of comfort and security.”

I had posted a bunch of his earlier proclamations. The guy simply is not that bright:

I could go on but you get the general idea...

To reiterate, the climate is fine. We are entering a period of lower than usual solar output so the next 30-300 years are going to be colder than normal. To think that we are having a major effect on the world's climate is pure fscking hubris.

Christmas Eve, 1968

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The people at The Freedom From Religion Foundation are a bunch of withered up old scolds. Probably haven't had a good time since they were six and still believed in Santa and the Tooth Fairy. From Breitbart:

Atheist Group Calls Kanye West Prison Worship Service ‘Egregious’ Violation of Constitution
An atheist group has gone on the attack against rapper Kanye West for performing his Sunday Service at a Texas prison claiming that the event was an “egregious” violation of the U.S. Constitution.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) blasted Texas Sheriff Ed Gonzalez for allowing the “Jesus Walks” rapper to appear at the Harris County Jail in Houston, Texas, on November 17 in a four-page letter.

Kanye West performed his weekly Sunday Service before more than 500 inmates, both male and female, in two different services at the county jail facilities. The performance was given high praise by Texas Governor Greg Abbott who tweeted out his compliments saying, “If he moves just one person closer to God the world will be a more peaceful place.”

It could possibly be a violation of some law if the inmates were compelled to attend but it looks like attendance was voluntary. As the Texas governor said: “If he moves just one person closer to God the world will be a more peaceful place.”

Now this will be interesting

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From Yahoo/Agence France-Presse:

Kanye West announces his first-ever opera, 'Nebuchadnezzar'
The announcement arrived a few hours after West paid a visit to renowned televangelist Joel Osteen at his Houston megachurch to discuss his recent commitment to Christianity.

"I know that God's been calling me for a long time and the devil's been distracting me for a long time. Jesus has won the victory. I told you about my arrogance and cockiness already. Now the greatest artist that God has ever created is now working for him," West declared.

Like much of his latest "Jesus is King" album, the rapper is drawing inspiration from the Bible for his first-ever opera, which will premiere on November 24 at Los Angeles's Hollywood Bowl.

The name "Nebuchadnezzar" refers to a king of Babylon who was famously driven insane for seven years in the book of Daniel, as he refused to acknowledge that his power, wealth and influence were from God and not of his own making.

Great story for the libretto. Should be really interesting. One of my favorite operas is Phillip Glass' Akhenaten. (more on Akhenaten here

From The Washington Times:

Joe Biden denied Communion over abortion views
A Catholic priest says he denied Holy Communion to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden at his parish in South Carolina on Sunday because of the Democratic presidential contender’s support for abortion.

The Rev. Robert E. Morey told the Florence Morning News on Monday that he had refused one of the Catholic Church’s sacraments to Mr. Biden.

“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden,” Father Morey, pastor at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, told the Morning News via email. “Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.”

I love it. A Priest with a moral backbone. This loss of fortitude is what caused me to go away from the Episcopal Church over the last 30 years or so (rather, I did not change, they did.) I would love to get back to the traditional Anglican service but do not see any parish around here.

Good - common sense prevails

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From Breitbart:

Christian Student Group Wins Lawsuit with University of Colorado
The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) has settled a lawsuit with a Christian student group which forces the university to recognize the group as an official student organization.

Breitbart News reported in February that a Christian student group at UCCS had filed a lawsuit against their university over its refusal to recognize them as an official student organization. This week, UCCS settled with the Ratio Christi student group.

The original legal complaint against the university claimed that administrators told students that they could not require their group leader to be a Christian. “It has refused to do so specifically because this religious organization seeks to ensure that its leaders share its beliefs and that its members support its mission, even though other student organizations do the same,” the complaint read.

A bit more:

Alliance for Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Travis Barham said that he is pleased with the outcome of the settlement. Barham claims that the settlement included an admission by the university that they failed to uphold the students’ right to free association.

“It would be absurd for the university to require the vegan student group to appoint a meat-lover as its president,” Barham said. “Thankfully, the university has acknowledged its error and announced a policy that respects students’ rights to free association, no longer forcing Christian students to let atheists or other non-Christians to lead their Bible studies in order to become a registered club.”

Great example of what was illogical thinking. The University admin. was disconnected from reality. Glad to see that Ratio Christi pushed back and defended themselves against this decision.

Music for this day

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One of my favorite George Frederick Handel pieces -  "I know that my Redeemer liveth" from the Messiah:

Tip of the hat to Peter Grant for the link.

And in the depth of tragedy - hope

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This picture sums it up:

20190415-ndcross.jpg

From the New York Post:

Photos show center of Notre Dame cathedral miraculously intact
Photos from inside Notre Dame show the central part of the historic Gothic cathedral still intact.

Rows of wooden pews and much of the nave appears to have been saved, according to the images.

The damage is still horrific but it is not total. I do not have much hope for the organ as that was in the back of the Cathedral where the majority of the fire was. They will have to go over the structure with a fine-toothed comb to make sure that the masonry was not weakened by the heat of the fire or the steam from the fire fighting but they will rebuild.

Bet the new organ will be a monster (or Montre - pipe organ pun) - can't wait!

Eaton Rapids Joe is a daily read for me - he writes about interesting things and does engaging fiction.
From today - quoted in full because it is short and defies excerption.

Do not take the Lord's Name in vain
I have been chewing on the third commandment for a few days.

It seems out-of-place in the Big Ten. Don't have false gods; check. Keep Lord's day holy; check. But why would not using the Lord's name in vain rate with those two?

One part of the puzzle is that we don't know God's name. When we say "God" we are using a title, not a name. When asked, he gives us a riddle, "I AM who AM."

Even if we KNEW God's name would our vocal cords be able to say (whales, for instance use frequencies we cannot attain) it or would we live long enough to fully utter it. Surely an infinite God is unlikely to have a simple name like "Sam", although I could be wrong.

Nope, I was missing something.

The something I was missing was my mindless substitution of the word "use" for the word "take".

What if the word "take" was in the sense of a bride taking the groom's name? What if "name" is code for becoming part of a family with expectations of a deep reciprocity of duties, responsibilities and privileges?

"Vain" becomes like the use of "Vanity" in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3. Vain means to act for naught, much like the sowing of grain that falls on thin soil or among weeds.

Seen through that lens, "Do not take the Lord's Name in vain" morphs from a prohibition on letting OMG or GD fall out of our mouths to something that matches the magnitude of the first two commandments.

"Do not take the Lord's Name in vain" might be a prohibition against casually discarding the wisdom God has seen fit to give us via the Bible. It might mean to not identify as a member of the Judeo-Christian family if we have little intention to honor the reciprocal relationship and care for our other family members.

Anyway, that is what I have been chewing on the last few days.

Wise words.

Faith in question

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I was brought up in the Episcopal Church and have seen it turn away from me over the years. I am religious but not church-going as the church has lost its moral compass and its backbone. This article is the true face of the Church of England these days - from the Gateway Pundit:

London Police Arrest Black Christian and Take His Bible for Preaching “Jesus Is On the Way”; Accuse Him of Racism and Islamophobia
Video from London shows a black street preacher being arrested for breach of the peace for telling passersby that “Jesus is on the way.” The video was posted to Twitter Saturday by the London based Eye on Antisemitism which said they filmed the arrest Saturday afternoon outside Southgate station. The group noted police told him he was accused of Islamophobia, which is not seen on the video, and accused him of being racist, which is on the video.

The preacher, a black man who is reportedly Nigerian, is seen being confronted by police who order him to leave. The man, who is holding a Bible, tells the two officers he will not leave as people must know that “Jesus is on the way.” One of the officers tells the man, “nobody wants to listen to that, they want you to go away.” The preacher tells the officer, “You will listen when you’re dead.”

The officer moves to handcuff the man while the other officer rips the Bible from the preacher’s hand. When the preacher pleads, “Do not take my Bible,” the officer tells him, “You should have thought of that before being racist.”

But - there is hope yet. These words from Dr. Jerry P. Kulah, Dean of Gbarnga School of Theology, United Methodist University in Liberia - he is speaking at the Reform and Renewal Coalition Breakfast at the United Methodist Church Special General Conference Session in St. Louis, Missouri, Saturday, 23 February 2019:

Brothers and sister of The United Methodist Church from all around the world, I humbly greet you in the strong name of Jesus Christ!

We thank God for all who have participated in observing a sacred season of fasting and prayer as we have prepared for this special General Conference session. And we praise God there are thousands upon thousands still on bended knees interceding on our behalf as we make a defining decision regarding the future of The United Methodist Church.

As Dr. Kulah warms to his subject:

As I understand it, the plans before us seek to find a lasting solution to the long debate over our church’s sexual ethics, its teachings on marriage, and it ordination standards.

This debate and the numerous acts of defiance have brought the United Methodist Church to a crossroads (Jeremiah 6:16).

One plans invites the people called United Methodists to take a road in opposition to the Bible and two thousand years of Christian teachings. Going down that road would divide the church. Those advocating for the One Church Plan would have us take that road.

Another road invites us to reaffirm Christian teachings rooted in Scripture and the church’s rich traditions.

Jeremiah is a great reference for this choice (King James Version):

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

In fact, all of Jeremiah 6 and 7 (here and here)... About reaffirming Christian teachings rooted in Scripture:

Friends, please hear me, we Africans are not afraid of our sisters and brothers who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, questioning, or queer. We love them and we hope the best for them. But we know of no compelling arguments for forsaking our church’s understanding of Scripture and the teachings of the church universal.

And then please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.”

Let me assure you, we Africans, whether we have liked it or not, have had to engage in this debate for many years now. We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal, church elite, in the U.S.

We stand with our Filipino friends! We stand with our sisters and brothers in Europe and Russia! And yes, we stand with our allies in America.

We stand with farmers in Zambia, tech workers in Nairobi, Sunday School teachers in Nigeria, biblical scholars in Liberia, pastors in the Congo, United Methodist Women in Cote d’Ivoire, and thousands of other United Methodists all across Africa who have heard no compelling reasons for changing our sexual ethics, our teachings on marriage, and our ordination standards!

We are grounded in God’s word and the gracious and clear teachings of our church. On that we will not yield! We will not take a road that leads us from the truth! We will take the road that leads to the making of disciples of Jesus Christ for transformation of the world!

I hope and pray, for your sake, that you will walk down that road with us. We would warmly welcome you as our traveling companions, but if you choose another road, we Africans cannot go with you.

Just wow - talk about speaking truth to power. There are some of Dr. Kulah's writings on the internet - going to spend some time reading.

From FOX News:

Boy, 13, regains consciousness after parents sign papers to donate his organs
A 13-year-old boy who was said to be suffering severe brain injury defied odds when he regained consciousness after his parents had signed papers to donate his organs.

Trenton McKinley, of Mobile, Ala., was hospitalized two months ago after a small utility trailer he was in flipped over.

“I hit the concrete and the trailer landed on top of my head. After that, I don't remember anything," Trenton told Fox 10.

Not out of the woods yet:

Trenton still has a long road to recovery and suffers nerve pain and daily seizures. He has had three brain surgeries and will have another procedure to reconnect the missing piece of his skull.

And on an interesting side note:

Trenton said he believes he went to heaven before he came back to life.

"I was in an open field walking straight,” Trenton recalled. "There's no other explanation but God. There's no other way. Even doctors said it."

Glad he is back in the land of the living.

Goings on in the Vatican

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Yesterday, it was Pope Francis getting the Correctio filialis (something that had not been delivered to a Pope for over 680 years)
Now it is this article at Yahoo/Reuters:

Auditor says he was forced to quit Vatican after finding irregularities
The Vatican's first auditor-general, who resigned without explanation in June, has broken his silence, saying he was forced to step down with trumped-up accusations after discovering evidence of possible illegal activity.

Speaking to reporters from four media organizations including Reuters in the office of his lawyers in Rome, Libero Milone also said he believed that some in the Vatican wanted to slow down Pope Francis's efforts at financial reform.

He said he could not give details of the irregularities he had found because of non-disclosure agreements. Reuters was unable to independently verify his assertions, which the Vatican strongly contested.

Curious... Smoke = fire?

Now this is an interesting push-back

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The pendulum is swinging back towards their roots - from the National Catholic Register:

Clergy and Lay Scholars Issue Filial Correction of Pope Francis
A group of clergy and lay scholars from around the world have taken the very rare step of presenting Pope Francis with a formal filial correction, accusing him of propagating heresies concerning marriage, the moral life, and reception of the sacraments.

Entitled Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis, meaning ‘A Filial Correction Concerning the Propagation of Heresies,’ the 25 page letter was delivered to the Holy Father at his Santa Marta residence on Aug. 11.

The Pope has so far not responded to the initiative, whose 62 signatories include the German intellectual Martin Mosebach, former president of the Vatican Bank, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, and the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, Bishop Bernard Fellay (he learned of the document only after it had been delivered to the Pope and signed it on behalf of the Society).

The letter begins by saying that with “profound grief but moved by fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ, by love for the Church and for the papacy, and by filial devotion toward yourself” the signatories feel “compelled” to take this action “on account of the propagation of heresies.”

They cite in particular Francis’ apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia, and “other words, deeds and omissions.”

They accuse the Pope of upholding seven heretical positions about “marriage, the moral life, and the reception of the sacraments” which, they say, has “caused these heretical opinions to spread in the Catholic Church.”

What makes this especially interesting is that the last time this was done was to Pope John XXII...
When? 1333 - over 680 years ago.

Fun times at the Vatican

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Sounds like Pope Francis has some house-cleaning to do - from England's The Sun:

ROMAN ORGY Vatican police ‘broke up gay orgy in leading cardinal’s apartment owned by the church’s sexual abuse taskforce’
THE Vatican police reportedly broke up a gay orgy in an apartment belonging to the department charged with tackling sexual abuse within the church.

The occupant of the flat – in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – is said to be a secretary of Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio – a key adviser to the Pope.

The cardinal is reported to have recommended his aide at one stage for promotion to the rank of bishop.

However, those career plans are likely to be disrupted by news of the orgy and by a period spent recovering from a drug overdose in a Rome hospital and another in an Italian monastery.

The shocking allegations – in Il Fatto Quotidiano – come just a week after Australian Cardinal George Pell was charged with a string of historic sexual offences in his homeland piling pressure on the Pope.

This is the antithesis of spreading God's love. Sounds like some people have been enjoying a very self-indulgent lifestyle and needs to have a Come To Jesus moment. Priests do take a vow of poverty and celebacy - let's enforce this.

Horrible death and destruction. I hope that the perps find themselves in the same spot as the 9/11 hijackers - from The Onion:

Hijackers Surprised To Find Selves In Hell
JAHANNEM, OUTER DARKNESS—The hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon expressed confusion and surprise Monday to find themselves in the lowest plane of Na'ar, Islam's Hell.

"I was promised I would spend eternity in Paradise, being fed honeyed cakes by 67 virgins in a tree-lined garden, if only I would fly the airplane into one of the Twin Towers," said Mohammed Atta, one of the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11, between attempts to vomit up the wasps, hornets, and live coals infesting his stomach. "But instead, I am fed the boiling feces of traitors by malicious, laughing Ifrit. Is this to be my reward for destroying the enemies of my faith?"

The rest of Atta's words turned to raw-throated shrieks, as a tusked, asp-tongued demon burst his eyeballs and drank the fluid that ran down his face.

According to Hell sources, the 19 eternally damned terrorists have struggled to understand why they have been subjected to soul-withering, infernal torture ever since their Sept. 11 arrival.

"There was a tumultuous conflagration of burning steel and fuel at our gates, and from it stepped forth these hijackers, the blessed name of the Lord already turning to molten brass on their accursed lips," said Iblis The Thrice-Damned, the cacodemon charged with conscripting new arrivals into the ranks of the forgotten. "Indeed, I do not know what they were expecting, but they certainly didn't seem prepared to be skewered from eye socket to bunghole and then placed on a spit so that their flesh could be roasted by the searing gale of flatus which issues forth from the haunches of Asmoday."

As they say, this is just getting started. Fun too - read a bit about Islam (got to know what you are talking about) and this is the pantheon of their Hell and they are welcome to it in all of its effulgent glory.

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