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Halloween Has Deep Roots in Catholicism

I didn't know any of this. Not that that's a big deal because there's lots I don't know. But this is pretty interesting stuff from Word on Fire.

On this All Hallows Eve's Eve (that's right), we're putting our Fun-Size Snickers down long enough to learn something pretty profound about Halloween — that it has deep roots in Catholicism. We fired some questions at the walking encyclopedia that is Father Steve Grunow, and this is what he fired back: Everything you ever wanted to know about Catholicism and Halloween, and more. I always figured that Halloween had pagan roots, but you are telling me they are Catholic. Huh? How so?
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New Non-Discrimination Laws Would Discriminate Against Christians

Ryan Anderson writes:

The Senate is expected to move forward soon on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA (S. 815). Since ENDA is terrible public policy, conservatives and libertarians are right to raise principled objections. Part of the genius of the American system of government is our commitment to protecting the liberty and First Amendment freedoms of all citizens while respecting their equality before the law. But ENDA would create special privileges based on sexual orientation and gender identity, backed up by coercive enforcement.
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Padre Pio's Ghost Story

Happy Catholic has it:

Speaking of ghosts, since Halloween is almost upon us ...
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Fr. Barron: Atheists Just Don't Get God

Brilliant as always:

The most signal contribution of David Bentley Hart's The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, and Bliss is to clarify that serious theists and atheists, though they debate frequently concerning the reality of God, are hardly ever using the word "God" in the same way. This fundamental equivocation contributes massively to the pointlessness and meanness of most of these discussions. It is not so much that Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins disagree with Thomas Aquinas on the existence of God; it is that neither Hitchens nor Dawkins has any real grasp of what Aquinas even means when he speaks of God.
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Hipster Comedian: I Was a Pro-Abortion Atheist Until My Children Were Born

Guy's got a mouth on him but pretty amazing pov change:

I see a lot of women without kids, in their 40s, who are miserable and I see a lot of women after they have children saying, “what the f*** was I doing? Why was I doing fashion PR? I was doing seating plans for a fashion show telling what people sit in what chair. Now I’m shaping human life.”… I see the housewife as a far superior vocation to mine, and to most….
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Priest in China Has Mas Blocked

Terry Jeffrey writes:

“I had to say Mass in my room,” says Father Ray Leonard, recalling the years he served in the Tibetan region of the People’s Republic of China. In that country, where the Communist government has created a state-sanctioned facsimile of the Catholic Church and driven faithful Catholics underground, Father Leonard saw firsthand how totalitarians approach religion.
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Woman Deals with Kids at Restaurant, Receives Note from Stranger. Blown Away.

Random act of kindness.

Being in the midst of a divorce with two younger children — both with behavioral challenges — having had to move several times and experiencing other difficulties, it’s safe to say this North Carolina mother is a bit worn out. Yet she still manages to take her 4- and 6-year-old out to a restaurant each Friday. Last week, the unidentified mother wrote to WTVD-TV about a touching event that happened when her family was at a Pizza Hut in Durham.
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WaPo: Christians Scarier than Halloween

And of course, it was written by a theology professor. Who else?

Want to really scare someone this Halloween? Dress up like a Christian and go trick or treating at the offices of The Washington Post. After all, the Post’s “On Faith” blog contributor Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, a professor of theology and fellow at the far-left Center for American Progress, warned readers that much of Christian orthodoxy was more frightening than witches, ghosts and goblins. “If you do want to be frightened this week, here are some Christian theological themes that actually are scary,” she wrote in “Five Christian theologies scarier than Halloween.” It’s an interesting read – tackling topics from gays to evolution and leaving the reader to wonder if her divinity degree came free with the purchase of a new age whale songs CD.
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9 Reasons Not to Marry A Pro-Choicer

Interesting. I've always said that I couldn't. Just couldn't marry someone who's pro-abortion rights. While I'm sure there's anecdotal evidence that it can be done, it's probably not a good idea.

In a recent blog post, Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wash., detailed nine reasons why he believes pro-life Christians should refrain from marrying pro-choicers. In particular, the preacher said that those who support abortion rights “do not value children the same way” as those who oppose them. Considering how flammable the abortion issue is, his strongly-worded list is sure to ruffle some feathers. Pastor Mark Driscoll Pens Controversial Warning to Young Followers: 9 Reasons to Not Marry Someone Whos Pro Choice Photo Credit: AP The short article begins with Driscoll sharing his own personal faith journey. In high school, he recalls being intensely “pro-abortion.”
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Fairfield Runs "The Pelvis and the Pulpit" Seminar. Seriously.

Catholic?

At a recent panel discussion for students entitled “The Pelvis and the Pulpit”—which included faculty from the Jesuit-run Fairfield University faculty—claimed to answer the question, “Is the Church wrong about sex?” Unfortunately, their answer seemed to be yes, according to reports from The Fairfield Mirror.
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Sen. Paul Warns About The Return of Eugenics

It actually never left.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul on Monday warned a crowd at a religious college in Virginia that advances in biology could lead to a society that weeds out people deemed to have undesirable traits. Campaigning at Liberty University in Lynchburg, with Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, Paul said those who are considered less intelligent or overweight, for example, could be eliminated from the gene pool, according to an Associated Press report. “In your lifetime, much of your potential — or lack thereof — can be known simply by swabbing the inside of your cheek,” the senator said. “Are we prepared to select out the imperfect among us?”
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Catholic Diocese of Saginaw bishop, parishioners to pray outside abortion clinic

Leadership.

As part of a nationwide campaign, the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw is planning a prayer session outside of a Saginaw Township abortion clinic. Saginaw Bishop Joseph Cistone is slated to take part in the prayer session at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, outside of the Women's Health Center, off Bay on Cabaret Trail.
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The Colonialism of Sexual Radicalism

America targets smaller, weaker countries to advance a radical agenda.

Speaking before the United Nations earlier this month—bragging about American leadership in a global movement to normalize homosexuality, same-sex marriage, artificial reproductive technology, and cross-dressing—John Kerry revealed the deep pockets and loaded guns that the world’s only superpower can count on to bring such ideas to nations that have religious or cultural objections:
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The Apocalyptic Nature of Environmentalism Fills Vacuum for Non-Believers

Crisis Magazine reports:

Every few years a Christian preacher predicts imminent Armageddon, gains some followers and is thrust into the national headlines. Most recently, Harold Camping, the iterant Oakland preacher, announced the world would end on May 22, 2011. Camping prophesized this will be accompanied by massive earthquakes, chaos, death and destruction, just as described in the Book of Revelation. A new heaven and new earth will appear, with the righteous joining God and non-believers perishing. USA Today wrote incredulously, “some people really panicked.” Camping’s ideas were not particularly popular in Catholic and other Christian circles (Mathew 24:36 states that no one can know the precise time Jesus will return, except for God) but they were ridiculed in the media as being representative as mainstream Christian thinking.
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There is a Satanic Conspiracy About Having Children

Taylor Marshall asks if you see babies as gifts.

There is a Satanic conspiracy about having children. We have seven beautiful children and we are “pitied” by people all the time. We were out to dinner last week and an older later came over and told my wife Joy (surrounded by seven children) and told her how bad she felt for her. What? It’s a good thing my wife’s a saint and didn’t clobber the lady. Let’s get back to the Bible. ““Lo, sons are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
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Air Force Considers Dropping Phrase “So Help Me God”

Crazy.
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Jesuit U President Vows Not to be "Shackled" by the "Pall of Orthodoxy"

Yeah, LMU's president seriously said that.

Just weeks after attempting to remove abortion coverage from the university’s health insurance plan, Loyola Marymount University president David Burcham vowed during his recent presidential convocation address that the “pall of orthodoxy” would not “shackle” the Los Angeles-based Jesuit university.
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Is There a Schism in Our Future?

Fr. Ray Blake wonders about how the papacy of Pope Francis will effect the future of the Church:

From the outside the Catholic Church used to look like fortress: one faith, one baptism, one Lord; and in the West one liturgy in one language. Today there is perhaps a more diverse view from the outside, still perhaps there is a sense that the Church is monolithic and yet those outside perhaps have friends who were once Catholic and now distance themselves from the Church, its worship and its doctrines. From inside the Church there actually seems to be little that holds us together, Marie Meaney has an article in the Herald asking, Is Schism Inevitable in Germany? in which she speaks of the archdiocese of Freiburg's document proposing communion for the divorced and remarried. In the Holy See's ill fated negotiations with the SSPX the "S" word was very carefully avoided, the same could be said about those German speaking groups Marie mentions. Heresy, the Church can cope with but schism is another altogether graver matter. Ordaining bishops not only without the mandate of the Holy See, has historically sometimes been necessary, even Pope Benedict seems to have been understanding of their position but it was in direct opposition to the expressed will of the Supreme Pontiff and therefore the most significant act of disunity, nevertheless in the 'spirit of Vatican II' it was not described as 'schismatic' but 'tending towards schism'.
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Deal Hudson: Don't Call Me a "Conservative Catholic" Anymore

Definitely worth a read. Deal Hudson writes:

Labels in politics and religion serve a purpose: There are discernible groups and coalitions within and between the worlds of the Church and government. Words used as labels serve the purpose of enabling us to distinguish between one group and the other. But I don't want to be called a "Conservative Catholic" anymore. In the last few months, I've read two headlines beginning with the phrase "Conservative Catholic" which contained comments that have effectively made the label, if not meaningless, represent a group of Catholics who are now spreading the virus of an identity crisis.
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Sedevacantist nuns in Amtrak ad

Cause most nuns don't look like nuns any more.

See the poster here>>>

Fecundophobia: The Growing Fear Of Children And Fertile Women

Mollie Hemingway writes:

Last week Deadspin ran six sentences and a picture under the headline “Philip Rivers Is An Intense Weirdo.” The final two sentences about the San Diego Charger quarterback were blunt: And he’s also about to have his seventh kid. There are going to be eight people with Rivers DNA running around this world. Ah yes. How “intensely weird” it is for an NFL player to be having his seventh kid. Except that it isn’t weird at all for an NFL player to have his seventh kid. It’s only weird for an NFL player to have seven kids with his one wife.
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Vatican: Hey, You Know the Church Teaching on Divorce, Yeah, That's Not Changing.

The American Catholic reports:

Among Catholics who hope (or fear) that Pope Francis’s new style indicates that Church doctrine and practice are up for grabs, the announcement of a synod to be held next year to discuss marriage and the family, and particularly the pastoral care of divorced and remarried Catholics, caused some stir. However, a document put out by the head of the CDF makes is clear that the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage (and the inability of those living with someone they are not sacramentally married to to receive communion) will not be changed and indeed cannot be changed. If clarity is what you like in Church documents, Abp. Muller brings it in spades:
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Fr. Rutler: Protection of Life is Heart of Philanthropy

A great piece from Fr. George Rutler:

There was a time — and perhaps with improvements in our schools that time will come again — when schoolboys memorized, among other famous classical lines, the expression: “Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.” It was the exasperated call, in the second-century B.C. Senate of the Roman Republic, for the conquest of Carthage in what is now Tunisia. “Furthermore, I say that Carthage must be destroyed.” The senator Cato the Elder ended each of his speeches that way, so that it became an inside joke, and his fellow senators chanted it along with him as a kind of ritual.
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41% Suicide Rate Among Transgender Community

Gerard Nadal reports:

As the implosion of Western Civilization accelerates, the once unthinkable becomes part of mainstream medicine. In truth a book could be written on the mainstreaming of human perversion, and if such a book were to be written one its darkest chapters would be the transgendering of children with gender dysphoria. From the Daily Mail comes the story of an eleven-year old boy, adopted son of lesbian parents, who began transitioning hormonally to a “female” at age eight. Read the stomach-churning story here.
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Twenty One Years After The Stranger Baby Smiles

Sherry writes another great piece:

Twenty One years ago, I was expecting for the first time and a very proud and polished special educator with no intention whatsoever of a baby slowing me down from what I very seriously considered my vocation of working with kids with special needs. I'd acquired a master's along the way, I achieved good success with my students, allowing 4 of the six of my "graduates" to obtain job sites the following year. It was a particular gold star on my teaching record, as I'd been given all of the "toughies," being the rookie in the school. Yes, I was planning on working as a teacher for 5 years, getting a Ph.D and becoming a principal. All that I needed to do was find the right day care.
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The YouTube Heresies

via BigPulipit.com, Father Barron on the most common heresies.

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HS Football Blowout Has Parent File Bullying Complaint

This just says it all, doesn't it?

A blowout high school football game in Texas prompted a parent to file an official bullying report. The Aledo High Bearcats routed the Western Hills High Cougars (Ft. Worth, Texas) 91-0 last Friday, and a Western Hills High parent has now filed a bullying report with the school district over the lopsided victory. State regulations require Aledo High’s principal to conduct a full investigation, and the school’s administration must then produce a written report addressing the complaint.
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Third Catholic College Reconsiders Abortion Coverage

Catholic Education Daily reports:

In light of recent announcements from Catholic colleges in California concerning their coverage of elective abortion, St. Mary’s College in Moraga,Calif., a liberal arts institution run by the Christian Brothers of St. John Baptist de La Salle, is the latest to announce it too is reassessing its coverage.
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Monks Win Right to Sell Caskets

CNA reports:

After a long legal fight, the U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a lower court ruling that Benedictine monks in Louisiana have the right to sell their handmade wooden caskets to the public. “It’s a great day for us, and we’re very thankful that this five-year battle is over,” Abbot Justin Brown of St. Joseph Abbey told The Advocate, Baton Rouge's daily newspaper. “We’re not in the business of going to court.”
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G'Town Priest: "The official title of Georgetown is ‘Georgetown University,’ not ‘Georgetown Catholic University"

Questions Holy See's authority to rule on Blatty petition:

The Rev. Ladislas Orsy, S.J., a visiting professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, was quoted in The Hoya dismissing the canon law petition brought against the Jesuit university by William Peter Blatty and other alumni by shockingly stating, “the official title of Georgetown is ‘Georgetown University,’ not ‘Georgetown Catholic University.’
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Homeschooled and Sheltered. What a Shame

Zippy Catholic writes a short post but it just hits it so head on that I wanted to share:

A common cultural theme is to blame hedonistic immoral behavior on a sheltered upbringing. The idea is that once the homeschooled or private-schooled child grows up she is inevitably overwhelmed by twerktastic “reality” and goes feral.
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Christie Drops Appeal Opposing Same-Sex Marriage

I'm sure he surrendered with a lot of bluster though.

I’m a little surprised, even though he’s undoubtedly correct that the appeal was doomed. The New Jersey Supreme Court all but legalized gay marriage in its provisional ruling on Friday; a final ruling next year upholding that judgment was a fait accompli. But as we spent the last three weeks discovering, the fact that a fight is obviously unwinnable and possibly self-defeating from the start is no excuse not to undertake it.
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Dead Baby Found in Bag in NY Victoria's Secret

Awful. Just awful

A dead baby found in a teenage girl's shopping bag at a lingerie store was born alive and then asphyxiated, police said Friday, as the macabre discovery turned toward a possible homicide case. Police believe 17-year-old Tiana Rodriguez gave birth to the baby at a friend's house and that the infant was later asphyxiated. The city medical examiner's office said an autopsy was inconclusive, and more tests were needed.
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Virginia Clinic Botches Two Abortions after Suing to Remove New Safety Regulations

The SBA List reports:

In a matter of only three months, an abortion facility in Falls Church, VA, sent two women to the hospital after botched abortions. The facility in question, Falls Church Healthcare, filed a challenge in June to the health and safety standards approved by the General Assembly and Board of Health. Last year’s inspection report of the abortion facility detailed safety violations including: bloody, reused vacutainer holders, blood stained walls and operating tables, and no policy for reporting patient deaths.
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4th Graders to Learn "White Privilege" Thanks to Common Core-Aligned Lesson Plan

I can't believe that so many Catholic schools have adopted Common Core. Watch the video.

We at EAGnews recently purchased a series of teaching guides that an untold number of American schools are using – or will soon begin using – to teach the new Common Core national standards in math and English. The guides were produced by the Zaner-Bloser company. We wanted to examine these teaching materials to get a better idea about the values and ideological perspectives that school children will be influenced by.
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Andrew Klavan: What's Wrong with Joel Osteen?

He means besides the hair:

Novelist Lars Walker — a friend of this blog and an insightful reviewer of some of my own novels — makes a trenchant comment in the Elizabeth Smart post below. I know it’s trenchant because I was about to make basically the same comment but Lars beat me to it! In the comment, he makes a delightfully concise reference to “the Osteenian view that suffering is always a sign of God’s displeasure.” This, of course, refers to popular preacher Joel Osteen, who has been promoting his new book at the Blaze and other places. He basically preaches that God wants wonderful things for your life and you only have to open yourself to God’s will in order to receive those blessings.
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What is the Difference Between a Sermon and a Homily?

Interesting stuff from Villanova University:

What is the difference between a Sunday “homily”and a “sermon”? In general, a homily is a scripturally-based reflection provides “food for thought” about the challenges of living as a Catholic in today’s busy and hectic world. Through the Sunday homily, the members of the community of faith gathered at the Eucharist learn how they might accept Sacred Scripture and Church teaching as central to their daily lives and, then, live a distinctively Christian and Catholic way of life. The Second Vatican Council suggested that it is Christ, not the minister, speaking to his disciples through the Sunday homily.
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Maryland Won't Punish Abortionist after Death of Mother and Child

No surprise here.

A notorious late-term abortionist will not be punished for the death of a 29-year-old mother and her 33-week-old baby following an investigation by the Maryland Board of Physicians. As previously reported, Jennifer McKenna Morbelli of New Rochelle, New York died this past February following complications from a botched abortion. Morbelli was pregnant with a baby girl that she named Madison Leigh.
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Auburn's Homecoming Queen Inspirational Story About Abortion

Great stuff from The Blaze.

Auburn University selected its 100th Miss Homecoming in Molly Anne Dutton this weekend. But Dutton’s victory is anything but a typical win. Instead of winning based on popularity or the backing of a big campus organization, it was the Alabama student’s personal story that earned her the crown — and with it, plenty of national attention.
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Sumoning the Devil is a Colossal Waste of Time

He's already there.

So the other day I’m channel surfing trying to find something worthwhile to watch (I failed miserably) when I came upon a movie whose current scene caught my eye. I paused and watched for a few minutes. It turns out the gist of the movie was that a rare book collector wanted to obtain an ancient text that held the secret to summoning Satan (A.K.A. the Devil, Beelzebub, Lucifer, The Father of Lies, The Prince of Darkness, etc.)
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Principal Stops Pledge of Allegiance to Remind Kids of Gov’t Shutdown

Wacko.

Last week, Principal Pat Jones, worried that by the fact that some of his students didn’t know the federal government had been shut down, announced that his school, Alliance High School in Nebraska, would refrain from reciting the pledge as they did each morning, to remind them of the problems in Washington.
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EU Seeks to Declare Abortion a Human Right

Hey Europe, keep killing babies because Muslims will pick up the slack. No worries.

European lawmakers this month will vote on a measure that promotes abortion as a fundamental human right, while taking aim at the conscientious objection rights of pro-life doctors and health workers. Critics see the move as an attempt to dictate abortion policy to individual European Union governments, despite an acknowledgement by leading E.U. institutions that there is no consensus on the matter across the 28 member-states.
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School Choir's Right to Sing Christmas Carols Restored

Some good news.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) declared victory in a Christmas music case following a public outcry against a Wisconsin school board's alleged attempt to limit religious songs in school performances. The Master Singers, Wausau West High School's elite choir, which formed the center of the debate, resumed practice on Tuesday. "The courts have never thought [of religious songs in schools as] a problem because there's obvious secular reasons for them in concerts," Rory Gray, ADF litigation counsel, told The Christian Post on Tuesday. Gray argued for the cultural and educational value of traditional religious songs, mentioning that many traditional carols involve "complex music, written by masters."
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Pope Francis To Sell Off Harley

Badger Catholic has the story:

The Pope has decided to sell off the Harley after showing he has little taste for flashy vehicles, preferring to greet the public from Fiats during recent visits to Lampedusa and Brazil, instead of using the Mercedes Popemobile used by his predecessor, Pope Benedict, which boasted a white leather chair with gold trim. [Give me a break]
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Sherry's Inner Mama Bear Comes Out over Comment

Is having "too many" kids bad for them?

I was in such a good mood today. I'd received a call from my sister-in-law about a treat for one of my sons, a visit with a long lost college roommate via the wonders of Facebook, I'd tidied up the upstairs, done all the wash except for the girls downstairs, and played blocks with my toddlers. My mom had called and I'd written 400 words on my WIP (work in progress) with an idea of where I was going. Yes, things were going very well until I clicked on a favorite blog to see the comment: "If studies show (as I believe they do) that a grammar school teacher's effectiveness is decreased proportionally for each child added to her class of 20 students, why should we not conclude the same is true for parenting? Educate me." Now my reaction is two-fold, Pastoral and Parental. As the Parent, mama bear wanted to come out, maul the commenter, stomp around a bit, growl threateningly, and then ask the person which of my children shouldn't be.
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Convent Fire May Be Hate Crime?

One nun forced to jump from window is now in hospital with broken back.

Two suspicious, early-morning fires ripped through a Staten Island convent and chapel — trapping a nun upstairs and forcing her to make a desperate leap from the second floor that broke her back, authorities said. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is assisting in the investigation of the 5:30 a.m. blaze in the Arrochar section. Sister Regina Gegic and another nun were staying in an older, mostly unused residential building at the St. Joseph Hill Academy on Saturday morning when she saw the fire. Gegic broke three vertebrae from her jump but could move her feet and was being treated at Staten Island University Hospital’s intensive-care unit, according to a co-worker.
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Religious life dying out in Europe. But surging in England and Wales

Interesting read from The Catholic Herald.

Vocations to religious life in England and Wales have tripled in just eight years. Here are four reasons why
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Medical Student Confronts Abortion, Becomes Pro-Life

The truth is horrible.

Abortion becomes very real when it is seen instead of viewed as an abstract moral and political debate. Some time ago, I was sent this testimony from a medical student who preferred not to leave a name. He had just witnessed an abortion as part of his training. Deeply troubled, he wanted to tell someone. He was haunted by what he had seen. The student starts out by saying that he was firmly in the pro-choice camp before witnessing the abortion:
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Anti-Catholic Atheist to Deliver Speech on Evolution at Jesuit College

Called for eradication of the Church.

An outspoken atheist philosopher who has called the Catholic Church “corrupt” and called for its eradication will be speaking at LeMoyne College in New York later this month.
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School District to Remove Christmas Concert to Thwart "too much" Religious Music

Bonkers. Just bonkers.

A local high school’s elite Master Singers choir group will temporarily disband and Wausau elementary schools will no longer hold holiday concerts as the result of a Wausau School District directive to limit religious music in December. Phil Buch, who has directed Wausau West High School’s choral programs since 1981, said the decision to halt rehearsals for the Master Singers was made after a meeting Thursday with district officials and Frank Sutherland, an attorney who represents the school district.
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The Most Beautiful Day

This is love. Ann Roth linked to it in the combox and I went over and it just blew me away.

I could never thank you enough for all of your prayers and kind words. Your prayers have sustained us. Im not sure how much of Thomas I should share here. I want to share him with you all because you all have prayed us through this. I want to share him with you because I want to show you just how beautiful and sweet he was. Although he had an imperfect body, he was the most beautiful baby. He was just so sweet. We love him so very very much.
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Pro-Lifer Attacked By Knife Wielding Maniac

Prayers.

Faye Arellano is glad to be alive and back home after being discharged from hospital following a terrifying attack by a knife-wielding man while protesting abortion this weekend in Toronto. Arellano, in her late 40s, was attending a silent and prayerful Life Chain pro-life event on Sunday afternoon when she was suddenly assaulted by the man, who at first doused her with water from a bottle, then hurled the empty bottle at her face, grabbed her by the hair, slammed her to the ground, and began punching and kicking her repeatedly before drawing his knife.
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Vote for Your Favorite Toy

I'm going with the little green army men because my boy plays with them almost all the time he's not annoying his sisters or asking me to throw a football to him. He also cleverly leaves them on the floor so I step on them at night and cry like a little girl.

The National Toy Hall of Fame wants you to vote for your favorite toy for the 2013 induction. This year's nominee's are:
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Your Love Story Isn't Over Yet

Hallie writes about how God can still help you and your spouse...if you ask Him.

I was chatting with a close friend on the phone the other day about the ways in which my marriage has blossomed in the past year or so. She knows about some of the struggles Dan and I have faced, and the demons with which we’ve wrestled. “I wish I could write about the things I’ve seen and the ways that the love — not just romantic love, but true hardcore agape love — has grown between Dan and I.” I said. But many of the details are things I don’t feel comfortable sharing with the world at large. Many of our battles are unknown even to her.
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Diocese Allows Divorced and Remarried Catholic to Receive Communion

The American Catholic reports:

And so it begins. The diocese of Frieburg, Germany is first off the mark in implementing what I suspect will be called the “Franciscan Reforms” (whether such “reforms” are approved of by the Pope or not): The Vatican warned bishops on Tuesday not to reform faster than Pope Francis, after a German diocese said that some divorced and remarried Catholics would now be allowed to receive communion and other sacraments.
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Down Syndrome Research, Hope for My Daughter

This is important.

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Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Bills Allowing Nurses and Midwives to Perform Abortions

Back into the back alley:

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed two bills allowing non-physicians to perform abortions and reducing health standards for abortion facilities, saying the new laws “support the health and well-being of women.” California is the fifth state to allow or not explicitly ban the practice of non-physician abortion, joining Montana, New York, Oregon, and Vermont.
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Common Core Reaches a New Low - Check This Out!

This is pretty outrageous.

Take a look at these third grade Common Core worksheets [Correction: Common Core-aligned worksheets].* The first story for third graders takes a twisted social work approach to learning. The next story is about a cheating husband and father, and, again, it’s for third grade. Could we forego the nonsensical touchy-feely stuff and go back to actually teaching the children how to read literature and do math?
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John Allen: No One Wants to Admit There's a War on Christians

You've got to admit it's been a pretty quiet slaughter.

Back in 1997, American author Paul Marshall said that anti-Christian persecution had been “all but totally ignored by the world at large”. To be sure, the situation has changed in the 16 years since Marshall’s classic work Their Blood Cries Out. A cluster of advocacy groups and relief organisations has emerged, and from time to time anti-Christian persecution has drawn coverage in major news outlets such as the Economist, Newsweek and Commentary. On the whole, however, the war on Christians remains the world’s best-kept secret. As recently as 2011, Italian journalist Francesca Paci – who writes for the Italian media market, which probably pays more attention to Christian topics than almost any other culture on earth, given the massive footprint of the Vatican – said about the fate of persecuted Christians in places such as Iraq, Algeria, and India: “We ignore too many things, and even more indefensibly, we pretend not to see too many things.”
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#Facepalm: Gay Methodist Caucus Embraces Promiscuity

Oh my. Because nothing says using others for our own gratification like Christianity. hey, remember all those people who said same-sex marriage will lead to polyamory? Boy, aren't they embarrassed now.

Especially of note is a recent blog post by the Rev. Becca Clark of Vermont. Clark distinguished herself as a delegate at the last UMC General Conference with her passionate defenses of unrestricted abortion, leadership in an illegally disruptive protest by pro-sex-outside-of-marriage activists (for which protesters have not reimbursed the six-figure cost they imposed on our denomination), and after arguing in her sub-committee that it is categorically wrong to use male or “hierarchical” words for God, pridefully declaring “I don’t have a king!” For what it’s worth, her blog post also features a picture of her with other leaders of an MFSA/RMN-related social media project at the RMN convocation (which one of her co-leaders recently made very clear was a “conversation” rather limited in its openness to participation from respectful, informed non-liberal United Methodist voices).
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LMU to Provide Coverage Plan for Faculty for Abortion

I'm seeing headlines everywhere that Loyola Marymount has gotten rid of abortion coverage. It's not true. Here's why.

LMU's board of trustees has decided to offer supplemental insurance to faculty and staff, which would provide abortion coverage for employees who pay for it.
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Study: Children of Same-Sex Couples Don't Fare as Well

Does it matter to many people? I'd bet not. This agenda will be pursued regardless of how it affects children:

There is a new and significant piece of evidence in the social science debate about gay parenting and the unique contributions that mothers and fathers make to their children’s flourishing. A study published last week in the journal Review of the Economics of the Household—analyzing data from a very large, population-based sample—reveals that the children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples. And gender matters, too: girls are more apt to struggle than boys, with daughters of gay parents displaying dramatically low graduation rates. Unlike US-based studies, this one evaluates a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census, where same-sex couples have had access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997 and to marriage since 2005.
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Believing in Absolute Truth Means Being Loving and Open Minded

in the truest senses of the words.

Chris Stefanick: "I'm a devout Catholic who believes in spiritual and moral absolute truth. To a lot of people, this means that I'm hateful, bigoted, close-minded and intolerant. One of the U.S. Supreme Court justices recently said that people like me are enemies of the human race. Wow. Enemies of the human race..."
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Pope Francis Calls for Synod to Focus on Families

Rome reports:

Pope Francis called for an extraordinary Synod of Bishops, to discuss the pastoral role of families. The gathering will bring bishops from across the world to Rome from October 5-19 in 2014. At issue will be pastoral challenges families face in the context of evangelization.
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And where from here?

The very interesting take of Dale Price.

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Need Help Finding a Faithful Catholic College For Your Child?

This is the best resource for families, like mine, concerned about sending their children to a college that won't work to destroy their faith.

The Cardinal Newman Society today published the newest editions of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College and My Future, My Faith magazine, including updated information and new online resources. These new editions make searching for and getting advice on faithful Catholic colleges and universities easy for Catholic families. Both publications are available to read online for free, and printed copies are also available to be ordered at TheNewmanGuide.com. “Because every Catholic college is unique, families need more than simple checklists or government-collected data to make decisions,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society. “Whereas most other guides rely on the same data, The Newman Guide digs deeper and draws upon our 20 years of promoting and defending faithful Catholic education.”
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Of Zombies and Abortion

Kristen Hatten writes at Live Action:

Zombies. They’re everywhere. (Not literally. Calm down) Seems to me like it started with 2007′s Dawn of the Dead remake. Everybody flipped out over it, and with good reason: it was a pretty cool movie. (Although there were “zombie purists” who were deeply offended by the idea of sprinting zombies. I, too, am offended by the idea, but only because, well, they’re sprinting zombies. That’s terrifying.)
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The Rosary: Shedding Light on the Mysteries

David L. writes:

Today, the western Church celebrates the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, established in 1571 by Pope Pius V, to commemorate the victory over Muslim forces at the Battle of Lepanto, saving Christian Europe from the conquest of Islam. In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed its title to "The Feast of the Holy Rosary." Originally assigned to the first Sunday in October, Pope Pius X moved it to the 7th of October. Today, if only in the traditional usage, it is referred to as “The Feast of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” While the month of May is devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is October that is specifically devoted to the Rosary.
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Pope Francis: The Good, the Baffling, and the Unclear

Outstanding.
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Pope strongly defends Priestly Celibacy and Consecrated Virginity

Very Good!!


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Military Priests Face Arrest for Celebrating Mass in Defiance of Shutdown

Outrageous!

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Ha! MSNBC Anchor Mockingly Asks GOP Congressman If He Has ‘Degree In Economics’… Turns Out He Does!

This is just too funny.

We blogged earlier today on the heated discussion between MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer and Alabama GOP Congressman Rep. Mo Brooks. In case you missed it, when speaking about President Obama’s spending and stimulus decisions in the first year of his Presidency, the heated interview climaxed with this back and forth:
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Hey, Crystal Cathedral Donors, Get a Life

Phil Cooke writes:

Now that pastor Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral has been sold to the Catholic Church, big changes are happening. For instance, it’s being reported that a walkway constructed of bricks with engraved names of Crystal Cathedral donors is being pulled up to make way for new landscaping. Although the new owners are making the bricks available to donors who would like to claim them, it’s still causing an uproar among many former donors. I’ve seen similar stories at other nonprofits and ministries, where walls with donor names have been torn down or other structures honoring donors have been remodeled and changed. In every case, donors get upset and make a stink. Well, here’s my advice to these donors: Get a life.
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The Moral Structure of Pedophilia

Anthony Esolen writes:

In contemporary America, condemnation of pedophilia rests on sentiment and not on moral reasoning. Nobody can simultaneously explain why pedophilia is so vile and uphold the first commandment of the sexual revolution: Fulfill thy desires.
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Belgian killed by euthanasia after a botched sex change operation

This is so sad. This person needed help but all she got instead was surgeries and procedures. So many people in the world are in pain, they shouldn't just be told that a quick surgery will make them all better. And then, when they are depressed that they're not happy, there's always euthanasia.

A Belgian has been killed by medical euthanasia after pleading for death because a botched sex change operation to turn her into a man had resulted in "a monster".
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A Phycisist Discusses the Holy Trinity

A little above my IQ level but I thought it would be interesting to you smarty pants types.

As a religious physicist, I have occasionally fielded questions from various people pertaining to my Faith and how I reconcile it with my understanding of physics. One point that is often brought up is the apparently "illogical" nature of the Holy Trinity, which is of utmost importance to Orthodox Christians: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. "How can three be one and yet be distinct at the same time?" I am often asked, and I never really had a good answer for that question. Recently, however, I had an epiphany as I was thinking about the Holy Trinity from a physics perspective, which may aid in better appreciating Its' amazing significance. But to do so, I was forced to "think outside of the box (universe)" so to speak.
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Abp. Lori: Pope Pushing Reset Button

In a piece that appeared in The Baltimore Sun, Archbishop Lori wrote:

There's no doubt about it, Pope Francis has captured the attention of the Catholic Church and the world. And he is doing this not only by a simplicity and humility that has earned him the nickname, "the world's parish priest" but also by taking the church back to the basics. Through his humble actions and kind words, the pope is reminding all Catholics — including us bishops — that our first priority is and must always be to know and love God the Father who has revealed his love through his Son Jesus Christ, a love that is communicated to us through the Holy Spirit. When we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and experience His love, we begin to radiate that love and to see living the Gospel and keeping the Commandments as a grateful response to that love and not a burden.
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