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In the Back Pew: A New Catholic Family Blog

Check it out. It's first post is on the 12 days of Christmas:

Dec. 26, ‘Boxing Day,’ is the day when every toy gets played with, every box opened, and every treat tasted. Halfway through the day, the emptiness of stuff starts to sink in, even if you got something really cool. It doesn’t quite satisfy, because it can’t. As Catholics, we’re supposed to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, to feast on the joy of Christ’s birth from Dec. 25 through the feast of the Epiphany (Jan. 6). This tendency to look for the next thing, to try everything, trying to find pleasure as a substitute for joy is very common for everyone. So here are a few suggestions to make sure you celebrate the 12 days of Christmas even as you climb out from the mountains of boxes and ribbons the day after Christmas. Dec. 26: Yesterday, you received without asking, today you should give as freely. Consider signing up to volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food pantry or shopping for the food pantry alone. Today, as you put away the largess you've received, consider giving some away. Having the children give, reminds them that all that we have is a gift, and that there is a great joy and freedom in giving.
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Patrick Reilly: School Ground Bullies in the Nation's Capital

The stripping of religious freedom:

On Dec. 2, the Council of the District of Columbia passed an amendment to the D.C. Human Rights Act, repealing protections for religious schools and colleges to determine their own rules regarding gay and lesbian student activities. If the current or incoming mayor signs it, the amendment will become law and likely force the Catholic University of America and the Archdiocese of Washington schools to provide recognition, facilities and perhaps even funding to gay and lesbian student clubs that oppose Catholic teachings. The D.C. Council approved the amendment unanimously, despite vigorous opposition from Catholic University, the D.C. Catholic Conference and the Alliance Defending Freedom, among other religious groups.
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Salon: God Raped Mary

I'm not linking to the original piece because...asshattery but I'll link to Hot Air's take:

Salon: Have a rapey Christmas, you religious dinosaurs Ah, Christmas — the season for joy, tolerance, and goodwill amongst all. Usually in these days, media outlets queue up the glurge — the sappy stories, the tearjerker videos, and the essays about finding meaning in a season defined by religion and its observance. Everyone likes to tap into the happy memories and high ideals of the Christmas season. Well, almost everyone. For some reason, Salon chose this week to offer two dyspeptic and nonsensical takes on religion, the most outrageous of which argues that one has to support rape in order to be Christian. God raped the Virgin Mary, so they argue, apparently without one single clue as to what the Annunciation actually was or what it means in Christian belief, as well as most other religions:
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Marquette suspends prof’s teaching, orders him off campus. You Won't Believe Why.

Please recall that Marquette is a Catholic university.

In November, Prof. John McAdams (Marquette political science) — who blogs at Marquette Warrior — wrote a post critical of a philosophy instructor, Cheryl Abbate. (Abbate is a graduate student but was apparently the sole instructor for the particular section of the Theory of Ethics class, as is not uncommon for undergraduate courses at research universities.) The post faulted Abbate for allegedly not allowing criticism of homosexuality in class discussions (the quotes appear to be from the student who had approached McAdams to complain about Abbate):
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New disciplinary action looming for Father Pavone?

This doesn't seem good.

Father Frank Pavone, the founder of Priests for Life (PFL), once again faces possible disciplinary action because of his refusal to allow episcopal oversight of his organization’s finances. New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan has revealed, in a letter to the bishops of the US, that the Vatican conducted an apostolic visitation of Priests for Life last year. After that investigation, the cardinal says, he was asked by the Congregation for the Clergy to “assist Father Pavone with several necessary reforms.”
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Horrifying: Flawed Pre-Natal Tests Led to Abortions


Medical science and diagnostics have advanced significantly over the last few years, but they aren’t perfect. Unfortunately, some doctors and patients are making life-and-death decisions based on claims of accuracy that don’t match up to performance, especially when it comes to pre-natal testing for birth defects. Genetic tests that should be preliminary have been used to make final decisions, resulting in unnecessary abortions, the Boston Globe reported this weekend:
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Vid: Christian Man Asks Gay Bakeries To Bake Pro-Traditional Marriage Cake, And Is Denied

Some really bad language here from the bakers.

Christian bakeries that refuse to make pro-homosexual marriage cakes are persecuted throughout America. They get sued, they get fined, they get death threats, and they lose their businesses. So we at Shoebat.com called some 13 prominent bakers who are either gay or pro-gay and requested that they make a pro-traditional marriage cake with the words “Gay marriage is wrong” placed on the cake. Each one denied us service, and even used deviant insults and obscenities against us. One baker even said that she would make me a cookie with a large phallus on it. We recorded all of this in a video that will stun the American people as to how militant and intolerant the homosexual agenda is:
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Fr. Damian Ference Reviews Taylor Swift's Latest CD

My girls are listening to this CD non-stop. Non. Stop.

In an age when fewer and fewer people are buying full albums, Taylor Swift’s 1989 sold 1.287 million copies in the first week of its release. That’s impressive, considering that in this iTunes era, more and more people are buying single songs than complete albums. With 1989, Swift left the comfort of country for a new pop adventure. And so far, it seems to be working out quite well. First, let me commend Taylor Swift on being able to reinvent herself without compromising her integrity or the minds and hearts of her fans, especially the young ones. Unlike Madonna, Britney Spears, and Miley Cyrus, who have reinvented themselves through shock and skin, Taylor Swift has (for the most part) kept it classy. As one of my seminarians pointed out, Swift used to sing about how other girls wore short skirts while she wore t-shirts, but now she’s the one in the short skirt – but at least she’s not twerking. Too, I read recently that Swift finds it immodest to expose her bellybutton, which I found fascinating. There’s something about a navel, and Swift knows it. But I digress.
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Chaplain Punsihed for Sharing his Faith

What else was the chaplain supposed to share?

An Army chaplain was punished for discussing matters of faith and quoting from the Bible during a suicide prevention training session with the 5th Ranger Training Battalion -- leading to outrage from religious liberty groups and a Georgia congressman. Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn was issued a Letter of Concern that accused him of advocating for Christianity and “using Christian scripture and solutions” during a Nov. 20th training session held at the University of North Georgia. “You provided a two-sided handout that listed Army resources on one side and a biblical approach to handling depression on the other side,” Col. David Fivecoat, the commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Ft. Benning, Georgia, wrote in the letter to the chaplain. “This made it impossible for those in attendance to receive the resource information without also receiving the biblical information.”
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Catholic Bishops: Obama's 'Gender Identity' Regulation 'Serious Threat to Freedom of Conscience'

Why they hatin' on Obama. Prolly racists.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) condemned new regulations to implement President Obama’s July 21 executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating "on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.” These regulations were put in place by the Department of Labor last week in an update “to add gender identity and sexual orientation to the classes it protects” against discrimination.
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The Mean Priest on Missing Mass

Fr. John Hollowell:

I've had a very similar conversation with several different people at multiple parish assignments. The same person will ask two questions maybe a few days or weeks or months apart: 1) "Father, why do you talk about missing Mass and mortal sin? It's so off-putting and mean." and then, at some other point: 2) "Father, why have my kids stopped going to Mass?" Hello!
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Finally! Notre Dame Offers Class on "White Privilege"

Promises "personal transformation."

Next semester, Notre Dame will offer a class that aims to help students acknowledge and understand their so-called “white privilege” and – as a result of their “personal transformation” – find ways to “disrupt … oppression,” a description of the class states. “The goal for each participant is personal transformation: to leave the class… more aware of injustices and better equipped with tools to disrupt personal, institutional, and worldwide systems of oppression,” according to a description of the six week, one-credit sociology course titled “White Privilege Seminar.”
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20 of Steven Wright's Funniest Jokes For His 59th Birthday


Don't get too excited, but today is the deadpan comedian's 59th birthday. 1. It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it. 2. I almost broke both my arms trying to hold open a revolving door for a woman. 3. I got a new dog. He’s a paranoid retriever. He brings back everything because he’s not sure what I threw him. 4. Every morning I get up and make instant coffee and I drink it so I have the energy to make real coffee.
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“If your church was built on Simon Peter you have a rough foundation.”


In a debate between Karl Keating and Dr. Peter Ruckman the latter stated the following: “If your church was built on Simon Peter you have a rough foundation.” The thing is that God can use anyone he wants to do his will without defeating their own free will, but he always chooses the least so they can be seen as magnifying his glory.
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Planned Parenthood: We’ll have to close our clinics if Gov. Walker investigates us for Medicaid fraud

They believe they're above the law...because they supply the sacrament of abortion.

It's not even under investigation, but Planned Parenthood is worried it is coming to the end of the line in Scott Walker's Wisconsin. Investigators with the state's Department of Health Office of Inspector General (OIG) say that two family planning facilities alone have charged the Medicaid program more than twice their allowable cost for birth control, overbilling taxpayers by millions of dollars a year. A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Wisconsin admitted, if the state will demand that they follow the law as written, it would have to shut down its locations across the state. Inspectors say two facilities charged $3.5 million in fees they were not due for distributing contraception. Under state law, officials declare, the facilities may only charge taxpayers for the actual cost of the drug, plus a small distribution fee.
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Did the Church Change Its Doctrine on Usury?

A great question and good answers. Continue reading>>>

Benedictine Nun, Boys' Football Coach

She says it's an opportunity to pass on values, not just athletic skills.

Sr. Lisa Maurer is a Benedictine nun who lives at the St. Scholastica Monastery on the campus of the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. She works at the Benedictine Health Center next to the monastery, serving senior members of the community. She prays, studies and ministers at local parishes. She also happens to coach a men’s football team. “I was never involved in coaching football … until this year,” Sr. Lisa said in an interview with Catholic News Service. “I was around football only because my dad was a football coach, obviously my brothers played and, you know, football is a staple in America. So I’m a lover of football but never played or coached it until this year.” Sr. Lisa joined the monastery at St. Scholastica seven years ago, one year before the school established a football program. When the team began practicing in 2008 at a field right behind her residence, she said she would often go outside and watch. “The football practice field … is literally in the backyard of the monastery, so that was my connection,” she said. “I would just wander out to the football field if I had a free afternoon, if they were practicing, maybe walk around our grounds and say my rosary and kind of just watch the guys.”
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Florida Capitol to Display Satanic Diorama for Christmas

Jerks and malcontents.

Angels we have heard on high? The Florida Capitol will feature a new display this holiday season with an angel plummeting into a fiery inferno with the caption, “Happy Holidays From The Satanic Temple.” According the Naples Daily News, state officials have approved this week the diorama of a falling angel as a holiday display after rejecting it last year as “grossly offensive.” The Satanic Temple, along with Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, announced this week that Florida officials had agreed to allow the temple’s holiday display at the state capitol in Tallahassee from December 22-29, in an area designated as an open forum for private speech, reports the Washington Times. The Department of Management Services said the move came after a threatened lawsuit. Department spokesman Ben Wolf said the proposed display was “grossly offensive during the holiday season.”
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School nativity scenes replace baby Jesus with Elvis, aliens and recycling bins!

Uhm, wrong King.

Schools are increasingly replacing the King of Kings with the King of Rock and Roll. As Great Britain continues to become a more “multicultural” society, school nativity scenes – a staple of the Christmas season – are becoming increasingly secularized.
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25 Things People With 5+ Siblings Know to be True

This is great. Love it. Lots of fun.

1. There will never be a meal where everyone is happy with the food. 2. Getting a table at a restaurant will take at least half an hour no matter where you go. 3. Car trips to far away places are more crammed than Target on Black Friday. 4. Someone is always around to watch a movie. 5. Someone will always being talking during that movie.
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Why a Lutheran Pastor and a Catholic Priest Tried to Save the Souls of Nazis

Tony Rossi writes:

If there are a group of people in modern history who are thought of as irredeemable, it’s the Nazis. Truth be told, the orchestrators of the genocide of the Jewish people and the murders of millions of others certainly didn’t “deserve” any kind of mercy. Yet at the end of World War II, two American Army chaplains – Rev. Henry Gerecke, a Lutheran minister, and Father Sixtus O’Connor, a Catholic priest – made an unprecedented attempt to save the souls of the Nazi leaders held at Nuremberg prison. Their little-known story has now been documented by award-winning journalist Tim Townsend in the book “Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis.” During an interview on “Christopher Closeup,” Townsend admitted that prior to writing this book, he simply knew the “Hollywood” version of the trials and thought of the Nazis as a “stereotype of evil.” And while there were those like Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who seemed to revel in cruelty as he oversaw the extermination of the Jews, there were others, like Wilhelm Keitel, who didn’t fit so neatly into a preconceived box.
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Before Being Killed, Children Told ISIS: ‘No, We Love Jesus’


Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the “Vicar of Baghdad,” has seen violence and persecution against Christians unprecedented in recent decades. In the video embedded below, he recounts the story of Iraqi Christian children who were told by ISIS militants to convert to Islam or be killed. Their response? “No, We Love Yeshua (Jesus).”
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The Ugly Truth of Post-Abortion Syndrome: Testimony from Real Women Who Aborted their Babies

Breitbart reports:

In 2007, the New York Times stated that scientific evidence “strongly shows that abortion does not increase the risk of depression, drug abuse or any other psychological problem.” This confident assertion—already dubious when it was made—is being overwhelmed by reams of evidence suggesting the contrary: that abortion leaves a discernible wake of sorrow, suffering, and devastation.
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I Rejected Abortion After Rape, Then The Rapist Sought Custody of My Child

This is just nuts. Kudos to this woman though.

My custody case in Florida against my rapist started in 2010 and went on for a little over two years. Though I had a restraining order and had pursued prosecution, he was not convicted of rape. At the time he sued for custody, I did not know how many states had no or limited legal protection at that time from a rapist biological father when the child was conceived from his attack. Those states which had laws required a rape conviction. For me, all that counted at the time was that Florida had no legal protection at all for this. I recall the judge asking if there was any law to prohibit this — even a federal law –and me replying: “Not yet, but I am working on it.”
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Ferguson Schools Let Students Leave to Protest in Streets--Without Notifying Parents

Wow. Tells you all you need to know, doesn't it?

Hundreds of students were allowed to leave several high schools in Ferguson, Mo., Tuesday morning to protest in the city’s streets--a decision the school district made without notifying the children’s parents before or during the protest. Teachers and administrators also walked with the students as they blocked traffic and clogged congested intersections.
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For the Public Good: The Shameful History of Forced Sterilization in the U.S.

“I never figured out why they did that to me.”
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This Interactive Map Tells You Whether Obamacare Makes You Pay for Abortions in Your State

The Daily Signal has it:

Pro-life Americans long have criticized the Obama administration for failing to disclose coverage of abortion under the Affordable Care Act, and now, taking matters into their own hands, they’ve come up with a solution. Two leading pro-life organizations, the Charlotte Lozier Institute and the Family Research Council, teamed up to design a state-by-state map that clearly tells Americans whether the Obamacare plan they’re considering covers elective abortions. The goal? To help individuals and families find abortion-free health insurance options that don’t require them to pay what many pro-life critics of Obamacare call a “hidden” or “secret” abortion fee.
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