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Showing posts from November, 2016

Why Christmas is NOT Pagan

Having once been an Evangelical, I was heavily exposed to the "Christmas is Pagan" or "Christmas has Pagan origins" movement in the Western world. The movement is heavily concentrated in the United States, with large pockets in Canada, Australia, and other parts of the Anglosphere. It's primarily a Protestant problem, which was popularised during the Protestant religious movements of the 17th through 19th centuries. Today it is most aggressively pushed by Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Church of God and other Fundamentalist sects. Sadly, attacks against this holiday are used to introduce suspicion of mainstream Christian denominations, and the Catholic Church in particular.

The Fundamentalist attack on Christmas is centred around the date of December 25, and actually has a rather ancient origin. The 12th-century Syrian Orthodox Bishop, Jacob Bar-Salibi, proposed the following:
"It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 Dec…

Catholic History Made in Republic Missouri

Nestled deep in the forests of the Ozark Mountains is a small city called Republic. It sits about 15 miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri, otherwise known as the Queen City of the Ozarks. Republic is a small suburban town originally built along the railroad tracks leading into Springfield. Today Republic straddles Highway 60, a major artery going into the Queen City. In comparison to Springfield, Republic is a quiet town. High school sports preoccupy most of the city's excitement. A farmers' market meets regularly on Main Street, and the annual celebration of "Pumpkin Days" takes place in the same location every autumn. Like Springfield, Republic is home to many churches of various types. Whatever you're looking for, you can pretty much find it in Republic. There are at least two contemporary-style Evangelical churches in town, along with some traditional Baptist and Assemblies of God (Pentecostal) churches. There is a beautiful and historic Christian Church…

Mercy is Not License

Yesterday, Pope Francis closed the year of Mercy, and he did so with a reminder that we must always be merciful to our fellow man.  You know what? HE IS RIGHT.

However, I think the problem we have in the West isn't really a mercy problem. Rather, I think the problem we have in the West is a problem with license.

It seems to me that in the West we have confused the meanings of the word "mercy" and "license." It seems too many people think they mean the exact same thing. So to help with this confusion, allow me to break these words down.

Mercy is a word that is dependent on another word -- sin. In order to have mercy, you must first have sin. In other words, you have to know that you've done something wrong. What is sin? To simplify, sin is when people don't do what God wants. That's it. What God wants is defined by both nature and revelation. That's it. When we do what God wants, according to nature and revelation, that is called righteousness o…

The Election is Over -- Now What?

The 2016 presidential election is finally over, and what has been delivered to Catholics (and all Christians) in the United States is a favourable result. Hillary Clinton has soundly been defeated in the electoral college, insuring the election of Donald J. Trump to the presidency. The two candidates could not be more sharply contrasted.

Donald Trump has promised not only to support the religious freedom of Christians against unconstitutional executive mandates, and frivolous lawsuits by homosexual activists seeking to punish and destroy all Christian businesses that refuse to cater to their perversion, but he has also promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment. This would be a huge game changer if enacted. The Johnson Amendment was a change to the U.S. income tax code in 1954 which prohibited churches and other tax-exempt organisations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. If repealed, it would mean that clergy could endorse or oppose political candidates directly from the …

The Coming Second Reformation

We are about to have another Protestant Reformation in the Catholic Church, and this one is going to be much larger than the last one. I think we had a window of opportunity to avert this crisis during the pontificate of Benedict XVI, but the bishops of the West (Europe, North America and Oceania) largely rejected this opportunity. Now that Benedict XVI is retired, many of these same bishops are doing everything they can to roll back the reforms he instituted -- or at least, as many as they can. In some dioceses now, it's as if there never was a Pope Benedict XVI.

Thankfully, not all bishops are that way, and it shows in their dioceses were traditional liturgy and good catechises have been embraced. These dioceses will suffer the least when the "Second Reformation" comes.

Please note, I use the term "reformation" loosely here, because there really is nothing being reformed. What I'm talking about here is an outright revolt against the apostolic teachings o…

Voting with a Clear Conscience

A Catholic Sermon on How to Vote this Tuesday
Previously on this blog, I explained why I will be voting for Donald J. Trump for President of the United States this Tuesday. To briefly recap, I know that either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton WILL BE our next president. Therefore, when faced with this stark reality, and assessing the stated vision of each candidate, there is no question in my mind that if Hillary Clinton is elected, through her executive orders and court appointments, she will enshrine abortion-on-demand in this country, up to the 9th month of pregnancy, for decades to come. In addition, I am certain that she will also attack the U.S. Catholic Church by revoking its tax exempt status unless it complies with government mandates on contraception, abortion and same-sex "marriage." She will do this to all churches (Catholic and Protestant), and she'll stack the courts with her judges to make it stick, in spite of the U.S. Constitution. In the face of such gre…