Me Too?

The song by the same title, sung by Meghan Trainor, is about a woman who respects herself.  Toby Keith also sings a song by the same title about a man who loves his wife.  Both have powerful messages about love and respect for one’s self as well as for a loved one.

The Me Too that comes to mind in 2018 is the “new” Hollywood revelation about the sexual abuse of women by influential men in the industry. Everyone has heard stories of “casting couches” throughout history.  It’s only now that the women of Hollywood have decided to shed light on what should have been exposed years ago.  The stories of their “bravery” include Twitter hashtags and donning designer gowns that costs more than you or I earn in a year. Some members of this movement decided a long time ago to keep quiet even though they knew fellow actresses were being raped and abused.  Their choice silenced victims, thereby enabling predators, in the name of furthering their own careers. The hashtag that should be trending is #Shame.

True bravery is not found on Twitter or in designer showrooms.  It’s found where everyday men, women, and children deal with evil, have systematically called out bias and abuse, and are met with threats, name-calling, blackballing, jail, and even death—but  have never given up the fight.  Two groups were on display the 3rd week of January who claim to do all the above.  We saw the March for Life followed the next day by the Women’s March. The March for Life consists of diverse groups who have been protesting abortion for over 40 years. In fact, their walk is the largest human rights march in the world but goes unnoticed every year with little to no recognition or media coverage.  The Women’s March, on the other hand, is in its second year and is made up of mainly President Trump protestors and promoters of abortion on demand.  This march was covered on every television channel and news outlet for days.

If you watched the March for Life in Washington, DC or even one of the smaller marches held in cities across the US, you were struck by first, the young age of the participants, their contagious enthusiasm, happiness, smiles, and inspiring signs. The Women’s March was spiked with anger, hate, vile signs, hats, and costumes—not by all, but by too many.

I have a question for those members of the #Me Too/Women’s March.  If you can make a stand for equal pay, against sexual assault, and all abuses and injustices against women, why can’t you stand against the slaughter of future women in the womb?  Why?  Or should I ask #Why?

I’d also like to ask that question to most of the Democrats in the US Senate1 and the two female Republican Senators2 who voted down the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act held January 30, 2018.  Doctors and scientists have confirmed that infants in the womb can feel pain at the 20 week mark and probably earlier, yet these fellow humans still want to murder babies up to and including the moment before birth. This bill excluded cases of rape, incest, and the health of the mother so why didn’t they vote for it?  Why? #Why?

A Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll3 published in January of 2018 concluded that more than six in ten Americans support a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy; this includes 56% of Pro-Choice Americans, 56% of Democrats, 74% Pro-Life Americans, 73% of Republicans, and 64% of Independents.  Those numbers are staggering.  So why did they vote against it?  We need to demand an answer.  However, our request will be met with the same disdain and silence as they bestow upon the peaceful protestors who attend the March for Life.

Question: Why does the modern feminist movement only relate to certain women?  Shouldn’t it relate to all women—even those who have had abortions and have suffered greatly because of it?  What about the millions of aborted baby girls?  Who would they have become?  Does it even cross the average Women’s March protestor’s mind that one of those aborted girls could have been their wife, sister, best friend, co-worker, teacher, supervisor, scientist, inventor, or even the organizer of a women’s march? I wonder how many Women’s Marchers even know Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other leading suffragettes were vehemently against abortion.  Instead they idolize Margaret Sanger, eugenicist, Nazi sympathizer, and racist.

Anger at the indifference for human life is not just targeted at politicians and protestors.  Days before the March For Life a story broke by the Lepanto Institute4, and confirmed by Dutch radio that Lilianne Ploumen was honored by, of all people, Pope Francis, with the title of Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great. Ms. Ploumen is responsible for She Decides, an organization that funded over $300 million dollars to international agencies for the sole reason of performing or promoting abortions worldwide.  Ms. Ploumen was also the Director of Programs and on the Board of Directors for CORDAID, the Dutch Catholic aid relief agency that was caught funding Planned Parenthood and dispensing contraception.4

This action has infuriated and confused many Catholics and non-Catholics alike.  Not only does it baffle the faithful who have been praying and peacefully protesting for an end to abortion, it’s also a direct slap in the face to those millions of marchers who come from all over the world for 40+ years to participate in the March for Life. Not to mention the priests, nuns, and laypeople who have dedicated their lives to end this culture of death and minister to young mothers and babies as well as their parish congregations.

 History will judge us.  More importantly, God will judge us—all of us.  If you haven’t already, it’s time you stand on the side of good, the side of truth.  On that note, I’d like to ask the members of the #MeToo movement and the Women’s March, are you sure your Twitter key phrase is #MeToo, or is it really #Me-NotYou?

 

1 Joe Manchin (D-WV), Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) Democrats who voted in favor of Act

2 Susan Collins (R-ME) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) Republicans who voted against Act

3 Knights of Columbus-Marist Poll, January, 2018.  To view all results or to view or print a pdf version of the Poll click here: www.kofc.org/en/news/polls.html#/

4 www.lepantoinstitute.org/pope-francis/pope-francis-awards-architect-safe-abortion-fund-potifical-honor/

Advertisements

BE NOT AFRAID

This is the official theme for Respect Life Sunday1, which is always celebrated on the first Sunday in October.  In fact, October is Respect Life Month. If your church isn’t celebrating life this month…find another church.

I never thought here in the United States of America that any citizen would be afraid to take a stand for life.  It’s the first inalienable right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence and we, as Americans and Christians, have the right and the obligation to defend it. If we do not, it could be taken from us.  We are living in a time where the 1st Amendment2 is under attack along with common sense, civility, morality, basic science, and possessing a spine. Why are we so quiet when we should be up-in-arms?

Abortion is murder.  There is no way around it.  It brings about death—period.  A fetus in the womb is a little human. What would happen if someone had the audacity to destroy a field of cocoons before the mature butterflies could emerge?  We all know what would happen.  Social media would light up, celebrities would be outraged, and news outlets would interview lepidopterists to tell you how butterflies impact the planet.  Death threats on the fiends and their families would ensue, and Jimmy Kimmel would be crying on his talk show.  I just used the example of butterflies but I could have substituted any animal3.

The most vocal among us are the hundreds of thousands of mainly young people who march through the streets of Washington, DC each January, braving the cold, snowy, or rainy conditions, to participate in the March For Life, the largest pro-life event in the world.  Although huge, it’s rarely if ever covered by any mainstream media outlet in the 40+ years of its existence.  Why?  Because they don’t want you to see it, hear it, or even know about it. And thinking about what abortion is and does makes everyone uncomfortable.  Well it should.  Murdering babies for the sake of convenience is the real inconvenient truth.  These pro-life advocates are fervently trying to shine a light on the millions of murdered innocents who can’t speak for themselves.

Remember the parable of the lamp in Mark 4:21-25? “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed, and not to be placed on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be made visible; nothing is secret except to come to light.  Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear! Take notice of what you are hearing. The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you, and still more will be given to you.” How do you think Jesus delivered this story?  Did he sit with his head down, muttering quietly about truth, light, and a visible Church?  I doubt that.  I’m positive he stood, raised his voice, and was physically expressive.  He wanted his message to be heard, understood, and spread. There were no microphones, TV, radio, or the internet. Jesus was not timid and quiet.  Jesus was a revolutionary.  He upset the olive cart.  He rocked the boat. Get that image of the get-along, go-along, hippie Jesus out of your head. He had to be a mesmerizing and energetic speaker.

Yet, here we sit silent, except for a few, while Planned Parenthood profits off the murder of and selling of babies and their body parts.  Those self-taught investigative journalists who exposed PP are facing jail time and God bless them—they don’t care. And we should be just as fearless.  Nothing changes unless we demand and enact the change.  We’ve all heard the excuses: “I don’t want to upset so-in-so. She’ll start a war with me on Facebook.” “Nobody is going to listen to me, I’m just one person.” “You say it for me.” Stop it.  The time has come for every person to stand up and speak out. The more we remain docile lambs, the easier it is for them to keep chipping away at our rights.

It’s already happening.  Can someone give me the definition of “hate” speech?  The First Amendment protects all speech, not some, all and especially speech which makes you uncomfortable. Do you think speaking out against abortion isn’t provocative?  Go to any college campus and just walk around with pro-life literature. I won’t even suggest that you engage in debate because you’ll never get that far. There is a good chance you will be assaulted, physically and definitely verbally, and tossed off the campus. If you’re a student, you’ll be sent to the Dean of Students and be given a lecture on misogyny, and when and if you can go to a “free speech zone”, along with being publicly shamed and shunned. Ask your kids if you don’t believe me.

Think of all those Christians—men, women, and children—who have been and still are being martyred for their faith.  We, in the United States, are not subject to anything remotely like this.  However, many of our brothers and sisters are being denied a seat at the table because they practice their faith, which is in violation of the 1st Amendment. One needs look no further than Amy Coney Barrett, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Barrett, who is a nominee to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, was drilled on her faith and how it would impede her judgement should she serve on the bench.  Senator Diane Feinstein (D) California stated, “The dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for for years in this country.” Big issue=abortion. Senator Dick Durbin (D) Illinois was blunt and asked, “Do you consider yourself an orthodox Catholic?”4  I guess the good senators never heard about the unconstitutionality of religious tests as spelled out in Article 6 Section 3.

The science against abortion is staggering. Fetuses, by 8 weeks after fertilization react to touch and by 20 weeks can feel pain5, yet the abortions continue and in some states, babies can be aborted just before delivery.  Will “abortion” after birth be next? Iceland aborts 100% of babies born with Down syndrome6.  Here in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  report a decrease in children born with Down, even though survival rates are up from 10 years old to about 47 in 20077.  Sympathetic judges are sentencing parents who murder their disabled children to ridiculously low sentences. Where do we draw the line?

Oh, that the dogma should live loudly in us all.

 

1 For more information and resources visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/respect-life-program/2017/respect-life-digital-resources.cfm

2 https://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/

3 The Lion Sleeps Tonight https://lifelinesbylucie.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/the-lion-sleeps-tonight/

4 Chicago Tribune Editorial: Durbin, Feinstein and Catholic judges September 11, 2017

5 Doctors on Fetal Pain www.doctorsonfetalpain.com/fetal-pain-the-evidence/

6 CBS News on Assignment “What kind of society to you want to live in?”: Inside the country where Down syndrome is disappearing. Julian Quinones, Arijeta Lajka August 14, 2017

7 https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/downsyndrome/data.html

Come Together

The Beatles released this song in 1969.  Some say John Lennon penned the song for Timothy Leary’s quest to become governor of California, while others insist he’s talking about all four of the Beatles.  Whomever he was talking about the message is clear.  Everyone has bad habits, quirks etc. but it’s time to get a grip and come together.

I thought about this as we prepare for Thanksgiving.  The first big Holiday of the year and the first time many families and friends will be getting together since summer.  It’s also the first time everyone will be around the table after this election cycle.  Holidays bring out the best and worst in us and the larger the family, the more assorted the characters.  This year could be a doozy.  With many Americans divided on several fronts you can guarantee more fireworks than Independence Day—and that’s just for Chicago White Sox and Cub fans!

I’ve been hearing from friends and acquaintances that some of their family members will not be attending Thanksgiving dinner under any circumstances because certain members of the family who will be present supported one presidential candidate and they cannot accept that.  Cannot accept is actually being kind.  The words and adjectives being used are repulsive.  If I can live through a Chicago Cubs World Series you can sit down and break bread with your family.

Here’s a newsflash.  We’ve been deciding the fate of our leader via elections in this country for over 200 years, and in each there was one winner and yes one loser.  In politics everyone doesn’t get a trophy.  If the President is doing a lousy job there are checks and balances in place to keep him or her on the straight and narrow.  For those who are educationally challenged in US government—elections happen every 4 years.  The greatest protest of all is silent and done in the privacy of the voting booth.  Well that’s true unless you live in Chicago and then all bets are off.

I brought up baseball and the World Series for a reason.  Baseball and voting in an election are not the same, although each year it seems like it is.  The fact is voting in an election is not like cheering for your favorite sports team.  In sports the winners get a trophy and lots of money.  Fans get boasting rights and in the case of the World Series, spend a fortune on team paraphernalia.  The country is at the heart of presidential elections.  It’s not my team is better than yours because whether your blue, red, green or in-between we’re all technically on the same team.  Team USA.  Or so I thought.  If Mary Matalin, a prominent Republic consultant, and James Carville, a prominent Democrat consultant, can be married for 23 years1 anyone can get along.

Whether you are a Cub fan or White Sox fan, a Democrat or Republican, this is the time to come together.  Some people will not be able to be home with their families and others are completely alone or hospitalized.  Others have lost a family member and don’t know how to “celebrate”.  I’m sure all these Americans would give anything to celebrate Thanksgiving with their missing or lost loved one.

If you are lucky enough to live in this country you have much to be thankful for.  So please leave your politics at home.  Celebrate that you can spend another Thanksgiving with your family and friends.  Thank God that you live in a country where you can change your leader every 4 years, speak freely for or against it, and it doesn’t lead to bloody revolutions as it does in other countries.

And to my friends who are White Sox fans—sit next to your relative or relatives who happen to be Cub fans and let them gloat.  We did it in 2005.  Give thanks to God for all you’ve received this year.  Everything is better with turkey, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin pie—even a Cubs World Series.  And remember, baseball season starts in just 4 short months!

1 Matalin and Carville were actually married on Thanksgiving Day, 1993

 

Lola

If you were of age in the early 1970’s, chances are you know this classic song by the Kinks.  The lyricist writes he couldn’t understand why Lola walked like a woman but talked like a man.  Lola was transgender.  This was extremely controversial in the 70’s and in some places the song was banned.  Not in Chicago.  I can still sing every line from memory.

In my lifetime I have only met one transgender person.  I met her at a 2009 forum sponsored by our local Congressman.  I approached her after the forum because I admired her bravery.  She was born a Muslim man in a Muslim country. She immigrated to the US because she could no longer risk the threat of death at the hands of her family or the theocratic government.  Under Islamic Sharia Law she would have been stoned to death for identifying as a woman.

I thought of her today while reading about the controversy over North Carolina House Bill 2, otherwise known as the bathroom law.  The law basically states if you are biologically a man you use the men’s bathroom or locker room and if you are biologically a woman you use the women’s bathroom or locker room in all government buildings, including public schools.  You think this would be common sense—but you would be wrong.

The governors of these states are making these laws to counter other laws stating bathrooms and locker rooms in public places should not be restricted to your biological sex as it discriminates against the LGBT community.  It’s my understanding that lesbians are women and gay men are men.  Bi-sexuals are also either a man or woman.  The small population of transgender people in the US, much like the woman I met at the forum, has been able to figure out which bathroom they feel most comfortable in for years.  This leaves the transfluid or genderfluid population. According to dictionary.com the term means, noting or relating to a person whose gender identity or gender expression is not fixed and shifts over time or depending on the situation.  Does anyone else see a potential problem here?

Celebrities have already taken sides and are canceling performances in states passing men and women only bathroom laws.  Not to be outdone, the White House is planning on cutting funds to these states while governors in states who promote non-discrimination bathrooms are banning travel to states that don’t, all in the name of equal rights.  White House press secretary Josh Earnest stated, “This is a good illustration that the fight for civil rights is not over”.  Hmmm, back in the 1960’s when African Americans were fighting for their civil rights; I don’t recall any of them being able to change their skin color over time or depending on the situation.

I thought of that brave transgender woman who I met those 7 years ago.  The last thing on her mind was which bathroom she should use.  She was just grateful to be alive and live as she pleased.  She put her life on the line to identify as a woman.  This was no game.  She dressed and conducted herself like a woman and if she used the women’s bathroom at the event that day nobody paid much notice, but that was way back in 2009.

What are we doing in April, 2016?  Why are we making laws without thinking about the consequences?  The non-discrimination ordinances give rapists, pedophiles, and voyeurs the greenlight to perpetrate crimes against women and children.  Any one of these can claim he feels like a woman, thus making him genderfluid by law, and enter a women’s bathroom or locker room with a hidden camera.  A registered sex offender can do the same, enter a women’s bathroom or locker room and rape a woman or a child.  These potential victims can be your wife, your sister, your daughter or your son.  What about their rights?  Why make it easier for criminals to prey on the innocent?

Now let’s look at a theory nobody’s talking about.  Why are these laws being enacted now?  Does the government really care about the LGBT community or are they using them?  We are a country of laws, not men, governed by a Constitution that states all people are equal and while we have freedom of religion, we are not ruled by one.  This is not the case in other parts of the world where corrupt governments, ruled by drug and organized crime, look the other way at rape and murder.  Or theocratic countries that state women and children do not have the same rights as men.  Under Islamic Sharia Law for example, for Muslim women to be found innocent of rape the rapist must either confess or there must be four male witnesses1 since women’s testimony is worth only half that of a man’s in court2.  In many rape culture countries pedophilia is also legal. The New York Times reported that U.S. Soldiers are told to ignore the rape of young boys by Afghan allies because it’s their culture3. Could this be the politically correct way to force multiculturalism on the US and pander to this section of our population for their vote?

Let’s look at Europe. Multiculturalism has made Sweden the rape capital of Europe. It’s estimated one in every four Swedish women will be sexually assaulted 4.  Swedish courts are sympathetic to the rapists and often acquit, even in the case of gang rape. We are hearing these types of atrocities throughout Europe with the influx of Middle Eastern refugees.  These criminals also prey on the LGBT community.  In Germany this January, two transgender women were allegedly stoned by a gang of migrants after they first tried to sexually assault the women and then learned they were transgender.  The migrants felt their “honor was hurt” and stoned them because “such people” should be killed5.   If we let a rape culture trump our culture we all suffer.  Is this what we want in the United States of America?

For transgender teenagers in public schools, who are bullied and threatened, other accommodations must be made for them, but not by violating the privacy rights of other children.  We cannot allow certain groups of people to have more rights over others because it’s their culture—that’s called breaking the law.  Nor can we allow criminals to hide behind a law and prey on women and children.  If “non-discrimination” ordinances are enacted, and the rights of millions of innocent people are ignored, the consequences could be devastating.

 

1  Quran (24:4)

2  Quran (2:282)

3  New York Times 9/21/2015

4 Gatestone Institute International Policy Council, Sweden: Rape Capital of the West, Ingrid Calrqvist & Lars Hedegaard, February 14, 2015

5 Adam Salandra, 1/17/2016

Hush

1968 Deep Purple, right?  Also a traditional gospel song, Hush, hush, somebody’s calling my name.  The kind of hushing I’m writing about is in regard to the clergy.  I can’t tell you how many times, over the course of the years, I’ve witnessed confused parishioners approach their parish priest and ask them, “Father, which candidate promotes our values and beliefs?” only to be told that they can’t give an opinion.

When did priests and pastors lose their 1st Amendment right to free speech and why?  The Founders were clear that everyone, including religious, have the right to free speech.  If it wasn’t for the Black Robe Regiment during the Revolutionary War, which consisted of clergy who gave inspired sermons that the American Revolution was a righteous cause, to some even leading their congregations into battle, we would probably still be English subjects1.

Civil War researchers acknowledge the importance of the clergy as well.  The war made it acceptable, if not obligatory, to speak out against slavery.  Churches, both clergy and congregations, played a major role in the Underground Railroad.  So what happened?

Is it because of separation of church and state?  Thomas Jefferson, credited with these words, was referring to the separation of church and State, (emphasis on the capital S).  He was easing the fears of religious clergy that the newly formed government would not inflict a State-sponsored religion on the country, as there was in England.   That’s what the Pilgrims ran from.  It was what our country was built on; freedom to practice and live out the religion of your choice wherever you live and whenever you want with no restrictions.

It’s no accident that our first civil right states:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech…  (emphasis on prohibiting the free exercise thereof.)  It means no man can stop you from practicing, speaking, or living out your religion.  So how can Congress or any agency in government curtail a member of the clergy’s 1st Amendment, God-given right?  The answer is they can’t—not as long as the Constitution is the law of the land.

Silencing of churches begin in 1954 when then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson (D-TX) decided that tax-exempt entities (mostly consisting of houses of worship) should not be allowed to speak out on politics or lose their tax-exempt status.  Why would he do this and why did Congress go along with it when it states clearly in the 1st Amendment that Congress shall make no law…  Hmmm, let’s think.  Could it have anything to do with Johnson’s re-election campaign that faced stiff opposition from conservative Christians?  Or perhaps it was about silencing pastors, especially black pastors, during the civil rights movement?  It’s certainly strange that from 1788, when the Constitution was ratified, until 1954, preachers, pastors, and priests were free to exercise their right to free speech when speaking directly to their congregations.  Coincidence?

The Johnson Amendment, which many contest is unconstitutional, has been facing significant push-back the past few years from pastors who are willing to challenge the law and participate in Pulpit Freedom Sunday2, an event that takes place on a date leading up to Election Day.  The movement began with only 33 clergy members participating and has now swelled to 1,800 members and counting.  Priests and pastors that pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor are no longer bowing down to man and giving up their God-given right.

It’s our obligation, as American citizens, to be educated and defend our way of life.  This includes the clergy, as so many in the congregation are thirsting for truth and guidance especially since government-run schools are no longer teaching US history.  Since it’s not learned in schools, it’s up to everyone to educate themselves on both our history (good and bad) and the Constitution.

Freedom doesn’t come free, just take a trip to Arlington National Cemetery and look around.  We as a nation and as a people are in trouble.  We can no longer close our eyes to the attacks on life, privacy, free speech, and religious freedom.  It’s time to wake up those who either can’t or don’t want to see. It’s time to take a stand.  This is especially true for the clergy.  It’s that Moses moment.  This election year I will not violate my conscience.  I’ll stand by my principles and beliefs.  It’s that MLK moment.  I will not give in to misplaced anger or give in to violence to push an agenda conceived by man.  I will not call out for a king3, because he alone can’t make a nation great.  I will put my trust in God and not man.4   It’s time.  To quote John Adams, “Liberty once lost, is lost forever.”  To everything there is a season.  A time to keep silent, and a time to speak.5  Now is the time to speak.

 

1Religion and the Founding of the American Republic, Religion and the American Revolution, Library of Congress. www.locgov/exhibits/religion/rel03.html

2 An event sponsored by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) a Christian legal group based in Arizona.  Visit www.adflegal.org for more information

3 1 Samuel 8

4 Galatians 1:6-10

5Ecclesiastes 3:7