Why I will never vote Republican

May 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

All I see anymore is “Voting Guides” for Catholics. They say a lot about informed consciences and the difference between protecting life and protecting life, but all I hear is “VOTE REPUBLICAN OR YOU ARE A BAD CATHOLIC!”

For instance, there are many US Catholic organizations who will repeat, like Zenit, that “There can never be justification for directly and deliberately taking innocent human life: abortion, destruction of human embryos, euthanasia, human cloning.”

Followed immediately with the qualification that “The death penalty and war are different from procured abortion and same-sex “marriage,” since these latter acts are intrinsically evil and therefore can never be justified. Although war and capital punishment can rarely be justified, they are not intrinsically evil.”

Do you see how they did that? They know that many people like myself will never vote Republican, even to oppose a Democrat, because the Republican candidates, for the most part, support economic, social, and military policies that kill millions of people every year, and many of us believe that the protection of life that is ALREADY BORN is often more of a priority than trying to fix what will always be broken. But they say that war and other forms of murder are not “intrinsically evil”, even if they cannot be justified, so they are somehow less important than abortion. But wait, what part of “There can never be justification for directly and deliberately taking innocent human life” are they failing to understand? It is a well known fact that innocent people die in every war started by Republicans. It is a well known fact that many innocent people right here in America starve to death every day thanks to economic policies favored by Republicans. They say there can be no justification for these innocent losses of life, but then proceed to try to justify it. Hypocrites.

Well, here is the reason I will never vote Republican, even as a “lesser of two evils”. I know many Republican politicians. My campus has both a large Christian presence and a large Republican presence.I know many College Republicans. One of them recently told me something I have suspected for years. The Republican Party will never deliberately end abortion! They need it too much! This Republican actually told me that it would be insane for the Republican Party to end abortion, seeing as it was their single biggest vote-getting “hot-button” issue. “Why,” he asked me as I stood incredulous upon hearing his pronouncement, “would the party attempt to make abortion illegal when it is only the issue of abortion that causes Christians to vote against their economic and social interests by voting Republican?” 

In other words, this guy knows as well as every other Republican politician, that if abortion became illegal today, then tomorrow 95% of Christians would suddenly become Democrats! Because without that single issue, all the other policies and ideals supported by the Republican party are anathema to good Catholics!  Good Catholics oppose Capitalism, Communism, merchant greed, Corporations, unjust wars for profit, greed, disrespect for human life- all things that Republicans hold dear. And Republicans know it. The only way they can trick you into supporting the work of Satan, is to keep abortion legal. So I just don’t vote- it’s the best way for me to assure that I am not cooperating in ANY evil by voting for the wrong person.

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Well I no longe…

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Well I no longer know how to post html on this blog, and now the editor is like one inch high and will only display split page, so for some reason I have to look at the WordPress main page while I’m trying to edit. So I’m going to look for a different blog provider. If I figure out why and how they changed this thing, I might keep this blog “active”- as active as it ever was, anyway…

The Catholic Warrior

April 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

The Catholic Warrior, by Robert Abel, is a book about spiritual warfare and how to take authority over one’s own spiritual life. Robert Abel writes about his own experiences with spiritual warfare- how he discovered the fact that all Christians are constantly tempted, opressed, or even posessed by demons, how the demons have a right to do this, and how most people who suffer from demonic oppression actually have themselves to blame. Many of these truths are backed up with Scriptural references, but there are few references to Catholic authorities. Abel writes in a style which makes the story he tells seem exciting, and a little spooky. However, this book has many problems on a theological level.
 
As someone who grew up in an evangelical Protestant church, I’ve seen charismaticism before. Abel is obviously a "Charismatic Catholic". Now, there is nothing wrong with being ‘charismatic’ and seeking the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but many charismatics are confused as to what the Church teaches about matters of the Spirit. For instance, Abel often speaks of his friend "Athena" (odd name for a Catholic) and how she introduced him to spiritual warfare. He asks her things like, "which prayer were you praying just now?" when he feels a particularly powerful struggle going on within himself. Many charismatics, who often see demons behind every rock, seem to think of prayer as almost some sort of magic spell- this prayer works best for this purpose, etc. But the fact is, God knows what you need before you pray, and, while there is a wealth of prayer in the Church, and some are surely more appropriate at different times, they are not incantations that in themselves have a specific ‘power’ for a specific purpose. However, Abel seems to treat prayer in exactly this manner. Also, he seems to be, for lack of a better word, dishonest. For instance, in explaining how he discovered that he was oppressed by demonic forces, he relates a story of how he "opened the door" to these forces by reading a dirty magazine when he was twelve. This, he asserts, brought a demon of "lust" and "sexual cravings" into his life. However, he also claims in the same paragraph that he never looked at pornography again. Sorry, but if you are being tormented by a demon with lustful sexual cravings, I highly doubt you will go decades without looking at pornography. That statement honestly just leads me to doubt the veracity of all Abel’s statements.
 
Another thing that bothers me is Abel’s emphasis on the individual. While he admits that only the priest, with permission of the bishop, can perform exorcisms, he encourages all Catholics to engage in spiritual warfare against any demonic presence in their own lives, under their own power. He admits that Confession, and a valid one, is necessary to free onesself from demonic influence, but he neglects to mention that the other Sacraments exist for this same reason, and that Catholics are a part of a larger community and Communion, and should never have to "go it alone", as it were. My advise is, if you are ever experiencing demonic oppression (a very real phenomenon), SEE A PRIEST IMMEDIATELY! Do not rely on someone named Athena or your own faith to resist this oppression. God has given us powerful allies in the Saints and Angels, bishops and priests, and we should immediately and instinctively turn to the Church in any matter of faith and spirituality. Who is to say that, by trying to take matters into your own hands, you are not doing exactly what the demon wants? Perhaps you are placing your faith in your own fallible self rather than in Christ and His Church?
 
So, by all means read this book to get an idea of what some Catholics think about faith and spirituality. But don’t take its advice. There are many resons a Catholic might suffer from temptations or sinful desires, and demonic oppression is one of them. There are many reasons one might be oppressed. One may just be very easy to tempt, because their faith is very small. Go to Mass more and receive the sacraments if this is the problem. On the other hand, one might be a saint. One may be so holy, and have such a good future plan, that the evil one tries very hard to sway one from the right path. This seems to be what Abel thinks of himself, as is obvious in the very first paragraph of the book, where he describes being in St. Peter’s Square and seeing a host of angels with Jesus at the head, all cheering for him, because he "entered the battle." I know many Protestants who claim similar visions, of Holy men and women, creatures, and Christ Himself seeming to praise the individual. Those people suffer from many problems, and nobody should listen to them in manners of faith. Real saints feel humble and small in the presence of Holy things. Abel is no saint, that just comes through in this book. However, sice there are no specific contradictions of Canon Law or Church tradition, that I can tell, I will say this mostly adheres to Church teachings.

I wrote this review of The Catholic Warrior for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

I’m making a change…

April 17, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve decided to change majors. I don’t know how I got talked into electronics- my original major was Religion. Then I chose electronics, and changed to a Religion minor. Then I dropped the minor. But, you know, despite the fact that I’m good at maths and sciences, I just don’t like them. I really can’t stand sitting down and doing math or solving a science problem anymore. It’s not what I love. I love Christianity, and so it’s time for me to get serious. I have been avoiding going into ministry for a long time, but it;s where my heart lies. So, my university has a generic Religion degree- I’m switching to that, with a Greek minor. Then I can go on to get a doctorate in Theology. So, wish me luck! I might have difficulty paying for it, since I might lose financial aid due to changing too many majors and taking too many classes, but oh well, God will provide, if it’s really what I should be doing.

Glaring error on the Smithsonian Channel

December 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

An Icon of Saint Nicholas of MyraI recently added the Smithsonian Channel app on my Nook Color (bought it two months before the Nook Tablet came out, just my luck…). You can watch full shows and explore other content with the app, and the first show I watched was one which was in the rotation of recommended shows on the front page, “In Search of Santa Claus.” The show seeks to educate the masses about that which every Catholic knows from the age of reason- that “Jolly old Saint Nick” was a real guy, who came about long before the fat man in the red suit created by marketers. Seems like a great show to watch, especially during this Christmas season.

So I’m not three minutes into the show, during the part where the announcer is basically giving a precap of the show, when he states something along the lines of how the saint’s bones were dug up and ‘worshiped by millions, even royalty.” Um, wait, excuse me? Did an organization purporting to be a museum, a repository of knowledge, just say that Catholics worship Saints’ relics? Yep. I stopped watching the show, and fired off a quick email to the producers. Once again, Christians are under attack at Christmas. It just really reinforced the belief that there is still a clear anti-Christian, anti-Catholic agenda in American media. I urge all Catholics to contact the Smithsonian Channel (produced by Showtime Networks) and educate them on Catholic doctrine, reminding them that there are a lot of us and we refuse to watch television networks that blatantly misrepresent our beliefs.

A Biblical Defense of Catholicism

October 27, 2011 § 3 Comments

I just recently got a Nook Color e-reader as a gift to myself. One of the books I’ve read so far is A Biblical Defense of Catholicism, by the excellent apologist Dave Armstrong. Dave already has quite an in-depth website with many blog-style posts defending Catholicism, with the intent of providing Biblical evidence for the veracity of Catholic doctrine; one can safely assume that this is for those Protestant brethren who refuse to believe any doctrine that they are not aware is found in the Scriptures. This e-book conveniently brings together many of the Biblical proofs for Catholic doctrines, including Mary and her role as Mediatrix and Co-redemptrix, the Real Presence of the Eucharist, Tradition, the Priesthood and role of the Papacy, Purgatory, the Communion of Saints, Penance, and all the things that have traditionally been misunderstood, misinterpreted, and distrusted by Protestants. Those unfamiliar with Dave Armstrong and his apologetics should definitely read this book. He is one of the best, but little-known, apologists today, especially in the area of Scripture. He is right up there with Dr. Scott Hahn, with an in-depth knowledge of both Scripture and Doctrine.

Dave Armstrong clearly and effectively lays out all the wealth of Scriptural evidence for Catholicism, while pointing out that Catholicism needs no Scriptural evidence to back it up, since it has nothing less than the original teachings of Christ and the Apostles, passed down from master to student for thousands of years. Whether you are a Catholic who wishes to learn more about the Bible as an important part of Christian life, or you know a Protestant who demands Biblical proofs for your beliefs, A Biblical Defense of Catholicism e-book version by Dave Armstrong is essential. Well researched and written, with a wealth of Bible-based apologetics, this e-book comes at a great price from Aquinas and More, your source for all things Catholic, including e-books.

You can purchase this e-book here.

I wrote this review of A Biblical Defense of Catholicism for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and delicious Opłatki Christmas Wafers.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

When will we stop celebrating death?

October 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Yet another human life has been snuffed out unnaturally, and, worse yet, it has ended with the express support of the United States. Moammar Qaddafi, long-time ally-enemy-ally of the United States, has been killed by CIA and NATO-supported rebels in Libya. Just a few weeks ago, a US citizen was murdered, with no trial and no right to defense. Before that, Usama bin Laden was murdered by US troops, and before that, a US-led coalition killed Saddam Hussein, at least bothering to give him a mock trial first. And with every death, Americans cheer and celebrate. What have we become?

We should rightly celebrate when justice is done, or when a war is ended, or when a dictator is deposed. But Americans, indeed all Christian and moral people, should never celebrate the end of a life. When bin Laden was announced dead, there were parties in the streets. When a US citizen, alleged to be a terrorist, was killed in Afghanistan, with no public trial or evidence given other than the word of “somebody” in our government, Americans shrugged their shoulders at best, or happily celebrated at worst. One can only wonder if these people do not see the dangerous precedent set by these actions of our ever more corporate-controlled government. “When they came for the ‘terrorists’, I said nothing…” But what happens when they all you a terrorist? What happens when the Occupy Wall Street protestors are called terrorists because they threaten the profits of those who control the government? And don’t they see, are they so blind that they cannot see, the odd coincidence that all the terrorists happen to be in oil-rich nations who just happened to deny American and allied governments the right to build pipelines through their territory, or to buy their oil? Do they not realize that in an industrial nation, oil is more valuable than gold?  Can’t they see the blatant fakery, stageing and propaganda on the news and television? Don’t they realize that behind every war in human history, were the interests, usually monetary, of a relatively few already wealthy and powerful people? But we are to believe that so many men, once called reliable leaders who were doing great things for their countrymen, were suddenly dictator terrorists who hate freedom- as soon as they refused to sell their oil to us or otherwise kowtow to the Company?

All that aside, can’t they see what amazing hypocrites they have become, when they claim to be pro-life, moral, responsible Christians- all while celebrating death on a daily basis?