Saturday 25th October 2014

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Ten Commandments Into Law?

September 27, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The political satirist P.J. O’Rourke can be as funny and insightful as anyone on the scene these days. Not that he is Mark Twain, of course, but no one else is either. (If you want to laugh out loud over and over do a Google search of “Mark Twain quotations.”) Here are some of my favorite O’Rourke quips: “”You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.” “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” “Gossip is what you say about the object of flattery when they aren’t present.” Good stuff: concise wisecracks that make a serious point. Making a “serious point” is the key. O’Rourke tries…Continue Reading

Santorum Raises Hope… That U.S. Won’t Follow Other Nations’ Historical Path Of Decline

September 26, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — The uniqueness of the United States being founded on the concept of “God-given rights” could be the reason this nation won’t follow the historical pattern of other lands that went into irreversible decline, former presidential candidate Rick Santorum told a dinner of business executives here. “America was founded on principles that no other nation has” in its basic recognition of God, Santorum, a former Pennsylvania U.S. senator and 2012 Republican presidential candidate, told a September 10 dinner of the Phoenix chapter of Legatus, a national organization of Catholic business leaders. He added later that history shows a “pattern of ascendancy, then dominance, then decline” that never was reversed in nations that had become world leaders.…Continue Reading

When Evil Looks Familiar… Strange Things Happen To Conscience

September 25, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN Propaganda wars around the world seek victories by winning bystanders. Persuading spectators from afar to choose one side over the other can be as useful in a fight as battlefield victories. “You cannot imagine the pleasure you get from cutting off a baby’s head,” said a startling headline at the anti-Islamist website Jihad Watch on September 14, which was picked up by the religion-news aggregator PewSit ter.com. The bloodthirsty comment was attributed to a fighter with the Islamic State who described what he’d do when bursting in upon rival Muslims — death to the grandmother, the wife, then the baby. The description sounds credible these days in light of the Islamic State heavily publicizing its beheadings of…Continue Reading

A Movie Review . . . “The Song” Celebrates Forgiveness And Redemption

September 24, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By REY FLORES In today’s culture that constantly attacks traditional marriage, life, and family, we all face terrific contrary pressures as we try to stay on the path of the straight and narrow. Temptations abound and the wickedness and snares of the Devil are constantly trying to get us to sin and put our eternal souls at risk. Sometimes when we do choose to sin, we leave behind the wreckage of our sins, having hurt some of the people we purport to love the most, including God. This film is exactly about that. The Song is one of the most enjoyable films I have watched in a long time. It has style, great acting, and a terrific soundtrack that is…Continue Reading

Our Divisiveness Keeps Abortion Business Thriving

September 23, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By REY FLORES Many years ago, when I was a community organizer in Chicago, I cut my teeth with some of the most effective left-wing organizers as part of the politically influential Grassroots Collaborative. This group included ACORN, SEIU, American Friends Service Committee, and Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). Before I alarm you any further, let me just clear the air here. I certainly did not subscribe to their politics and I took a lot of abuse simply for being Catholic and pro-life, but I believed in the human dignity of the poor and disenfranchised people these organizations were claiming to be fighting for. I soon realized that the community organizers and unions weren’t really interested in…Continue Reading

Do Fewer Teachers = Better Teachers?

September 22, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

People have been seeking ways to improve the quality of teachers in this country for as long as most of us can remember. S.M. has forwarded to First Teachers a column by Amanda Ripley from the June 17 issue of the Arizona Daily Star that contends that Finland has come up with an effective answer to the problem. Ripley is the author of The Smartest Kids in the World — and How They Got That Way. Ripley calls our attention to “something that hasn’t made many headlines but has the potential to finally revolutionize education. . . . In a handful of statehouses and universities across the country, a few farsighted Americans are finally pursuing what the world’s smartest countries…Continue Reading

The Deposit of Faith And The Development of Doctrine

September 21, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By PHILIP TROWER There are certain words or terms in the Church’s vocabulary for explaining her beliefs and practices which I have always found especially enlightening, and perhaps more than any others, those which I have given as the title of this article: “The Deposit of Faith and the Development of Doctrine.” Together they wonderfully encapsulate the whole process by which the Christian Revelation was given to the world and over the centuries came to be formulated and explained in the way it has by its authorized guardian, the one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. Although in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s there was a lot of talk about an “ongoing revelation” (God was continually revealing new truths), this idea…Continue Reading

Obamacare’s Hidden Agenda

September 20, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK We are all taught early in our education that it is unacceptable to act as if we can read the minds of those who disagree with us on an issue. The formal term for it is “imputing motives.” We are told that we should deal with what our opponents actually say, not charge them without proof of dishonest intentions or “ulterior motives”; that we should not attack their character with an “ad hominem” argument, but the quality of their evidence, since even lowlifes can have the facts on their side at times. Fair enough. But there are instances when circumstantial evidence of a hidden agenda can be too overwhelming to ignore. I submit that just such…Continue Reading

Memo To Bishops . . . Heaven Has Gates, And Only Those Who Follow The Rules Get In

September 19, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX — Trust is one of the most necessary qualities in relationships. Without honest language, there’s no basis for reliable understanding. If a penitent tells a priest he’s a financial customer when he means a bank robber, or a disciplinarian when he means child beater, or a window evaluator when he means Peeping Tom, the priest has been misled. If the very words upon which a debate occurs are intentionally misleading or deceptive, trust is broken and the exchange of thought impaired. That’s an important reason that so many Catholics feel alienated from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over an issue it champions. “Illegal immigration” and “illegal aliens” are simple, factual words to describe a certain…Continue Reading

Liberty And Dignity Under Assault . . . “In Ways That Are Chilling And Unimaginable As Never Before”

September 18, 2014 Frontpage Comments Off

By DEXTER DUGGAN PHOENIX – Nationally active speakers at a “legislative seminar” here examined the damage to the legal system and individual conscience, welfare, and morality if American courts impose a fiat favoring the “same-sex marriage” novelty. About 300 people gathered at Phoenix Catholic diocesan headquarters for the September 6 program, “Catholics in the Public Square,” dealing with their legitimate political responsibilities in American society. The half-day program began with an 8 a.m. Mass at nearby St. Mary’s Basilica, where Phoenix Bishop Thomas Olmsted urged listeners to have faith that God will bring a greater good from the undoubted evils of the present time. “When persecuted, we endure. . . . When slandered, we respond gently. Now, that’s not easy,”…Continue Reading