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The Fiscal Cliff and Secularism (9443)

12/27/2012 Comments (125)

That we seem to be merrily rolling along toward a fiscal cliff is evident. Why is not as clear — at least not the deep why. Some of the depth of the problem can be plumbed out if we look at the relationship between secularism and our current morbid financial mess.

To live in a secular world means that the only heaven, if there is to be one, will be on earth. And since there are no souls in a secular, materialist world, then the only goods we can get are bodily goods. Thus, we run on from the self-preservation of having sufficient food, clothing and shelter to seek superfluous pleasures, titillations, entertainments and luxuries.

If we don’t get it here and now, we won’t get it at all....READ MORE

Filed under economy, secularism

Beauty Will Save the World; It's Merry Christmas, Not Happy Christmas and Much More! (1740)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/27/2012 Comment

“Beauty Will Save the World”. Click on the link by Jason Liske to read more.

“Beauty Will Save the World” – Jason Liske, Ascending Mount Carmel

It’s Merry Christmas, Not Happy Christmas by Matthew Schmitz of the First Things website - Big Pulpit

Pope’s Childhood Christmas Letter to Baby Jesus Published – Catherine Harmon, The CWR Blog

Pope Benedict’s Caveats on Subsidiarity, Charity, and Social Teaching – Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture/On the Culture

A Defense of the Traditional Date for Christmas – Dr. Taylor Marshall, Canterbury Tales

Porn Use and Supporting Same-Sex "Marriage" – Mark Regnerus, Public Discourse

Gushing Over the Royal Fetus: Words Matter – Eric Metaxas, LifeSiteNews

The Defense of Marriage Requires Honesty About Homosexuality...READ MORE

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Justice Sotomayor Rejects Hobby Lobby’s Request for Mandate Relief (12182)

The Christian-owned business now faces fines of up to $1.3 million per day after Jan. 1 if it refuses to provide abortion-inducing drugs in its company health-insurance plan.

12/27/2012 Comments (67)

– Wikicommons

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has rejected a request that the federal government temporarily halt enforcement of the federal abortifacient mandate against the Christian-owned business Hobby Lobby, The Associated Press reported Dec. 27.

The Green family, owners of the Oklahoma-based retail chain Hobby Lobby, does not object to providing contraceptives through the company’s health-insurance plan. But the company has filed a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that abortifacient drugs also be funded on the grounds that involvement in abortions is a violation of the Greens’ religious beliefs.

In her Dec. 26 decision denying the request from Hobby Lobby...READ MORE

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Abortion Expansion in Defense Bill Gets Troubling Support From Pro-Life Senators (4865)

Pro-life advocates worry that the November elections might have resulted in a weakening of congressional pro-life sentiment.

12/27/2012 Comments (18)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

– Shaheen.senate.gov

WASHINGTON —The unanimous passage through the Senate of a defense spending bill that expands abortion access for military personnel has generated concern that pro-life politicians are in retreat because of the November election results.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” Tom McClusky, vice president of the Family Research Council, said of the National Defense Authorization Act’s almost certain endorsement by the House of Representatives after passage by the Senate. “And we’re concerned that we’ve allowed the other side to frame the debate entirely in terms advantageous to helping women. Everyone wants to help women. But we also want what happens to the child to be part of the debate. The...READ MORE

Filed under congress, family research council, pro-lifers, susan b anthony list

The Apparition of Mary to Caesar at Christmas, Heresy Cannot Appreciate Beauty and Much More! (2913)

The Best in Catholic Blogging

12/27/2012 Comment

The Apparition of Mary to Caesar Augustus at Christmas. Follow the link by Dr. Taylor Marshall of the Canterbury Tales blog to read this fascinating story.

The Apparition of Mary to Caesar Augustus at Christmas by Dr. Taylor Marshall of the Canterbury Tales blogBig Pulpit

Heresy Cannot Appreciate Beauty – Jason Liske, Ascending Mount Carmel

A Merry Latin and Celtic Christmas - Webmaster Gareth, Catholic & Welsh

The Silent Wonder of Mary and Joseph – Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Crisis Magazine

Vatican: Pope Benedict Won’t Be Intimidated on Homosexuality by Media – John-Henry Westen, LifeSiteNews

The Gift of Celibacy, Its Meaning Today – John Morgan III, Ignitum Today

John Rist: ‘You can’t Pick and Choose in Catholic Moral Teaching’ – Fr. Z’s Blog

Will a World War Spark a Religious Revival? – Dave Hartline, The American Catholic


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Pope Benedict’s Message for St. Stephen’s Day (2291)

St. Stephen, deacon and first martyr of the Church, ‘is a model for all those who want to serve the New Evangelization,’ the Holy Father said.

12/26/2012 Comments (3)
Giacomo Cavedone/ Wikipedia

St. Stephen

– Giacomo Cavedone/ Wikipedia

VATICAN CITY — “On St. Stephen’s Day, we are called to fix our gaze on the Son of God,” Pope Benedict XVI said in his Angelus reflections on Dec. 26, the feast day of St. Stephen.

And like St. Stephen, deacon and first martyr of the Church, we should “open up our lives to the light that directs us” on life’s path, the Pope said.

Below is a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s Angelus reflection for St. Stephen’s Day:


Dear brothers and sisters,

Each year, on the day after Christmas, the liturgy celebrates the feast of St. Stephen, deacon and first martyr. The Book of Acts presents him as a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:8-10, 7:55); in him the full...READ MORE

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‘Rise of the Guardians’ Brings Together Santa’s Sidekicks to Save the Day (2149)

A positive message is weakened by secularism in the latest seasonal offering from Dreamworks Animation.

12/26/2012 Comments (6)

Last year’s animated Arthur Christmas revealed that Santa Claus had a son — actually two. In Rise of the Guardians, the newest offering from Dreamworks Animation, we learn that he is also part of a superhero team sworn to protect Earth’s children.

Based on the fantasy book series by William Joyce, the movie brings together a group of iconic childhood characters, collectively known as “The Guardians,” led by Alec Baldwin’s North, a.k.a. Santa — only, here, he’s not jolly St. Nick, but a rough-and-tumble Russian swordsman, with “naughty” and “nice” tattooed on his brawny forearms, reminiscent of Robert Mitchum’s inked knuckles in Night of the Hunter.

Standing alongside him are Hugh...READ MORE

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Pope’s 2012 Urbi et Orbi Address: ‘Open the Door of Faith’ (3370)

Addressing thousands of pilgrims at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father recalled those suffering from conflicts across the world and expressed hope that China’s new leaders will respect the contribution of religions.

12/25/2012 Comments (4)
Franco Origlia/ Getty Images News

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his 'urbi et orbi' blessing (2011).

– Franco Origlia/ Getty Images News

VATICAN CITY — In his Christmas urbi et orbi ("to the city of Rome and to the world") address, Pope Benedict XVI reflected on how the birth of Christ has allowed truth to “spring out of the earth,” bringing kindness, justice and peace, but that man must, for his part, “open the door of faith.”

Addressing thousands of pilgrims from the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father also recalled those suffering from conflicts across the world and expressed his hope that China’s new leaders will respect the contribution of religions.

Taking Psalm 85:12 as his starting point — “Veritas de terra orta est!” (Truth has sprung out of the earth!) — the Pope said that, today, these prophetic...READ MORE

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