… Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo, Nigeria, is convinced they are under threat from what Pope Francis has called an “ideological colonization” that is seeking to destroy the family. It’s so bad, he says, that the United States has made clear it will not help Nigeria fight the Boko Haram terror group unless the country modify its laws regarding homosexuality, family planning and birth-control.
(If accurate, the implications are stunning. It suggests that the administration is ignoring the massacre of Christians less as a matter of apathy and ignorance than as a matter of ideological antipathy. Let us pray that that is not the case.)
“The message of these rulings is unmistakable: the government will bring about your personal and professional ruin if you don’t help celebrate same-sex marriage,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kristen Waggoner,…”
(The question is not whether Christians have the right to refrain from activities that betray their commitment to Christ, but whether Americans can any longer be permitted to blaspheme an ideology—Secular Humanism—which is rapidly establishing itself as the official religion of the United States. Since the Constitution expressly forbids the establishment of a state religion, I am surprised that Christian legal groups are not battling the government on that basis alone. Let’s pray for continued strength for all Christians who are now being similarly oppressed.)
UPDATE: Baronelle Stutzman has declined the state’s kind offer to reduce her fine.
“You are asking me to walk in the way of a well-known betrayer, one who sold something of infinite worth for 30 pieces of silver,” Stutzman wrote in a letter to state Attorney General Bob Ferguson. “That is something I will not do.”
DRTV Above the Paygrade: Wesley J. Smith: Legal Suicide, Cultural Suicide
(Once the state decides the life of the most innocent is no longer sacred, then no one’s life is sacred, whether religious, agnostic or atheist. Perhaps the pro-life movement would enjoy more success in battling the juggernaut of Death if it enlarged the scope of its mission—if it started trying to convince the secular world in terms that hit it where it lives, so to speak, in terms of its own self-preservation.
One of the main reasons the anti-abortion message falls on so many deaf ears is that secularists fail to see the connection between the utilitarian devaluation of one innocent life and the subsequent utilitarian devaluation of all other lives, as manifested by such anti-human activities as rationing of healthcare and euthanizing of the vulnerable—they fail to understand the indissoluble link between the value of one human life and the value of their own.)
Open to me the doors of repentance, O Life-giver, for my spirit rises early to pray toward your holy temple, bearing the temple of my body all defiled, but in your compassion, purify me by the loving-kindness of your mercy; lead me on the paths of salvation, O mother of God, for I have profaned my soul with shameful sins and have wasted my life in laziness, but by your intercessions deliver me from all impurity. When I think of the many evil things I have done, wretch that I am, I tremble at the fearful day of judgment, but trusting in your loving kindness like David, I cry out to you: have mercy on me, O God, according to your great mercy.
An excerpt from Great Lent, by Father Alexander Schmemann (Chapter 2: Preparation for Lent)
The Gospel lesson (Luke 18:10-4) pictures a man who is always pleased with himself and who thinks that he complies with all the requirements of religion. He is self-assured and proud of himself. In reality, however, he has falsified the meaning of religion. He has reduced it to external observations and he measures his piety by the amount of money he contributes to the temple. As for the Publican, he humbles himself and his humility justifies him before God. If there is a moral quality almost completely disregarded and even denied today, it is indeed humility. The culture in which we live constantly instills in us the sense of pride, of self-glorification, and of self-righteousness. It is built on the assumption that man can achieve anything by himself and it even pictures God as the one who all the time “gives credit” for man’s achievements and good deeds. Humility– be it individual or corporate, ethnic or national– is viewed as a sign of weakness, as something unbecoming a real man.
“Virgin and martyr, patroness of church music, died at Rome.
This saint, so often glorified in the fine arts and in poetry, is one of the most venerated martyrs of Christian antiquity. The oldest historical account of St. Cecilia is found in the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum”; from this it is evident that her feast was celebrated in the Roman Church in the fourth century.”
David Clayton, professor at Saint Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH, discusses the Christian perspective on art, cosmic beauty, first principles, and the Transcendentals. Part Two next week-end.