Archive for January, 2013

The Boy Scout Motto–Be Prepared

January 31, 2013

One thing I cannot help but think about when I hear talk of the Boy Scouts, are the paintings of Norman Rockwell.

For nearly 50 years America’s greatest artist painted calendars for the organization he loved so dearly.

As I watch the “gotcha” media try to take down everything in America that still has an ounce of “good,” I’m reminded how Jesus and the Apostle Paul taught their followers to be prepared.

Here’s what Jesus said about self-defense; Luke 22:36

But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

Here’s what Paul said about sexual deviance; Ephesians 5:12

For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of.

The art of diplomacy is dead.

To think, the highest ranking diplomat in this once great nation, knowing she’d be asked tough questions about Benghazi, Libya, was so ill prepared, she actually spewed –“What difference does it make?”– to a Congressional panel.

As Christians, we need to be prepared when someone tries to “get us” with tough questions.

Like Boy Scouts, and Norman Rockwell, our loyalty to Truth is the greatest weapon we have, if we hope to repaint a world so blinded by political correctness that it treats goodness as evil.

Boy Scouts
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The Gun Law Power Grab

January 30, 2013

For those of you living in New York State, with no criminal record of any kind, but legally owning a firearm; the chance of you becoming a criminal, by legislative fiat, is almost guaranteed.

If you read nothing else today, target this commentary by Bob Lonsberry, WHAM Radio of Rochester.

It will disarm you.

CUOMO v FREEDOM
It seems odd that the government of a free people would pass secret legislation in the dark of the night.
But then, New Yorkers are not a free people.
And Andrew Cuomo is not a democrat.
He is a monarchist.
And by noon today, a secret, un-debated effort to criminalize tens of thousands of law-abiding, tax-paying New Yorkers will be in place. In the interest of his presidential ambitions and in the name of public safety, Andrew Cuomo and the coven of servile evildoers that is the state legislature have castrated the Second Amendment and enslaved the people.
Cuomo’s bid to out Hitler Obama has worked.
The people are measurably disarmed.
What George the Third could not achieve, Mario the Second has.
With no public notification or discussion, with all details of the legislation held completely secret, Andrew Cuomo has outlawed an entire class of firearms – casting a very large net over hundreds of guns he calls assault rifles.
Any firearm with a flash suppressor or a pistol grip or a collapsible stock or a flashlight mount or, in many cases, a detachable magazine, is rechristened an assault rifle and, by noon today, will be illegal to purchase in the Archduchy of New York. Those who already own such beastly devices will be required to register them with the state and may never transfer them to anyone except the state.
You can’t sell them, you can’t give them away, you can’t leave them to your kids in your will. The right to own them dies with you.
The biggest selling American rifle of the last eight years is now illegal in Cuomo’s New York. Millions of Americans own them, tens of thousands of them are manufactured annually in the state of New York, but New Yorkers are not free enough to own them.
Because the government knows best.
Even more nefarious is the magazine capacity limit, which says, one year from this date, no New Yorker can own a magazine that holds more than seven bullets. Unrealized by most is the fact that many common rifles and handguns don’t come with magazines holding fewer than 10 bullets.
Millions of American .22 rifles – the traditional firearms of children – have magazines holding 10, 14 or 18 rounds.
Grandpa’s M1 Garand, the one he used to free Europe, comes with an 8-round clip that, after 60 years of sitting in the closet, just became contraband. Ditto for home-defense shotguns, which come standard with 8-round magazines.
And the handgun of the age – the Glock – doesn’t make, for most of its firearms, magazines holding fewer than 10 rounds.
What that means is that you will able to own the gun, but not the magazine that allows it to function. You can own the gun, but you can’t make it shoot.
Details of the magazine ban are unknown, as is every part of this legislation. As this day dawns, the bill has been passed by the Vichy French of the state Senate, but its contents and text have not been made public.
That’s how the “land of the free” operates these days – at least as governed by the Emperor Cuomo.
But one of the whispered aspects of the bill is, in addition to a limit on the number of rounds in a magazine, a limit on the number of magazines a person could own – specifically, two. Whether that is two per gun, or two per gun owner, the overseer hasn’t yet found time to communicate to the field slaves.
That means that when the home invasion hits your house, the handgun you rely on to protect your family, the one designed to hold 17 rounds per magazine, will fire just 14 times, if you stop to change clips while they’re raping your wife.
If not, you better hope you never come up against more than seven rounds of trouble.
Because young Andy has decided, as the Dauphin of Albany, that you can fight for your life with seven rounds, but not eight. The criminals, whose guns and magazines are all illegal anyway, can come high capacity, but you, you are going to run out of ammo right about the time the bad guy pushes his muzzle up against your forehead.
You will be a martyr to his presidential ambitions.
And if you aren’t, your freedom certainly will be.
As New Yorkers learned last night, nothing stops Reichsleiter Cuomo.
Also rumored to be in the legislation is a provision calling for the re-issuance – and periodic re-issuance – of all pistol permits in the state. Those permits will be reissued under new statewide guidelines not yet promulgated by His Eminence the Governor.
What’s that mean?
That means that people who have lawfully owned handguns in New York must all now come hat in hand and bow before the sharia of the Hudson. If you don’t meet the standards of Kim Jung Andy, you lose your permit and you lose your guns.
All that’s been said on that count is that permits must now be issued under a uniform statewide standard. That raises the question of whose standard will become statewide?
Will it be the standard of Wayne County, where concealed-carry permits take about a month to process? Or will it be the standard of Monroe County where those same permits take as long as a year and a half to come through? Or will it be Onondaga County where you wait a year and are uniformly denied the right to carry the gun for self-defense?
Or will the new New York State standard be the standard of New York County, where no permits are issued to the general public whatsoever?
Those questions are unanswered.
Also unanswered is when the lieutenant governor – so important to the function of the state that he lives five hours away – will turn in his high-capacity magazines. A former police officer, he was known for years to carry a personal Beretta with a double stack that his political patron just made a felony.
Speaking of police officers, this law just castrated their guns, too. On duty, they can carry the high-capacity magazines all modern guns were designed to hold. Off duty, they join the citizenry in the under-gunned category. Ditto for the day they retire.
This makes it a lot easier for the bad guys. When you’re attacking an armed citizen, just count to seven, and then you’ve got him.
But wait, there’s more. The legislation also says that every purchaser of every kind of ammunition must go through a background check.
Every purchaser or every kind of ammunition.
So the night before deer season opens, when everybody remembers they need a box of shells, you better hope there’s somebody awake in Albany to answer the call from WalMart and look up your records.
A box of .22s for plinking? Background check.
A box of shells for skeet? Background check.
That creates hassle and expense, both of which will be borne by the law-abiding gun owners of New York.
But this isn’t about guns, it’s about freedom.
And last night in New York it took a staggering blow. Not just in the loss of Second Amendment rights, and a contemptuous governor who vilifies any who complain about his legislation, but in a process that bastardized representative government.
When you pass secret legislation in the dark of the night, you are not doing the people’s business, you are giving the people the business.
Right up their back end.
The concept of representative government died in New York last night, so that the governor could advance his personal ambitions.
On July 26, 1788, New York became the eleventh state to ratify the Constitution. On January 14, 2013, New York became the first state to disavow it.
So let it be written, so let it be done.

 

Fulton Sheen–On Atheism

January 29, 2013

A few years ago my youngest son began to devour books I had inherited from my father.

The beautiful oak and glass bookcase that accompanied them sits prominently in our living room.

Nearly every book by Archbishop Fulton Sheen is in that library; also several cassette tapes.

Not too long after starting in on them, Marc came to me and said; “Dad, your blog title–spoofing atheists–is correct, Fulton Sheen believes the same thing.”

Little did Marc know that when I was his age, I poured through those same books, learning as much as I could about Christ, our relationship to God and the Bishop’s opinion about man.

Fulton Sheen was an expert on human nature; especially in its fallen state.

Today’s blog will end with a quote from the Bishop, which says, in a far more eloquent manner, that “Atheists are faking.”

I sound like a fool…he sounds like an Archbishop.

 “As all men are touched by God’s love, so all are also touched by the desire for His intimacy. No one escapes this longing; we are all kings in exile, miserable without the Infinite. Those who reject the grace of God have a desire to avoid God, as those who accept it have a desire for God. The modern atheist does not disbelieve because of his intellect, but because of his will; it is not knowledge that makes him an atheist…The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity. That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth. His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked man has for one whom he has wronged: he wishes he were dead so that he could do nothing to avenge the wrong. The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not; the post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not.” (Peace of Soul)

The Purgatory Flu

January 28, 2013

For those of you whose kids have Mrs. Massery as their third grade teacher here in Pittsfield, you know she was out sick the previous week.

All I remember her doing last Sunday was serving us a beautiful roast about a half hour before the Baltimore Ravens roasted the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game.

She then went to her room to lay down and never got up again until the following Sunday.

The flu that took her down was so severe, with what she described as a banging headache, sore throat, upset stomach and dizziness, it seemed like something one wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy.

As I checked on her each day, I knew I was helpless to do much else for her than to promise to pray…(I did bring her juice, water and chicken broth from The Highland.)

I also noticed that she never let go of her rosary beads, (close your eyes Bible Christians, unless you understand who the New Testament Ark of the Covenant is).

The Hebrew word is Sheol, the Greek word is Hades…the Latin word is Purgatory.

They’re all the same place, where Christ went after His crucifixion, but before His resurrection, to speak to those in “prison;” 1 Peter 3:19,20.

In so many ways, when we endure great suffering on earth, we Catholics believe the wood, hay and stubble of 1 Corinthians 3:12 burns away, so all that’s left is gold, silver and precious stones.

When we refuse to praise God through our suffering, but complain…well, that’s where we may need more time to reflect…thus a place that might feel much like a Spiritual flu.

Embrace your suffering with Holy understanding that God is melting away your impurities…like my wife did…I am so proud of her.

You’re not being punished if you have hard times, you’re being perfected.

Less Kumbaya

January 27, 2013

I recently had the privilege of meeting an ordained minister, born and raised a Catholic, from my home town of Pittsfield.

His entire family has embraced their new religious tradition, and are deeply involved in the goings on of their congregation.

They’re a model family.

Except for one thing.

They’re not Catholics any more.

Why do things like that happen?

Is it because of the power of evangelical teaching?

I dare say not.

Is it because of Truth that they hold, which is far superior to ours?

Not in my view.

Is it because of church scandals or priestly abuses?

From what I’ve seen, folks deeply offended and overly vocal on that subject have forsaken religion and God entirely.

More on this topic some other time.

Here’s what might be the cause.

How many of you remember the Bubble Gum era of modern music?

It was called such because one would chew on it for a while, have a tiny bit of fun with the sugar and the bubbles, then, once it was worn through, spit it out.

It had so little staying power that now it’s looked back upon, almost as a shameful era of Rock and Roll.

Taking a bird’s-eye view of the history of Catholicism, especially over the past sixty years, I believe we’re finally reaching the end of our bubble gum era.

Identifying it is the first thing we must do.

Realizing that it helped cause a mass exodus is even more important.

In conversations I had with this minister, he admitted, he tried to reconcile his emptiness before saying goodbye, but none had the answers he needed.

Somehow the song Kumbaya, which many of us learned in the 60’s, symbolizes where we started to go wrong.

In our church, St. Mark’s in Pittsfield, music like that, “folk music,” was first only permitted at the Sunday evening 5:30 Mass….the “folk Mass,” with guitars and tambourines and 20-year-old musicians jamming on the altar.

Every other Eucharistic celebration was musically accompanied by classic hymns and our pipe organ.

More like fine china than paper plates.

I can still see my father, in suit and tie, singing from the depths of his soul, songs like, “The Churches’ One Foundation” and “Holy Holy Holy” etc…

It stirred my soul even as a five-year old.

Then, just as quickly as the “bubble gum” folk music sneaked in, somehow it took over.

Songs like “Sing to the Mountain,” became the entrance and closing hymn at Sunday morning masses.

My family and I, without realizing it, were among a small group that rode out the bubble gum storm, while others, like my new minister friend, left for greener pastures.

The article below, from the Washington Post, better explains how we may have finally turned the corner.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/the-new-old-catholic-church/2013/01/25/6879cff2-66a7-11e2-85f5-a8a9228e55e7_blog.html

America’s 40 Years in the Desert

January 26, 2013

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark decision Roe. v Wade, where the U.S. Supreme court callously declared they have no way of determining when life begins.

Consider this; 1973 predated the ultra sound.

Hmmm…

In light of technology used specifically to help young human life come to full term, maybe it’s time we take a second look.

I’m not here to say the outcome would be dramatically different; but at the very least, the argument needs to be fleshed out.

Remember Galileo?…he was imprisoned for promoting the idea the world was round.

Technology redeemed him.

Lord, forgive this once great land for our lukewarmness.

Christians more interested in what the world has to offer is as much to blame for our leaderless trip into the desert as the Evil One himself who speaks only lies.

Conception vs. Contraception.

Round Earth vs. Flat.

Good vs. Evil.

Jesus vs. Satan.

Eventually, the Truth always wins.

Father William Eckert’s Retirement

January 25, 2013

For those that know anything about my church in Pittsfield–St. Mark’s–we’ve been blessed through the years with many dedicated Priests.

One, in my view, an automatic Hall of Fame candidate, is Father Bill Eckert.

He passed away on January 18th, after serving as a Priest for 50 years.

Father Eckert first came to Pittsfield about 20 years ago, after time in Brazil and his native northern New Jersey.

I’ve never known a Priest more dedicated to the sick and dying than Fr. Bill.

When my late brother Louis became very ill with cancer, Father Eckert made regular trips to see him in the Boston area.

One of the greatest comforts of all, for our family saddened by Lou’s troubles, was knowing that Bill was with him just two days before he passed, administering the Sacrament of the sick and dying.

The Mass Pike in December, when Lou died, was no easy road to drive either, especially for a man well into his 70’s.

It was no surprise to any of us, that in Father’s last few months on earth, with his residency now at a Pittsfield nursing home, that he continued to say Mass, hear confessions and administer the Sacraments to those he shared time with in their waning days.

We all think about retirement some day, where we can look back at our accomplishments and relax.

Father Eckert did too…but his retirement began, not after his 65’th birthday, but after his last breath.

Thank you Bill, may God bless our Parish again someday with others half as Christlike as you.

Baking Cookies?…No…Cheerleader Extraordinaire…Yes!

January 24, 2013

Through the years I’ve always had a weakness for cheerleaders.

I remember the first group I got to know, at Crosby Junior High School.

A blonde girl named Judy, with a raspy voice, caught me staring more than once.

Then, later on, J.V. gals from Taconic High, who, as seniors became the varsity squad, were just as talented.

What I always admired, other than the obvious, was how upbeat they remained, cheering on the team, even if their boys were down big, late in the game.

I could not help but laugh, as I watched Mrs. Clinton take hit after hit for the President over the Benghazi, Libya attack.

For those Congressmen trying to pin the blame entirely on her, you’re doing exactly what Obama hoped you’d do.

In my book, when the captain of the Basketball or Football team hides behind a cheerleader, at a brawl outside the gym after a close game, it’s time for a new captain.

Mrs. Clinton, you really let all progressive women down by your co-dependent behavior in defense of Mr. Obama.

We know he stopped the rescue of four Americans with the hope of getting re-elected on his “stellar” foreign policy skills.

You may as well take your pom-poms, go home, and bake Bill some chocolate chip cookies.

That’s what you seem to do best, cheer for the team, even when they’re dumping all over you.

The Best President Ever

January 23, 2013

Never before has their been a President better at dividing this once great country.

In my view, this is what he wanted, keeping everyone off guard, hiding his more serious flaw of incompetence.

If you think he’s competent, explain his plan for balancing the budget?

When a man has no clue, his words get loftier.

When a man has confidence, his words grow more plain.

Have we ever had a President more lofty in speech?

When a family has a dysfunctional father, who can’t go a single day without making a loved one cry, that family is in crisis.

This is a prejudice I hold, forgive me for sharing it; in my view, dysfunctional people are low-class.

Don’t agree?

Ask a cop.

Is there a person who can hold a candle to this President’s ballistic attack on the Second Amendment, while responsible, lie abiding citizens cry out for justice?

One day, when all the strings have been cut, the world will see that our current President never had power at all.

As a believer I sense an evil force running this earth, a puppeteer extraordinaire.

Those who love our Constitution, believing it a divinely inspired gift from God, will never accept a mere mortal as God’s gift to mankind; especially one who thinks he knows best because he is that greatest gift.

The best proof for the source of our Constitution is who its enemies are.

Mr. President, no one can deny; in so many areas, you are the best because you’ve been told so, again and again…add me to that list.

Sandra vs. Mary

January 22, 2013

In no way do I believe I’m a better person than Sandra Fluke, the liberal spokesperson who personified the typical “choice” voter in the last election.

But, I cannot help but think about how many Americans, especially young women, look to her as their role model now instead of the Virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord.

Call me old-fashioned, but, it’s still a joy for me when I see a young person wearing a Mary medal around her neck.

It speaks volumes about what it is she deems worthy.

It wasn’t that long ago either, when all Catholic women wore such things.

Virtue, obedience, Holiness, wisdom, humility…even the name “Mary,” so prominent just a few decades ago, seem to be things now anathema to that which women embrace.

As we sorrowfully commemorate 40 years of death in America, let us never forget that each child killed was ripped from a woman not much different from Mary.

Young, scared, vulnerable, lacking the societal support she needed to make the right decision.

Mary was even unwed.

She too risked being cast aside by her fiance’.

Yet, what separated her from the others was her faith in a living God.

We may not be anything like the Angel Gabriel, bright, and powerful, delivering hope to a girl in need.

But, the Truth we speak, to friends and neighbors, in letters we write for publication, in support of fatherhood if we’re men, and motherhood if we’re women, can be as inspiring as any celestial visitation.

We must believe we can move mountains…as You oh Lord have commanded.

We can change things, like You and Mary did, with the Father’s help.

God bless the women of America…no matter who they are and what they’ve done.

By your blood, all can start anew.