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HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY!

Today is the day civilized folks celebrate the great Italian explorer who brought the One True Faith, the written word, and the wheel to the...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, October 21, 2016

Fyodor goes all Nostradamus on you.

Wanna see the headlines for November 9, 2016? Read 'em and weep, kiddies.


AMERICA CHOOSES 4 MORE YEARS OF FASCISM!!!



Seriously, kiddies. Weep for the country we once had and for future generations...if they are allowed to be born, that is.

It doesn't matter which of the two sociopaths wins. It is time to stock up on guns and ammunition. At least you might have the satisfaction of sending a couple of their minions to Hell before they gun you down.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

John Martignoni gets mail, too, but fortunately for us, he has more patience than I do.

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Catholic Voting Principles - A Reply

Hey folks,
2 prayer requests:

1) Please pray for my daughter and her high school volleyball team - they made it to the Regional Playoffs and will be playing this Friday and Saturday to see if they can make it to the Elite Eight State Playoffs.  If you could just pray that she and her teammates will play to the best of their abilities and that there will be no injuries, I would be very grateful.

2) Maybe of slightly greater importance than #1, please pray - if you haven't already been - for our country and these upcoming elections.  I believe, as do many, that we are at the edge of the cliff as a society, and that these elections will determine a lot of things - for good or for ill - for many years to come.  Just pray that God's will be done and that the folks in the Church - laity and clergy - will be bold and courageous.  And pray for the conversions of both of our leading candidates...

After I put out my newsletter on Catholic Voting Principles a couple of weeks ago, I received an email, and a Facebook posting, from Mr. Jiehoon James Lee, with a rebuttal, if you will, of what I had written.  I am going to print his response in its entirety and then go back and respond to him point by point. 


Jiehoon James Lee
I am a former convert who has stepped away from the Church for many reasons. One reason is that I cannot wrap my head around the anachronistic idea that Jesus, who predated democracy, would set requirements on how we vote in a secular election.
Protestants and Orthodox have no such requirement that one must vote against abortion to be in good standing with their faiths. Ironically, Protestants oppose abortion at higher percentages than Catholics.
I'm not a monster that wishes to seek the blood of babies. I too wish for a world in which abortion never happens. But life is tough and complicated, and answers are never black and white.
This is why I ask these questions:
1) Do you agree that pregnancy is a time of great fear, emotional side effects, and physical side effects for women, and that this fear is what drives many women to have abortions?

2) Though it’s against Catholicism, do you agree that there is no realistic hope of reducing the number of abortions unless we make contraception more available?
3) Can you say with 100% certainty that abortion is NEVER medically necessary?
4) Catholicism may not require it. But if we oppose abortion, don't we then need to provide increased welfare for poor, single women who can barely afford their own health, and now are punished with unwanted children because of pro-life policies? Doesn't pro-life become a policy of hate if we do not provide this welfare?
5) Invoking logical consistency, don't pro-lifers need to oppose war and police murders with the same vigor as they do with abortion? Yes, I understand abortion affects more numbers. But it's the CONSISTENCY of logic that is the key here. Why should we listen to you on abortion when you don't support Black Lives Matter, for example?
6) Bans have not worked with alcohol, weed, and guns. Why do you believe a ban will work with abortion? Furthermore, why don't Catholics call for bans on contraception and porn? Again, the CONSISTENCY of logic is key.
7) In the VP debate with respect to abortion policy, Tim Kaine said, “[W]e [Hillary and Kaine] really feel like you should live fully and with enthusiasm the commands of your faith. But it is not the role of the public servant to mandate that for everybody else.” What’s so wrong about this statement? What’s so wrong about separation of faith and politics?
#8: John Martignoni's email posted a lot of opinions of clergy which are not magisterial. Which magisterial teaching mandates that you must vote against abortion? My personal belief is that there is none when you look at it.
I appreciate your thoughtful responses.

Jiehoon James Lee:
I am a former convert who has stepped away from the Church for many reasons. One reason is that I cannot wrap my head around the anachronistic idea that Jesus, who predated democracy, would set requirements on how we vote in a secular election.  Protestants and Orthodox have no such requirement that one must vote against abortion to be in good standing with their faiths. Ironically, Protestants oppose abortion at higher percentages than Catholics.

John Martignoni:
       So, Jesus would not care if one voted for, say, an Adolf Hitler even though he was promising to first kill all of the physically and mentally handicapped before moving on to gassing the Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, and so on?  Or, Jesus would not care if one voted for, say, a Josef Stalin even though he promised to starve millions of Ukrainians to death so that he could collectivize their land?  Or, Jesus would not care if one voted for, say, a Pol Pot even though he promised to murder all of the educated people in the country - doctors, lawyers, businessmen, teachers, and so on?  Jesus would set no requirements for Christians on such things?  Would you think it an "anachronistic idea" if some said that followers of Christ should not vote for such people?  Really?! 
       Sorry, but it is not an "anachronistic idea" that Jesus' teaching could indeed be applied to how one should vote.  Jesus, while obviously not specifically mentioning how his followers should vote in elections - just as He never specifically mentioned anything about using drugs, or texting while driving, or nuclear war, or laundering bribes through a charitable foundation - did indeed leave moral principles for his followers to apply to all aspects of their lives.  Can you agree, Jiehoon, that moral principles can, and should, be applied to all aspects of one's life? 
       If you can agree to that, then there are definitely Christian principles that apply to voting.  Principles regarding the protection and care of the least among us.  Thou shalt not kill.  The principle of subsidiarity.  Thou shalt not steal.  Thou shalt not bear false witness.  And so on.  These underlying moral principles make the Catholic Voting Principles that I discussed perfectly legitimate and perfectly relevant. 
        Regarding Protestants and the Orthodox, there actually are a number of Protestant ministers and theologians who make the exact same arguments that Catholics do about the requirements and responsibilities placed upon the shoulders of Christians in the voting booth.  So your statement is incorrect on that.  Now, you can't say that all of Protestantism holds to those same requirements and responsibilities, but that is the nature of Protestantism - there is no doctrinal or moral teaching that is consistent across all of Protestantism. 
       About the Orthodox, I couldn't say what any and all Orthodox priests and bishops teach, but seeing as how they hold to pretty much the same moral teachings as Catholicism, with a few exceptions, one could make the same moral arguments about voting to Orthodox believers, and I would be willing to bet there are Orthodox priests and bishops who do indeed make such arguments. 
       And, finally, in the end, it makes no difference whatsoever whether the Protestants or the Orthodox believe as the Catholics believe or not.  Their beliefs are irrelevant to Catholic Christian moral teaching.  All in all, your argument in this respect is simply wrong.

Jiehoon James Lee:
I'm not a monster that wishes to seek the blood of babies. I too wish for a world in which abortion never happens. But life is tough and complicated, and answers are never black and white.
This is why I ask these questions:

1) Do you agree that pregnancy is a time of great fear, emotional side effects, and physical side effects for women, and that this fear is what drives many women to have abortions?



John Martignoni:
       Do you agree that life is a time of great fear, emotional side effects, and physical side effects for women, and men, and that this fear is what drives many men and women to commit suicide? 
       Do you agree that marriage is a time of great fear, emotional side effects, and physical side effects for women, and men, and that this fear is what drives many men and women to commit adultery and divorce? 
       You're question is along those lines.  In other words, it's an inane question.  No, women have abortions because they are happy about their pregnancy, they are fully supported by the father of the child, and they are absolutely prepared and ready to have a child - economically, mentally, emotionally, physically, and so on. 
       Yes, of course, women have fear during their pregnancies.  Do you know what term doctors use for that?  Normal.  And, yes, pregnancy causes women to have emotional and physical "side effects" - that's due to hormones, oh, and the fact that there is a human being growing inside of them!  Do you know what term doctors use for that?  Normal. 
       In crisis pregnancies, when the pregnancy is not expected, unintended, and/or the father is either ambivalent or perhaps belligerent towards the pregnancy, there is increased fear and anxiety in the mother.  My question to you is: Is fear and anxiety sufficient reason to end the life of another human being?  If so, when I have fear and anxiety over how I will be able to pay for my children's college education, do I then have sufficient reason to take them to the "Can't pay for college" clinic and end their lives?  If a child is in an accident and there is fear and anxiety as to whether or not they will be the same after the accident - physically, mentally, emotionally - as they were before the accident, is that sufficient reason to take him or her to the "Damaged child" clinic and end their life? 
       Is fear a factor in abortion decisions?  Almost always, if not always.  But, sorry, I will not allow for "fear" over what may or may not happen with a child in the future to be considered as sufficient reason to end that child's life. 
       By the way, have you ever considered the fact that there is significant research that abortion - particularly first pregnancy abortions - lead to higher rates of cancer in women?  Do you care about that at all?  What about all of the women who regret their abortion after the fact and who end up abusing alcohol and/or drugs because of their regret and their guilt for having taken their own child's life?  Do you care about them?  Why do you focus all of your attention on the "before," and none of your attention on the "after" of abortion?
       By the way, do you think there should be a law against men being able to pressure, coerce, or threaten women into abortions?  And that if a man fathers a child he should bear responsibility for the care of that child until he or she reaches maturity?

Jiehoon James Lee:
2) Though it’s against Catholicism, do you agree that there is no realistic hope of reducing the number of abortions unless we make contraception more available?

John Martignoni:
       I absolutely do not agree.  First of all, please tell me where contraception is unavailable?  You can get the pill in any drugstore through any doctor's office or through any public health facility.  You can get condoms at any drugstore or grocery store or any convenience store.  They hand out condoms in high schools, middle schools, and even some elementary schools.  Tell me what large segment of the population is unfamiliar with contraception and is unable to acquire it? 
       Secondly, it is a well known fact - FACT - that the introduction of contraception, and the contraceptive mentality - children are a burden rather than a gift - always and everywhere precedes the acceptance of abortion in a society.  Abortion is viewed as the remedy for contraceptive failure.  In fact, holding all other factors equal, the more contraception there is, the more abortion there is. 
       Thirdly, we have reduced the number of abortions over the last several years - through the introduction of a number of laws at the state level that restrict abortion and through the promotion of abstinence education.  So, your hypothesis is already proven false.



Jiehoon James Lee:
3) Can you say with 100% certainty that abortion is NEVER medically necessary?

John Martignoni:
       Yes, I can, with one exception - ectopic pregnancy.  In an ectopic pregnancy, the developing unborn child never makes it to the mother's womb.  The child gets "stuck" in the fallopian tube and its growth threatens to rupture the fallopian tube and potentially kill the mother, and thereby the child dies as well.  The only medical solution to this unfortunate occurrence that is currently available to us is to end the pregnancy.  The intent, however, is not to kill the baby, but to save the mother.  If an ectopic pregnancy is not ended, then both the mother and child will die.  This is the only time that an abortion is medically necessary.  And, if current research to transplant these pregnancies into the uterus eventually bears fruit, then there will be absolutely no medical necessity for an abortion.


Jiehoon James Lee:
4) Catholicism may not require it. But if we oppose abortion, don't we then need to provide increased welfare for poor, single women who can barely afford their own health, and now are punished with unwanted children because of pro-life policies? Doesn't pro-life become a policy of hate if we do not provide this welfare?

John Martignoni:
       That is about as ridiculous an argument as I have ever heard.  Preventing a woman from killing her own child is a "policy of hate"?  Really?!  Isn't rather, allowing women to kill their children a policy of hate?  Since when does life become associated with evil and hatred, and death become associated with goodness and love?  You are doing exactly what the Pharisees Jesus upbraided were doing - attributing acts of God to Satan (Matt 12:24-28).  God is the author of life, Satan is the author of death.  You would err on the side of Satan rather than on the side of God.  With every new life comes new hope and new possibilities, yet you would squelch that hope and those possibilities just as you would squelch those innocent lives.  
       Besides, every woman who is currently on welfare receives increased benefits when they have an additional child.  That is already a fact.  Or, if having a child results in a woman having to go on welfare, she receives increased benefits for that child.  Furthermore, I guarantee you that those in the pro-life community are, on average, much more giving of their time and financial resources in support of the poor and suffering across the world than those in the pro-death abortion community.  Can you name an organization that feeds, houses, clothes, provides medical attention to, and educates more children - more human beings - than the pro-life Catholic Church? 
       Also, please tell me, have you gone to anyone who is "pro-choice" and said, "If you are truly pro-choice, then you should do everything in your power to help the women who choose to have their babies by contributing more of your taxes to support the feeding, clothing, housing, education, and medical care of those children."  If you haven't asked pro-choice people that question, then you're being a bit of a hypocrite, don't you think?  Why only ask one side about that?
       Finally, no woman is forced to keep a child that they do not want or cannot support.  Ever heard of adoption?  Every adoption agency - every single one - has a waiting list of people willing to adopt "unwanted" children.  Now, will you make the argument that the mother is being more loving by killing her "unwanted" child than by putting it up for adoption to a family that "wants" the child?

Jiehoon James Lee:
5) Invoking logical consistency, don't pro-lifers need to oppose war and police murders with the same vigor as they do with abortion? Yes, I understand abortion affects more numbers. But it's the CONSISTENCY of logic that is the key here. Why should we listen to you on abortion when you don't support Black Lives Matter, for example?

John Martignoni:
       Sorry, but there's not much in your question that I would call logical or consistent.  Please tell me what pro-lifer is in favor of "police murders"?  Should we oppose police murders with the same vigor that we oppose abortion?  Yes, as we are able.  I will ask you, shouldn't you oppose abortion with the same vigor you oppose police murders?  I mean, if you're going to be morally consistent, right?  Although, I would be willing to wager you have never gone out to actually protest a police murder, have you?  Shouldn't you oppose poverty with the same vigor you oppose police murder?  Shouldn't you oppose Muslim honor killing with the same vigor you oppose police murder?  Shouldn't you oppose the killing of Christians in the Middle East with the same vigor you oppose police murder?  Shouldn't you oppose corruption at the highest levels of government that gets people killed in places like Benghazi with the same vigor you oppose police murder? 
       There are many evils in this country and around the world that all need to be opposed with vigor.  However, no one person can oppose each and every one of those evils with equal vigor.  That is why, as Christians, we believe in the concept of the Body of Christ.  Some are called to vigorously oppose abortion and to do what they can in other areas as they are able.  Some are called to vigorously oppose poverty and to do what they can in other areas as they able.  Some are called to vigorously oppose this evil or that evil and to do what they can in other areas as they are able.  To say that because you don't oppose each and every evil out there with the same vigor means that you are not being morally consistent is an incredibly ridiculous claim to make; yet, that is the claim you are essentially making.  But, do you live up to the standards that you put up for pro-lifers?  Do you oppose each and every evil in the world with the exact same vigor?  No, you don't.  You know what a person is called who holds one set of standards for others, but does not live by those standards himself, right?   
       One other thing on this, I am a pro-lifer and I don't support "Black Lives Matter" and I am perfectly logically consistent in my beliefs. I see Black Lives Matter protesters calling for the killing of police - "What do we want?  Dead cops!  When do we want them?  Now!"  Are you saying I should support that?  Or, what about the Black Lives Matters protestors who hold up signs that say, "Blue Lives Don't Matter"?  You dare to suggest that I am morally inconsistent because I don't support that crap?  Furthermore, the Black Lives Matter folks are in favor of the killing of unborn black babies.  So, my question to you is: Where is the moral consistency in the Black Lives Matter movement?  If they truly believe Black Lives Matter, then don't ALL black lives matter, including unborn black lives?  But you won't even consider asking the folks in Black Lives Matter that question, will you?  Once again, I believe there is a bit of hypocrisy is your moral positions. 

Jiehoon James Lee:
6) Bans have not worked with alcohol, weed, and guns. Why do you believe a ban will work with abortion? Furthermore, why don't Catholics call for bans on contraception and porn? Again, the CONSISTENCY of logic is key.

John Martignoni
       So, by your logic (such as it is), bans on murder and rape have not worked, so let's just forget about passing laws against murder and rape, right?  Bans on car theft and burglary haven't worked, so let's forget about passing laws against car theft and burgalry, right?  Bans on speeding and texting and driving haven't worked, so let's forget about passing laws against speeding and texting while driving, right?  In other words, your logic leads to the elimination of all laws, because no law works 100% perfectly. 
       Are you in favor of doing away with the laws on murder, rape, car theft, burglary, speeding, and texting while driving...yes or no?  If not, then how can you argue that I should not be in favor of laws banning the murder of unborn children?  Again, "the CONSISTENCY of logic is key." 
      
Jiehoon James Lee:
7) In the VP debate with respect to abortion policy, Tim Kaine said, “[W]e [Hillary and Kaine] really feel like you should live fully and with enthusiasm the commands of your faith. But it is not the role of the public servant to mandate that for everybody else.” What’s so wrong about this statement? What’s so wrong about separation of faith and politics?

John Martignoni:
       Actually, it is the role of the public servant to pass laws (legislative branches) and to uphold and enforce those laws (executive branches), is it not?  Well, what is each and every law?  It is a mandate that places binding restrictions on the citizenry.  Most of those laws, if not all, have a moral underpinning to them.  Does that mean that any law that has some sort of moral foundation to it should be rescinded?  Your logic says, "Yes." 
       My faith says it is wrong to kill innocent people.  But, according to your logic, the public servant should not mandate that for everyone else, since I believe it based on my faith, right?  Also, by your logic, we should remove all government spending on the "War on Poverty."  That "war" is an outgrowth of Christian teaching on feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and caring for the sick.  So, do you think Tim Kaine believes the government should have the right to "mandate [social welfare programs] for everybody else"?  I'll bet he does.
       Furthermore, Tim Kaine is the biggest hypocrite in this race.  Saying that he is a "devout" Catholic, when he is the farthest thing from it.  On many occasions, assuming he is a regular Mass-goer, Tim Kaine would have repeated the Vows of Baptism.  The first two questions, that he would have replied in the affirmative to, are: 1) Do you oppose Satan?  2) And all of his works?  Tim Kaine has undoubtedly stated many times that he opposes Satan and all of his works.  Well, the killing of tens of millions of innocent unborn children is either a work of Satan, or there is no such thing as a work of Satan.  Tim Kaine, in renewing his Vows of Baptism, has said he is opposed to the work of Satan.  Yet, as a public servant, in an office where he could have a huge impact in opposing the work of Satan, all of a sudden he reneges on his sacred vows.  What a hypocrite.

Jiehoon James Lee:
8) John Martignoni's email posted a lot of opinions of clergy which are not magisterial. Which magisterial teaching mandates that you must vote against abortion? My personal belief is that there is none when you look at it.
I appreciate your thoughtful responses.

John Martignoni:
   (Quick note, this last point, #8, was not in the original email, but he added it to a post he made on my Facebook page that contained all of the same material.) 
       Well, meaning absolutely no disrespect, but I'm not particularly interested in what your personal belief regarding magisterial teaching is or is not.  You don't really have much knowledge about Catholic teaching and belief, so your personal opinion in this regard is basically irrelevant. 
       Given that, however, for magisterial teaching that is either directly or indirectly relevant to this point, you can consult any one of these encyclicals: Castii Connubii, Pius XI; Humanae Vitae, Paul VI; Evangelium Vitae, John Paul II; Caritas in Veritate, Benedict XVI; and if you read those and want more, just let me know and I would be happy to supply more titles of pertinent magisterial documents for you to read.  You can also look at Gaudium et Spesfrom Vatican Council II, on the Church's teaching regarding the right to life. 
       Also, as I said earlier, even if there were an absence of direct teaching regarding abortion - or any other evil perpetuated by man - and voting, the moral principles laid down by Jesus Christ - in Scripture and through His Church - are to be applied always and everywhere, including in the voting booth.  Again, I ask, Jiehoon, do you believe a Christian would have the moral responsibility to vote against someone who campaigned on a platform of wanting to gas Jews?  Or lynch blacks?  Or starve millions of people?  Or slaughter anyone with a high school education? 
       Please tell me what your answer is to those questions.  Because if your answer is that, "Yes," the Christian would have the moral responsibility to vote against such people, then that is the same principle as to why the Christian has the moral responsibility to vote against those who campaign on a platform that advocates for the killing of over 1 million babies each year.  If your answer, however, is consistent - and again "the CONSISTENCY of logic is key" - and you say, "No," the Christian would have no moral responsibility to vote against such people, then all I can say is that you apparently have no moral compass and that is a very scary place to be.

Closing Comments

       It always kinda tickles me when people who think they are being so logically consistent that they have you backed into an intellectual corner from which you have no escape, apparently have never actually thought through what it is they are saying, and it turns out that logic and consistency are the two things dramatically missing from their arguments. 
       I hope all of you have a great week!


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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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