...In so ruling, the Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. As a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled either to violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.
We cannot - we will not - comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture, only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less...
Monday, January 30, 2012
Notable quote: “We cannot – we will not—comply with this unjust law.” -- Rev. Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix
The other day the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by sixteen scientists titled, "No Need to Panic About Global Warming."
...Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 "Climategate" email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: "The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." But the warming is only missing if one believes computer models where so-called feedbacks involving water vapor and clouds greatly amplify the small effect of CO2.
The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause. Faced with this embarrassment, those promoting alarm have shifted their drumbeat from warming to weather extremes, to enable anything unusual that happens in our chaotic climate to be ascribed to CO2.
The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere's life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere....
BREAK...Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.Princeton physics professor William Happer on why a large number of scientists don't believe that carbon dioxide is causing global warming.
A recent study of a wide variety of policy options by Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls. This would be especially beneficial to the less-developed parts of the world that would like to share some of the same advantages of material well-being, health and life expectancy that the fully developed parts of the world enjoy now. Many other policy responses would have a negative return on investment. And it is likely that more CO2 and the modest warming that may come with it will be an overall benefit to the planet...The Full Op-ed
Saturday, January 28, 2012
‘To Hell With You’
By Bishop David A. Zubik
It is really hard to believe that it happened. It comes like a slap in the face. The Obama administration has just told the Catholics of the United States, “To Hell with you!” There is no other way to put it.
In early August, the Department for Health and Human Services in the Obama administration released guidelines as part of the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The guidelines mandated that by Summer 2012 all individual and group health insurance plans, including self-insured plans, cover all FDA-approved contraception, sterilization procedures and pharmaceuticals that even result in abortion.
A million things are wrong with this: equating pregnancy with disease; mandating that every employer pay for contraception procedures including alleged contraceptives that are actually abortion-inducing drugs; forcing American citizens to chose between violating their consciences or providing health care services; mandating such coverage on every individual woman without allowing her to even choose not to have it; forcing every person to pay for that coverage no matter the dictates of their conscience.
Let’s be blunt. This whole process of mandating these guidelines undermines the democratic process itself. In this instance, the mandate declares pregnancy a disease, forces a culture of contraception and abortion on society, all while completely bypassing the legislative process.
This is government by fiat that attacks the rights of everyone – not only Catholics; not only people of all religion. At no other time in memory or history has there been such a governmental intrusion on freedom not only with regard to religion, but even across-the-board with all citizens. It forces every employer to subsidize an ideology or pay a penalty while searching for alternatives to health care coverage. It undermines the whole concept and hope for health care reform by inextricably linking it to the zealotry of pro-abortion bureaucrats.
For our Church this mandate would apply in virtually every instance where the Catholic Church serves as an employer. The mandate would require the Catholic Church as an employer to violate its fundamental beliefs concerning human life and human dignity by forcing Catholic entities to provide contraceptive, sterilization coverage and even pharmaceuticals that result in abortion.
There was a so-called “religious exemption” to the mandate, but it was so narrowly drawn that, as critics charged, Jesus Christ and his Apostles would not fit the exemption. The so-called exemption would only apply to the vast array of Catholic institutions where the following applied:
Only Catholics are employed;
The primary purpose of the institution or service provided is the direct instruction in Catholic belief;
The only persons served by the institution are those that share Catholic religious tenets. (Try to fit this in with our local Catholic Charities that serve 80,000 every year without discrimination according to faith. It would be impossible!)
Practically speaking under the proposed mandate there would be no “religious exemption” for Catholic hospitals universities, colleges, nursing homes and numerous Catholic social service agencies such as Catholic Charities. It could easily be determined that the “religious exemption” would not apply as well to Catholic high schools, elementary schools and Catholic parishes since many employ non-Catholics and serve both students and, through social outreach, many who do not share Catholic religious beliefs. Such a narrow “religious exemption” is simply unprecedented in federal law.
Last September I asked you to protest those guidelines to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services, and contact your political leadership in the federal government. I asked that you request that this flawed mandate be withdrawn because of its unprecedented interference in the religious liberty and freedom of conscience of the Catholic community, and our basic democratic process.
You did. And you were joined by Catholics throughout the country (and many others as well) who raised their voices against the mandate, raised their voices against a meaningless religious exemption.
On January 20, 2012, the Obama administration answered you and me. The response was very simple: “To Hell with You.”
Kathleen Sebelius announced that the mandate would not be withdrawn and the religious exemption would not be expanded. Instead, she stated that nonprofit groups – which include the Catholic Church – will get a year “to adapt to this new rule.” She simply dismissed Catholic concerns as standing in the way of allegedly respecting the health concerns and choices of women.
Could Catholics be insulted any more, suggesting that we have no concern for women’s health issues? The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender. In so many parts of the globe – the United States included – the Church is health care.
Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said “To Hell with You” to the Catholic faithful of the United States.
To Hell with your religious beliefs,
To Hell with your religious liberty,
To Hell with your freedom of conscience.
We’ll give you a year, they are saying, and then you have to knuckle under. As Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded, “in effect, the president is saying that we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences”...Continued
In response to Obama health care mandate, Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky calls for recitation of St. Michael the Archangel prayer
January 24, 2012
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In this history of the United States, Friday, January 20, 2012 will certainly stand out as a moment of enormous peril for religious liberty. On that day, the Obama administration announced regulations that would require Catholic institutions to offer insurance programs providing abortifacients, sterilization, and contraceptive services. If these regulations are put into effect, the could close down every Catholic school, hospital, and the other public ministries of our Church, which is perhaps their underlying intention. What is perfectly clear is that this is a bigoted and blatant attack on the First Amendment rights of every Catholic believer. Under no circumstances, however, will our Church ever abandon our unshakable commitment to the Gospel of Life.
I therefore call upon all the faithful of the Diocese to vigorously oppose this unprecedented governmental assault upon the moral convictions of our Faith. Under the Constitution, no president has the authority to require our cooperation with what we consider to be intrinsic evil and mortal sin. We must therefore oppose by every means at our disposal this gross infringement on the rights of Catholic citizens to freely practice our religion. This country once fought a revolution to guarantee freedom, but the time has clearly arrived to strongly reassert our fundamental human rights. I am honestly horrified that the nation I have always loved has come to this hateful and radical step in religious intolerance. I hope and pray that all people of good will would support the faith based resistance of us their Catholic neighbors.
While it is primarily the laity who should take the leading role in political and legal action, as your Bishop, it is my clear responsibility to summon our local church into spiritual and temporal combat in defense of Catholic Christianity. Have faith! Have courage! Fight boldly for what you believe! I strongly urge you not to be intimidated by extremist politicians or the malice of the cultural secularists arrayed against us. Always remember that the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (I John 4:4).
Until these grave issues are favorably resolved, I ask that every parish, school, hospital, Newman Center, and religious house in this Diocese insert the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel into the Sunday General Intercessions just before their concluding prayer. It is God’s invincible Archangel who commands the heavenly hosts, and it is the enemies of god who will ultimately be defeated. This prayer should be announced as: A Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel for the freedom of the Catholic Church in America.
May God guide and protect his Holy Church.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC
Bishop of Peoria
A Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel for the Freedom of the Catholic Church in AmericaSaint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host –
by the Divine Power of God –
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
William McGurn of the Wall Street Journal has an interesting piece out today.
(The Notre Dame reference [marked in red] in particular caught my attention)
...Now, suddenly, we have headlines about the president's "war on the Catholic Church." Mostly they stem from a Health and Human Services mandate that forces every employer to provide employees with health coverage that not only covers birth control and sterilization, but makes them free. Predictably, the move has drawn fire from the Catholic bishops.
An HHS mandate requires employers to provide health coverage that covers birth control.
Less predictable—and far more interesting—has been the heat from the Catholic left, including many who have in the past given the president vital cover. In a post for the left-leaning National Catholic Reporter, Michael Sean Winters minces few words. Under the headline "J'ACCUSE," he rightly takes the president to the woodshed for the politics of the decision, for the substance, and for how "shamefully" it treats "those Catholics who went out on a limb" for him.
The message Mr. Obama is sending, says Mr. Winters, is "that there is no room in this great country of ours for the institutions our Church has built over the years to be Catholic in ways that are important to us."
Mr. Winters is not alone. The liberal Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles, blogged that he "cannot imagine a more direct and frontal attack on freedom of conscience"—and he urged people to fight it. Another liberal favorite, Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla., has raised the specter of "civil disobedience" and vowed that he will drop coverage for diocesan workers rather than comply. They are joined in their expressions of discontent by the leaders of Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities, which alone employs 70,000 people.
In the run-up to the ruling, the president of Notre Dame, the Rev. John Jenkins, suggested a modest compromise by which the president could have avoided most of this strife. That would have been by allowing the traditional exemption for religious organizations. That's the same understanding two of the president's own appointees to the Supreme Court just reaffirmed in a 9-0 ruling that recognized a faith-based school's First Amendment right to choose its own ministers without government interference, regardless of antidiscrimination law.
A few years ago Father Jenkins took enormous grief when he invited President Obama to speak at a Notre Dame commencement; now Father Jenkins finds himself publicly disapproving of an "unnecessary government intervention" that puts many organizations such as his in an "untenable position."
Here's just part of what he means by "untenable": Were Notre Dame to drop coverage for its 5,229 employees, the HHS penalty alone would amount to $10 million each year.
The irony, of course, is that the ruling is being imposed by a Catholic Health and Human Services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, working in an administration with a Catholic vice president, Joe Biden. A few years back the voluble Mr. Biden famously threatened to "shove my rosary beads" down the throat of those who dared suggest that his party's positions on social issues put it at odds with people of faith. Does he now mean to include Mr. Winters, Cardinal Mahony and Father Jenkins?
Catholic liberals appreciate that this HHS decision is more than a return to the hostility that sent so many Catholic Democrats fleeing to the Republican Party these past few decades. They understand that if left to stand, this ruling threatens the religious institutions closest to their hearts—those serving Americans in need, such as hospitals, soup kitchens and immigrant services...Full article
Sunday, January 22, 2012
The Republican establishment has insisted from the beginning that Romney is the most electable GOP candidate.
I have never bought their reasoning. He has only won one election in his life, no one knows what his core values are, and President Obama will undoubtedly paint Romney as an out-of-touch, millionaire, CEO in an economic climate where that will be the kiss of death.
I simply do not believe Romney can win the general election.
While I am worried that Santorum or Gingrich would also lose (both will be absolutely massacred by the mainstream media), they both have strengths that may be sufficient to offset their weaknesses. Both will certainly connect with the people in a way that Romney cannot.
Michael Walsh of National Review Online provides the best analysis of Mitt Romney's implosion in South Carolina and his weaknesses as a candidate I have come across:
With Newt’s big win tonight, the glaring weakness of Mitt Romney now stands revealed for all to see. Hopefully including Mitt. Because if this wasn’t a wake-up call for Team Romney, he’s a totally hopeless candidate.
All along, I’ve thought he was a pretty hopeless candidate, with too many weaknesses and very few political strengths. Stripped of his Iowa “win,” his record as a candidate is basically 2–4, with wins as Massachusetts governor and, this cycle, in the New Hampshire primary (as a semi-favorite son), but losses to Ted Kennedy, McCain, Rick Santorum, and now Mr. Newt.
This loss is a bad one. Not only did he blow a sizable (and, as it turns out, illusory) lead, he finds himself right back where he started this campaign, stuck at around a quarter of the vote. If that’s “electable,” the GOP is in serious trouble.
The smart set will be quick to tell you that Romney still has plenty of money and organization. So did Tim Pawlenty in Iowa and Michele Bachmann beat him. Those things may be beloved of the Republican “strategists” — who are, of course, merely tacticians obsessed with Operation Market Garden but who can’t find Berlin on a map — but in a primary campaign that is primarily being waged via the televised debates, they count for much less than they used to.
What counts is passion. The 2010 midterms proved that, but the GOP bonzes seemed embarrassed by the Tea Party’s success. They pushed the “electable” and “inevitable” memes as hard as they could in the service of a milquetoast candidate, and the mainstream media, openly rooting for the other side, was only too happy to help them out. As I’ve been saying, Romney’s been the candidate the Democrats have wanted to face all along, in part because of his glass ceiling. Which is turning out to be a glass jaw.
So Romney has simply got to come up with a more cogent rationale for his candidacy than he has up to now if he has any hope of becoming president. He can’t run for CEO any more.
That Bennett propaganda film may not have been entirely accurate but — and this is the point – it obviously worked. It also clearly disarmed Romney and left him with his guard down when the knockout punch — his taxes — came along. It was obvious all along that his reluctance to release his taxes was based on the fact that he pays capital gains on his income, not “income taxes.” That’s clearly defensible and entirely legal — but the electorate is in no mood for a lecture on the distinction, and it’s terrible in the current political environment.
In an ideal world, Romney would be a strong candidate. But it’s not an ideal world. In fact, it’s a downright mean, nasty, grubby world of imperfect men struggling to confront serious historical and philosophical forces while battling each other for power and prestige. Segments on the right have not entirely digested the notion that Obama and his party are running on a platform of contempt for America and “fundamental change” for the future; it’s like they think the Dems don’t really mean it. And that taking the high road by confining the campaign to “jobs” will appeal to the “real” America somewhere out there in the heartland. And that playing rough is beneath us.
Newt played rough in South Carolina and won big. That ought to tell the GOP something. Whether it will is another story. If this loss tonight makes Romney a stronger, better, more articulate candidate, terrific. But he has to learn from this stunning defeat: The base is itching for a fight with everything the Obama Democrats stand for and they don’t much care who gives it to them, just as long as somebody does. Tonight, that’s Newt.
As the late Al Davis used to say, “Just win, baby.” And, as the Democrats say, “by any means necessary.” It’s high time they got a taste of their own medicine — and understand there’s a lot more where that came from.
Saturday, January 21, 2012
It’s the small Catholic college in North Carolina vs. the Obama administration. The outcome will decide the fate of religious liberty in this country.
When it was announced last year that the Obama administration intended to force religious institutions to pay for contraceptive drugs –including those that would cause abortions there were letters sent by many of the leading Catholic organizations, press statements delivered, and meetings with the Obama administration held asking for a wider religious exemption.
But it wasn’t the Catholic Health Association which had endorsed Obamacare, not Catholic Charities, not Notre Dame which had honored the President in order to further dialogue, or even mushy tsk-tsks from Sister Keehan that did anything to help.
No. It was the tiny Catholic school with the President who said he’d rather close the school down than comply with the administration’s wishes on contraception and abortifacients.
But College President Bill Thierfelder said he doesn’t believe it will come to that. And there’s reason to believe he’s right because Belmont Abbey has partnered with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a small law firm committed to defending religious liberty.
You might remember the name because just week they won a case against the powerful Obama administration before the Supreme Court. 9-0. A unanimous ruling that prevented the White House from deciding who religious institutions could hire and fire.
But undeterred, the Obama administration, as we know, is back to strangling religious liberties in this country this week.
And now the lawsuit filed against the Obama administration by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on behalf of Belmont Abbey College may just decide all.
“This is the last avenue of relief,” said Hannah Smith, Senior Legal Counsel for The Becket Fund. “There’s a lot riding on these lawsuits.”
For years, President Obama has talked about the importance of “conscience rights.” While being honored by the University of Notre Dame, Obama pledged to “draft a sensible conscience clause.” And even just last month, Archbishop Timothy Dolan emerged from a meeting with President Obama, saying he “found the president of the United States to be very open to the sensitivities of the Catholic community that were worried about an intrusion into religious liberty.”
So much for that.
After all the promises Obama made, after all the pleas with the administration from religious institutions across the country, and the meetings with bishops, the administration simply ran roughshod over the concerns of Christian organizations.
The administration’s one seeming concession was to merely delay the effective date of the rule by one year for religious institutions. Sebelius wrote that, “This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule.”
“How generous of you Secretary Sebelius,” said Hannah Smith. “So we can violate our religious beliefs and comply with your coercive government mandate a year from now?”
Smith said she believed the one year extension was simply a “shameless” political decision to kick the can down the road until after the election to avoid negative p.r. before the election.
Ron Benton, Assistant Vice President of Administrative Services at Colorado Christian University which filed a similar suit a month after Belmont Abbey’s, said Sebelius’ delaying the implementation of the rule so that institutions could figure out a way to “adapt” is “pure ignorance.”
“Deeply held religious beliefs don’t change in a year,” he said.” I don’t think the Obama administration realizes the scope of the push back they’re going to see from institutions that hold their beliefs deeply.”
Benton said he believes Belmont Abbey and Colorado Christian won’t be alone in their lawsuit for long. He said he believes other Catholic and Christian colleges and institutions may join in the lawsuit or file friends of the court briefs in the near future.
Mark L. Rienzi, an assistant professor at the Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, who is part of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said recently, “Sebelius’s war is her own effort to use a government agency to force conformity — everyone has to jump on the contraception/abortion bandwagon or face the financial consequences.”
Smith said she’s hopeful the lawsuits will succeed because just last week the Supreme Court unanimously decided against the Obama administration. “The administration has seen the writing on the wall. They know that this mandate cannot survive constitutional scrutiny any more than their ‘extreme’ position in Hosanna-Tabor did,” said Smith. ”So the administration is trying to delay the inevitable judgment day. We’re quite confident the court will see this as an unconstitutional burden.”
The suit by Belmont Abbey College was filed first in November and it’s expected that the government would respond by the end of January. Colorado Christian College’s suit was filed a month later so a response is expected from the administration by the end of February.
We’ll keep you updated on this all important battle.
Belmont Abbey College is included by The Cardinal Newman Society in The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College for its strong Catholic identity.
National Review has an excellent interview with the above Ms. Smith (a lawyer for the Becket Fund) on this subject that can be found here.
Friday, January 20, 2012
This is outrageous.
The Obama Administration is mandating that religious groups and church-related institutions will have to provide free contraception, sterilizations, and abortifacient pills to their employees.
After being deluged with complaints from outraged religious groups, Obama’s health department has dug in its heels, saying its decision to force employers to provide abortifacient birth control drugs will continue as planned - although faith-based groups will be given a year reprieve. In response, U.S. Catholic bishops have not minced words, vowing to fight the order as “literally unconscionable.”
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Friday that faith-based entities like hospitals and universities will have until August 1, 2013 to provide employees with free birth control as part of their insurance packages. The mandate will also force such groups to pay for sterilizations and, because the FDA has approved abortifacient drugs such as Ella as “contraception.”
The mandate is being implemented as part of the new health care legislation that was passed in March 2010 despite vigorous opposition from U.S. Catholic bishops, who called it dangerously open to being used as a means of spreading abortion.
NARAL Pro-Choice America, the nation’s top abortion lobby, immediately celebrated the announcement and called on abortion supporters to thank the administration for defeating “a pressure campaign from anti-contraception groups.”
“With your help, we stood up to the large, well-funded groups that tried to put their anti-contraception beliefs ahead of women’s health,” NARAL president Nancy Keenan told supporters in an email. “We also kept the pressure on the Obama administration, and, clearly, our message was heard.”
But Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, indicated that the Catholic Church would not go down without a fight.
“In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,” said Dolan.
“To force American citizens to choose between violating their consciences and forgoing their healthcare is literally unconscionable,” he continued. “It is as much an attack on access to health care as on religious freedom. Historically this represents a challenge and a compromise of our religious liberty”...Continued
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
As with its past film, the wonderful St. Bernadette of Lourdes, all the actors are children.
The trailer for the film can be found here.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The #1 high school quarterback in the nation, Gunner Kiel, committed to Notre Dame today. (Note: some analysts have him ranked #2)
The Chicago Tribune reports:
Notre Dame officially pulled off one of the most dizzying recruiting coups in recent memory: Quarterback Gunner Kiel is enrolled and will play for the Irish.A detailed analysis can be found at Irish Sports Daily
Kiel, a five-star prospect rated the nation's No. 2 quarterback by Rivals.com, is among three early enrollees confirmed by Notre Dame on Tuesday.
"This recruitment process was a roller-coaster ride at times, but I know I have made the right decision for my family and me," Kiel said in a statement released by the school. "There were three critical elements I was looking for in my future school: the quality of education I would receive, the distance from home and the comfort level I would have with the players and coaches in the football program. Notre Dame was the perfect fit for me because it hit all three areas...Continued
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports.com
Saturday, January 14, 2012
ESPN's Rick Reilly relates relates how Tebow brings a seriously ill or dying person and his/her family to each Broncos game all expenses paid. Tebow spends time with them before the game and up to an hour with them after the game.
Reading this story, I was incredibly moved and a bit humbled, even to the point of tearing up a little bit.
Reading of Tebow's generosity, I cannot help but think that I could do more to help make the world a little bit better of a place for those who are less fortunate.
I've come to believe in Tim Tebow, but not for what he does on a football field, which is still three parts Dr. Jekyll and two parts Mr. Hyde.
No, I've come to believe in Tim Tebow for what he does off a football field, which is represent the best parts of us, the parts I want to be and so rarely am.
Who among us is this selfless?
Every week, Tebow picks out someone who is suffering, or who is dying, or who is injured. He flies these people and their families to the Broncos game, rents them a car, puts them up in a nice hotel, buys them dinner (usually at a Dave & Buster's), gets them and their families pregame passes, visits with them just before kickoff (!), gets them 30-yard-line tickets down low, visits with them after the game (sometimes for an hour), has them walk him to his car, and sends them off with a basket of gifts.
Home or road, win or lose, hero or goat.
Remember last week, when the world was pulling its hair out in the hour after Tebow had stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers with an 80-yard OT touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas in the playoffs? And Twitter was exploding with 9,420 tweets about Tebow per second? When an ESPN poll was naming him the most popular athlete in America?
Tebow was spending that hour talking to 16-year-old Bailey Knaub about her 73 surgeries so far and what TV shows she likes.
"Here he'd just played the game of his life," recalls Bailey's mother, Kathy, of Loveland, Colo., "and the first thing he does after his press conference is come find Bailey and ask, 'Did you get anything to eat?' He acted like what he'd just done wasn't anything, like it was all about Bailey."
More than that, Tebow kept corralling people into the room for Bailey to meet. Hey, Demaryius, come in here a minute. Hey, Mr. Elway. Hey, Coach Fox.
Even though sometimes-fatal Wegener's granulomatosis has left Bailey with only one lung, the attention took her breath away.
"It was the best day of my life," she emailed. "It was a bright star among very gloomy and difficult days. Tim Tebow gave me the greatest gift I could ever imagine. He gave me the strength for the future. I know now that I can face any obstacle placed in front of me. Tim taught me to never give up because at the end of the day, today might seem bleak but it can't rain forever and tomorrow is a new day, with new promises."
I read that email to Tebow, and he was honestly floored.
"Why me? Why should I inspire her?" he said. "I just don't feel, I don't know, adequate. Really, hearing her story inspires me."
It's not just NFL defenses that get Tebowed. It's high school girls who don't know whether they'll ever go to a prom. It's adults who can hardly stand. It's kids who will die soon...Continued
Photo Credit: Tim Tebow Foundation
Sunday, January 8, 2012
I loved it last night during the debate when Newt Gingrich blasted government bigotry toward the Catholic Church.
There are two sides to the story and the media has made it clear which side it favors:
Friday, January 6, 2012
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, who has led the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York for nearly three years, will be named a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, the Vatican announced on Friday.
The Archdiocese of New York is widely considered the spiritual heart of the American church. It counts about 2.6 million Catholics in a sprawling jurisdiction that includes includes Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island and several suburban counties.
“As a kid, I just wanted to be a parish priest,” the cardinal-designate said in an early morning news conference at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. “And to think that now the pope has named me a cardinal— that’s awesome.”
Eight of the ten archbishops in the history of the New York archdiocese have been named cardinals, so the announcement was not unexpected. Still, the timing was surprising, because Cardinal Edward M. Egan, the archbishop emeritus of New York, will not turn 80 until April. Cardinals under age 80 are eligible to vote in papal elections, and it is unusual, although not unprecedented, for a diocese to have two cardinals eligible to vote at the same time... Continued
Photo Credit: Archdiocese of New York
Thursday, January 5, 2012
National Review's interview with CatholicVote's president, Brian Burch is linked here.
CHICAGO, IL – CatholicVote.org, a leading national grassroots Catholic advocacy organization, today proudly announced their endorsement of Senator Rick Santorum for President.
CatholicVote.org President Brian Burch issued the following statement explaining the endorsement:
“Pennsylvania Rick Santorum represents our best hope to rally the nation behind a unified moral and economic vision that Americans are clamoring for in a President. CatholicVote.org is proud to stand with Rick Santorum, and is prepared to mobilize our rapidly-growing grassroots network to help secure him the GOP nomination, and ultimately win the White House.
“Catholic voters are looking for a candidate who can successfully combine the principles of the dignity of life and the dignity of work. Senator Santorum understands better than any other candidate the profound link between the moral, cultural and economic principles foundational to the success of America. We are convinced that Rick Santorum is the candidate best equipped to win not only the political arguments, but also the hearts of American voters as he did in Iowa on Tuesday.
“Rick Santorum is a workingman’s Republican with a record and a plan which are especially appealing to Catholic voters. His record in Pennsylvania, and his record as a presidential candidate confirms that Senator Santorum understands why four more years of President Obama would be devastating for America, but also why a GOP message focused too heavily on taxes, spending, and debt is simply not enough.
“Too often our debates on ‘social issues’ are fought at the margins with stale-talking points which pit economic justice and moral virtues against each other. The candidacy of Rick Santorum represents a chance to present an integrated approach to voters who are hungry for this kind of message.
“Catholic voters looking for moral and economic leadership also understand that the 2012 elections will inevitably focus on judges and the courts. With the Supreme Court poised to rule on immigration law, Obamacare, and potentially so-called same-sex marriage this summer, judges and our courts will dominate the debate this fall. On this score, there is no debate over which candidate has led, and can best be trusted to lead the fight over the role of our judiciary and the nomination of qualified judges to the courts that will respect our Constitution.
“Finally, Senator Santorum is a man of honor, integrity, and authenticity. What you see is what you get. He has faithfully served the cause of life and marriage as an elected official and as a husband and father. And while no political candidate, or human being for that matter, is perfect, Rick Santorum’s baggage contains his clothes.
“Republicans hoping to win back the White House in November must unite behind the candidate most dedicated to the foundational issues of faith, family and freedom. If the GOP hopes to defeat President Obama, it takes a Rick Santorum to get it done.”