No Time for Complacence

I was with the AirMaria friars at the Connecticut State Judiciary Committee meeting on Monday and listened to the discussion of the various amendments proposed to S.B. 899, which will being pushed forward to implement the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling mandating same-sex marriage.

The amendments proposed were aimed at guaranteeing religious liberty in terms of preventing any religious minister from being required to solemnize same-sex marriages, in terms of securing the rights of justices of the peace to refuse to solemnized such unions on religious grounds, of preventing religious organizations from being coerced into granting use of their facilities for same-marriage ceremonies and receptions and of preventing the state from indoctrinating children into the homosexual lifestyle against their parents’ wishes. In the end, a toothless amendment was passed unanimously by the committee and subsequently the bill was approved and now will be debated and voted on in the two houses of the state legislature.

I have sat through these debates before when the question of civil unions was rammed through by the legislature. The discussions are tedious. The presumption of the predominantly liberal legislative body is that anyone who is against same-sex marriage or who believes the Christian tradition concerning the moral character of homosexual acts is a bigot and the goal apparently is to codify that in law. God bless the legislators who both voted to protect religious liberty and against letting this horrible piece of legislation out of committee.

Peter Wolfgang, Executive Director of the Family Institute of Connecticut and champion of both traditional marriage and religious liberty , has organized a rally at the State House on April 7th to oppose this attack on religious liberty (listen to his March 6 testimony at the public hearing on S.B. 899):

Earlier this month thousands of concerned citizens converged at the state Capitol on just a few days notice to stop a blatantly unconstitutional attack on religious liberty. The same Committee that launched that attack has now launched another one. Whether it succeeds will depend on the willingness of state residents to put aside “business as usual” and rise up again to make their voices heard.

One week from today, Tuesday, April 7th, the Family Institute of Connecticut will hold a Rally for Religious Liberty on the north steps of the state Capitol in Hartford (overlooking Bushnell Park). The Rally will begin at 10:00 a.m. Following the Rally we will go to Room 1C of the Legislative Office Building, where FIC executive director Peter Wolfgang will discuss what is at stake and how to lobby your legislators.

After the outrageous attack on religious liberty earlier in March by means of the “bishop removal” bill (S.B. 1098) and the tremendous response from the public, including national attention on the situation in Connecticut, Senator McDonald and Representative Lawler, the co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee, have enough confidence in their power to be pushing transgendered rights and assisted suicide bills, and to successfully move S.B. 899 out of the committee. Even after having been censured, they have not at all shown any fear of the electorate.

Catholics of Connecticut and rallied to the defense, when the attack on religious liberty was as blatant as it could possibly be, but S.B. 899 is just another step toward criminalizing all opposition to the homosexual agenda. This has national significance, but the front line is here in Connecticut. There are all kinds of excuses for thinking our efforts make little difference, but we can’t afford those excuses. However that may be, in the face of the consequences of doing little or nothing, such excuses are singularly unmanly.

Every time I go to the State House I am forced to note with admiration how tenacious, persistent and intense the advocates of same-sex marriage are, and how effectively they have gained control over what happens in the legislature, especially with two active homosexuals, McDonald and Lawler, as the co-chairs of the Judiciary Committee.  I have heard before from our side why our opponents have so much an easier time of maintaining the level of attention that they do, and while at this point that might be reasuring that we are doing all we can, but it will be no cause for a peaceful conscience when our religious liberties are gone and opposition to the culture of sodomy has been criminalized.  There is far less difference between S.B. 1098 and 899 than the relative levels of response on the part of Christians would indicate.  The withdrawal of S.B. 1098 is a shallow victory when compared with the ongoing threats to religious liberty.  Complacence is deadly.

I would hope that the Knights of Lepanto give Peter Wolfgang and the Family Institute of Connecticut as much help as possible.

Standing Fast In England and America

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Several days last week I had the opportunity to do a little travelling. We undertook two pilgrimages, one to the Shrine of Walsingham and one to Canterbury Cathedral. Along the way, we also visited Ely Cathedral, Rochester Cathedral and a little Church of great significance St. Dunstan’s in Canterbury.

I brought the concerns of all to the feet of Our Lady in Walsingham at the gorgeous little Slipper Chapel, with a particular mention of the situation in Connecticut, which I find profoundly disturbing, even if for now the nefarious efforts to execute a plan to control the Church has been withdrawn into the shadows. Somehow there has been a parallel stream of sadness and foreboding that followed me from church to church: sadness, because of the stripping of England’s altars; foreboding, because of the potential storm of iconoclasm that awaits us in America. Continue reading

To Arms, Men!

This needs to be stopped!

Time to act Knights of Lepanto.  Let’s see what you can do.

Off to Walsingham today.  I will pray for you all, especially Senator Andrew McDonald and Representative Michael Lawler.

I would blow the horn, but you get the picture.

Urgent for Our Rhode Island Readers!

Next Tuesday, February 3, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on same-sex marriage bills that have been re-introduced in the 2009 legislative session. With just a few days notice, we need to send a message to the committee, urging them to spend their time on the pressing issues that Rhode Islanders are concerned about — not redefining marriage as though it were a plaything of the political elites.

Because the time is short, we need you to do 3 things today:

1) Come down to the Statehouse by 3:30pm next Tuesday (Feb. 3) to stand in support of marriage. You won’t be asked to speak at the hearing, but your presence will make a strong statement in support of marriage as we know it — the union of a husband and wife.

2) Click here to send an email message to each of the members on the Senate Judiciary Committee, with a copy also going to your own state senator. Tell them now is not the time to be messing with marriage.

3) Ask five friends to join you in sending a message to their legislators. The only way to stop same-sex marriage in Rhode Island is to build an army of grassroots supporters who are willing to stand for marriage on a moment’s notice!

Political Theology

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The Master speaks:

I don’t think it [a same-sex union] should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state,” said Obama. “If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans.

He is jokingly being referred to as the Messiah. Or is it a joke? Or is he something else? Lord of the World comes to mind:

“Towards the close of the fourth verse, a figure in a plain dark suit was observed ascending the steps of the platform. For a moment this attracted no attention, but when it was seen that a sudden movement had broken out among the delegates, the singing began to falter; and it ceased altogether as the figure, after a slight inclination to right and left, passed up the further steps that led to the rostrum. Then occurred a curious incident. The organist aloft at first did not seem to understand, and continued playing, but a sound broke out from the crowd resembling a kind of groan, and instantly he ceased. But no cheering followed. Instead a profound silence dominated in an instant the huge throng; this, by some strange magnetism, communicated itself to those without the building, and when Mr. FELSENBURGH uttered his first words, it was in a stillness that was like a living thing. We leave the explanation of this phenomenon to the expert in psychology.

“Of his actual words we have nothing to say. So far as we are aware no reporter made notes at the moment; but the speech, delivered in Esperanto, was a very simple one, and very short. It consisted of a brief announcement of the great fact of Universal Brotherhood, a congratulation to all who were yet alive to witness this consummation of history; and, at the end, an ascription of praise to that Spirit of the World whose incarnation was now accomplished.

“So much we can say; but we can say nothing as to the impression of the personality who stood there. In appearance the man seemed to be about thirty-three years of age, clean-shaven, upright, with white hair and dark eyes and brows; he stood motionless with his hands on the rail, he made but one gesture that drew a kind of sob from the crowd, he spoke these words slowly, distinctly, and in a clear voice; then he stood waiting.

“There was no response but a sigh which sounded in the ears of at least one who heard it as if the whole world drew breath for the first time; and then that strange heart-shaking silence fell again. Many were weeping silently, the lips of thousands moved without a sound, and all faces were turned to that simple figure, as if the hope of every soul were centred there. So, if we may believe it, the eyes of many, centuries ago, were turned on one known now to history as JESUS OF NAZARETH (Book II, chapter 1).

Never mind that the Sermon on the Mount says little–oh yes, actually NOTHING–about homosexuality, but of course the Messiah need not explain his use of Scripture. Never mind that the first chapter of Romans is only obscure to someone who has not read St. Paul, after all, he’s the Messiah. Sigh . . .

When Our Lord referred to his followers as His sheep, it was no compliment. Anyone who has been around sheep knows that they are really, really dumb. Fortunately, Our Lord is the Good Shepherd. One who fools with Sacred Scripture has not entered by the gate but is a “thief or robber” or worse. Hopefully, the sheep are at least smart enough to recognize the true Shepherd’s voice.