Money, Sex & Power
Countless articles have been written over the past few years about the pornography tsunami occurring in our nation. I regularly speak all over the nation, on Catholic television and radio on the pressing need to address this culture killer. So its with great joy that I share one tactic in dealing with this issue. A unique conference that has been a home run in addressing the issue creatively and successfully.
On January 18-19 we held our 9th annual inter-denominational anti-porn conference. The event takes place over a Friday evening and all day Saturday, and is split up into three “sub-events”: Youth For Truth, Women of Virtue and Men of Valor. Over the past nine years we have averaged probably 500 men, 200 women and over 1500 young adults annually.
This year the conference included a phenomenal “Christian” band-For King & Country-who had fortuitously played on the Jay Leno show the night before the event. Over 1500 young adults showed up to hear the band, Leah Darrow-a chastity speaker from Catholic Answers, and others at their event on Friday night.
In a separate event that same evening Christopher West and Dr. & Mrs. Mark Laaser spoke to parents and other adults in an upbeat and positive message about true love and sexuality.
Saturday was a day long event again featuring West and Laaser primarily for men and their sons. In addition, over twenty breakouts where pragmatic help and information were offered.…
As brotherhood goes, make mine Christian.
Am I alone in finding the radical element now dispensing dictatorial rants over Egypt a bit odd in calling itself the “Muslim Brotherhood”? I mean, it’s a catchy name but these semantics are becoming challenging. The spectacle of rioting throngs in the streets and the newly “elected” President being the poster child for “brotherhood” around the globe is giving rise to speculation if “Muslim Brotherhood” is an oxymoron. But rather than just throwing stones at the obvious issue within Islam, perhaps a better use of reflective time might be spent in this period of Advent, in reflecting on true Christian Brotherhood.
While few non-Catholic, yet Christian faith traditions celebrate Advent, the season allows us to more thoughtfully consider how we might reach out. Pope Benedict XVI has reiterated the need for the New Evangelization in this year of Faith. Perhaps, this season of reflection could more profitably be spent considering how one might reach out to all men of good will in a more authentic sense of brotherhood, and invite them to consider He who in reality makes us all brothers.…
On the heels of our most recent election I was fortunate to listen to an address on the importance of not reducing the Church to a mere organization in the face of political or other challenges.
As one who gets fully engaged in political activities and issues, I found myself strangely content, if that is the word, with this important remembrance. It was wonderfully and powerfully brought to mind this past Sunday by my pastor at the glorious Christ the King solemnity. What wonderful timing in that the political timetable (November elections) are conquered by the Solemnity of Christ the King. What a blessed benefit for Catholics living the liturgical calendar. His great Kingship trumping all earthly sociopolitical results. While I have never confused His rule with that of mere secular power, it seemed particularly refreshing this year. To be a true subject to no publicly voted ruler, no pandering bureaucracy, but rather the Divine King.
It is indeed reassuring to be a citizen His Kingdom regardless of the challenges we face. Admittedly, persecution to whatever degree makes for better history than current reality-for none of us would trade places with our persecuted ancestors. But we have been called to live in this time and place. His grace is graciously poured out to and through His holy, Catholic church. Not reduced to some sort of merely secular political or economic organization but rather the very incarnational reality of His ongoing presence and love is the real gift we have received.…
When we read that over 50% of the “Catholic Vote” went to Obama, I wonder where these 50%+ folks live? I look at how the nation overall voted and the middle of the nation is filled with red, and primarily orthodox Bishops and conservative voters. I am sure there are pro-Obama Catholics in those states too, but I wonder if the coasts are the primary problem. Since I don’t live on either coast I wonder if anyone has a sense for this.
I have lived on the East Coast and know how ingrained the Democratic party has become with unions, public sector workers, etc. and large groups of Catholics among them. I know this is probably a bit of a caricature, so I’m asking if you if that is where you think our “Catholic Vote” problem lies and, if you agree, how should the laity/hierarchy approach changing this mindset if it all?
As our nation continues to consider the social implications of the two candidates for President the nature and value of work seems to have been called into question.
With the sweep, in 1994, of a new group of more fiscally conservative Republicans into the House, then President Clinton found himself with a choice to make. Should he continue his more left-leaning agenda or move more to center and find a way to work with then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich? With the decision to be more centrist an enormous re-write of our national welfare program was completed in 1996 with great success for both fiscal responsibility by government and increased dignity for recipients. Welfare had become “workfare”. And sixteen years later (this month) it faces a new challenge.
Fast forward to the current debate where President Obama has largely removed, or at the most generous reading, radically altered what is accepted as “work”. While this might sound like typical political word manipulation, it actually represents something quite more problematic.
Work, if seen as mere “activity” , is gutted of its intrinsic value and transcendent importance- it is reduced to an activity for mere financial benefit. In a world framed by such a purely secular understanding, work is seen as even punitive. This is what President Obama (who has never held a private sector occupation) has done in his redefinition.
Work, for Catholics, is actually redemptive, collaborative and sacred. Work is seen as a calling (a vocation) where we collaborate in the creative and communal nature of God himself. …
The contrast could not be more clear.
But I’m not speaking of the presidential contenders. Rather, there is real hope for a real change in Catholic vice-presidents. With the nomination of Congressman Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s choice for vice-president, we see yet another contrast that brings authentic Catholics a choice. A choice between a cardboard cutout of a Catholic in Biden who dispenses with his faith at every opportunity, and an orthodox family, faith and freedom supporting Catholic-Paul Ryan.
Some might claim that the veeps don’t mean much in a presidential race, but that is short sited at best. Vice presidents can, in the best choices, help define the Presidential candidate by giving us an insight into the top positions approach to social and economic issues. So it was with President Obama who has peppered his administration with pseudo-Catholics who reflect the true anti-family, anti-religion, anti-marriage agenda of the current president.
The Republicans have taken another approach. They have opted for real change in this culture and economy by nominating a real Catholic for vice president. Not only does Ryan represent a real Catholic for the position, but like all vice presidential picks, speaks of the real possibility of that vice president ascending to the Presidency in the future.
No candidate is perfect, but with this choice, we see a clearer difference between the current administration and one committed to true Catholic aspirations for both now and generations to come.…
As food fights go, this one was pretty tame.
As the feathers settled after last week’s Chick-fil-A political action, it seems that most people of good will like chicken. And what Dan Cathy stood up for. Even the much heralded “kiss in” was a failure. Some restaurant owners were caught actually trying to serve lemonade to the puckering protestors-but alas to no avail. Only in Torrance California did protesters vandalize a unit with graffiti. All in all the “food fight” was pretty restrained with the only thing thrown were comments and counter-comments.
In addition to announcing the record sales day last Wednesday, Dan Cathy (President & COO of CFA) went on to mention that some of the huge proceeds from the success would find their way as donations to pro-family causes. Perhaps the most interesting response from Cathy was his statement that his life is not defined by the successful chicken sandwich firm. On his blog (www.cathyfamily.com) he extols the meaning he finds in being a husband of 40 years, a dad to his two sons, a musician, biker, gardener and more.
At the end of the day Cathy seems to be a pretty good example of Christian leadership in all areas of his life. Perhaps that’s the biggest claim of this man in the final analysis.…
What happened as I got closer to the Overland Park, KS location was surprising, even to me. I was driving on a 6 lane road when traffic came to a stop. After a 10 minute crawl, I realized what the problem was-a flock of people driving to CFA for lunch. I pulled out of that lane, did a (legal) u-turn and took a different route up another 4 lane street. The cars were lined up even further away. Finally, I chose a little used “back road” to try and get to a parking lot about 1/2 mile away and walk. I could see the Chick-fil-a but there were scores of people parking their cars on mediums and in every parking lot surrounding the store.
It looked like Woodstock-or maybe “Chickenstock”.
All this was well before noon. I thought about calling in my order for tonight-say around 9pm when the line might be a bit more reasonable, but I am guessing the other chicken lovin’ “traditional one opposite gender spouse per customer” types will be lined up then too. This is beef country so the idea of a chicken chain doing what I think just might turn out to be their best one day volume is quite a site.
I heard that some protestors were scheduled to show up, but unless they camped out all night, they probably can’t even get close.…
Rarely has the title of this blog been more apropos than today.
The recent squawking concerning Chic Fil A’s CEO comments on his belief in, and support of the traditional family is just such an event. While it was inevitable that a few of the militant gay (redundant?) community would make a typically unreasonable response to his remarks, it is completely baffling that civic leaders including the Mayor of Mob-land politics Chicago and the pseudo-Catholic governor of New York should become so venomous towards the comments. So much for free speech and free enterprise.
Declaring Chic Fil A is not in sync with “Chicago Values” is an enormous understatement. Praise the Lord they aren’t. The per-capital murder capital of the United States, institutionalized fraudulent politics and strong armed leadership just wouldn’t find a home in Christian based Chic Fil A. But the idea of threatening to keep the chain out of Chicago borders is simply incredible. Not happy to just denigrate the fantastic chicken sandwich chain, they seek to keep it from even serving the Chicagoland folks. Chairman Emanuel has declared his town off limits.
The city of government corruption capital is determined to, in the name of Chicago Values -an oxymoron of amazing proportions-keep the offensive, radical Christian firm out. Rainbow Coalition, Rev. Wright, Weather underground subversives are all, it would seem, outstanding symbols of Chicago “values”.
Not only Christian people, but now Christian businesses are being attacked. At least the lines are getting brighter.…
It is said in ancient Rome that if only a Christian would contribute a “pinch” of offering to the Emperor, he would not be condemned or persecuted. It seems that with the leadership of yet another Catholic – Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts- Catholics find themselves at such a point again. Just a “pinch” of taxes to support the death mandate of Obama-care. The ruling gives Catholics yet another reason to amass in protest of our civic “catholic” leaderships betrayal of all we hold dear. In an important way Catholics will finally be called upon to take a stand-publicly on what they truly believe or do not believe. Sebelius, Pelosi, Biden and now Roberts have made their choice known. Now it’s your turn.…