Pray Brethren

Pray Brethren

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Barack’s Deborah and Jael?

As the healthcare battle moves to the Supreme Court, the Book of Judges (no pun intended) offers us a look back at the Obama presidency.

When Barack Obama defeated Hilary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, he ran against the Republican John McCain in the general election. Standing side by side, the seventy-one year old “Maverick” and the far younger father of two seemed polar opposites. Only one, however, directly catered to the feminist cause: John McCain. He did so by placing Sarah Palin on the ticket with him, not because she was fit to be second in line to the Presidency but because he was attempting to draw more women to his own cause.

Now it’s not that Obama did not espouse a feminist-supporting viewpoint, but as a convert to Christianity from Islam and a successful family man of the African American community, Barack Obama had an opportunity to continue national efforts with Islamic nations and be a strong voice to the young and struggling African American male population. Sometimes the Presidency forces greatness upon men, challenging them to rise up the task and doing what is best for the nation. In other words, while John McCain’s damaged policy positions were sacramentally reflected in his broken and aging body, Barack’s vigor and refusal to run an Obama-Clinton ticket gave the nation hope for an Obama presidency.

Like Barak in the Book of Judges, however, Barack’s presidency has been to win battles through his female protectors.

First he chose Hilary Clinton to be his Secretary of State and he not only sent her as his representative to the very masculine Islamic nations, but he also used her to defend abortion, contraception, and gay rights across the globe. Then during the healthcare debate in the White House he listened to Nancy Pelosi over Joe Biden concerning the contraceptive mandate. To defend this position, he hid behind Sandra Fluke who testified that every American woman should have thousands of dollars of free condoms and birth control pills. And as of this week, his new hope has been placed in the two justices he sent to the Supreme Court: Elena Kagan and Sandra Sotomeyer, both women. Today, Zogby released a poll showing Barack leading Romney among women by 14 points.

All this seems eerily similar to the actions of Barak in Judges 4.

In Judges, the Israelites found themselves at war with the Canaanite king, Jabin. When God choose Barak to defeat Jabin’s army in battle, he refused to go without the presence of the prophet Debra in his midst, saying: “‘If you come with me, I will go; if you do not come with me, I will not go’” (Judges 4:8). Deborah responded by telling Barak that because he would not lead the battle alone, his victory would not come through his efforts but through woman. Indeed, after Deborah and Barak routed Jabin’s army, the general of the army fled to an ally’s tent. Jael, the wife of the ally, led the general to her bed where she hid him and allowed him to sleep. But once he was in a deep sleep, Jael “got a tent peg and took a mallet in her hand… and drove the peg through his temple and down into the ground, and he died” (Judges 4:21). Barak won the battle, but the victory was not his.

Like Barak, Barack Obama has fought his battles through women - but Barack's women, however, are the defenders and propagators of feminism. They have given him counsel and he has appointed them to high and influential places. And with the Sandra Fluke debacle and the Supreme Court case, his feminist defenders await within the tent-bedroom.

Just make sure to keep watch for the peg on the table.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Twelve Succinct Facts on Angels

In the opening of Dr. Peter Kreeft’s book on Angels (and Demons), Dr. Kreeft begins by offering us these twelve facts about angels which should interest us enough to read the rest of the book.

Angels: The Twelve Most Important Things to Know About Them

1. They really exist. Not just in our minds, or our myths, or our symbols, or our culture. They are as real as your dog, or your sister, or electricity.

2. They’re present, right here, right now, right next to you, reading these words with you.

3. They’re not cute, cuddly, comfortable, chummy, or “cool”. They are fearsome and formidable. They are huge. They are warriors.

4. They are the real “extra-terrestrials”, the real “Super-men”, the ultimate aliens. Their powers are far beyond those of all fictional creatures.

5. They are more brilliant minds than Einstein.

6. They can literally move the heavens and the earth if God permits them.

7. There are also evil angels, fallen angels, demons, or devils. These too are not myths. Demon possessions, and exorcisms, are real.

8. Angels are aware of you, even though you can’t usually see or hear them. But you can communicate with them. You can talk to them without even speaking.

9. You really do have your very own “guardian angel”. Everybody does.

10. Angels often come disguised. “Do not neglect hospitality, for some have entertained angels unawares”—that’s a warning from life’s oldest and best instruction manual.

11. We are on a protected part of a great battlefield between angels and devils, extending to eternity.

12. Angels are sentinels standing at the crossroads where life meets death. They work especially at moments of crisis, at the brink of disaster—for bodies, for souls, and for nations.
If you found these twelve facts interesting, you should run down to your nearest Catholic bookstore and get yourself a copy of Kreeft's book!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Patron Saint of Feminism?

Morality is carried by personalities. As the contraceptive mandate debate rages, we as Catholics must take this as an opportunity to examine our own understanding of femininity and look at the personalities which shape our moral conduct.

In short, the current debate is not merely a church-state debate, nor a healthcare debate; rather, it is a battle between feminism and Marian femininity – and there can be no peace between the two. It is a battle between “I am woman, hear me roar” and the Virgin Mother of God who says “Let it be done to me according to your word.” It is a battle between women’s “right to choose” on one hand and the Woman’s submission to the will of God on the other. It is a battle between those hungry for power and the Spouse of the Holy Ghost.

Many Catholic women no longer see Mary as the model for their femininity. Perhaps she’s inspiring or appealing in some way or another, but very few women would name her as the woman to whom they aspire to imitate. Today’s patron saints are Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, Hilary Clinton, Margaret Sanger – and now Sandra Fluke. Women of power, not purity. Indeed, the polar opposites of Mary and Marian femininity.

Tolkien tells us in the Lord of the Rings that evil “can only mock, it cannot make”. To mock here means to mimic in a twisted and distorted way. Today Sandra Fluke has become the newest patron saint of the feminist cause, and a standard bearer of the twisted mockery of Marian femininity. For example, unlike Mary, the woman who bears the titles Virgin and Mother, Fluke fights for those who detest their virginity and say “no” to motherhood while saying “yes” to the abortionist's scalpel. And unlike Mary, who intercedes before the King on behalf of her children at war with the Evil One, Fluke intercedes on behalf of the President in order to win his battle while preventing the creation of children.

In the Passion of the Christ, Satan appears as a woman carrying a demonic infant in mockery of Mary and her Son. The new mockery comes from those who despise virginity and motherhood. Let us raise up the person and personality of Mary, Virgin and Mother. Let us excise the feminist cataract from our eyes and see clearly. Only then can we succeed at being a lumen gentium – a light to the nations!