11 Jun

Truth vs. Relativism

Jesus said, “…and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free …” (John 8:32)
Veritatis Splendor (The Splendor of Truth)  was written by Pope John Paul II in 1993 and revolves around man’s ability to discern good, the existence of evil, the role of human freedom, human conscience and natural law.  Pope John Paul II emphatically says that moral truth is knowable and there is no contradiction between freedom and following the truth.  The Hebrew word for “truth”, emeth, means “firmness, constancy, duration” and implies everlasting substance and something that can be relied on. Truth is that which corresponds to reality.
It’s important to understand and embrace the concept of absolute truth in all areas of life, including faith and religion, because life has consequences for being wrong.
The freedom we enjoy as rational creatures does not extend to determining what is true and what is false in matters of morality any more than in other matters.  We cannot choose that a circle has 4 sides and we cannot choose that adultery is good. “The fact is, the truth matters – especially when you’re on the receiving end of a lie,” said Christian author, Ravi Zacharias.
Much of our modern culture is based on a belief in relativism which says there is no absolute truth and that truth is merely what a particular individual or culture happens to believe. Veritatis Splendor insists that moral law is universal across people in varying cultures and is in fact rooted in the human condition and natural law.
Fr. Eric Fasano, Co-Chancellor of DRVC, will speak to us about Veritatis Splendor at the annual Rally for Religious Freedom on June 30.
!!! Save the Date !!!
Saturday, June 30, 10-12:00, Rally for Religious FreedomSt. John the Baptist HS, Montauk Hwy, West Islip; Public Witness Rosary 10:00am, Rally @ 10;30am       Keynote Speakers: Fr. Eric Fasano, Co-Chancellor DRVS, Sister Constance Viet, Little Sisters of the Poor; Video messages from Bishop Barres and Cardinal Dolan
04 Jun

Religious Persecution Worldwide – 2 Types

In North America and Europe we  see a “Polite Persecution” through intimidation and legislation.
In Asia and Africa we see more and more “Violent Persecution.”
1. Polite Persecution:   in Michigan, Fired for her Faith:  A Catholic clinical social worker with 20 years experience  providing individual psychological counseling to a diverse group of patients, was fired  because she declined marriage counseling to a same-sex couple since her faith teaches marriage is between one man and one woman.  Her supervisor said she had to be “a social worker first and a Catholic second.”  
“This case shows that people of faith are under assault in the workplace,” said a Thomas More Law Center attorney. “… discrimination against Christians is a civil rights violation that will subject employers to legal liability.”
 2.  Violent Persecution:  Radicalized Hindus have increased violent attacks on the religious minorities of Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and Buddhists.  These range from arson of churches to priests beaten & killed, nuns raped, and the destruction of Christian schools, colleges, and cemeteries.
Ten pastors and co-workers were taking 60 children to a Christian summer camp last May when they were surrounded by police, put in prison, and charged with kidnapping, cruelty, and forceful conversion. Although the parents protested saying they wanted their children in the camp, the pastors remained imprisoned.
 “Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will suffer in the near future.”  Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, Iraq

Save the Date! Mark your calendar!

Saturday, June 30, Rally For Religious Freedom, 10-12:00, St. John the Baptist HS, Montauk Hwy. West Islip; Public Witness Rosary @ 10:00; Rally @ 10:30Keynote Speakers: Fr. Eric Fasano, Co-Chancellor DRVC; Sister Constance Viet, Little Sisters of the Poor;  Video messages from Bishop Barres & Cardinal Dolan

21 May

Military power wins battles, but Spiritual power wins wars.

Military power wins battles, but Spiritual power wins wars.”    General George Marshall
On Memorial Day we honor our deceased veterans and remember that, even today, they are under attack by freedom-from-religion groups.
 In 1934, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) erected the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross atop Sunrise Rock in the middle of the 1.6 million-acre Mojave National Preserve in CA, in honor of WWI veterans.  But in 2001, the ACLU brought a lawsuit from one individual who lived outside the state.  Fortunately, in 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the land transfer of the veterans memorial to the VFW, allowing the cross to be restored.  “Judges and lawyers may have played their roles, but it was the veterans who earned this memorial, and it is for them it rises once more,” said a Liberty Institute attorney.
A 40 foot-tall World War I memorial in the shape of a cross has stood for almost a century in Bladensburg, MD.  A U.S. Court of Appeals has declared this Peace Cross unconstitutional.  Defenders of the monument hope to take the case to the Supreme Court arguing that the ruling sets a dangerous president, threatening other national treasures.
 A Memorial Day display  featuring 79 white, handmade crosses, representing residents who died in America’s wars, were posted along a state highway in Georgia.  The crosses were abruptly taken down when one person complained about the display.  “It was never about religion – it was to honor them,” said Mayor Philyaw.  “The cross is a ‘rest in peace’ symbol to me.”
“America without soldiers would be like God without his angels.”   Claudia Pemberton, Author


14 May

Good News for Military

The Air Force reversed its decision to punish a highly decorated colonel after he declined to sign a “certificate of spouse appreciation” for a retiring master sergeant’s same-sex spouse. Even though Col. Bohannan applied for a religious accommodation and asked a more senior officer to sign the certificate, he was grounded, suspended, and guaranteed that he’d never be promoted – all because of his beliefs on marriage.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson announced the new ruling in favor of the colonel and reinstated him.  She said, “Col. Bohannon had the right to exercise his sincerely held religious beliefs and did not unlawfully discriminate…”
“However, we must remember that at every level of government there are bureaucrats who actively resist … efforts to preserve and protect religious freedom,” said First Liberty general counsel.
Not Good News for Military Chaplains:
Army Chaplain Scott Squires has been reprimanded and faces “career-ending punishment” because an Army investigator wrongly concluded he discriminated when he declined to facilitate a Strong Bonds Marriage Retreat that included same-sex couples. However, Chaplain Squires was actually following Department of Defense regulations.
These DOD regulations require that chaplains must be qualified to serve as military officers and be “endorsed” by a recognized religious organization since they not only represent the military, they also represent their faith group. The Southern Baptist Convention endorses Chaplain Squires who faithfully follows the tenets of his faith.
“The investigator concluded that I should be reprimanded for doing something I’m required to do under Army regulations and my endorsement rules,” explained Chaplain Squires.
“These massive organizations (armed forces) will require the enormous effort and determination of like-minded individuals to restore and protect the religious freedom guaranteed to all Americans.”        Lt.Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin