Friday Flashback: Boxing, Homeschooling, Hobby Lobby and Eduardo Verástegui

clock September 14, 2012 08:27 by author John |

The Friday Flashback is a roundup of the important articles and blog posts of the week...

Acts of the Apostasy has a nice parallel between our spiritual struggles and boxing 

Homeschooling Parents, Vatican Urge Senate Not to Sign Power-Grabbing UN Convention - When will the loons at the UN stop this? They draft an article about protecting the disabled and insert language that would give the government power to intervene if they don't agree with how you raise your child? The is outrageous, and if you don't agree with it, then you are a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal for not "supporting the disabled".

France Grants Legal Recognition to Same Sex Marriages, Forces Government Ministers to Perform them, and Permits Adoption By Gay Couples

Diocese of Nashville and Several Catholic Religious Institutions Sue Over HHS Mandate

Hobby Lobby Sues the Government Of the United States of Obama Over HHS Mandate. Nice to see a large company mix it up with the president over the HHS mandate!

Archbishop Chaput urges end to Capital Punishment - A difficult topic, and one that the left likes to harp on. The Church's teaching is clear, and Chaput lays it out for us.

Romney Says he will Reinstate the Mexico City Policy, wants Roe V Wade Reversed - Let us hope this is not just lip service.

Obama’s Justice Dept. suing Gallup Polls after results they didn’t like. Coincidence? I think not. Obama calls on his hired goons to intimidate Gallop.

Vatican Hopes Apple Partnership Will Spread Pope's Message - I hope this works out well. I'm a little wary of this as large technology companies tend to be very liberal.

Who Are You to Judge? - Fr. Longenecker seems to be having a rough go of it over at Patheos. The atheists have their claws out.

There's a Dead Spot in My House and Eduardo Verástegui Fell Into It - CMR brings the laughs and promotes a great movie.

 



Liberal Wisdom-Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

clock September 14, 2012 07:37 by author John |

lib•er•al  ˈlɪbərəl,ˈlɪbrəl [lib-er-uhl, lib-ruhl]
adjective
1. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
2. favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
3. favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.

Remember when this was what liberalism stood for? Remember when liberals fought for individual freedom? It’s been awhile, but at one point, I think this was actually the case. Nowadays, being liberal means advocating for the government to take away your freedoms so that they can educate, indoctrinate and compel you to do what they think is best. Let me give you a few examples.

Sex education used to be the responsibility of parents. Given that the family’s attitudes toward sex and sex education spring from the fundamental moral values of that family, it seems fitting that this responsibility should be given to the family. This is not the case anymore. Liberals have seized this realm and forced on our children in public schools their anything-goes mentality, belittling and dismissing the concept that people can and should wait until marriage to engage in the marital act.

The care for the health of your child used to be an inalienable right of parents. In most cases, it still is, unless of course there is the possibility that you do not submit to the wisdom of the liberals regarding “reproductive health”, which of course is translated into plain English as abortion and contraception.  If your child has a headache and needs a Tylenol, you must first give your permission before they can have it. If on the other hand, that same child becomes pregnant, and has been convinced that they should just “have it taken care of” with an abortion, you do not have the right to know in some states that are run by liberals. If you don’t want your child to engage in the marital act before marriage, but your child has been convinced by the liberals that you are “outdated, archaic, or bigoted against women’s health”, there is free contraception waiting for that child at school.

Parents have a choice now if they would like to avoid having liberals indoctrinate their children. They can pay double for the education of their children by handing over to the government the tuition necessary to send their child to public schools by paying their property taxes, and then paying tuition to a private school for the actual education of their child. The other option is to pay the tuition only once, but to take the responsibility for educating their child into their own hands and engage in homeschooling. This is a noble and difficult task, which many parents cheerfully undertake so as to give their children the values, knowledge, and properly formed conscience which those children deserve.

Enter the liberals. A proposal from the UN, signed by President Obama now seeks to subtly undermine the right of parents to educate their children in this way. Furthermore, the ambiguous nature of the language in the bill would have broad and woeful consequences for any parent raising their child in a way liberals disagree with.

CatholicCulture.org has this story:

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is urging the Senate not to ratify the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). President Barack Obama signed the treaty in 2009, and a Senate vote on ratification is expected this month.

“Article 7 of the UNCRPD gives government the ability to override every decision of a parent of disabled children if the government thinks that its views are in ‘the best interest of the child,’” said HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris. “This is a radical attempt to take away parental rights.”

The Vatican has also refused to sign this agreement due to the liberals inserting the mandatory phrase “reproductive health” into it. I think it is a requirement for any agreement passed at the UN to include that phrase, regardless of the subject the agreement deals primarily with. Here is the Vatican’s response to this:

We opposed the inclusion of such a phrase [reproductive health] in this article, because in some countries reproductive health services include abortion, thus denying the inherent right to life of every human being, affirmed by article 10 of the Convention. It is surely tragic that, wherever fetal defect is a precondition for offering or employing abortion, the same Convention created to protect persons with disabilities from all discrimination in the exercise of their rights, may be used to deny the very basic right to life of disabled unborn persons.

For this reason, and despite the many helpful articles this Convention contains, the Holy See is unable to sign it.

Now take a look at how clever the liberals are. If you oppose this article, you will be shouted off the stage as an evil person, who hates people with disabilities. Never mind the fact that the article takes away your parental rights, and promotes the evil of abortion. The article is titled “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities”. If you oppose this agreement, that means you oppose what the title of the agreement says, right. Liberals just love straw man arguments. That is why they crafted this agreement in this way. They create a title that sounds noble and just, but subtly insert language that will work to take control of the upbringing of your children away from you if your child is disabled.

Now all they have to do is assert that little Johnny is disabled because he is left handed, or needs reading glasses or has a loose tooth. If he is “disabled” that probably means that you are no longer equipped to raise this child, and it is probably better off that the liberals do it for you. We are not quite there yet with the technology, but when we can determine all of these physical traits through a genetic test, then the liberals will be there, ready to monitor your pregnancy and check for these traits so that you don’t burden yourself or society with a child that is not “optimal”.

The only thing that can change the world for the better despite what the liberals say is prayer. Make that 2 things: prayer and votes. Get out there. Pray and vote!



Obama Might Not Win Election So Bernanke Prints More Money

clock September 13, 2012 19:02 by author John |

Apparently the state of the economy is weighing heavily on Obama's chances of winning the election in November. Never fear, he has an answer for that - print some money! Hey, by the time inflation hits, the election will be over and Obama will have more flexibility. Prayers are needed for this election. We need people who will promote the common good.



Hobby Lobby Sues the Government of the United States of Obama Over HHS Mandate

clock September 12, 2012 13:42 by author John |

The arts and crafts supply store Hobby Lobby is suing the government over the HHS mandate. While they do not object to contraceptives, they do object to abortion-inducing drugs, as a matter of religious principle. It is good to see another business, particularly a large one jump into the ring to fight the draconian Obama administration over this attack on religious freedom and freedom of conscience. Read more...



Archbishop Chaput: We Need to End the Death Penalty Now

clock September 12, 2012 11:01 by author John |

Archbishop ChaputArchbishop Charles Chaput has come out with an excellent piece about a convicted murderer facing the death penalty and the concept of capital punishment in general. It is well worth a read...

Even when a defendant is well defended, properly tried and justly found guilty, experience shows that capital punishment simply doesn’t work as a deterrent. Nor does it heal or redress any wounds, because only forgiveness can do that. It does succeed though in answering violence with violence — a violence wrapped in the piety of state approval, which implicates all of us as citizens in the taking of more lives.

Continue reading at CatholicPhilly.com

For Reference, here is the relevant except from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2267 Assuming that the guilty party's identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people's safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm - without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself - the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity "are very rare, if not practically non-existent."



Muslims Storm US Embassy in Libya and Cairo, Kill Diplomats and Staff.

clock September 12, 2012 09:21 by author John |

This is terrible! Muslims have stormed 2 US embassies is Cairo and Libya and killed a US Diplomat and staff members. Apparently they were angry about a movie made by an Israeli about Muslims and Mohammed. These are the adherents of the "Religion of Peace", right? Rather than issue a strong response, the Obama administration called out the filmmaker and showed a moral equivalence between the killing with the offending movie as if they were equally wrong and offensive.

Give it time - these people will not stop until every last Christian and Jew is converted or killed. President Obama will continue to sit by and "condemn" the attacks but do nothing in response.



Why did God Allow 9/11 to Happen?

clock September 11, 2012 08:24 by author John |

Why did God allow 9/11?

On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was a freshman at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Walking down the stairs of my dorm at around 9:00, I noticed about a dozen people glued to the television, watching Fox News. I noticed a building with smoke pouring out of it. It looked like the World Trade Center, but it seemed so surreal that I doubted that was actually the case. I sat down briefly and watched for a few minutes as the news came across the television.

So many thoughts were going through my head as I tried to comprehend what had happened. My mind began racing. I thought that it must have been a terrible accident. Was the pilot asleep or intoxicated? Distracted? How could a plane be flying that low over New York? How many people were killed or injured? We should say a prayer. I hope they can get everyone out before the fire spreads. It seemed like I was there for an hour, such is the way the mind works in situations like these. It turned out that I was only there for about 3 or 4 minutes until it happened.

I saw the second plane hit the other tower at about 9:03. I was in shock and disbelief set in. I remember thinking: How could this be possible? This must have been on purpose. Who did this? They are going to pay. Whatever my responsibilities were that morning – classes, most likely, I decided that they were not important. I was going to watch this scene as it unfolded. I prayed as I watched the smoke pouring from the buildings.

After a while, the reports started coming in that a third plane had crashed into the Pentagon. Bad move, I remember thinking. By this time, there was a pretty good indication or at least a suspicion that Islamic terrorists were behind this. I got angry. I knew we would be at war.

After United flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, things began to hit a little more. That was only about 100 miles from Steubenville in a straight line. I remember feeling vulnerable. Could they possibly attack here? I mean Catholic and Muslims are not exactly best of friends. If you were going to attack a Catholic institution in the United States, Franciscan University would have to be at the top of the list.

I went to the Portiuncula (the adoration chapel on campus) to pray. I don’t remember what I said to God during those moments, but I do remember the fervor with which I was praying. Rarely did I ever pray that hard before. The chapel was relatively empty – maybe three people were there with me. There must be some people who still don’t know I thought. After a short time, people started to slowly enter the chapel. It began to fill up, so I decided to leave, since I had basically said everything I wanted to say to God and others could use the space.

Returning to the dorm, I called my parents. They were worried. They had been trying to call me, but communication lines were clogged that day. I guess they had trouble getting through. They didn’t know how far Shanksville, PA was from Steubenville, but they knew it was close. I told them I was OK, discussed the events a bit with them and then said goodbye. I didn’t feel like talking about it. It was too raw for me.

Word spread that classes were cancelled for the day. That was a good decision I thought. No one will go to class today anyway. Even if they did, they will not focus on the lecture. Their minds will be elsewhere. I remember thinking “Why would God allow this”?

That question still bothers me to this day. It seems contrary to human reason that a God that is all-good would allow evil. The problem with that line of thinking is that it assumes God created or condones evil. That is not the case. God gives us free will. Rather than force us to love Him, He allows us to choose to love Him. Love not freely given is not love at all. Evil is the absence of good. Where God has left the hearts of men, the void is filled with selfishness, pride, and most importantly, sin.

Evil is the manifestation of the choice we all make: that is, whether to love God or to love sin. Clearly the terrorists on that day made a choice for sin, for hatred, revenge, murder, war, however you describe it, it is the same thing: evil.


The best way we can honor those who lost their lives that day is to live our lives with an urgent dedication to God. We don’t know who from that terrible scene gained the eternal reward of Heaven. That is not in our control. It is God’s mercy that will determine their eternal reward. Our destiny is in our hands however. We can gain Heaven by loving God with fervent dedication, vigilance against evil, and the frequent reception of the sacraments, particularly confession. Let us honor the fallen by our lives, lived in virtue.



Tuesday Ear Tickler: Christina Pelosi is Praying for a Schism

clock September 11, 2012 05:03 by author John |

Tuesday Ear Tickler: Christina Pelosi is Praying for a Schism

The Tuesday Ear Tickler award is Solemn Charge’s weekly recognition of teachers who “Tickle the Ears” of those who “no longer endure sound doctrine”. In the spirit of 2 Timothy 4 2-4, this award serves to identify theological or doctrinal errors, dissent or hostility toward the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, or writing that undermines the purpose of each human soul – to know love and serve God so as to enjoy eternal happiness with Him in Heaven. I make no judgment of the writer’s intentions. Usually the winner of this award was raised in the 60’s so that right there is a mitigating factor toward their culpability for their actions. I do judge concrete actions and the quality of ideas, however…

The Tuesday Ear Tickler award for this week goes to Christina Pelosi, writing for the bastion of truth and wisdom, the Huffington Post. It will be a bit difficult to dissect this article simply because the content is all over the map, she rambles, and her blog post goes on forever, but regardless, let us get started. Her comments are in red, mine in black. Pelosi starts out by comparing herself to the distraught George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. She quotes his prayer from the movie:

"Dear Father in Heaven: If you're up there and you can hear me, show me the way. I'm at the end of my rope. Show me the way, God."

Aside from the obvious doubt about God’s existence expressed in the prayer, let us hope that she is actually sincere in the prayer, and not just using it for theater. She then swiftly moves into a diatribe against the Church for asking the nuns of the LCWR to be a little more Catholic and a little less shaman:

Apparently, dedicating their lives to caring for the sick and helping the poor wasn't enough. The Vatican accused them of promoting "radical feminist" ideas and demanded that they crank up the volume on opposing abortion and gay marriage. In short, the Vatican wanted to see less help and more hate.

Here we have straw man argument #1. Do you really think the Vatican wants to see more hate? This seems a bit over the top to me. Can anyone doubt the fact that they are drifting out of reach of Catholic identity? They promote everything except the authentic truth of the Church.

Pelosi apparently supports sending money to organizations that promote sinful activities like Oxfam. Then she goes into the tired old line about outdated and backwards policies:

The Church's backwards and outdated policies relating to women in particular and equality in general were nothing new; but its singular focus on these issues coupled with its demand that everyone else do the exact same thing was. So much for free will.

Perhaps it would surprise Pelosi to learn that free will does not entitle a person to sin. Freedom is the ability to do what you ought to do, not whatever you want to do. We live in a free country, but that doesn’t mean you can steal from someone. We are a society of laws, which ensure the protection of everyone. The same can be said for the Church. There are laws that guide us in getting to Heaven. In society, you can break the laws and suffer the consequences. The same can be said for your immortal soul. When you break a law of the Church, you are hurting someone – whether it be yourself or others, and by doing so, you damage your relationship with God. I mean this is like 2nd grade catechetics we are dealing with here. I am going to call this straw man argument #2.

Pelosi then meanders into the work that Melinda Gates is doing – you know, helping prevent AIDS by encouraging people to have sex and giving them a condom. What could go wrong there? Encouraging people to have sex whether protected or not will not prevent AIDS. Abstinence prevents AIDS. Giving people condoms causes them to be more promiscuous and the time will come when they want sex and don’t have a condom handy or the condom will break and so on. Here’s Pelosi’s take on it:

When questioned about the conflict between her foundation's work and the Church's position on contraception, Gates answered, "We're not going to agree about everything, but that's OK." How refreshingly reasonable.

Going back to the society of laws parallel – that is like saying well, I just robbed a bank, and I know the police aren’t going to agree with me about it, but that’s OK. People that are so nonchalant about sin, especially sin on a grand scale are going to have a lota ‘splainin to do at the pearly gates. On she rambles:

But the big question that remains is this: Where are we all going, anyway?

My sister used to say, "I'm a Kennedy Catholic," when people were surprised to find out that she was both a Democrat and a Catholic. The distinction between Democrats' and Republicans' respective brands of Catholicism has only gotten more pronounced in recent years, with social justice liberals filling the pews on the left side of the Church and conservative crusaders occupying the right. These days it's hard to believe we worship the same God, let alone practice the same religion.

I would agree with her that it is hard to believe we are worshipping the same God. In fact I am pretty sure that some of the nuns in the LCWR have acknowledged as much. Social justice liberals are not “filling the pews”. They are increasingly avoiding church and falling away from the faith.

For decades I prayed that the Catholic Church would evolve, but not anymore. Now I'm holding out for a schism, instead. We'll be the Social Justice Catholic Church and they can be the Conservative Catholic Church.

Now she tries to get cute about this by suggesting a schism. How nice. Yes, let us rip Christ’s Church apart rather than conform to His teachings. Lady, you can call your church anything you want, but unless you are in union with the 2000 years of Catholic Wisdom, then it will not be Catholic. Continuing on her rambling diatribe…

In the Social Justice Catholic Church, there will be no more of this nonsense over contraception. Once we've put that non-issue to rest, we'll be freed up to tackle other non-issues, too -- like marriage and gender equality.

In the Social Justice Catholic Church, everyone will be treated equally -- men, women, gay or straight. And everyone will be allowed to marry, even priests. And speaking of priests, no one will be disqualified from being one based on gender or sexual orientation. Priest shortage? What priest shortage?

I’m guessing that Pelosi hasn’t read the book of Romans yet. Particularly Romans 1:26-27, in which testimony is given against homosexuality:

“Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.”

How dare I quote the Bible when defining sin? I’m wondering how she can rationalize that verse. This seems pretty clear-cut to me. If that doesn’t settle the question, we could look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Exodus 20:14, Ephesians 5:3, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, or many others. The list goes on. So does Pelosi:

So, what makes the Social Justice Catholic Church different from any other inclusive and reasonable church, like the Unitarian Church, for example? Two thousand years' worth of rituals and a treasure trove of accessories, that's what. We're keeping all of the cool incense burners, water-sprinkler thingies, holy days, saints and sacraments. Oh, and the wine. We're definitely keeping the wine.

I was thinking the same thing. She sounds like she would fit right in with the Unitarians. Does she think that ignorance is a good quality? Water Sprinkler thingies? Really? I’m guessing she means the aspergillum. Does she want to keep all the holy days? Really? Even the Feast of the Chair of Peter? She may want to keep the sacraments, but she will have a rough go of it trying to make them valid, much less licit. By wine I gather that she is talking about the Precious Blood of Christ? If she starts a schism, it is likely that wine is exactly what she will have. We will still have the Precious Blood, along with the Precious Body, confession, and last rights when or if she comes crawling back when the loose lifestyles she supports cause incalculable suffering and emotional damage, not to mention the spiritual harm. Don't forget the spiritual harm. She is still going. Let's try to follow along for a little while longer. It is almost over - I promise...

Now let's talk facilities. I've been to the Vatican, and it's huge. We can divide that thing straight down the middle and still have plenty of room for both groups. The Conservative Catholics can have Pope Benedict, but I call dibs on John Paul II's crypt. I know JP Deuce made some mistakes (papal infallibility notwithstanding), but I liked him. I guess you could say he had me at (Polish trade union) solidarity.

If she knew anything about John Paul II, she wouldn’t want him. You know that whole thing about no women priests, he called it Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. He also put out some nice work on the dignity of Human life that would probably cause Pelosi to choke on the Kool-Aid she is drinking. That one was Evangelium Vitae. Back to Pelosi...

I may not live to see the day when everyone is treated with basic human dignity and enjoys access to modern medicine here on earth. But after the schism, at least I can take comfort knowing that's what awaits me in Social Justice Catholic heaven.

Basic human dignity is what the Church is pushing for. Articles like Pelosi’s don’t help in that effort. By allowing and encouraging people to live in sin, we are destroying their dignity and robbing them of eternal happiness in Heaven. Here she brings it home for us (finally):

And with marriage equality and contraception flowing freely, I’m betting Jesus, his 12 “go-to” guys and his home girl Mary Magdalene will all be there, too. With that guest list, you know the dinner parties in Social Justice Catholic Heaven will be as fabulous as they are endless – with bottomless glasses of wine and a place at the table for everyone.

By “marriage equality” I am guessing she means Church sanctioned sodomy? I’ll take the bet about Jesus being up there. He is already booked to headline the “Second Coming Tour” when he will not come as he did the first time – in humility, but as the Just Judge. And here we have the statement that sums up her view of the world. “a place at the table for everyone”. She is right about that – there will be a place at the table for everyone. The problem is that not everyone will want to sit at the table. That is what this whole life thing is about. You either choose to love God or you choose to love sin. You can’t have it both ways.

I hereby award Christina Pelosi with the Tuesday Ear Tickler Award for Tuesday, September 11, 2012

 



On His Own Now

clock September 10, 2012 18:10 by author John |

 This summer we signed the 2 older boys up for soccer. It was a great experience and we had a lot of fun. The kids liked it too. Well, the four year old did. He loved it. Not only did he get to score goals and practice his trapping, passing and baby touches (dribbling), but the park where they had practice was about 50 yards from the train tracks, so about 4 times a practice the drills would have to stop so everyone could wave to the train going by.

The three year old wasn’t so inclined to participate. He has this genetic condition known as shyness. He gets it from my side of the family. His cousin had it for about a year, and his father (me) had it for about all of my life. Anyway, he decided that even though he and his brother make up 40% of the team, he was too shy to participate. It wasn’t because he didn’t know how to play soccer, either. I think that surprisingly, he is as good at soccer as his brother who has a year on him.

Anyway, he sat out the first practice (that’s all they do at this age apparently - practice). The next week I encouraged my wife to lure him onto the field by promising to hold his hand. Not only did it work, but my wife got to practice for free! Over the next 3 practices, she got pretty good, and he actually participated most of the time.

Suddenly, and unexpectedly on the second to last practice, he decided that he didn’t need to hold her hand anymore. He ran off to get a soccer ball and my wife just sort of shrugged her shoulders and slowly walked back to join me on the sideline with the 2 younger kids. The three year old didn’t even notice that mommy wasn’t there anymore. If he did, it was the way he wanted it anyway. He came up to me at the end of practice and told me all the cool things he did, like scoring a goal and passing the ball. We all celebrated the occasion with a tall glass of chocolate milk when we got home.

I didn’t get out of things quite as easily as I had hoped. Unbeknownst to me, the last soccer practice was actually a scrimmage against the parents. I dutifully participated, and I didn’t even have to hold anyone’s hand (most of the time). We did lose 7-1 however. Yes, that’s right one of the parents scored a goal. He claims it was an accident. I’m not so convinced.



Betrayal

clock September 9, 2012 18:22 by author John |

Shortly before His death, Jesus prophesied two different episodes of betrayal by His disciples.

When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, "Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was lying close to the breast of Jesus; so Simon Peter beckoned to him and said, "Tell us who it is of whom he speaks." So lying thus, close to the breast of Jesus, he said to him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it." So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. (John 13:21-26)

Jesus goes on to tell Judas “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Later in the same chapter,

Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus answered, "Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but you shall follow afterward." Peter said to him, "Lord, why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Jesus answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the cock will not crow, till you have denied me three times." (John 13:36-38)

Imagine the tension as Jesus calls out these two followers. Though not all of the disciples may have known what was happening with Judas, John must have known because he asked Jesus who was to hand Him over. What must have the disciples thought after hearing of the betrayal? There must have been anger, confusion, and despair. After Jesus called out Peter, the others in the room must have been thinking “Don’t make eye contact. He might call me out next”.

So often we are well intentioned, but when someone challenges our faith or disparages our beliefs, we lose our courage and remain silent. What we may not realize is that this not only is a betrayal of our Lord, but it also empowers the aggressor, making him think that he is right or at least entitled to continue attacking. People will sense weakness and use it against us. I do not mean that we should go looking for fights, but a well-placed rebuke or counterargument goes a long way in defending our religious freedoms, whether individual or societal.

We too can witness to others about the Lord, our Savior, but do we? Let us take every opportunity to bring Jesus to others, even if we will be ridiculed, persecuted or cast out for our beliefs. Our message will be heard if we have conviction and confidence in our words. We must not allow ourselves to betray our Lord the way Peter did, or worse still, as Judas did. Pray for strength, that we may not withhold our witness to Christ.

“All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” – anonymous