Monday, January 27, 2014

Cut the Cable Cord….I Have.



While I suspected the claims about Sean Hannity (even though I never considered him Catholic in the first place; notice at no point in the clip does he actually call the priest "Father") and O'Reilly gave up any claims of faith once his marriage failed, something else occurred to me:

Yes, the mainstream media is indeed dangerous to the Faith and yes, Fox News is better by comparison but since you pay for both out of your cable bill, what real difference does it make which one you watch? Don't they both get your money either way?

Now, let's take this a step further: consider for a moment what images and shows out there on cable are even more dangerous to the Faith then be more honest with yourself in asking which channels you actually watch.

My guess is with a cable package that includes at least 40 channels, the average cable subscriber watches only about 4 or 5 channels any given day. Is it any wonder then with so many unused channels, people complain about sky high cable bills each month?

Well, I've had enough of it. I'm tired of my hard earned money going to a company that misinterprets my bill payment as carte blanche to create filth. Why give more money to them when doing that makes me poorer in the process? Thanks to adjustments with the cable company, I've been able to cut my bill from 140 a month down to just 60 a month.

If anyone is interested in how I did it, I'll gladly make it a subject of a future blog entry, but for now, I declare this as one of several liberations from a world that thinks so little of me….a world that prefers atheists, even though atheists are idiots.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Nuns Stare Obama Down…and Obama Blinks!


Supreme Court grants temporary reprieve from contraceptive mandate
By: Josh Gerstein and Jennifer Haberkorn
January 24, 2014 04:50 PM EST
The Obama administration cannot enforce the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage requirements against a Catholic nuns’ order for the time being, if the nuns tell the government they object to providing that coverage, the Supreme Court ruled Friday afternoon.
The Supreme Court’s action could defuse for the time being a showdown between religious employers and the federal government over the procedures for providing contraceptive coverage to employees of hospitals, nursing homes and other entities run by religious groups.
In a one-page order issued by the court without any noted dissent, the justices said that — at least for now — the Little Sisters of the Poor did not have to follow the procedure the Obama Administration established for religious groups to escape complying with ACA-related rules requiring that employer-provided coverage include contraceptives.
Instead of filling out a government-issued form, the nuns can simply send the Department of Health and Human Services a written notice that the order is a religious organization with “religious objections to providing coverage for contraceptive services.”
The nuns, who run nursing homes, had refused to fill out the federal exemption form, arguing that doing so would violate their religious beliefs by triggering the provisions of contraceptives by others.
Lawyers for the Little Sisters hailed the court’s order and said the nuns will take the option the justices outlined. Their actual appeal of the requirement is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.
“This order grants all the protection that the Little Sisters of the Poor and the other organizations in the case need while the courts are deciding their case,” said Kevin Walsh, a University of Richmond Law professor and an attorney for the nuns. “We are happy to satisfy the condition in the Supreme Court’s order, which is to say something that we have been saying from the beginning of the case and that the government already knows.”
Daniel Blomberg, a Becket Fund attorney also representing the Little Sisters, said the Supreme Court’s requirement to send a note to HHS demonstrates that the government’s form amounts to a “permission slip” to access to contraception.
“The Supreme Court saw through it,” Blomberg said. “They’ve given an example of how it can be done nationwide.”
Two religious health care benefit providers – Christian Brothers Services and Christian Brothers Employee Benefits Trust – joined the Little Sisters in their suit. The order applies to them as well, meaning the ruling could extend to more than 400 non-profit organizations.
The Justice Department issued only a brief response to the order. “As the order indicates, this injunction applies only to the plaintiffs and is not a ruling on the merits of their case,” a spokesperson said. “And plaintiffs have always been eligible for an accommodation from the contraceptive coverage requirement.”
Supporters of the contraception coverage requirement said they were not overly concerned that the ruling signals where the court may head if and when the case works its way back to the Supreme Court.
“Although [we are] disappointed in this temporary order, the court emphasized that the order ‘should not be construed as an expression of the court’s views on the merits,’” said Sharon Levin, director of federal reproductive health policy at the National Women’s Law Center. “We are confident once the merits in this case are fully considered by the 10th Circuit, that it will once again uphold the birth control regulations as it did in December.”
If the nuns send a notice meeting the Supreme Court’s requirements, the government will be blocked from taking any enforcement action against the religious group at least until a federal appeals court acts on the nuns’ appeal, the court’s order said.
The justices also said in Friday’s order that the Little Sisters could get relief pending the outcome of their appeal without sending a copy of their opt-out notice to their insurance carrier — something the religious group said it would not do because of concerns that could also lead to employees receiving contraceptive coverage.
Last month, a federal district court judge in Colorado ruled that it would “not substantially burden” the nuns’ religious beliefs to complete the government form or send it to the firm that administers their insurance.
The Denver-based 10th Circuit Court refused to stay the nuns’ duty to comply with the regulations, which took effect Jan. 1.
On New Year’s Eve, Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave the religious order an emergency stay while the court considered how to respond to the group’s application for a stay pending appeal.
The Supreme Court has not yet agreed to hear the Little Sisters’ case or any other brought by a non-profit religious group challenging the Obamacare contraceptive regulations.
However, the justices are scheduled to hear arguments in March in a pair of cases in which for-profit businesses are seeking to escape the coverage requirements because the owners of the firms say providing such coverage would violate their religious beliefs.

(For the link, click here.)


Nothing more needs be said here….another proof atheists are idiots.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The TRUE Version of Social Justice



I have to agree with John Stossel when he says he hears people speak of social justice but has no clear idea what that means. Then again, it doesn't help matters when people hear the phrase and think it's a another name for socialism as his guest points out. Since the phrase came from the Catholic Church, then Catholics hold the blame for when people misuse the word.
I like how the guest defines the phrase but for our purposes, we'll go with the definition provided by wikipedia:
"Social justice refers to the ability people have to realize their potential in the society where they live.While "justice" (especially corrective justice or distributive justice) classically referred to ensuring that individuals both fulfilled their duties, and received what they were "due" based on interactions with other people, "social justice" is generally used in a wider way with reference to a set of institutions which will enable people to lead a fulfilling life and be active and contributors to their community."

Outside the context of either Catholicism or a transcendent reality, this definition can be misinterpreted so many ways. For example, I've come across people who think raising the minimum wage is in line with social justice and I've seen people who support gay so-called marriage claiming it's in line with social justice.  Oddly enough, these are also the same people who think if one is against abortion, they should be against the death penalty, as if both issues are morally equivalent. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. 

While no official list exists for what makes up social justice, there are several key parts that so-called social justice promoters tend to overlook and therefore mislead people, either by ignorance or out of malice. Those key parts are: human dignity, solidarity, charity, subsidiarity, and distributism. If any of these parts are missing, then it is not true social justice. Let's look at them in brief, starting with the two most overlooked:


Subsidiarity is defined as "an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. Political decisions should be taken at a local level if possible, rather than by a central authority."
This definition by itself must be kept in mind in order for all true social teachings to make sense, the center of the web which all the parts branch off from. If it seems hard to remember, just think of it like this:
                                                Local, Competent, and has Authority. 

Consider this thought for a moment: let's say you wanted to give money to the needy. Who would you give the money to: a charity or the government? If you answered charity, you already believe in subsidiarity and not even know it. 
Also, consider the "competency" part for a moment. Often, "social justice" groups are in favor of issues that run contrary to the teachings' true meaning. For example, they may say they're Catholic but say abortion should be okay if the woman is following her conscience. (As one can see, humility is not in most social justice group's vocabulary.)


Solidarity is defined as "unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards." Here again, it is up to local bodies to determine what is best for the surrounding area.

                                                 Human dignity

Let's get one thing straight about the concept of human dignity: although it does mean promoting people's rights, it also means viewing each person as having inherent value as well as meaning personal responsibility (because this is a moral issue, and in light of subsidiarity, one does not get to make up their own morality.)

                                                  The Common Good

Once again, we must be very clear on what is meant by "the common good." While there is no standard definition (mostly because what may be good for one person may not be beneficial to another) it is agreed that the common good refers to the basic needs people must meet in order to help out other people. 

Once these four are met, a true follower of social justice would then follow up with these concepts:
-Sanctity of human life and dignity of the person
-Call to family, community, and participation and the pursuit of the Common Good

-Rights and responsibilities

-Preferential Option for the poor and vulnerable

-Dignity of work

-Care for God's creation

Notice the overall pattern: at no point did I say we should call on government to do any of these actions. The only role government has in any of this is to make it easier for individuals and private groups to reach out to the less fortunate.

If any so-called social justice group tells you otherwise, they are either lying to you or they're trying to scam you.
Only atheists think bigger government is the answer, and atheists are idiots.