“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

HAIL MARY, FULL OF GRACE

Throughout more than thirty years with degenerative multiple
sclerosis there have been horrible times with the disease that dragged me to deep levels of sickness I did not think were possible. The terrors often came in the darkest nights when exhaustion was at its greatest and I was at the end of my tether emotionally and physically. I would cry out to God while fumbling in the dark for my rosary beside my bed. Soon I would discover that God was with me. As I have said before in previous blogs, a message too profound for words would comfort me: "Be not afraid. I AM with you." My anxious heart would become calm.



Praying the rosary has nourished generations of Christians  dating back into antiquity. In medieval times the custom of praying "Paternoster" beads (Latin for Our Father) was common, in many European countries. It was a way of meditating on the life of Christ from his birth to his resurrection. Medieval Christianity saw Mary the Mother of Christ as a spiritual guide to the mysteries of her Son. Hail Mary evolved as a prayer during that time. 

It begins with the Angel Gabriel's greeting to Mary: "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee." (Luke 1:28) Later the greeting given to Mary by her cousin Elizabeth was added: "Blessed are thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb." (Luke 1:42)

Finally by the 15th century the remainder of the prayer appeared: "Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death."[1]


God waits for the Christian at the hour of his life. The prayers of Mary, the Mother of God, precede him. It has been this way throughout the centuries for people who believed in Jesus Christ and placed their trust in Him. So it can be for you and me.

I have prayed the rosary in my room at times of greatest anguish
and grief. Christ and His Mother have been there when I was at the end of my tether. To mock my own human weakness and doubts, I put up a sign outside my little house in front of my bedroom. It said "Tether's End."

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElWK5PjzPnE  For Chloe Agnew singing Ava Maria]

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[1] Taken from Victor Hoagland, "The Illustrated Rosary" (New York: The Regina Press, 2004), pp.6-7.

Monday, December 15, 2014

THE ROLE OF RELIGION IN DEMOCRACY


[Click on image below or this link https://www.youtube.com/embed/YjntXYDPw44  for a two minute video: Harvard professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, Clay Christensen speaks about the role of religion in democracy.] 

REPUBLISHING MY BLOG POST "I AM EQUALLY PRO-CHOICE AND PRO-LIFE: CHRISTIAN PROFESSOR"

Today the American Life League (Stafford Virginia) republished
on their website my 11 December 2014 blog post, "I am equally pro-Choice and Pro-Life: Christian Professor". See http://www.all.org/article/index/id/MTQ0OTQ/  

Mark


Saturday, December 13, 2014

IN THE BLEAK MID-WINTER

In this part of the world (Canada) we have entered our legendary time of winter. But the deep chill of sub-zero temperatures are warmed by Christmas. The Joy of Christ within me melts the frosty bleak winter's short days and long nights. Weeks are passed cloistered in my little house buried under "snow on snow, on snow." What can I give to Christ? I shall give Him my heart. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, no matter the season. 

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zAgEt6sCMA for Sissel, In the Bleak Mid-winter]

Thursday, December 11, 2014

"I AM EQUALLY PRO-CHOICE AND PRO-LIFE": CHRISTIAN PROFESSOR

Gregory Fiebig
During a November 4th 2014 university panel discussion in Indiana on the topic "Life versus Choice", Wesleyan Professor Gregory Fiebig stated "This is our belief, that life begins at conception. It is not the world's belief. And so if we start telling the world how to live their lives, and hold them to a morality that we believe, it's a little bit akin to playing the Holy Spirit." 

No professor, you are quite wrong. It is a biological fact that human life begins when sperm penetrates egg. What anybody happens to believe does not change this scientifically established truth. 


"...  the scientific evidence supports the conclusion that a zygote is a human organism and that the life of a new human being commences at a scientifically well defined “moment of
conception.” This conclusion is objective, consistent with the factual evidence, and independent of any specific ethical, moral, political, or religious view of human life or of human embryos." -- Dr. Maureen Condic in The Westchester Institute White Paper, "When Does Human Life Begin?: A Scientific Perspective.[1] 

"For any sentient human to deny that life begins when sperm penetrates egg is to deny that the earth is round or that blood circulates." -- Dr. Bernard Nathanson.

Universal human rights must begin when human life begins. Universal human rights include everyone: that's what the word 'universal' means. Anything less is bigotry or sophistry.

One would expect better from this professor at a Christian university. Gregory Fiebig holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Southwest Baptist College, an M. Div., and a Ph.D. from the University Missouri - Columbia. And yet he comes out with such drivel, as quoted above. You can hear Dr. Fiebig's comments for yourself here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRhgtVfwhxg#t=124


What Dr. Fiebig calls "cognitive dissonance" I call muddled thinking. He says he is equally pro-choice and pro-life.[2] What choice is he referring to? It is the choice to kill one's unborn child. To justify this unbiblical view, Fiebig tried to justify his comments in a subsequent letter in which he cites the Fall and the free will God gave to Adam and Eve. It's the old nugget I've heard many times before, dating back to the 1970s, by so-called "progressive" Biblical Christians to justify their support of abortion. They are not "progressive" in their thinking, they are regressive in their thinking. Child sacrifice dates back to antiquity. Whether various practices of sacrificing children in the ancient world,[3] or to appease Moloch the god of fire or aborting our children to appease the gods of lust, licence or self-interest, the slaughter of the innocents is barbarity and an abomination to any civilized people.[4] 

Of course, all Dr. Fiebig had to do was read about the dreadful consequences of the Fall to which he alludes, or turn a few pages in his Bible to Genesis 4, to see God's response to the first murder. One wonders: If the blood of Abel cried out to God, does the blood of 55 million children killed by abortion also call out to God? Fiebig ignores the clear and unequivocal command not to kill, beginning with Exodus 20.13. Gregory Fiebig may respond by asking "But is abortion murder?" Yes, the killing of an innocent human being is murder. Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop said:

"If life begins at conception -- and there has never really been any doubt about that -- then abortion is murder."[5]

Am I therefore saying women who have had abortions should be imprisoned? No, most made abortion decisions out of ignorance, pressure, duress or abandonment. Their abortionists should be in prison for murder!

Alas, I digress. I want to bring your attention to Dr. Fiebig's idiotic and appalling comments because he is in a position of influence in the education of young people at a Christian university. He needs to be challenged! I have encountered this sort of view from other evangelical Christians, who would find it impossible justifying from Scripture supporting the choice to kill ones unborn children. Fiebig should know better. 

If Professor Fiebig was out of his element regarding the science of embryology, or forgotten his Scriptures and Christian history, then it is better to refrain from commenting rather than bring scandal upon himself and the good reputation of the Wesleyan university he represents.

Dr. Fiebig couches his tortured position for "cognitive dissonance" on a situation he and his wife found themselves with a crisis pregnancy of their 3rd child after two children delivered by cesarean section. The 3rd child was expected only 13 months after the second child was born. 

He said they were advised by a "devout Catholic" doctor working out of a Catholic hospital they should terminate the pregnancy. Apparently the doctor told them that "if they saw the pregnancy through to the end, either she or the baby, likely both, would die." Fiebig then posed the questions: "How might you have advised the young wife? The husband? As a young woman, what would your response have been to the stark reality of facing your own death?" 


Quite simply, I would advise them  to seek a second opinion about their "reality", which they did. The new doctor told them "I've never lost a mother or baby in a case like this before, and I don't intend to do so now. Let me worry about the complications." Precisely. The first doctor's comments were not "reality" at all. It was, however, a convenient opportunity for Dr. Fiebig to take a swipe at Catholics.

Dr. Fiebig then stated, "So you see, my cognitive dissonance is strong." No Sir, I do not see a reason for your "cognitive dissonance". Drop the affected and pretentious phrase: cognitive dissonance. Oh please. It's called "confusion" or "muddled thinking".

Remember who you work for and to whom you are accountable to, Gregory Fiebig. The Christian Church has opposed abortion since the 1st Century in the midst of a hostile world.  

Mark

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Notes
Also see See https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html,
[2] A note of interest: While commenting on the word heresy, the venerable Biblical scholar W.E. Vine wrote in his EXPOSITORY DICTIONARY OF NEW TESTAMENT WORDS (Zondervan, 1981):
"HERESY. HAIRESIS denotes (a) a choosing, choice (from haireomai, to choose); then, that which is chosen, and hence, an opinion, especially a self-willed opinion, which is substituted  for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and the formation of sects."
[3] Andrew White, M.D., "Abortion and the Ancient Practice of Child Sacrifice". See http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Abortion%20is%20Murder/sacrifice.htm
[4] Most abortions are unnecessary. People who support abortion often bring up rape, incest and  risk to the mother's health. Yet if you add all three of these situations together, they account for less than 5% of abortions.
[5] The Standard magazine, August-September, 1984.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

DIGGING IN THE TOXIC SOIL OF LEGAL ABORTION

I received a shocking email this morning from Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life. It is posted below.  

December 4, 2014

Fellow Pro-Lifer,


Jermaine Jones
Sexual predator Jermaine Jones is serving a 15-year prison sentence for raping his girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter in 2009. But what became of the doctor who performed a 24-week abortion on that child – and then returned her to Jones and broke Florida law by failing to report an abortion on a minor?


HE IS STILL IN BUSINESS!

Does that strike you as wrong?


IT IS!

Our close friends and colleagues at Life Dynamics came across this story while researching ways the abortion industry covers up child sexual abuse. This case was even more shocking than most
Two abortion clinics, both members of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), should be shut down for failing to report the rape of a minor.

Michael Benjamin



Abortionist Michael Benjamin should be out of work instead of pocketing blood money as he continued to kill more unborn children.

Here are the basics of the story. Jermaine Jones raped Janet Marshall’s 12-year-old daughter in June 2009. In November, her mother took her to the All Women’s Health Center in Gainesville, but was turned away because the girl’s pregnancy was too far advanced.

The NAF hotline then referred Marshall and her pregnant daughter to Benjamin’s office in Tamarac, FL, a six-hour drive away. NAF also helpfully noted that the organization would cover most of the cost of the abortion.

Jones, Marshall and the 12-year-old rape victim traveled together to Tamarac for the multi-day procedure. The Florida Board of Medicine later determined that


Benjamin’s “counseling” session with the pre-teen victim lasted six to eight minutes.

According to a report from the Alachua County Sherriff’s office, “There is concern why the medical staff in Tamarac that met with (name redacted) did not notify DCF,” referring to the Florida Department of Children and Families.

In January 2011, the Florida Department of Health filed an administrative complaint against Benjamin


for his failure to report the sexual abuse of a minor.

In April 2014, Benjamin was fined $10,000, ordered to attend 
classes about mandatory reporting, and his medical license was put on probation for two years.

Then, in a bizarre twist, he was put under the supervision of
another Florida abortionist, Frank Rodriguez. In 2006, Benjamin and Rodriguez had worked together at another NAF clinic where a very similar situation happened. Underage girl, adult predator, abortion, failure to report. The predator, this time a teacher, got five years in prison.


Benjamin and Rodriguez were allowed to continue business as usual.

This kind of criminality is what we find when we dig into the toxic soil of legal abortion. This kind of thing goes on all the time. In fact, a staffer at the Tamarac clinic, when asked why no one reported that a 12-year-old girl was pregnant, commented:


“Maybe we’ve been hardened with so many kids coming in.”

For once, an abortion worker is telling the truth.

If you are as outraged as we are, please join us in demanding the permanent revocation of Benjamin’s license to practice medicine.
Please contact the office of Florida Health Secretary John Armstrong and demand that Benjamin’s license is permanently revoked

So please click here (http://www.priestsforlife.org/alert/alert.aspx?id=55 ) for the information on how to make that phone call or send that email today. And please send this email to as many people as you can!

Sincerely,
Fr. Frank Pavone
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

PO Box 141172
Staten Island, NY 10314
Phone: 888-PFL-3448
718-980-4400
Fax: 718-980-6515
Email: mail@priestsforlife.org
www.priestsforlife.org




Saturday, November 29, 2014

GOD WITH US

I love Christmas. I love Christmas for the lights and music and excited anticipation I see in my grandchildren -- but mostly because of the divine love given to us in the Incarnation and fills my heart. I can not fathom such love, all I can do is take in its warmth. God made man. God with us.

God has been with me even in my darkest moments of degenerative multiple sclerosis and cancer. A message too profound for words is there "Be not afraid, I AM with you."[1]

Yes, God is with us and calls you and me to Him, through the atoning sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ at Calvary. If Christ had not stepped through time and into a cradle in Bethlehem, He could not have staggered under the weight of a cross to Calvary for our eternity.

[Click on image below or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myBAMMPptjI For "Son of God" by Michael W. Smith

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[1] Isaiah 41.10, Mark 5.36, John 14.27. Cp. John 8.58.