Politics

February 17, 2018

The Challenge of Being in a Service Business

Last month, on January 21, 2018, I celebrated the 35th anniversary of the opening my law practice. I graduated from law school in May 1982, and received my license to practice law in November 1982. Two months later, on January 21, 1983, I rented an office from an established Peoria attorney.

Nine years later (1992), I hired my first associate attorney. At that time, I was 35 years old. The attorney that I hired was 10 years younger than me, and had just graduated from law school.

At the time that I hired the attorney, I had an office manager, two full-time secretaries, a full-time receptionist, and a part-time secretary. Hiring an attorney was a big step for me, and I didn’t feel as though I knew enough about running a business to continue to move forward without some assistance.

The same year that I hired the attorney, I signed a contract with Gerber Business Development Corporation to provide me with coaching on how to properly run and grow my business. I had committed to paying the attorney a large salary and I didn’t want to make any catastrophic mistakes in managing and growing my law firm.

I found out about the Gerber company when I read a book that was written by its founder, Michael Gerber. The title of the book was, The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. What Gerber said in his book about small businesses in America hit a raw nerve with me.

I had previously represented several business clients who had done well for a while and then, for one reason or another, had made mistakes that caused their businesses to fail. I had also handled several bankruptcies for individuals who had failed in their own businesses. Many of the businessmen that Gerber wrote about in his book reminded me of my own clients and their failure to succeed in their businesses.

February 10, 2018

The Death of a Special Christ-Like Priest

Georgette and I met on August 4, 1978, when we were both 21 years old. We were married in June 1980, while I was on break from law school. Ten months later, in March 1981, we had our first child, Harry. I graduated from law school in May of the following year.

We moved back to Peoria during the summer of 1982. At that time, Georgette was pregnant with our second child, Anna. I started my law practice in January 1983, and Anna was born the following month. We had our third child, Maria, 13 months later, in March 1984. When Maria was born, I was 26 years old.

It was during this period of time that my mom and my sister Colleen started commenting about how I had become too serious and I needed to lighten up. Colleen is a year and a half younger than me, and of my eight sisters, she was the one I was closest to while we were growing up.

When my mom and sister told me that I had become too serious, I hadn’t realized that my behavior had changed from the young, carefree guy who liked to have a good time and tease other people to an older guy who felt overwhelmed by the burdens of life.

But I wasn’t bothered by their comments about my being too serious. To me, that was what responsible adults did — they grew up and did their best to care for and support their families. In some respects, my mom and my sister were correct. My newfound responsibilities made me feel overwhelmed. At times, I felt as though I was doing well just to keep my head above water. Georgette and I had three babies in three years — Maria was born on Harry’s third birthday — and I was doing my best to support my family while managing my law practice.

Now, more than 30 years later, Georgette and I have 13 grandchildren, with three more on the way. I’m still serious, but I’m having more fun now than I’ve had in years. I’ve given myself permission to lighten up and revert to my childhood when I’m around my grandchildren. Their parents sometimes get irritated with me because they think I get their children riled up too much. But that’s OK with me, because I’m finally able to do what my mom and my sister wanted me to do all those years ago.

February 3, 2018

A Dream & The Greatest Showman

I recently joined my wife and some of our children at a local theater to see the movie, The Greatest Showman. The movie is a musical about the life of P.T. Barnum. It begins when Barnum is a boy. He is the son of a poor tailor who does work for a wealthy man. The man looks down on Barnum and his father, because of their lower-class status.

Barnum is a fun-loving boy who is infatuated with the wealthy man’s daughter. The man knows that Barnum likes his daughter and makes it clear to Barnum that he’ll never be good enough for her. After that, the daughter is sent to finishing school for several years. While she is away at school, she and Barnum continue to keep in contact by writing letters to each other.

Years later, when the daughter returns home from school, she is reunited with Barnum. They end up getting married and starting a family. After borrowing money from a local bank, Barnum buys an old museum building in downtown Manhattan. He then sets up Barnum’s American Museum, which showcases wax figures.

After struggling to make his new business work, Barnum’s children tell him that instead of featuring wax figures, he needs to have characters who are “alive.” Barnum likes the idea and begins searching for and hiring “freaks” to serve as performers. As he is rounding up his new cast of characters, Barnum sings the unique and mesmerizing song, Come Alive.

As Barnum’s new show gains popularity in New York, a reporter for the New York Herald is highly critical of Barnum and his “freak show.” The reporter’s columns about Barnum and his show stir up trouble among certain people in the community, including the upper-class members of the community.

To enhance his reputation with the upper-class, Barnum convinces Philip Carlisle, a local playwright from a wealthy family, to join him in his business. To raise Barnum’s status, Carlisle arranges a trip to Europe for Barnum and his cast of characters to meet Queen Victoria.

January 27, 2018

Why is That Church in a Music Video?

I’ve written before about how I was involved in music during my high school and college years. When I was a senior in high school, I formed a barbershop quartet with three of my friends. I did the same thing in college. While my high school quartet had a limited number of performances, my college quartet performed at several community functions and events.

I’ve always been a big fan of quartets and other a cappella groups. One of the groups that I currently pay attention to is Home Free, an American a cappella singing group that consists of five young men. Home Free got its big break in 2013, when it won a competition on the NBC television show, The Sing-Off. The grand prize that year was $100,000, plus a recording contract with Sony.

Last month, Home Free performed at the Peoria Civic Center. Georgette and I attended the show with some friends. My favorite Home Free song is How Great Thou Art. The music video of the song is posted on YouTube. The video has generated more than 13 million views.

In the video, the group is standing on a hill that is surrounded by several hundred acres of land. The scenery in the background includes cascading slopes and mountains. The beautiful harmony of the group is matched by the gorgeous land that surrounds them. The only building in the video is a small country church, which shows up in a field near the end of the video.

I have the video saved on an iPad that sits on a stand on my bathroom counter. Ordinarily, when I’m in the bathroom in the morning getting ready for work, I use the iPad to play educational, self-improvement, or religious recordings. In the evening while I’m getting ready for bed, I usually use the iPad to listen to music.

My son, Harry, and his wife Kathryn live about five minutes away from where my wife and I live. Because they live so close to us, they’re able to stop by our house to visit on a regular basis. Whenever they stop by for a visit, their two oldest sons, Harry and Liam, immediately start looking around the house for me. Harry is 5 years old and Liam is 3 years old.

January 20, 2018

Why Is It So Hard To Practice Patience?

It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while, I complain directly to God about something that’s bothering me. Last week, my frustration with an ongoing issue finally got to the point that one of my thoughts went up to God in the form of a question: Why can’t you just have an angel appear to me in a dream and tell me what to do? I’m tired of playing these cat and mouse games where I’m always struggling to try to figure out what I should do.

Of course, I immediately felt guilty about addressing God in this manner. Who did I think I was? A prophet? King Solomon? Saint Joseph?

But I get extremely frustrated at times, because while I want to do the right thing, I often feel as though I need specific direction from God. Although I’ve always been good at solving problems, I don’t like it when I have to wait on God to reveal pieces of the puzzle that are needed to solve the problem I’m struggling with.

I’m convinced that one of the primary reasons God operates this way is to teach me the virtues of humility and patience. If He sent an angel to tell me how to solve my problems, I wouldn’t need to learn and practice humility and patience. I would simply wait for instructions from the angel and then take credit for being a special child of God.

Most of us fail to realize that in order to really be humble, we must first suffer humiliations. And we must accept whatever humiliations that come our way with love and gratitude. While humility is the most important of all virtues, the virtue of patience has to be among the top five virtues. Why? Because it’s so difficult to put into practice.

Last week, I wrote about the three grades of patience, which are, to bear difficulties without interior complaint, to use hardships to make progress in virtue, and to desire the cross and afflictions out of love for God and accept them with spiritual joy. It would be impossible to put the three grades of patience into practice if we were to try to do it without God’s assistance.

January 13, 2018

The Difficulties That Arise After Years of Marriage

Last week, I wrote about a couple who was having financial problems because of the husband’s inability to work. Here’s what I wrote at the end of the article:
I’ve been a lawyer for more than 35 years. I’ve dealt with hundreds of couples who, after years of marriage, are facing an unexpected crisis. You would think that after being married for 20 or more years, married couples would be more patient and forgiving of each other than they were when they were newly married. But that’s usually not the case. The fact that they’ve spent years together seems to somehow inhibit their ability to practice real patience and forgiveness toward each other.

Instead of being patient and forgiving, they’re extremely frustrated and angry with each other. Why?

When couples get married, there’s always great hope for the future. With that hope comes the expectation that they will be able to work out all their problems. There is also an expectation that they will someday be able to overcome whatever bad habits or deficiencies they have.

Unfortunately, as each year passes, nothing really changes. Husbands and wives stop making the effort that is required to please each other. It’s almost as if they’ve been through too much together. They’re worn out and exhausted. They’ve run out of patience.

I’ve written before about a saying that is common in the business world: “Familiarity breeds contempt.” This saying stands for the proposition that the more familiar you are with a person, the more contemptible that person becomes.

Over time, as people in the business world become more familiar with each other, their defects and weaknesses become more evident. They are exposed to and become tired of each other’s excuses, bad habits, broken promises, lack of respect, mood swings, angry outbursts, and lack of appreciation. Before long, their patience wears thin, and the slightest infraction causes them to treat each other with contempt.

January 6, 2018

Something Married Couples Face After Years of Marriage

Last week, I had an appointment with a man — I’ll call him Jim — who hired me eight months ago to represent him on a personal injury case. As usual, Jim brought his wife with him to the appointment. I’ve met with Jim and his wife on four occasions over the past eight months. Jim was injured when a large truck disregarded a stop sign and collided with his vehicle in the middle of an intersection. Because of his injuries, Jim has not been able to return to work. He’s been without an income for eight months.

Jim and his wife are in their late 30s. He’s a skilled tradesman who has been a member of a trade union for more than 20 years. Jim has never had any problem finding work, primarily because he is willing to travel to other states to work, when necessary. Since the accident, Jim’s financial situation has become progressively worse. He has had to borrow money to support his wife and children, and he also recently cashed in part of his retirement, so he could keep up with his bills.

Prior to the accident, Jim’s wife did not work outside the home. A few months after the accident, she felt that she had no other choice but to get a job, so she applied for and secured a job at a local business.

Each of the times I’ve met with Jim, he’s been upbeat and happy. He’s an intelligent, good-natured person who likes to talk and tell stories. His wife has come to all his appointments and has always been courteous and friendly — until last week.

Last week, when I entered the conference room to meet with them, Jim was the same as he’s always been, but his wife was quiet and had an angry look on her face. Her demeanor indicated to me that she and Jim either argued on the way to my office, or she was fed up with his situation.

I talked to Jim about his condition and he indicated to me that he was still receiving physical therapy three times a week. He said that he probably wasn’t going to be able to return to work for at least another 10 to 12 months. He told me that before the accident, he worked at the same trade for 20 years.

December 30, 2017

What Did Mary Really Know?

Every year during the Christmas Season, there are articles published that are critical of the song, Mary Did You Know. As expected, in early December, Fr. Robert McTeigue, SJ, published an article with the title, “The Problem With ‘Mary Did You Know.’” In the article, Fr. McTeigue criticized the following lyrics: “Did you know that your Baby Boy has come to make you new? This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.”

Fr. McTeigue’s complaint was that the lyrics imply that Mary was a sinner who needed to be delivered from her sins. This is contrary to Catholic doctrine which states that Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin from the moment of her immaculate conception, which allowed her to be a pure vessel in which the Son of God could be conceived and born without ever having come into contact with sin.

Another article that was published before Christmas stated that the song implies that Mary was not fully aware that she was the mother of God. The article went on to say that anyone who is familiar with the Bible knows that Mary possessed knowledge that she was the Mother of God, not only because of the Angel Gabriel’s announcement (Luke 1:26-56), but also because of her “song of praise” — known as “The Magnificat” — which indicated that she was aware of her role in the salvation of mankind. Here are the first two sentences of the Magnificat:

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his handmaid. For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; for he who is mighty, has done great things for me and holy is his name. (Luke 1:46-49)

Whenever I read anything about the life of Mary, I think about a book that I read in the early 1980s, while I was in law school. The title of the book was, The Life of The Blessed Virgin Mary. The content for the book was taken from the recorded visions of the well-known 19th-century Catholic mystic, Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774 – 1824).

December 23, 2017

President Trump, Chick-fil-A, and Christmas

Regardless of what you think of President Trump, there’s one thing that he did this year that you probably agree with. It has to do with Christmas. During his campaign for president, Trump promised that he would bring back the word “Christmas” to the Christmas season. He complained about how he no longer sees the word anywhere in the stores during the Christmas season. He said that he was tired of seeing “Happy Holidays” and “Seasons Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Last month, when the official White House Christmas card was released, it included the old familiar greeting that we all grew up with: “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” Underneath the greeting were the handwritten signatures of President Trump, his wife Melania, and their son Barron.

During the eight years that President Obama was in office, every one of the official White House Christmas cards failed to mention Christmas. In place of the words “Merry Christmas” was “Seasons Greetings.”

Last year, in an effort to keep from offending people who were not Christians, Starbucks removed all the Christmas symbols from its traditional Christmas season coffee cups. The removal of the Christmas symbols offended Christians and other people who thought that the company was engaged in a ridiculous effort to prove that it was sensitive to the desires and beliefs of a minority of its customers.

By attempting to avoid offending non-Christians, Starbucks damaged its reputation with Christians and other people who cherish traditions that have existed for hundreds of years.

That’s what happens when people and companies attempt to change traditional ways of doing things so that certain segments of society are not offended. The effort itself ends up offending far more people than those who would be offended if the traditions were continued.

November 11, 2017

Thoughts, Prayers, and Gun Control

Last week, after a mentally deranged gunman killed 26 people in a church in Texas, Paul Ryan, the Catholic Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, sent out a tweet that said, “Reports out of Texas are devastating. The people of Sutherland Springs need our prayers right now.” Several other individuals sent tweets that also said that their thoughts and prayers were with the families of the victims.

After the initial round of tweets, a firestorm erupted on social media. Several politicians and celebrities blasted Speaker Ryan and the other individuals by stating that thoughts and prayers would not accomplish anything, and that only concrete action, such as gun control, would stop the shootings.

One of Speaker Ryan’s colleagues, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, tweeted, “They were praying when it happened. They don’t need our prayers. They need us to address gun violence crisis and pass sensible regulation.”

Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, tweeted. “If thoughts and prayers alone prevented gun violence, we wouldn’t be shot in places of worship. God calls on us to ACT.”

In her 2003 book, Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Celebration of Black Prayer, Coretta Scott King, the wife of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote about what happened one evening after her husband was awakened by a “threatening and abusive phone call.”

She wrote that after her husband hung up the phone, he “bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud to God: ‘Lord, I am taking a stand for what I believe is right. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I have nothing left. I have come to the point where I can’t face it alone.’”

October 14, 2017

Wild Fires, Calamities, and Climate Change

If you pay attention to the news, you know about the wildfires in California. I’m writing this article on Friday, October 13, 2017. There are currently several fires that are burning out of control in California. Firefighters have not been able to contain any of the fires. So far, more than 5,700 buildings have been destroyed and 34 people have died as a result of the fires.

Thousands of homes are still in danger of being burned to the ground. The path of the fires is completely unpredictable because no one knows how strong the winds are going to get or when the winds will shift course. One of my older brothers, Mike, lives with his wife in Santa Rosa, California, which is one of the cities that was hit by the wildfires. While several areas that surround my brother’s neighborhood were destroyed by fire, his neighborhood was spared. Unfortunately, there’s still a chance that the fire will come roaring back into his neighborhood. I would appreciate it if you would say a prayer that everything will go well for my brother, his wife, and their property.

The wildfires in California came only a month after Hurricane Irma left a devastating path of destruction in the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. In addition to the widespread destruction that was caused by Hurricane Irma, there were 134 deaths, most of which occurred in the United States. A month before Hurricane Irma arrived, hurricane Harvey barreled through Texas causing extensive property damage, flooding, and 77 confirmed deaths.

Of course, each time one of these devastating natural disasters occurs, we are lectured by Hollywood celebrities, the talking heads in the media, and various “experts” from around the world that the disasters are being caused by climate change. We are then told that we should listen to these so-called experts, so they can tell us what needs to be done to eliminate future catastrophic events.

October 7, 2017

What is a Bump Stock?

If you pay any attention to the news, you know about the massacre that took place in Las Vegas on Sunday, October 1, 2017. The evidence so far indicates that there was a lone gunman on the 32nd floor of a major hotel who repeatedly shot bullets into a large crowd.

He ended up killing 58 people and wounding 489 other people. The crowd that the gunman shot into was gathered for the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a country music event that is held annually on a 15-acre lot next to Las Vegas Boulevard (formerly U.S. Route 91). This year’s event was attended by more than 22,000 people.

Within hours of the massacre, a number of politicians, Hollywood celebrities, and big-media news broadcasters demanded that the federal government pass new gun-control laws. Within 24 hours of the shooting, several members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives were suggesting that a gun accessory called a “bump stock” be outlawed.

Before long, it seemed as though most people who were in positions of power were in support of banning bump stocks. Prior to the shooting, very few people had ever heard of a bump stock. When reporters interviewed gun shop owners, the reporters found out that most of the owners didn’t have any bump stocks in their stores. The owners told the reporters that no one ever asked for bump stocks. One owner said that he had two bump stocks on the shelf and that both of them had gathered dust over the past several months because no one had shown any interest in them.

A bump stock is a device that can be attached to semi-automatic rifle, allowing the rifle to be fired at a more rapid rate than a rifle in which a person pulls the trigger as fast as he can. The addition of a bump stock does not convert a semi-automatic rifle to a machine gun. It only allows the person who is using the rifle to shoot at a higher rate of speed.

July 1, 2017

Godless and Childless Leaders

You may have heard of Charlie Gard, the 10-month-old baby who was born with severe brain damage and an inability to move or breathe on his own. He has been on life support at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London since he was born. Earlier this year, Charlie’s doctors concluded that he was terminally ill and that nothing more could be done for him.

After doing extensive research, Charlie’s parents found a doctor in the United States who thought he could help Charlie with a certain type of medication. The medication has never been tried on anyone with Charlie’s exact condition; however, the medication was successful on another individual who had a condition that was similar to Charlie’s.

In order to raise funds so that Charlie could be transferred to the United States for treatment, Charlie’s mother set up a GoFundMe page on the internet. To date, she has been able to raise more than $1.7 million for the experimental treatment.

Even though Charlie’s parents have the desire and financial ability to transfer him to the United States for treatment, the administrators at Great Ormond Street Hospital took it upon themselves to stop the parents. In April, the hospital filed a court case with the family division of the High Court of Justice in London. The question that the hospital presented to the court was, “Is it legal, and in Charlie’s best interest, for the hospital to remove him from life support — even against his parent’s wishes?” After a hearing on the matter, the judge ruled in favor of the hospital and against Charlie’s parents, stating that it was “in Charlie’s best interests” to allow the hospital to withdraw treatment, which would result in Charlie’s death.

Charlie’s parents appealed the judge’s decision to the Court of Appeals of England and Wales. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the judge. Charlie’s parents then appealed the case to the United Kingdom Supreme Court. That court subsequently upheld the judge’s decision.

February 18, 2017

The Death of a Modern-Day Theologian

Michael Novak and his wife Karen greeting Saint John Paul II

I have a quote that I want you to read and then tell me if you know who wrote it: “Enjoying what we do is not always a feeling of enjoyment; it is sometimes the gritty resolution a man or woman shows in doing what must be done — perhaps with inner dread and yet without whimpering self-pity.”

I like the phrase, “without whimpering self-pity.” It sounds much more dramatic and important than the phrase, “without feeling sorry for yourself.” I also like the phrase, “gritty resolution.” Was there anything that you did last week that you dreaded, but still did with gritty resolution and without whimpering self-pity?

Here’s another quote from the same man in which he articulated his idea of what God is — and is not:

He is not “the Big Guy upstairs,” nor the loud booming voice that Hollywood films affect for God. There are hosts of bogus pictures for God: the Watchmaker beyond the skies, the puppeteer of history. If you wish to find him, watch for him in quiet and humility — perhaps among the poor and broken things of earth. There are people who looked into the eyes of the most abandoned of the poor and saw infinite treasure there, treasure without price, and there found God dwelling.

The man I have been quoting is Michael Novak, a Catholic philosopher and theologian who died from cancer on February 17, 2017, at the age of 83. His wife of 46 years, the former Karen Laub, died in 2009.

Novak was the author of more than 50 books that addressed topics such as religion, economics, policy, politics, and sports. He was best known for his expertise in economics, which was on display in his book The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism.

He described “democratic capitalism” as “neither the kingdom of God nor without sin. Yet all other known systems of political economy are worse. Such hope as we have for alleviating poverty and for removing oppressive tyranny — perhaps our last, best hope — lies in this much despised system.”

October 29, 2016

Do Nuns Vote Differently Than Lay Catholics?

catholic-voteA couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about how Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager had set up two dummy Catholic organizations for the sole purpose of undermining the Catholic church. After the article was published, several people asked me if the Catholic Church has any definitive guidelines for Catholic voters.

The most recent guidelines that are available were published in November 2015 by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The guidelines were included in the document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility. The document was developed by the chairman of the USCCB in consultation with 11 different USCCB committees.

Paragraphs 34 and 35 of the USCCB faithful citizenship document are directly relevant to voting:

34. Catholics often face difficult choices about how to vote. This is why it is so important to vote according to a well-formed conscience that perceives the proper relationship among moral goods. A Catholic cannot vote for a candidate who favors a policy promoting an intrinsically evil act, such as abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, deliberately subjecting workers or the poor to subhuman living conditions, redefining marriage in ways that violate its essential meaning, or racist behavior, if the voter’s intent is to support that position. In such cases, a Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in grave evil. At the same time, a voter should not use a candidate’s opposition to an intrinsic evil to justify indifference or inattentiveness to other important moral issues involving human life and dignity.

35. There may be times when a Catholic who rejects a candidate’s unacceptable position even on policies promoting an intrinsically evil act may reasonably decide to vote for that candidate for other morally grave reasons. Voting in this way would be permissible only for truly grave moral reasons, not to advance narrow interests or partisan preferences or to ignore a fundamental moral evil.

October 15, 2016

A Reason to be Scared

halloween-2016As you may recall, in October 2012, Bishop Jenky issued a directive to all the priests in the Diocese of Peoria to read a letter at each of the weekend Masses. I’ve republished the letter below. Please take the time to read it. After the letter, I have some comments that are relevant to today.

MOST REV. DANIEL R. JENKY, C.S.C.
OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
DIOCESE OF PEORIA

Election AD 2012

Dear Catholic Believers,

Since the foundation of the American Republic and the adoption of the Bill of Rights, I do not think there has ever been a time more threatening to our religious liberty than the present. Neither the president of the United States nor the current majority of the Federal Senate have been willing to even consider the Catholic community’s grave objections to those HHS mandates that would require all Catholic institutions, exempting only our church buildings, to fund abortion, sterilization, and artificial contraception. This assault upon our religious freedom is simply without precedent in the American political and legal system. Contrary to the guarantees embedded in the First Amendment, the HHS mandates attempt to now narrowly define and thereby drastically limit our traditional religious works. They grossly and intentionally intrude upon the deeply held moral convictions that have always guided our Catholic schools, hospitals, and other apostolic ministries.

Nearly two thousand years ago, after our Savior had been bound, beaten, scourged, mocked, and crowned with thorns, a pagan Roman Procurator displayed Jesus to a hostile crowd by sarcastically declaring: Behold your King. The mob roared back: We have no king but Caesar. Today, Catholic politicians, bureaucrats, and their electoral supporters who callously enable the destruction of innocent human life in the womb also thereby reject Jesus as their Lord. They are objectively guilty of grave sin.

August 6, 2016

Perfect Hate

Hate YouDuring the late 1970s, while I was in college, I met a young man — I’ll call him John — who was born in the Middle East. John immigrated to the United States when he was a teenager. He was a few years older than me and it seemed as though every time I saw him, we ended up talking about religion, politics, and the volatility in the Middle East.

John grew up in a Christian environment and had great love and affection for his wife, parents, and extended family. On one occasion, John made it clear to me that he hated Palestinians. He said that they had no right to live and that they all deserved to die. I was shocked by the level of hatred John had toward people he had never met.

We ended up getting into an argument, with me expressing shock and outrage that he claimed to be a Christian while at the same time expressing extreme hatred toward individuals whose only crime was to be born into a particular ethnic group.

John’s in his 60s now and his health has been declining for the past several years. He no longer goes to church or pays attention to what’s going on in the Middle East. He’s more passive now and is content to just get through each day.

I thought about John last week when I read about what Pope Francis said during a recent press conference. The pope was asked about Fr. Jacques Hamel, an 86-year-old Catholic priest in northern France who was beheaded by two individuals who had acted in the name of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). In response to the question, Pope Francis replied, “If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence. And no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent. It is like a fruit salad; there is everything.”

With regard to the terrorism that is occurring throughout the world, Pope Francis commented:

Contact