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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Christian LeBlanc's Summapalooza, Class 7, "Forgiveness"

This is the seventh class in Christian LeBlanc's catechetical series which uses the Bible to teach the Catholic faith.  LeBlanc, a deeply knowledgeable and effective catechist and evangelizer, offers profound insights into Holy Scripture and the doctrines of the Church which will profoundly enrich your spiritual life. Summapalooza was part of an adult education program offered by Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville, South Carolina.

Christian LeBlanc is a revert whose pre-Vatican II childhood was spent in South Louisiana, where he marinated in a Catholic universe and acquired a Catholic imagination. During his middle school years in South Carolina, Christian was catechized under the benevolent dictatorship of Sister Mary Alphonsus, who frequently admonished him using the nickname “Little Pagan.” After four years of teaching Adult Ed and RCIA, he returned to Sr. Alphonsus’ old classroom to teach Catechism himself. This is his 12th year of teaching sixth grade.

Married to Janet, the LeBlancs have five children and two grandsons. He is the author of the highly acclaimed The Bible Tells Me So: A Year of Catechizing Directly from Scripture, on which these talks are based.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pat Buchanan: The Mind of Mr. Putin

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Do you realize now what you have done?”

So Vladimir Putin in his U.N. address summarized his indictment of a U.S. foreign policy that has produced a series of disasters in the Middle East that we did not need the Russian leader to describe for us.

Fourteen years after we invaded Afghanistan, Afghan troops are once again fighting Taliban forces for control of Kunduz. Only 10,000 U.S. troops still in that ravaged country prevent the Taliban’s triumphal return to power.

A dozen years after George W. Bush invaded Iraq, ISIS occupies its second city, Mosul, controls its largest province, Anbar, and holds Anbar’s capital, Ramadi, as Baghdad turns away from us — to Tehran.

The cost to Iraqis of their “liberation”? A hundred thousand dead, half a million widows and fatherless children, millions gone from the country and, still, unending war.

How has Libya fared since we “liberated” that land? A failed state, it is torn apart by a civil war between an Islamist “Libya Dawn” in Tripoli and a Tobruk regime backed by Egypt’s dictator.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Judge Andrew Napolitano: A Papacy of Novelty

Judge Andrew Napolitano
What if things are not always as they seem?
What if the enormously popular Pope Francis is popular precisely because he is less Catholic than his two immediate predecessors? What if his theory of his stewardship of Catholicism is to broaden the base of the Church by weakening her doctrine so as to attract more people by making it temporally easier to be Catholic?

What if the pope really believes that rather than resist modernism -- with its here today and gonetomorrowfancies -- the Church should give in to it and even become a part of it so as to appear to be relevant?

What if this is the very opposite of his responsibilities as the Vicar of Christ? What if he rejects his role as the personification of the preservation of Truth and believes he can ignore some truths?

Read more at The Remnant >>


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bernie Sanders’ America

By Marvin J. Folkertsma

The raucous welcomes and thundering applause that have greeted America’s newest (and oldest) political rock star, the septuagenarian Bernie Sanders, have launched a cottage industry of puzzled pundits trying to figure out the source of his appeal. Of course it’s his ideas, his supporters have insisted, perhaps as well as his presentation style, which issues from an agreeable set of features topped by undisciplined strands of white hair, giving him a sort of aged, professorial look of a speaker waving his arms while hurling his points across the lectern before the class ends.

So, what has he been proposing, as he continues to cleave chunks of supporters from Hillary Clinton’s troubled political base? Quite a few things, actually. He wants to centralize the current healthcare system even more than the Affordable Care Act did by having the federal government guarantee health care for all under a single-payer system. Social Security would receive a big increase, along with more funds for rebuilding roads, bridges, and airports, and significant amounts of taxpayer moneys to defray the expenses for “free” college attendance, paid family and medical leave, youth job initiatives, child care, and pre-K programs.

What is the price of all this over the next decade? A cool $18 trillion, which also would raise government spending from about 20 percent of the GDP to 30 percent in its first year of implementation, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. No matter; Sanders continues to fill stadiums to overflowing, with cheering crowds clamoring for more, more, more. More “free” stuff, more security, more continuous peace of mind.

Which brings us to our main point, which is that there is something unsettling about all this, about the whole Sanders phenomenon, which has cast a spell on perhaps 20 percent of Democrats—not a small amount, by any means. And it simply is this:  Sanders appeals to many of those who are quick to blame distant “evil-doers” for their difficulties—big banks, greedy corporations, bad billionaires, or the capitalist class as whole—while the politicians they have supported over the years get off with nary a soupcon of doubt. Further, Sanders’s enthusiastic supporters want everything immediately, regardless of the consequences, costs, the future, our children and grandchildren, or even America’s constitutional system.

I believe all of this distills to an approach toward life that literally can be best described as infantile. What is infantilism? Merriam-Webster defines it as “retention of childish physical, mental, or emotional qualities in adult life,” which admittedly is not too helpful. But in its political context, I think the meaning becomes clearer as one considers proclivities to shun responsibility, blame others, be obsessed with the present and abjure the future, avoid painful decisions, and, frankly, try to escape from any unpleasant reality. Indeed, anyone who has raised children and grandchildren is familiar with these characteristics. The political expression of an infantilized population is what for the past half century or so has been termed accurately as the nanny state.

To all this, of course, one could respond, so what? Perhaps America should become more like Europe, especially if enough of our citizens vote to move in that direction. The problem with this answer is that Europe has prospered from the military largess of America for so long, and Europeans have been so infantilized by their welfare states, that they no longer seem to have the will to live or to think much beyond the present. European birth rates, for instance, are so low that several countries on the continent are in a population death spiral.

Indeed, with their burgeoning Muslim citizens and refugees, countries such as Germany, France, and England are going to have to make serious existential decisions about defending their cultures, and more broadly, western civilization. And if Americans in larger numbers become more like Europeans, then who will defend the West against its adversaries?  Worse, who will defend America?

The answer is, certainly not those who have succumbed to the siren song of Bernie Sanders’s political infantilism. America’s progress as a great country depends on those capable of making hard decisions and taking responsibility for them. Whether enough grownups will remain to lead our country throughout the 21st century is the most important question Americans face. Indeed, we’ll learn much about the answer in next year’s election.

Dr. Marvin Folkertsma is a professor of political science and fellow for American studies with The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. The author of several books, his latest release is a high-energy novel titled "The Thirteenth Commandment."

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Pat Buchanan: Pope’s World and the Real World

By Patrick J. Buchanan

Pope Francis’s four-day visit to the United States was by any measure a personal and political triumph.
The crowds were immense, and coverage of the Holy Father on television and in the print press swamped the state visit of Xi Jinping, the leader of the world’s second-greatest power.

But how enduring, and how relevant, was the pope’s celebration of diversity, multiculturalism, inclusiveness, open borders, and a world of forgiveness, peace, harmony and love is another question.