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The Real Reason the Left Hates Tim Tebow

Posted: January 8th, 2012, by American Phoenix

It wasn’t enough that Tim Tebow won the Heisman Trophy. It hasn’t been enough that Tim Tebow led a 1-4 record team, the 2011 Denver Broncos, to the AFC playoffs. Apparently, many on the left have little good to say about Tim Tebow. Bill Maher’s rant after the Bronco’s loss on Christmas Eve is one case in point, but not the only one. So what’s the problem? He was a great football player before he got to the pros and he’s still a great football player now, as evidenced by the Broncos winning season.

These are the top reasons the left hates Tebow:

4. Because he isn’t afraid to talk about his Christianity. The New York Times even says so:

Which brings us back to religion. With Tebow there’s no getting away from it. He uses the microphones thrust in front of him to mention his personal savior, Jesus Christ, and has said that heaven is reserved for devout Christians.

A lot of people don’t want to hear about “it”, it being Christ. They don’t want to be held to a higher standard, or even any standard at all. They’re afraid they won’t measure up.

3. Because he lives his Christian beliefs. This relates to #4. Tebow’s Foundation supports an orphanage in the Philippines, where his parents have been missionaries, the W15H Foundation which grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses, the CURE Foundation which helps poor children with treatable diseases, and Timmy’s Playrooms, which puts playrooms for children in hospitals. He evangelizes not just in word, but in deed. Those on the Left who make a habit of dissing Tebow don’t want to make changes in their own lives, despite the fact that they and everyone else are all supposed to “hope” for “change”. Not that the Left has ever been honest about what “change” entails.

2. Because the Left reveal themselves to be the intolerant bigots that they are. Because the only absolute truth that such people believe in, is that there is no absolute truth. Therefore, anyone who believes in Truth has got to go – or at the least have their reputation destroyed. Whatever doesn’t jive with the Left’s worldview must be destroyed.

This is all well and good, but I think there is one reason above all others why the Left loves to hate Tebow.

1. Because Tebow forces those who are post-abortion to think what might have been. Whether that be a father who paid for a mother’s abortion, a mother who aborted her own child, or the sibling of an aborted child. Abortion has been legal in this country for nearly forty years and its terrible legacy has touched nearly everyone’s life. If you haven’t had an abortion, then you know someone who has. Students who might have been are missing in every classroom. The issue of abortion has deeply divided our nation – and our families. It has caused untold pain to countless lives, not only to those immediately involved in abortion, but to extended families who are missing grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews.

Tebow’s personal story is compelling. He could have been aborted. Doctors told his mother to abort him because he wasn’t supposed to live. God obviously had other plans. Tebow’s history forces many – whether liberal or conservative – to confront their own post-abortive history. Tebow’s very existence forces many to wonder what their child might have been like, if only they had allowed him or her to live. And more often than not, without even the excuse of debilitating disabilities that Pam Tebow had received from her doctors. That is something that they just can’t think about, can’t confront. It’s too painful, too dangerous.

This, I think, is the real reason that the Left loves to hate Tim Tebow. It is a form of cowardice. But it is also a rejection of the Truth. The truth that our bodies live out every day, as well as the truth that God reveals to us. And that is why so many pundits, including this one who thought Tebow would be playing his last game today, have been so wrong about Tim Tebow.

When the Bronco’s play the 49ers in the Superbowl, I’ll be wearing a 49ers shirt. But the back of my shirt will read “GB2: JN 3:16″.

Advent: Music to Prepare By

Posted: November 30th, 2011, by American Phoenix

Making the transition from Thanksgiving to Advent can be jarring. Black Friday contributes to an ugly conspicuous consumption mentality. Many radio stations seem to be blaring Christmas carols. But it isn’t Christmas… yet. It’s Advent, a time of preparation for Christmas!

Toward that end, here is some great Advent music to prepare by:

Mozart: Benedictus qui venit, Great mass in C minor

Breast Cancer Unawareness

Posted: October 27th, 2011, by American Phoenix

I went to Safeway last night on a targeted run to buy my husband’s favorite yogurt – Yoplait. While there, I also picked up a beautiful large pumpkin. It being October and Breast Cancer Awareness month, Safeway now has pink labels on everything that say “participating item”. The yogurt was one such item. I’ve always figured that if I didn’t send my labels in, no donation would come from us. But the “participating item” is a new thing. I want to know where my money is going, so I started asking questions.

The Safeway checker started to ring up my yogurts. I asked him what breast cancer charity Safeway is donating money to. He continued to ring up my items, saying it’s some breast cancer charity. (No, Safeway checker, that’s not good enough!) So I ask him which one, and whether it is Susan G. Komen (“SGK”). He didn’t know and continues to ring up my items. I told him to stop and to please find someone who could answer my question. A manager walked by and we flagged him down. I asked him whether the money was going to SGK. He responded that SGK was one of their “partners”.

I told him to put all of the yogurt back. I explained to the checker and the manager that I don’t donate to SGK because of their support for Planned Parenthood, and that both abortion and hormonal birth control (which Planned Parenthood provides) cause an increase in breast cancer incidence. They looked stunned.

I walked out of the store with a pumpkin.

I stopped sending in my Yoplait yogurt labels years ago when I starting putting the puzzle pieces together…. and when I learned that they had donated to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider and also a supplier of the pill. Abortion and hormonal contraception are directly responsible, by the same biological mechanism, for the breast cancer of hundreds of thousands of women. If you count the abortions alone, they would be the leading cause of death in the U.S. So I no longer participate in any fundraising for, and give no donations to, SGK. Everytime I see a pink ribbon, I look to see what organization the money goes to.

Let me say that I am also a cancer survivor. I had a brain tumor in 2005. It’s been almost 6 years and I got the “all clear”, “you’re cured”, in December 2010. I’m not unsympathetic to the cause. I’ve also done a lot of volunteer work for a local breast cancer foundation – not SGK. Because of that work I have learned a lot more about breast cancer than I might have otherwise.

I am now firmly convinced that the biggest culprit for approximately 85% of all breast cancer is hormones. The World Health Organization declared estrogen a class 1 carcinogen (highest risk) years ago. The Food & Drug Administration did likewise a few years ago. The National Institutes of Health did a study, the Womens Health Initiative (WHI) in 2002 that found that combined Hormone Replacement Therapy (“HRT”) was actually causing breast cancer. The link was so clear that they stopped the study almost 3 years ahead of schedule because they were just giving women breast cancer. HRT has the same kinds of hormones in it as the pill: estrogens and progesterones. This was followed up by another study in Marin County, CA (1 of 2 places in the US with the highest rate of breast cancer – the other is Long Island, NY), that found a 33% decrease in breast cancer in white women over 50 because they had stopped taking HRT after the WHI results were reported.

Abortion is also a cause of breast cancer. The most recent studies out of China (with its mandatory abortions/contraception) show an enormous link. In fact, 53 out of 66 studies over 54 years show a link. This is because abortions occur after the estrogen/progesterone hormone surge and before the lactation hormone surge which protects you from breast cancer.

There is a simple, completely safe, and 100% natural method of reducing the risk for 85% of breast cancer. Don’t take hormonal birth control and don’t have an abortion. We women must learn to love ourselves and our babies. We women must learn to respect our bodies and the power that we were given: what our female body is created to do – have babies! If it’s the wrong time to be a parent, be responsible and be abstinent. If you can’t take care of a baby and you are already pregnant, then put the baby up for adoption. You will create a family and make everyone happy, including yourself. (We adopted and it was the best thing we’ve ever done.) Someday, you might even meet your child who will thank you for his/her wonderful life!

When Advocacy Goes Only Dress Deep

Posted: March 15th, 2011, by American Phoenix

Bridal GownsThe California Lawyer ran an opinion piece in their June 2010 issue, entitled Bridal Advocacy, by Molly McKay. Ms. McKay is an attorney and a lesbian who wears a wedding dress when she advocates for homosexual “marriage”. She wears a wedding dress because it “opens positive conversations with total strangers” who think she is about to get married. She never mentions how those conversations end once the total stranger finds out what is really going on.

As reasons for advocating homosexual “marriage”, Ms. McKay ticks off a litany of questionable abuses, which badly needs some parsing:

  • “…[G]ay soldiers not being able to ask for a small delay in deployment to be with their dying partners”. If a heterosexual couple were not married, and many these days are not, they would not be allowed a delay in deployment either.
  • “…[P]arents not allowed to see the children they raised after they broke up with the biological parent; Partners of parents with children, who are unrelated to the child either by biology or by adoption, are not legally parents and generally have no rights in custody cases (though there have been some changes over the last few years). This also holds true for the grandparents, who usually have no visitation rights in custody cases, as well as for heterosexual couples, whether or not they are married. In some recent cases, the partner with the child has been seeking to leave the homosexual relationship and no longer wants contact with the partner that is still engaged in that conduct.
  • “…[D]istant family members excluding survivors from a long-term partner’s funeral and taking all of the couples joint assets”. If the assets were truly “joint” and titled in the name of both people, there would be no way the family could take them away. What this tells me is that these were assets that were in the name of one person – not both. That is simply careless and something that does not need to remedied by a change in the marriage laws. Estate planning would take care of those issues – something which even married couples need to do and, when they don’t, can have similar devastating financial consequences. Burial arrangements can also be specified in advance and isn’t a reason for changing the marriage laws. Excluding a long-term partner from a funeral is uncharitable to say the least, but we don’t know more about the situation or what the actual relationships – or lack of relationships – were.
  • “…[P]artners being barred from their loved one’s hospital rooms.” Again, this is not something that requires a change in the marriage laws in order to remedy. All that is required is for one partner to sign a durable power of attorney for health care. This is something that every person should do, no matter their sexual identity or marital status.

More important than the fact that the reasons Ms. McKay gives for homosexual marriage are incredibly superficial and one-sided, Ms. McKay believes that no one could possibly disagree with her if they only knew homosexuals who have been denied marriage. But the problem here is that her argument is one from emotion and doesn’t take into account that there are other people involved. Or that people who know homosexuals and have them as family members might yet disagree.

Children are produced by a male and a female, by a mother and a father, and they have an innate desire to be attached to both parents. One of the primary purposes of marriage is to attach any children to their biological parents. Having a child by artificial insemination doesn’t obviate the fact that a male and female are required. Children who are adopted often want to know about their biological parents. Children created via gamete donation have this same desire, though they have even less legal rights in this regard. Nowhere in Ms. McKay’s piece on Bridal Advocacy, are the needs of children ever considered. Wearing a wedding dress may be a conversation opener and a cute gimmick, but as advocacy goes it takes little of the entire situation and people into account and, therefore, is only dress deep.

Ash Wednesday

Posted: March 9th, 2011, by American Phoenix

LentToday, is Ash Wednesday, the dies cinerum, which marks the beginning of Lent in the Catholic Church.

Lent is the forty day period preceeding Easter, the Quadragesima, which is calculated to extend from Easter Sunday back for forty days, not including Sundays. Sundays are not included because they commemorate Christ’s resurrection. Why forty days? The forty days commemorate the significant “forty” periods in Scripture, including:

  • The forty years the Jews wandered in the desert after they had been rescued by God from Egypt;
  • Jonah preached to Nineveh that God’s judgment would come on them in forty days. During that time the people repented and thus were spared God’s judgment; and
  • Jesus was tested by the Devil in the desert for forty days before He began His public ministry.

It is not an accident that these “forty” periods were times of prayer and repentence Lent is that time for Christians, during which they remember their sinfulness, fast, and do acts of penance as a recognition that God’s forgiveness came at the price of the death of His son Jesus Christ. It is our “forty” period. During this time, we are reminded that sin separates us from God. One doesn’t usually desire to be separate from the person one loves.

How did we come to receive the ashes? Ashes are a sign of mourning and repentence in Scripture, including the following passages:

  • Jeremiah calls for repentence, "O daughter of my people, gird on sackcloth, roll in the ashes." (Jeremiah 6:26)
  • After Absalom’s sister Tamar had been raped, she tore her tunic and put ashes on her head in her grief. "Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long tunic in which she was clothed.  Then putting her hands to her head, she went away crying loudly." (2 Sam. 13:19)
  • When Joseph’s 11 brother’s told Jacob that he had been devoured by beasts, Jacob went into mourning and put on sackcloth and ashes.  (Genesis 37:34)
  • Daniel pleaded for God to rescue Israel with sackcloth and ashes as a sign of Israel’s repentance.  "I turned to the Lord God, pleading in earnest prayer, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes."  (Daniel 9:3)
  • When Jonah told the Ninevites to repent:  "When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes." (Jonah 3:6).
  • Judith 4:11 "And all the Israelite men, women and children who lived in Jerusalem prostrated themselves in front of the temple building, with ashes strewn on their heads, displaying their sackcloth covering before the Lord." (See also 4:15 and 9:1).
  • The Maccabees, Jewish rebels fighting for independence just prior to the New Testament period, prepared for battle using ashes.  "That day they fasted and wore sackcloth; they sprinkled ashes on their heads and tore their clothes." (I Maccabees 3:47; see also 4:39).
  • In the New Testament, Jesus also refers to the use of sackcloth and ashes as signs of repentance: "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes." (Mt 11:21, Lk 10:13).

The history of Ash Wednesday is a bit obscure:

Despite all these references in Scripture, the use of ashes in the Church left only a few records in the first millennium of Church history. Thomas Talley, an expert on the history of the liturgical year, says that the first clearly datable liturgy for Ash Wednesday that provides for sprinkling ashes is in the Romano-Germanic pontifical of 960. Before that time, ashes had been used as a sign of admission to the Order of Penitents. As early as the sixth century, the Spanish Mozarabic rite calls for signing the forehead with ashes when admitting a gravely ill person to the Order of Penitents. At the beginning of the 11th century, Abbot Aelfric notes that it was customary for all the faithful to take part in a ceremony on the Wednesday before Lent that included the imposition of ashes. Near the end of that century, Pope Urban II called for the general use of ashes on that day. Only later did this day come to be called Ash Wednesday. 1

The Order of Penitents consisted of people who had committed a serious sin within the Christian community and who needed to repair their relationship with God before coming back to the Eucharist. During Lent, the penitents would repent for their sins and gain a fresh conversion.  At the same time, the Order of the Catechumens, new converts to the faith, would be learning their catechism in preparation for the sacraments of baptism and confirmation.  Like the catechumens who were preparing for Baptism, the penitents were often dismissed from the Sunday assembly after the Liturgy of the Word.  The early church fathers saw serious sin after baptism as a sign that a person’s conversion was not complete, therefore penance was a second chance at a complete conversion.  In this way, penance and baptism are essentially linked.

Lent developed in the Church as the whole community prayed and fasted for the catechumens who were preparing for Baptism. At the same time, those members of the community who were already baptized prepared to renew their baptismal promises at Easter, thus joining the catechumens in seeking to deepen their own conversion. It was natural, then, that the Order of Penitents also focused on Lent, with reconciliation often being celebrated on Holy Thursday so that the newly reconciled could share in the liturgies of the Triduum. With Lent clearly a season focused on Baptism, Penance found a home there as well. 1

Over time, we lost the Order of the Catechumens, and the emphasis shifted solely to penance even after the Order of Penitents was lost too.  It wasn’t until Vatican II that the Order of Catechumens was resurrected and with it, much of the underlying meaning of Lent which connects penance to baptism. 

For penance isn’t just about being wrong.  It’s about a true metanoia – the Greek word for "repent" which is so much more aptly descriptive than the Latin.  When I think of the word "repent" what often comes to mind is strange men on sidewalks wearing poster boards with apocalyptic messages, usually with "repent" written in big letters.  But that’s not really what it’s about.  Metanoia comes from two Greek words:  "meta", meaning "change", and "noia" meaning "mind".  Not in the sense that you change your mind about what you’re going to wear today. Metanoia is really about a change of innermost attitude.  It’s about a conversion – a reversion, if you will – to our relationship with God.  This is something that we, as Christians, are called to work on every day.  And this is why when the ashes are placed upon our forehead, the priest says, "Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospels."

  1. Ash Wednesday: Our Shifting Understanding of Lent
  2. New Advent Catholic Encyclopaedia: Ash Wednesday
  3. EWTN:  Lent