Jan 09 2017
Archive for the 'Opinion' Category
Jun 10 2011
A cornerstone of Protestant salvation teaching is based on the visions of St. John in the Book of Revelations. While this is a great source for horror writers, it is more potent fodder still for Protestant apologetics who use its vague and surrealistic symbolism to justify just about any point of view they care to opine.
During my journey to becoming a Catholic, this topic was merely touched upon and only to the point that 666 was the number for Nero. Interesting enough – but what about everything else? The seven seals, the pit, the battle between Satan and God? All steeped and surrounded by mysticism and obfuscating language that doesn’t quite rise to prose or poetry. One would think that a Revelation from God in such an inspired writing and on such an important topic would be more direct and clear.
In this, I’m seeking the answers to two specific questions:
- Does the Rapture exist in Catholic teaching
- Is the soul consumed in the fires of Hell
The first question is whether all the Protestant talk of the Rapture can be ignored. So far as I know, the Rapture does not happen in the Catholic understanding of Revelation, and so it would be just another tool that Protestants use to discredit the Church and frighten non-believers to come-on-down and accept Jesus as your “personal” Lord and Savior, and not be “Left Behind.”
The second question is a search for truth in the nature of God. That is, if the wicked really are burned forever in the fires of Hell, then what would be the point? The purpose of Hell is punishment, and the purpose of punishment is improvement. What is gained by God or the Damned if there is no hope for either eventual salvation or non-existence? Specifically, if the wages of Sin is Death, wouldn’t Death be the opposite of Eternal Life, or non-existence? While it might serve our Schadenfreude to believe that the wicked are eternally tortured and therefore eternally regretful for their sins, it doesn’t philosophically jibe with the idea of a purely Benevolent God that manifests Infinite Mercy. While it is not for men to judge God or stoop to the hubris to believe they can know the Mind of God, what would be gained to listen to the cries of the Damned for all eternity? Justice would be served by only one of two outcomes:
- The Damned are eventually reconciled with God after the Apocalypse, or
- The Damned are eventually consumed by the Hellfire and cease to exist
It is a function of the Church to answer such questions. So I obtained a copy of Apocalypse : A Catholic Perspective on the Book of Revelation on the subject that has the imprimatur of Church, which should provide some insight. I’ll posts updates here on what I learn.
Jun 16 2010
Compare what this post-WWII cartoon says with what Obama is saying today. True Americans know what do to about that come November.
Jul 07 2009
While researching my previous post regarding how I can’t afford to live in New York, I came across this related article concerning how billionaire Tom Golisano was leaving New York to avoid paying the insane income taxes on the rich – the so-called “Millionaire’s Tax” which increased personal income taxes on those making $500K or more from 6.85% to 8.97% – a tax hike of 30%. While this exodus of the rich is no real surprise – the article has this tantilizing tidbit:
Working Families Party Executive Director Dan Cantor, who championed the tax hike, called Golisano’s move “selfish.”
Which is exactly what Obama said when he was criticized about his open policy for taxing the rich. In other words, if you work hard and innovate and make a lot of money then you are punished with higher taxes, and if you don’t like it, you are vilified as being “selfish.” However, if you don’t work, don’t create jobs (or even have a job,) and/or leach off the public teet, then you’re “underprivileged” and “deserving.” This is just the kind of person Obama speaks to in order to buy votes. Make no mistake, while Obama’s policies seem progressive (the more you have the more you pay) they are really regressive (the less you have the more you end up paying) because all those extra costs being heaped on the top will trickle down to the lowest.
Obama promised not to increase taxes on those making less than $250K a year. He can probably do that by increasing the costs of most everything else. When the punchline is that the government has more of your money, it makes no difference whether it was taken from you through higher taxes or higher fees, cost of living, energy costs, indirect costs from more regulation, corruption, and the list goes on and on.
And now, Al Franken the most liberal idiot to ever defile the airwaves has been sworn in today.
You all should be very, very, afraid.
May 15 2009
I love my little crock pot. It has a 1-quart capacity and only one temperature. Lately I’ve been experimenting with various bean mixtures to get one I like. What I’ve found that it’s real hard to mess up beans in a crock pot. What I like to do is setup the mix below the night before, then I put it in the heating element when I leave for work in the morning. Since this crock pot only has one heat setting, I have it plugged into a lamp timer to turn on at 1:30 so it will have a good five hours to cook before I get home in the evening.
Crock Pot Bean Medley
1/4 cup Pinto Beans
1/4 cup Red Beans
1/4 cup Lentils
1/4 cup Black Beans
1 beef bullion cube
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups cold water
Wash the beans well in cold water. Drain. Add all ingredients to the crock pot along with 2 1/2 cups cold water. Cover and refrigerate over night. Cook for five hours or to desired tenderness.
Another easy recipe that I’ve managed to throw together a couple of times with great success is this beef stew. Again, it’s pretty darn hard to mess it up.
Crock Pot Beef Stew
1/2 lb cubed stew meat
1 medium carrot
1 medium potato
1 medium onion (white or yellow)
1 beef bullion cube
1 cup cold water
salt and pepper to taste
Wash and cube the vegitables into 1/2″ pieces. Add all ingrediants to the crock pot and give a little stir. Add 1 cup cold water. Cover and cook in crock pot for five hours or until potatoes are tender.
Mar 28 2009
I must admit, I was nearly persuaded – he almost convinced me. But, as all snakes are, they reveal their true nature given enough time. In this case, time enough was about thirty seconds.
I work for a news agency, and as such I have access to all things news. As I twiddle bits for a living, I have the perk of being able to tune in on news conferences and Congressional hearings live or by tapping into a comprehensive video archive. I decided to do just that and listen to the Obama Internet Town Hall Meeting(tm) in which Obama seemingly took questions from the internet and answered them, with the telecast being streamed live over the internet. Now, understanding that all questions would be hand-picked for answering like the rigged game shows of yore, I didn’t expect much in they way of actual “voice of the people” because Obama would not be presented with any question that he wasn’t briefed, de-briefed, coached, de-coached, folded, stapled and mutilated to answer to the best of his agenda.
Feb 24 2009
What is being lost in all the noise surrounding the mortgage bust are the parties that I believe are truly responsible for the whole thing: real estate agents (realtor.) I make no bones about it, I have hired five realtors in my life and will never again, mostly because in my experience they did two – and only two – things:
1) They listed my house in the MLS database, and
2) Showed up at closing to collect their check.
Feb 23 2009
This shamelessly cribbed from here, but only because I couldn’t do a direct link. Full credit and thanks to David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. Professor of Economics University of Georgia for this gem:
Let’s help Obama out with a little tax lesson, if he can understand this – not sure if he will get it:
A Somewhat Different Version of an Old Story
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7.
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
[Editor’s Note: This means that 40% of the people pay no taxes at all, the next 10% pay 1% of all taxes, the next 10% pay 3%, the next 10% pay 7%, the next 10% pay 12%, the next 10% pay 18%, and the top 10% of the richest taxpayers pay 59% of all taxes.]
Feb 21 2009
I recently took in the feature Taken, mainly because it received an insane number of positive votes on IMBD, and I really like Liam Neeson. But since Neeson isn’t exactly the poster child for an action hero, I was interested to see how the claims that the movie “flies by” could be held up. So I went. Glad I did.
On the whole this is a revenge movie – daughter gets taken, dad gets her back. More than this is what I’ll dub a “Dad Flick” – cousin to the “chick flick” and the “guy movie”. In Taken, the dad does what every father secretly fantasizes about what he’d want to be able to do should such a circumstance occur: have the resources and ability to undo the harm, and kill everyone who had a hand in it. Neeson does this – killing quickly, efficiently, without remorse or consideration, and with extreme prejudice. My only complaint is that he kills too quickly – cleanly and professionally – yet it’s up close and personal. He kills at close range – even when using guns, with his targets knowing who he is and why they’re dying. I only hope that when this makes it to DVD that there’s a director’s cut where the targets suffer.