As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like. I'll serve up more next Friday...
"Let's Ask Ourselves: Are We Open to the Holy Spirit?" - [An appropriate reflection from Pope Francis as we prepare for Pentecost - includes full text of Wednesday general audience address.]
Pope: 'If we annoy people, blessed be the Lord' - "...let us ask the Holy Spirit for this grace of apostolic zeal, let’s be Christians with apostolic zeal, onwards, as the Lord says to Paul, take courage!" [Very glad to here the pope say this... I know I have annoyed a few people when I share the faith. But when you speak the truth, you must expect some to reject it.]
Church needs believers with zeal, not couch-potato Catholics, pope says - "'Today let us ask the Holy Spirit to give this apostolic fervor to all of us and also the grace to be a nuisance to the things that are too quiet in the church' and go to the 'outskirts' of life, he said."
Pope Francis surprises attendees of Italy’s March for Life - "The organizers of the event did not know the Holy Father would meet with them, but were delightfully surprised when they saw the popemobile heading their way."
Today, a Social Teaching Triple Header - "On May 15, three popes made major contributions to the development of Catholic social teaching..."
R.I.P., American Family - "With the assistance of emotionally charged slogans like tolerance and diversity—always applied selectively—liberals have set their sights on the American family. And it will never be the same." See also: How the West Really Lost God
Justice and the Marriage Debate - "Proceeding from different but all-too-often-unarticulated conceptions of what marriage is and why it matters for society, advocates on both sides tend to lock into patterns of reasoning that seem impervious to opposing arguments."
A Primer on Rights, With Reference to Gay Marriage - "If Rights exist–and no one is questioning that they do–they come either from God or from the state. There is no other option. "
Hints on How the Supreme Court May Rule on Homosexual "Marriage"? - "Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently commented on the infamous Roe v. Wade decision in a way that may shed light on how she—and the Court—will rule in the cases involving homosexual 'marriage' that are currently before the Court."
Cultural Imperialism on the March: Obama Promotes Gay Pride Worldwide - "...the Obama administration, after promoting homosexual rights and marriage in the US, has undertaken the task of universalizing the rationalization for sodomitical behavior and is doing so with high moral rhetoric—in this case, by appropriating the language of human rights."
Bill Donohue: IRS Targeted Catholic League - "Just weeks after Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, I was notified by the IRS that the Catholic League was under investigation for violating the IRS Code on political activities as it relates to 501(c)(3) organizations."
The IRS Scandal Round-up - [There is a lot of information here...but worth reading.]
News to ruin your morning: IRS official who targeted conservatives for audit now oversees your Obamacare compliance - "One f the greatest faults with Obamacare is that the IRS is the chief enforcer of the act as far as individual citizens are concerned. Consume Obama's insurance and you'll be fine. If you don't consume enough however, it will be up to Ingram to penalize you."
‘Very Frightening’: Prominent Catholic Prof. Claims IRS Audited Her After Speaking Out Against Obama and Demanded to Know Who Was Paying Her - [She's not the only one!]
Did the IRS Target Pro-Life Groups, Too? - "It looks like the IRS also targeted pro-life groups for some very special attention, and not just by stuffing their applications for tax-exempt status in a broom closet."
Kermit Gosnell Found Guilty on Three First-Degree Murder Charges - [By now this is old news, but it is such good news it bears repeating.]
Gosnell Gives Up Appeal, Prosecutors Agree to Life in Prison, No Death Penalty - "In total, Gosnell was found guilty of 21 out of 24 felony counts of illegal abortions beyond the 24 week limit and found guilty on all but 16 of 227 misdemeanor counts of violating the 24-hour informed consent law."
Nine of 12 Jurors Convicting Kermit Gosnell of Murder Were "Pro-Choice" - [I wonder if any opinions were changed?]
Monsters Inc: Douglas Karpen Picks Up Where Kermit Gosnell Left Off - "With a web of underground killing fields in New York, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Maryland, and now Texas clinics, this is no longer a hypothetical question of children’s safety. It’s a pervasive practice that had obviously gone undetected for years–until Gosnell trial’s and Lila Rose’s undercover videos." See also: Kermit Gosnell 2, Abortionist Douglas Karpen, Now Faces Investigation and this: Media Ignores Abortion Doc Who Killed Babies With His Bare Hands
Time to ask Obama about Gosnell - When President Barack Obama was asked about the murder trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, he said 'I can't comment on it because it's an active trial.' Now that a jury has found Gosnell guilty...we can find out what Obama thinks about the case and the country's abortion culture." Of course, we already have his own words: New Audio Surfaces of Obama Defending Infanticide in Illinois See also: When Politicians Allow the Murder of Infants
Are Embryos Human After All? - [Some great thought experiments presented here.]
Death penalty in Cleveland horrors? Wait, who died? - "Clearly, journalists are struggling here to try to determine how to answer a question that, in court debates, has often turned on theological issues linked to personhood, ensoulment, human rights, etc., etc. To be blunt: Precisely when does an undesired 'fetus' turn into a 'unborn child' when the biological, dare I say 'journalistic,' realities are the same?"
Cleveland Kidnap Victim Wants to Reunite With Son Conceived in Gang Rape - "How could any woman possibly want to carry to term, give birth to, and parent a child conceived in rape? We hear this question all the time on political soapboxes. It is a mantra that hurts women, because it rejects the idea that women will naturally love their children regardless of the circumstances of their conception."
Chilling note scrawled by bloodied Boston terrorist reveals motive - "Legal analysts say the note will be admissible in court. It will combine with his earlier testimony, provided before he was mirandized, to build the case against him."
Culture of Corruption: Why Obama's misuse of Marines is wrong - "Yesterday, during a light sprinkle, Obama ordered two Marines to hold umbrellas over his head and that of the Turkish Prime Minister. Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F, Chapter 3, does not allow a male Marine to carry an umbrella. - Ever. "
NBC Worries Pope's New Saints Will Hurt Islam's Feelings - [...Because that's what we should do. Tiptoe around them. Being careful not to hurt their feelings. - I have some advice to all who read this: Stop watching the mainstream media.]
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor...But Not Your Homeschoolers - [Not a good development for homeschooling families.]
The Little Way v. The Great White Way - "We now live in an age in which the world is our soapbox. Social media makes it possible to regale the world with instant updates on the food we ate for breakfast, on how our children did in school, and on how many imaginary crops we planted on non-existent acreage each evening before bed. If we want to rant about the latest news headlines, there is always an audience somewhere ready to be held captive for a few seconds."
What do baby names tell us about the reliability of the Gospels? - "You might be surprised, but the names of the figures mentioned in the gospels actually provide evidence that they're true. Here's the story..."
Did Dinosaurs Die Before the Fall? - [Not a complete treatment of the question, but an interesting presentation nonetheless.]