The Delaware Demise

The educational system in the state of Delaware is offering up the soup of social chaos with new regulations aimed at the family under the pretense of preventing discrimination. It is not the anti-discrimination of your mother’s generation but one made of whole new cloth—without foundation—and as an affront to parental rights. Here is the proposed Rule.

Not only does the new regulation prohibit classic causes of discrimination of race, sex, national origin, ethnicity or religion, but it invents new classes: gender, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity or expression, among others, called “Protected Characteristics.”

The ‘Meddlesome Award’ for direct interference in the peace, safety, and well-being of the family goes to the state of Delaware. Here is how it works. In addition to the standard anti-discrimination classes, the new law gives the students, regardless of age, the right to choose a “preferred name” based on a Protected Characteristic; or to choose a “self-identified gender or race.”The mind-bender is that the school, according to the law, “may request permission from the parents” provided first, unless otherwise the school learns that the parent is not supportive of the student; and the school—NOT THE PARENT—takes into consideration the safety, health and well-being of the student in ”deciding whether to request permission from the parent.” Why suggest the school ask anything of the parent? Especially when the school official knows a conscientious parent will say ‘no.’

Who decides what is best for the safety, health and well-being of the child? Parent? NO. Teacher? YES. Counselor? YES. Yet, the U.S. Supreme Court says parental rights are fundamental rights. Then again, the Court also have said that about abortion.

This is the kind of social carving that a Marxist authors—or Satan itself.

William of Ockham is alive and well in the 21st Century.



Columbine Victim’s Father

Is this message true today?
Since the dawn of creation there has been both good and evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.
The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.
In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA.

I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA — because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies!

Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.

I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:

Your laws ignore our deepest needs
Your words are empty air
You’ve stripped away our heritage
You’ve outlawed simple prayer

Now gunshots fill our classrooms
And precious children die
You seek for answers everywhere
And ask the question “Why”?

You regulate restrictive laws
Through legislative creed
And yet you fail to understand
That God is what we need

Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc.

Spiritual influences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence.

And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties.

We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre.

The real villain lies within our own hearts.

Political posturing and restrictive legislation are not the answers.

The young people of our nation hold the key. There is a spiritual awakening taking place that will not be squelched!

We do not need more religion. We do not need more gaudy television evangelists spewing out verbal religious garbage. We do not need more million dollar church buildings built while people with basic needs are being ignored.

We do need a change of heart and a humble acknowledgment that this nation was founded on the principle of simple trust in God!

As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes — He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right!

I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20,1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain.

Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him.

To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!

My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!

Sadly, many of the young people a generation later are not only letting it happen, they are demanding it happen.  May God help us!





A subject for Critical Thinking

Use reason to analyze the following statement written by Fr. Eguiguren, based on the Catholic Faith.

Jesus and Personal and Social Transformation

by Fr. Antonio Eguiguren, Rector, St. John’s Catholic Cathedral, Boise, Idaho 

Many scholars have written important works to try to define precisely where the “essence of Christianity” is to be found. However, to know the center of the Christian faith, we do not need to go to any theological theory. First thing is to understand what was for Jesus his most important goal, the center of his life, the absolute, the cause to which he devoted himself to in body and soul.

No one doubts today that Mark’s gospel has sharply summarized that goal in these words: “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the Good News.” The aim of Jesus was to introduce in the world what he called “the kingdom of God (Malkuta Yahweh):” a community of brothers and sisters structured in a fair and dignified manner for all, just as God wants it.

When God reigns in the world, humanity progresses in justice, solidarity, compassion, fraternity and peace. To this goal Jesus gave passionately all his energies. For believing in this dream, or utopia, and for putting all his energies into its accomplishment, he was persecuted, tortured and executed. “The kingdom of God” was the absolute value for him.

The conclusion is obvious: the strength, the energy, the sense of purpose, the reason and the ultimate meaning of Christianity is “the kingdom of God,” and nothing else. The only criteria to measure the Christian identity, the truth of any spirituality or the value of what the Church is, is always subject and at the service of the “kingdom of God.” In a nutshell, the only way to look at life as Jesus did, the only way to feel things as Jesus felt, the only way to act as Jesus did, is to guide all our lives toward building a more humane world.

However, many Christians have not yet heard what is the “kingdom of God.” One of the most serious heresies which we, with the passing of time, have introduced in our Christian rationale, is to make of the Church an absolute principle; worst still, to identify our Church with the “Kingdom of God.” It is a serious error to think that the Church is the center to which everything else must be subordinated. It is a serious mistake to make of the Church the “replacement” of the kingdom of God. This is what Pope Francis calls a self-referential church. This error and mistake has led us to worry more for the organization and the strengthening of the juridical, liturgical aspects of a triumphal Church, rather than taking care of the suffering in the world and fighting for the building of a more equitable and just society. Often the official church has looked at the other side in front of flagrant social injustices, in order to maintain her privileges.

It is not easy to maintain our Christian convictions oriented toward serving the values of the kingdom of God, but when we do try working in that direction, then faith becomes more creative and, above all, more evangelical and Christian.


A noble and honorable woman among us has died.

This past weekend, an elderly woman I worked with passed away.  Her name was Joan.  She was in her seventies.  My work commenced at the Idaho Department of Insurance over six years ago.  I met Joan in a meeting.  She was a bright and tenacious researcher and public policy analyst.  Her forte was health care policy.  She knew more about health insurance than anyone in the state!  For the years I knew her, until her husband’s death in 2911, Joan had cared for her bed-ridden husband.  Never a word of complaint, pity, or remorse was heard from Joan about her husband’s health and how it impacted her own and her family life.  After he died, she ended up in the hospital for a week or so; and upon her return to work; there was no word of complaint or looking back at her problems.  She was ever helpful, ever even-headed and non-complaining.  She was an example to me.  I am not sure of her faith.  I knew this: that she was a Christian.  Despite all of her obvious talents, persistence, obstacles, and troubles, she never complained.  There was not a hint of arrogance and there was always time for me when I had a question or wanted to review an issue with her.  I would see her in the hallway at my office, and I always said, “Hi Joan, how are you doing?”  She would answer, “doing okay.”  It took me awhile to decipher that answer, but in speaking the truth about her situation, you could tell she struggled every day to make it to work, to accomplish the care required by her husband, and to fulfill her job as a public policy analyst.  She was as full of answers about the law as she was full of questions.  I enjoyed working with this honorable and noble woman unknown in this modern world.  Joan was a light, a type of Christ in our midst..  She will be sorely missed.  She brought peace with her everywhere she went by living a well-ordered life in Christ.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Input Please: National Promoters Meeting; October 20th, 2011; Adrian Sisters at Adrian Michigan

The periodic meeting of the peace and justice promoters for North America is being held this coming October 20th through the 23rd, 2011 at the Adrian Dominican Sisters, Adrian, Michigan.

Two years ago, on behalf of the Lay Fraternity of St. Dominic in the Western Province, a statement regarding key issues was forwarded.   This is the prior statement:

1.            That all public and private institutions at the state, national, and international levels seek and promote the legal protection of innocent human beings from conception to natural death from loss of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; and, relating to the dignity of each human being and based upon the concept that society may be properly protected from harm, that any person found guilty of any heinous crime should not suffer the death penalty.

2.            That grounded on the rule of law and the sovereignty of nations, persons immigrating to, or emigrating from, a nation should be treated with respect to, and in compliance with, the rights accorded such persons based upon the inherent dignity of each human being, together with rights established under law, including but not limited to natural, individual, family, religious, and civil rights.

The North American promoters are having a  meeting again this year, from Friday, October 19th, 2011 through Sunday, October 21, 2011 at the Adrian Dominican Sisters in Adrian, Michigan.   As the lay promoter for the Western Province, I am asking all lay members, councils, and chapters to gather and consider what issues you wish to have pressented to the national meeting this coming October.  

Please consider any key issues involving key religious issues that impact society and forward them if possible, by October 7th.   I will gather any comments from chapters, members, and councilors regarding any issue, summarize them, and it is my goal to personally deliver the summary to Adrian on October 20th as a member of the gathering.

Among the issues to be discussed at the promoters meeting according to their agenda are: “Climate Change, Education/Action for Nonviolence, Death Penalty, Disarmament, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Trafficking, Immigration, and MDGs and the UN Agenda other issues that have emerged.”

In addition to the issues listed above, it would be good if the promoters considered additional issues more related to core religious principles of our Catholic Faith. Therefore, please pass along your chapter’s ideas etc. by Friday, October 7th, 2011, directly to the Lay promoter.  My email address is john((@))

Also, chapters should forward to me the name(s) of any person who serves as each individual chapter’s social justice contact person.  

Also, related to the subject of social justice, please take note that the Blessed Margaret Castello Chapter in Boise, Idaho is hosting a COLLOQUIUM on SOCIAL JUSTICE on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, October 5, 6, and 7, 2012 (yes, 2012). More information on the colloquium will be posted at a later date; but note your calendar for October, 2012.

Thank you.  Your friend in St. Dominic,

Mr. John Keenan, O.P., J.D., Lay Peace Promoter, Western Dominican Province

Sr. Brink, O.P.: Moving past Christ, the Church, as a Sojourner.

The following is only a portion of Sr. Brink’s speech before the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (2007) national conference.  The remainder of her talk may be seen at the link at the bottom of this post.  The comments in red are mine:

The dynamic option for Religious Life, which I am calling, Sojourning, is much more difficult to discuss, since it involves moving beyond the Church, even beyond Jesus.  [Beyond Christ?  To political?]  A sojourning congregation is no longer ecclesiastical. [It is ideological?]  It has grown beyond the bounds of institutional religion. Its search for the Holy may have begun rooted in Jesus as the Christ, but deep reflection, study and prayer have opened it up to the spirit of the Holy [What?] in all of creation.

Religious titles, institutional limitations, ecclesiastical authorities no longer fit this congregation, which in most respects is Post-Christian. [The Redeemed World that knows Christ will never be “post-Christian.”]  When religious communities embraced the spirit of renewal in the 1970s [Is this when the problem commenced? Is this the spirit that St. Paul speaks about in 2 Thess. 2?]  they took seriously that the world was no longer the enemy, that a sense of ecumenism required encountering the holy “other,” and that the God of Jesus might well be the God of Moses and the God of Mohammed.

The works of Thomas Merton encouraged an exploration of the nexus between Eastern and Western religious practices. [Thomas Merton may have tried to synthesize the East and West but it was not his intent to “move beyond Jesus.”] The emergence of the women’s movement with is concomitant critique of religion invited women everywhere to use a hermeneutical lens of suspicion when reading the androcentric Scriptures and the texts of the Tradition. [It gathered a sense of rebellion.]  With a new lens, women also began to see the divine within nature, the value and importance of the cosmos, and that the emerging new cosmology encouraged their spirituality and fed their souls.  [Is this the “new cosmology” of a ‘new age,’ and sees humankind as on par with creation?]

As one sister described it, “I was rooted in the story of Jesus, and it remains at my core, but I’ve also moved beyond Jesus.” The Jesus narrative is not the only or the most important narrative for these women. They still hold up and reverence the values of the Gospel, but they also recognize that these same values are not solely the property of Christianity. Buddhism, Native American spirituality, Judaism, Islam and others hold similar tenets for right behavior within the community, right relationship with the earth and right relationship with the Divine. [Do they truly believe in Christ?  All traditions have some truth attached to it; but it is full in Christ?] With these insights come a shattering or freeing realization—depending on where you stand. Jesus is not the only son of God.  Salvation is not limited to Christians. Wisdom is found in the traditions of the Church as well as beyond it.  [With all this, why do we need Christ?  Why not the Gospel of the New Cosmology as embodied in the Earth Charter?]

  “The Marginal Life: Pursuing Holiness in the 21st Century” byLaurie Brink, O.P.; LCWR Keynote Address, Kansas City, MO, August 2, 2007.


With regard to New Cosmology, Mother Earth as a Person and the Assorted Other Modern Philosophy..

St. Paul:

“See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.

“For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.”

Colossians 2:8-9.

Our Bishops Need to Preach Faith and Morals

In order to advance the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church;


and the Laity need to be Holy.

          On April 13, 2011, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops [hereinafter “USCCB” or “Bishops”] forwarded to members of Congress a letter [See here] noting that writing a federal budget demands “wise bipartisan leadership, clear priorities, and moral clarity.”   America’s financial house needs to be put in order, the USCCB noted, by “fulfilling the demands of justice and moral obligations to future generations; controlling future debt and deficits, and protecting the lives and dignity of those who are poor and vulnerable.”  

 The Bishops note three “moral criteria” regarding difficult budgetary decisions:  (a) that “every budget decision should be assessed by whether it protects or threatens human life and dignity; (2) that “the central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects ‘the least of these’”  (Matthew 25), including the those who hunger and are homeless, or who are without work or are in poverty; and, (3) that “government and other institutions have a shared responsibility to promote the common good of all, especially ordinary workers and families who struggle to live in dignity in difficult economic times.” 

 Calling life-affirming health care an “urgent national priority,” the Bishops throw great doubt on current proposals to convert entitlement programs such as Medicare or Medicaid to block grant programs or subsidies; and the Bishops called foreign aid an “essential tool to promote human life and dignity” and to enhance global security. 

 Pleading that the budget must reduce deficits and protect the poor, jobless, and vulnerable, the U.S. bishops call for “shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirements programs fairly.”   The Bishops declare themselves pastors and teachers, “not experts or partisans.”  Experts they are not.

 While the Bishops call for “priorities” in the national budget; their focus is wrong-headed.   It is agreed that the budget must be life-affirming, it must contain and reduce worldwide military adventures and commitments, it must provide a social safety net for the poor and vulnerable, it must tackle the monumental debt as an overarching generational moral issue; and it must control spending and entitlement programs.  However—for the USCCB—there is more to consider.

 In 2007, David Walker, Comptroller of the United States at the time, recalled that nearly 2000 years ago, the Roman Empire fell for three main reasons: [1] declining moral values and political civility at home, [2] an overconfident military in foreign lands, and [3] government fiscal irresponsibility.  

 As the old saying goes, nothing changes under the Sun.  Our modern American Republic is plagued by the same issues.   Whether Congress should expand or contract national spending, on what programs it should focus, and the degree of international spending is a prudent question to be answered within the constraints of the constitutional system of limited government framed by the American founding fathers.  That question is for the politicians.

 The real Gospel focus of the American bishops is not a call for governmental action, but the moral make-up of our country.   Every resource of the bishops should be focused on improving the mediocre catechetical teaching and preaching that occurs around the country, from the pulpits and in the classrooms, and call American Catholics to personal responsibility and to live a moral life. 

 While not universally true, many pastors fail to teach or preach, but often cite platitudes and generalities during the Homily at Holy Mass.   

 What is needed?  True preaching.  If the Bishops want to change the culture and touch the hearts of the American people that will ultimately guide the Congress, then preach

 In other words, the Bishop’s beseeching Congress regarding spending rings empty.  Why?  As teachers, the primary office of bishop is to teach the Faithful through effective formation of his priests and congregation.  The Bishops need to preach charity and morality from the pulpit with particularity.  In order to realize social change, the Bishops must engage the hearts and minds where it counts: at Church.  

 A converted heart motivated by love of God and the Gospel, will seek the necessary right action and moral change in their own lives and in their own families and communities.   It is the believers who are “doers” of the Word that change the World.

 Many of the social problems our Nation faces are a direct result of immoral conduct.   For example, the rising poverty rate among women and children is due to sexual conduct outside of marriage.    The federal Medicaid and supplementary security income budgets have exploded over the last decade.   Far too many unwed mothers find themselves with few choices and cornered in poverty.  Government rightly comes to the rescue to aid these mothers and children to uphold the human dignity of these vulnerable persons; but let’s not deny the immorality at play.  

 When unwed men and women act immorally and sleep with one another with utter disregard for other human lives, the children are born in poverty, the mothers are desperate, and too often the fathers abandon the family.  In the end, the taxpayer is called to fill the remaining monetary void.  It is a desperate problem that finds no immediately political solution; yet the focus of the Bishops should be on the right moral sexual conduct of the American people—especially Catholics.

 The Bishops need to preach.  Their priests need to be pastors.  The priests need to preach from the pulpit.   Part of the solution is concrete preaching calling people to improve their personal lives by ordered thinking, right action, personal responsibility, and moral conduct. 

 Preaching should encourage the Faithful to follow the Ten Commandments; to go to Mass; to engage only in marital sex; to uphold marriage as between a man and a woman; to encourage choices of life and family; to stay faithful to their spouses; to raise their children rightly; to not worry so much about activism but more about putting their own lives and families in order; to act charitably with family, neighbors, and other parishioners; to work hard, to pay their bills; to pay their taxes; to stay faithful to home and country; to give a day’s work for a day’s pay; to be honest and not to commit fraud or lying; to be good and effective students and teachers; to be fair and just business owners, bosses and managers, and on and on.   

 Admittedly, the USCCB has a role in national politics, but its call over the years for expanded government belies the reality that the quality and nature of preaching over the last generation has achieved a level of sustained mediocrity.  On many moral issues, until recently the Bishops have remained silent.  In order to pursue a more perfect society, they must engage moral Preaching.

 Calling the Faithful Catholics to live faithful, moral, responsible and good lives is the first step to changing society to live like Christ and focusing His people to act justly with charity.  Such a message will change the world.

 By Mr. John Keenan, O.P., J.D., promoter of peace & justice, Western Dominican Province; Blessed Margaret of Costello Chapter, Boise, Idaho.


The Plight of the Iraqi Christians

From Sr. Dusty Farnan, O.P. regarding the Iraqi Dominicans and Christians:

You might find the following video informative on the Christian situation in Iraq.  It was a PBS special in this past week.  [Sr.] Dusty

This section of the program gives a historical perspective on Iraqi Christians and an overview of current persecutions.  Many Iraqi Christians have had to flee their villages and/or their country because of the invasion by the United States.  As the anti-war song asks: “When will we ever learn?”

My autistic son. I love America.

Today, as I sat in my office, my youngest and autistic son called me on the phone from summer school.  He said, “Hey Dad, I need some money to go to Dairy Queen across from the school.”    He is in summer school and attends with a number of other children who either have some mental or physical (or both) limitation.   His teachers intended to take him and the entire class of students to Dairy Queen.   Like so often what happens, I had given him about $5 earlier in the morning, but he had lost the money!  Nevertheless, I took off from work for a few moments and joined my son at the local Dairy Queen with about 25 other students.   I am always excited to see my son.  He is autistic but he is a joy to be around.   His simplicity of heart and good will is a genuine resting place for me because of my crowded and busy life.

In addition, I rejoiced in seeing how the teachers treated the other students as they lined up to purchase items at the Dairy Queen counter.   With a beautiful face and a wide smile, the counterperson smiled as she attended the obviously handicapped kids.   The children comprehended the universal language of ice cream, milkshakes, soda, and corn dogs.  The teachers treated each student under his or her charge with patience and attention; tending each as if the student was a son or daughter. 

The experience reminded me of the grace with which Our Lord treats each of us, despite our weaknesses, sins, and faults,  or our tendencies or fallibilities; He attends us with grace.  All He asks is our love and obedience in return and adherence to the truth.  His truth.  The good, really good, thing about all of this is that in life, we must seek the truth in charity.  If we ignore the truth, we do so at our own peril.   

On the eve of our national 4th of July weekend and celebration, I am very thankful that I live in America, that my family lives here, and that this land still loves and lives freedom.   I am thankful despite all that has occured and the injustices of people who commit and endorse the killing of kids in the womb, or the elderly or infirm, or the “inconvenience” of those who are weak and need our attention, I still love this country.  I am thankful despite the politics of reprisal and the agenda of politicians driven by ideology and agendas rather than truth and right order.   I still love this country.  I will be singing this weekend.  Somewhere, probably at Church or thereafter, “God Bless America” and “The Star Spangled Banner” will be sung and with a heart full, I am thankful for the men and women over the last two centuries who have given their lives, their time,  their energy, and efforts to defend this Nation.   May God grant repose of the faithfully departed veterans, fathers and mothers, and friends that have gone before us.  May God heal our land and bring it to the Truth with charity in peace.