We define what separates Catholics from Protestants part 4


“We have laws that aren’t being properly enforced. We need to make sure we enforce these laws. But the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities, to bring opportunity in the inner cities, to help people get out of poverty in the inner cities, is to help teach people good discipline, good character. That is civil society. That’s what charities, and civic groups, and churches do to help one another make sure they can realize the value in one another.”

This is what a certain Wisconsin congressman told a reporter just before walking off the stage after the reporter confronted him about his tax cuts. This is what the reporter should have asked, “The US already has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of its prison population. We are enforcing the laws. “Are people in prison biologically inferior, or is there something wrong with our society.” Question two; “You said, “Churches should pick up the tab for training these people in “Good Discipline.” Which church do you have in mind?

Here are some figures: Charitable giving by denomination and income group:

Assemblies of God 5.5%
Baptist 4.6%
Low income population 4.5%
wealthy 3.0%
Presbyterian 2.6%
middle class 2.5%
Lutheran 2.4%
The Congressman’s denomination 1.9%

Does this congressman believe this refers to the Assemblies of God and the Baptists who live in the inner cities, or does this refer to all religious? If the former, they are already giving twice what his religious denomination gives. If the latter, there is the story of Legion. We must ask why a crazy person in Galilee would name himself Legion. The Hebrew and Aramaic for “Many” is, “Arbah.” In Greek, it is “Hoi Polloi.” The Latin word for a multitude is “Multitude.”

Legion only refers to the Roman Legions. As the story continues, Legion runs into a herd of pigs that then run down a creek bank and drown. Pigs are not kosher. St. Mark tells the story to remind us that to get rid of Legion/Big Government, we must first get rid of our pigs. The denomination of this congressman must cease giving the least, and start giving the most.

This congressman believes the responsible church is the inner city church, the church already giving the most. Those giving the least yell at those already giving the most to give more? Religious” people, those attending their houses of worship at least once per week are only 33% of the population. How is it fair to tax 33% of the population to pay for people who are not members of their congregations?

He tells the poor to find a way to set up your own society in the inner city, or die. This makes us not one nation but two, those in the suburbs, and those in the cities. He asks them to set up their own businesses, be their own employers, set up their own autonomous society distinct from America.

One last chart, this one showing how much has to be donated each Sunday Mass to make that 3% quota the rich pay as a percentage of their income. The poor pay 4.5% of their income to charity. If you pay less than the figure in the red on the chart, do not tell me the church should take over charitable giving. If we do not give at even the 3% level, how can we expect the poor to? If our parish has a hard time financially, how can we expect other communities to be otherwise?

The only difference between the liberals and the conservatives is not if, or who is going to die. It is the how, when and where of their dying. For the 4,000 preborn who die because of a lack of pre-natal care, the two groups are not even debating the when. Logic has a rule, nothing can be more important than itself. The choice between Social Justice and anti-abortion is a terrible choice, an immoral choice. This loss of life is a grave matter, willingly agreed to, and with full consent. The Eucharist from Luke 22 calls us to better.

St. Augustine discusses how a republic is about a community of interest. “Republic” calls us to help our neighbor in his pursuit of happiness. “Nation” is a fancy Latin for people born as one, by heritage if not by blood. The flag symbolizes this republic, its nation, and its government. When we say government does not have a role in promoting what it means to be a republic or a nation, we make that oath a vain oath. With God’s name in it, we take God’s name in vain.

In Mark 12:29 Jesus commands, “You will love God with all your hearts, with all of your animate being, with all of your measure.” “Hearts,” is plural. How do we love God? What do we give someone literally having everything? We love him by respecting his garden, by taking care of what he made in his image, each other.

“Hearts” is plural because it refers to the community. It does not command that we love God with all of our measure, except our government. We use everything at our disposal to promote life for everything made in God’s image, including government.

As Charles gives his material, I ask you to listen for any material different from what we heard during the last forty-four years. I ask you to listen; does he argue for a simple winner and loser in this debate, the same old talking points, or does he argue for real solutions? The truth is that neither side, conservative or liberal is serious.

Humanae Vitae came forty-four years ago. So long as we throw out the same talking points neither side addresses the real issues. Neither Liberals nor Conservatives deal with Social Justice or pro-life solutions. It is time to get back to our Catholic roots. While we engage in another forty-four years of talking points, God’s children are dying, and God is angry.

This is part 4. Please click here for part 1

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American decides between King Saul and King David part 2


Mr. Breuggemann is correct in pointing out how the times were changing and Israel would have to change with them if they were to survive. In addition, the early ‘60s were a time of great change. Because of World War II and its aftermath, America found itself in the role of major world power in geo-politics. The world was watching as the students said in Chicago in ’68.

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To this date, American is deciding between King Saul and King David. Breuggemann relates how King Saul was a war chief who represents the Articles of Confederation and the old Confederacy. His idea of government was as a warrior chief and no more. We have a political party who views government the same way. It is to defend America from foreign invaders and not much more. They call it minimalist government.

Psalm 72 and Psalm 82 show God and King David had a far bigger role in mind for government. Psalm 72 begins, “לִשְׁלֹמֹה,” “To Solomon.” It ends, “The end of the psalms of David, son of Jesse.” The context is clearly King David telling King Solomon what the proper role of government is. It includes, “Judging/Dan God’s people with צֶדֶק/charity, and his poor with correct judicial precedent. It includes giving correct judicial precedent for the poor of the people, and saving the children of the needy, and crushes the oppressor.” King David mentions this several times.

Psalm 82 is the famous Psalm which has God talking with other Elohim. As the Psalm continues, who the other Elohim are becomes clear. I declare: “Gods though you be, offspring of the Most High all of you, As any mortal you shall die; like any prince you shall fall.” Deuteronomy 5 makes clear when it says, “Moses summoned all Israel and told them, Hear, Israel, the customs and correct judicial precedents which I proclaim in your hearing, this day, that you may learn them and guard to do them.”

Customs and correct judicial precedents by definition take time to develop. The word for “Correct judicial precedent,” “מִּשְׁפָּטִ,” comes from a root, which means “lip.” We are to view all the customs and correct judicial precedents as if they came from the lip of God himself. The Elohim of Psalm 82 are the people giving the customs and correct judicial precedents.

They stand as Elohim/gods, standing in the place of God. They are the princes, offspring of God, and Psalm 82 chastises them for not doing their job, playing the role of King Saul instead, and allowing the rich, the Russia, those who think themselves first, to exploit the poor. Supporting minimalist government, they support King Saul’s style of rule. They are the ones who interpret the Second Amendment as supporting their right to a militia. This is Articles of Confederation and Confederacy way of thinking. The proponents of Psalm 82 support King David’s style of rule.

As in America in the ‘60s, America was changing from a rural backwater and entering the world stage as a modern power. Those old enough still remember watching Tennessee Ernie Ford as he gawked at Lucile Ball as she pointed to a bathroom with indoor plumbing. In the skit, he could not get used to the idea. America has always been about the debate between King Saul and King David. The Civil War was also a major time of change. The Confederacy wanted limited government and the right to oppress the poor. The Civil War saw the first national draft and the first national currency. During the Civil War, military units were divided by states. Afterward, they were divided by function.

Before the war, rifles were smooth bored and breech loaded. The war saw the creation of bored rifles and bullets, hand grenades, aerial warfare/balloons, and the start of the industrial age with the railroad and the telegraph. Just like the Bronze Age turned into the Iron Age, and with it its own industrial revolution, the supporters of King Solomon did not understand the ramifications of what was coming. Some things never change. We still debate what the computer age means to the way governments must operate to defend their citizens against the rich and powerful.

This is part 2. Please click here for part 1

American decides between King Saul and King David part 1


Walter Breuggemann begins his chapter in “A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament,” on the “Rise of the Monarchy,” by discussing the story of Gideon. In our American History, our ancestors compared themselves to the ancient Hebrews.

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There are interesting corollaries and the story of Gideon is one of them. There are also clear distinctions. The Canaanites were the economically superior culture, although in the Hebrew telling, morally inferior. Our Native Americans were still hunter-gatherers, inferior in Western thinking, but in all so many ways, truly morally superior. This writer is Scotch-Irish/German.

Gideon plays the role of George Washington and plays it well. Gideon tells God, “Please, Kyrie, how can I save Israel? My family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the most insignificant in my father’s house.” Judges 6:25 mentions the altar of Gideon’s father and the asherah beside it. Implied is that it is his father’s asherah.

Judges 6:27 tells us how Gideon has ten servants. This is the first clue that Gideon and his family were not the poorest people in Manasseh. They had at least ten servants, presumably poorer than they were.

Gideon had 70 sons, and many wives. This can make one poor, but it also presupposes he had the financial ability to take care of this extended family. Judges 7:1 and Judges 8:29 and verse 35 also tell us how Gideon’s real name was Jerubbaal. That is, “Warrior of Baal.” “Hannibal,” from Carthage who wages war with the Romans is John/Graciousness of Baal.” This tells us something of the religion of Gideon’s father as well. “Gideon” also means warrior. After his transformational experience, Gideon translates his name to remove “Baal.”

Gideon chops down the proverbial cherry tree. This gives another clue as to his family finances. His father does not complain about the loss of the tree. The neighbors do. This must have been one huge oak tree. Its loss disgruntled the whole neighborhood. Terebinth is a type of oak tree. It also takes ten men to cut the stupid thing down. The story has striking corollaries to Abraham and the angels in Genesis 18. He is by his oak tree, a fatted calf is sacrificed, and Gideon displays considerable negotiation skills for a member of the poorest family in Manasseh.

This brings us to another example of how Gideon is so much like George Washington. George Washington did not want to be commander in chief of the American Army, but went to the continental congress everyday with his uniform on. Gideon does not want to be king, but names his son “Abimelech,” “My Dad is king,” two short verses later.

This brings us to another place where Israel at the time of King Saul and King David were so much like our own. Walter Breuggemann in his chapter on the “Rise of the Monarchy,” in “A Theological Introduction to the Old Testament,” mentions how times were changing during the time of King Saul and King David.

On page 229 of the text, Walter Breuggemann gives us a chart with some very interesting dates, 1961 and 1993. The first date is the date John F. Kennedy was sworn in as President. The second date is the date Bill Clinton became President. Like each of these two presidents, King David had a great domestic policy, and a not so good home life. JFK and King David also had great foreign policies.

Mr. Breuggemann does not discuss these dates. He discusses the reigns David becomes king/ melech at Hebron and over all Israel. King David takes the reins of power at the end of the late Bronze Age. He dies in the beginning of the Iron Age. Mr. Breuggemann relates how during the reins of Gideon and King/Molech Saul, the main enemies were city-states. King David must wage war with nation states. Nation states did exist before King Saul. We need look no further than Egypt and the Hittites.

Mr. Breuggemann is correct in pointing out how the times were changing and Israel would have to change with them if they were to survive. In addition, the early ‘60s were a time of great change. Because of World War II and its aftermath, America found itself in the role of major world power in geo-politics. The world was watching as the students said in Chicago in ’68.

We need to define what life is to follow our Declaration of Independence Part 5


As individuals, Faithful Discipleship means looking for candidates who support all of Catholic moral teaching, and voting for them on Election Day. Are lawyers reading this article? If you support all of Catholic moral tradition, you have my vote. I ask my opponents in this debate, have you considered running for public office. If you support all of Catholic moral tradition, you have my vote.

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Our Encyclical Humanae Vitae tells us in section 14, “Sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good. It is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it. It is unlawful to do evil in the hope good may come from it.”

It may be acceptable to stay home on Election Day and tolerate a non-pro-life elected official. It is never lawful to elect a politician who supports the culture of death. Those opposed Catholic Action, as a nation, those who oppose helping the poor, as a nation, support a Culture of death.

The underlying principle of these new opinions is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, (Americanism) the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Papal Encyclical

We are leaves blowing in the wind. New opinions are new opinions, regardless of whether they come out of the mounts of Modernist Conservatives, or Liberals. Humanae Vitae came in 1968. We celebrate the 44th anniversary. Catholics were 22% of the U.S. adult population in 1948. We reached our high point in the late 1970s, when the U.S. population was nearly 30% Catholic. In the last several years, the Catholic percentage has been around 23%.”

After 40 years of engaging in talking points, the five non-negotiable points are still with us. All we have done is dropped 10% of the population from being Catholic. Insanity is repeating the same things, and expecting different results. I can hear the conservatives joining the cause now.

We as liberals are the ones calling for the changes. So argues the conservatives. We say, what changed is not Humanae Vitae, or Vatican II. They were in the ‘60s. Still something changed. It was no change in the content of our faith. That has not changed in four millennia. We were getting results in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and without changing our teaching. We do not have to look far to see what changed in the ‘80s.

The Pope wrote his Encyclical to modernist, wealthy Catholics in the 1880s who did not want to follow the Encyclicals leading up to Rerum Novarum, which came two years later. The name of the above Encyclical is Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae, written in 1889. Conservatives want to use Five Non-negotiable teaching to abandon Rerum Novarum and related teachings and only follow Five Points. This is Americanism and it is a heresy.

We understand the appeal of this heresy. As men who are not doctors or researchers, there is no danger of us engaging in any of the sins of Five Points. All we have to do is not research our political candidates as they relate to pro-life issues, and vote for whomever we want. Because we have exchanged all of Creed, Sacrament, Ten Commandments, and Prayer with these Five Points, we are going to heaven. As Liberal Catholics, we say it is not that simple.

As liberal Catholics, we want results. We must decide, do we want to end abortion, and solve the other four non-negotiable points, or do we want to engage in an idle boxing match with the other side for another forty years.

There is the logical fallacy called false dilemma. We have 250 Catholic colleges and universities and 26 law schools, combined, graduating 70,000 students each year. There may well be lawyers watching this debate. Why do they not run for public office, supporting all of Catholic moral teaching? We cannot find 535 willing to run for Congress and for President?

We cannot find one? Are our universities failing that badly? Where are the Catholic/Christian candidates? “Faithful Discipleship as presented in the tradition of Catholic social teaching” means finding students in our colleges and universities, developing them into candidates, helping those candidates find the funding, and helping them into public office.

As individuals, Faithful Discipleship means looking for these candidates and voting for them on Election Day. Lawyers present? If you support all of Catholic moral tradition, you have my vote. I ask my opponent in this debate, have you considered running for public office. If you support all of Catholic moral tradition, you have my vote.

This is part 5. Please click here for part 4

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We need to define what life is to follow our Declaration of Independence Part 4


“Faithful Discipleship as presented in tradition of authoritative Catholic social teaching,” is all about creating this concordium, in English concord. A Hebrew word for God, is Abba, Father. Jesus is the Lamb of God. The Aramaic word for Lamb is “Omer.” The Aramaic word for “Word” is Omer. Lambs of course say, “Bah.” Bah is Hebrew for to come or the one who is to come. Ah Ha bah is the Hebrew word for Love.

It is welcoming each other into our communities with all of our faults and all of our failures. St. John tells us in 1 John 4:7, “Love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”

In Mark 12:29 Jesus discusses the great commandment, “Hear Israel, God is Almighty; God is One. You will have loved God with all your hearts, with all of your animate being, and with all of your measure.) The Hebrew word, “Hearts,” is plural. It is addressed to the entire community, not individuals. We have we each have many hearts, inclinations, some of which are good and some of which are not. God calls us to love him with all of our inclinations. God calls us to love him with all of our measure. If we measure ourselves with our patriotism, God calls us to love him with that.

How do we love God? What do we give someone who literally has everything? We love him by taking care of and respecting his property, his garden. We especially love him by taking care of what he made in his image and in his likeness, each other. Jesus also tells us to love our neighbor as ourselves. That means our neighbor has an obligation to love and respect us.

We need to see ourselves, or the ground within us as part of God’s garden. We must be people other people will find easy to love and respect. This is faithful discipleship. The Greek version of Genesis calls the Garden of Eden by its Persian name, Paradise. When Jesus dies, he tells another prisoner, “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.”

The command to guard and keep the garden never changes. If God cannot trust us to take care of his garden and the animate beings, including each other on this planet, how can he reasonably expect us to take care of the next one. Faithful discipleship means taking care of this garden, in particular each other. It includes using patriotism, the way we vote.

Jesus relates in Matthew 25:31 through 26:1, “As you do to the least of these my brothers, you do it to me.” Then the Passion comes. As we take care of those who hunger, thirst, are naked, in hospitals, and are in prison, we participate in the Passion.

We are all in the game of life. All bring to the game our resources, knowledge and skills. We all come to the game to get something out of it. Some requests are reasonable; some are not. Demanding that the poorest 50% live on 19% of all income so that the richest 20% can live on 80% of all income is not reasonable. The job of St. Augustine’s conductor is to make sure the tuba does not drown out the flute. St. Augustine’s conductor is our leadership, in private enterprise and in government. As Deuteronomy, 17:14 tells us, the conductor is not some mythical entity. He is one of us. He must know how many homes and cars he owns, how much a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, gasoline, and the like costs.

Our Lamb, our faith is all about promoting life; life lived to its fullest. That is what “Life” means. We look to St. Joseph, a carpenter. A retired worker is still a worker, just a retired one. When we say we are no longer working people, we cut ourselves off from community. The Ten Commandments no longer apply to us, but neither does the reward, eternal life.

As we look to our Liturgy of the Hours, we will meditate upon the Magnificat and just how The Mighty One has done great things for our Blessed Virgin? “He dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with nobility and the rich he sent away empty.” Those were revolutionary words then and they are revolutionary words now.

“Mystery” is church language for Sacrament. The sacrament is the great mystery handed on to us through the Ten Commandments, prayer and the creed. It is about Christ who comes to us through his Physical Presence in the body and the blood of the Eucharist.

This is part 4; Please click here for part 3

We need to define what life is to follow our Declaration of Independence Part 3


Conservatives believe some men, corporate CEOs, and business owners are by nature good and do not need regulation. Liberals believe the writings of John Locke who noted that no man is a fair judge in his own case. That includes the corporate CEO, our religious leaders, the union chiefs, and our political leaders.

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St. Augustine whose mural is on our altar gave us our vocabulary, “original sin.” We are all imperfect human beings trying to get from conception to the grave in one piece. God made us all in his image, as our Catholic doctrine has always taught. This brings us to the third definition of “Life.” It relates how God made us in his image and likeness. How we treat our neighbor, is how we treat God who is in our neighbor. Genesis 4:10. This definition takes up where the prior definition leaves off. Deuteronomy 30:

This Mitzvah I give you today is not too wondrous or remote for you… It is something very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart… Choose life, that you and your descendants may live.”

This is one of the famous 613 Mitzvah of Jewish traditions. How is this Mitzvah? All life is life in potentiality. Exodus 20:26 tells us, ‘You will not ascend to my altar by steps.’ Either we are going up or we are going down. Either we increase life in all of its potentiality or we decrease it. We will use this definition of life throughout the remainder of the debate.

God made us all in his image and likeness, liberal and conservative. Catholic Catechism, section 1701. “Social justice can be obtained only in respecting the transcendent dignity of man.” Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 1929.

When we stand before the Eucharistic altar, we see how this works. Little Flower parish makes the scene a little clearer. We descend from the back of the church until we reach the steps to the altar. At our Cathedral, we again see steps. This reminds us of our trip to Mt. Sinai, and our trip up to the transfiguration. We walk up and down hills and valleys until we arrive at the promised mountain. Mt. Sinai is a volcano, and we represent this with incense. We stand at Sinai, again, for the first time, each time we attend Mass.

We all like to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands. Catholics need to define just what we mean by a republic. St. Augustine gives Catholics our definition of a republic:

As among the different sounds, which proceed from lyres, flutes, and the human voice, a conductor maintains a certain harmony, which a cultivated ear cannot endure to hear disturbed. He elicits this in full, absolute concordiam by the modulation of voices unlike one another. Where we allow reason to modulate the diverse elements of the state, we obtain perfect concord from the upper, lower, and middle classes as from various sounds. What musicians call harmony, is concord in matters of state, the strictest bond and best security of any republic, and which by no ingenuity can be retained where justice is extinct.

“Faithful Discipleship as presented in tradition of authoritative Catholic social teaching,” is all about creating this concordium, in English concord. A Hebrew word for God, is Abba, Father. Jesus is the Lamb of God. The Aramaic word for Lamb is “Omer.” The Aramaic word for “Word” is Omer. Lambs of course say, “Bah.” Bah is Hebrew for to come or the one who is to come. Ah Ha bah is the Hebrew word for Love.

It is welcoming each other into our communities with all of our faults and all of our failures. St. John tells us in 1 John 4:7, “Love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love.”

This is part 3 of a series. Please click here for part 2

Please click here for part 1

We need to define what life is to follow our Declaration of Independence Part 2


The predicate for “He who governs least governs best,” is also in our Prologue to the Ten Commandments. St. Augustine made his count available through his text, “Questions of Exodus.” Here is our Catholic Catechism on the history of the 10 Commandments:

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2066 “The division and numbering of the Commandments have varied in the course of history. The present catechism follows the division of the Commandments established by St. Augustine, which has become traditional in the Catholic Church.”

Our Catechism tells us there is more than one count for the Ten Commandments. We follow St. Augustine’s count, but we are open to dialogue with other counts. This begins the Jewish count:

Moses called all those who struggle with God, and told them, “Hear, you who struggle with God, the customs and correct judicial precedents I speak in your ears, this day, that you may learn them, and guard to do them.

The Personal Name our Almighty Judge cut a Social Contract with us at Mt. Sword. Not with our fathers did The Personal Name our Almighty Judge cut this Social Contract, but with us, each of us, alive, here, this day… I am The Personal Name your Almighty Judge, who brought thee out of the land of Oppression, out of the house of menial labor. You will have no other Almighty Judge before My face.

In Mark 10, Jesus quotes the last six of the Ten Commandments, “You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear vain witness; you shall not defraud; hold as important father and mother.” Jesus starts with the last five, and then moves back to grab the fifth commandment, as he understood them. The first one is the one listed above. It is the call to community, personally remembering what oppression is like, and taking action when we see others suffer. Ultimately, it is the call to Eucharist.

How can God give customs and correct judicial precedents at Sinai, which by definition develop over time? We are to view customs and judicial precedents as if they came from the lips of God himself. The root word for judicial precedent means “Lip.” When our religious and political leaders speak the word of God, we are to view them as coming from the lips of God.

Deuteronomy 5 begins as an address to the community, all who are at Mt. Sinai. God rescues those who struggle with God/Israel, as a community. He calls us to love him, as a community. He calls us to remember what oppression is like, as a community. God tells us, as a community, The Personal Name our Almighty Judge cut a Social Contract with us at Mt. Sword. Not with our fathers did The Personal Name our Almighty Judge cut this Social Contract, but with us, each of us, alive, here, this day…

The concept of the Physical Presence is here. The Jewish community relives for the first time, each time, they celebrate Passover their escape from Oppression. We remember, as community, for the first time, each time, we celebrate the Mass our escape through the resurrection of Jesus.

Faithful Discipleship means intuiting our world through the eyes of faith. This faith begins at Mt. Sinai and the cross, seeing the world through past suffering, & bringing our salvation to others. If we do this, we can forget the other commandments. This is because we will be too busy helping our neighbor to violate any of the other commandments. Our Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Torah gives several definitions of life. The second definition of life states life is blood. Anything with blood is life. Anything with two cells has blood, therefore life. Our discussion is about what life is in between one cell and death at the end of our natural lives.

This is part 2. Please click here for part 1

We need to define what life is to follow our Declaration of Independence Part 1


The collectors of the temple tax approached Peter asking, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” Peter replied, “Yes.” Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth tax, from their subjects or from foreigners?” Peter replied, “From foreigners,” Jesus replied, “The subjects are exempt.” Matthew 17:24

Jesus told them, “The kings of the nations lord it over them and those in authority over them are addressed as ‘Benefactors. Among you, it shall not be so. Allow the greatest among you be as the youngest, and the leader as the servant. Who is greater: the one seated at table or the one who serves? It is not the one seated at table! I am among you as the one who serves.”Luke 22:24

If there is anything, which separates liberals from conservatives it is the conservative quoting, “He who governs least governs best.” Henry Thoreau said this. The question is, “He who governs least governs best to do what?” The socialist thinks government control of everything is governing the least. The capitalist, the communist, and the anarchist believe it is no government.

Without a goal in, “He who governs least governs best,” government regulation falls upon those who are foreign to us. For the rich, it is the poor. For the poor it is the rich. A liberal Congress pushes taxes and regulations upon the rich. The conservatives do the same to the poor. We are leaves blowing in the wind. Jesus, in Luke 22:24, calls us to act better.

The topic of this discussion is “Faithful Discipleship as presented in the tradition of Catholic social teaching.” How do we prepare for the next election in four years? Our role is not to bring solutions, only a framework for understanding the question.

If there is anything, which separates liberals from conservatives it is Thomas Jefferson’s, “He who governs least governs best.” Thomas Jefferson never said this; Henry Thoreau did. The socialist thinks government control of everything is governing the least. The capitalist, the communist, and the anarchist believe it is no government at all. The phrase, “He who governs least governs best,” needs a predicate, the least to do what?”

Without answering the “To do what,” government falls upon the foreigner, those who are foreign to us. For the rich, the poor need more government. For the poor, it is the rich. When the liberals control Congress, they push more government upon the rich and when the conservatives are in power, we see the reverse. We are not one nation, but two, one black, one white, one enslaved by wealth, one by poverty. We have liberty for the rich and the best justice money can buy.

We are leaves blowing in the wind. Humanae Vitae came in 1968. Roe V. Wade came in 1973. We come to the 40th anniversary of the latter event. Catholics were 22% of the U.S. adult population in 1948. We reached our high point in the late 1970s, when the U.S. population was nearly 30% Catholic. In the last several years, the Catholic percentage has been around 23%.”

After 40 years of engaging in talking points, the five non-negotiable points are still with us. All we have done is dropped 10% of the population from being Catholic. It is said that insanity is repeating the same things, and expecting different results. As liberal Catholics, we want results. We must decide, do we want to end abortion, and solve the other four non-negotiable points, or do we want to engage in an idle boxing match with the other side for another forty years.

Jesus, in Luke 22:24, calls us to act better than being leaves blowing in the wind, choosing between the left and the right. There is no reason for Matthew 17 applying to our nation. There is no reason for the rich viewing the poor as foreigners, or the poor for viewing the rich as foreign.

The mural at our Cathedral provides our predicate; at the upper right of the mural stands Pope Pious X who wrote about Catholic Action. Pope Benedict said this about Pope Pious X:

The faith as such is always the same. The Catechism of Saint Pius X always preserves its value. Ways of transmitting the contents of the faith can change instead..” I remember reading staunch anti-Catholics argue that Vatican II changed nothing. Our current Pope agrees. Referring to Torah St. James wrote in James 1:17:

All noble giving and every complete gift are from above, coming down from the Father of lights. Through him, there is no alteration or shadow caused by change…

The packaging changes; the truth remains the same. In IL FERMO PROPOSITO Pope Pious X writes: We take to heart the interests of the people, especially those of the working and agricultural classes by endeavoring to dry their tears, to alleviate their sufferings, and to improve their economic condition by wise measures. We strive, to make public laws conformable to justice. (7) All these works… constitute what is known by “Catholic Action.” (8)

All Catholics must prepare themselves prudently and seriously for political life in case they may be called. It is of the utmost importance that the same activity be extended to a suitable preparation and organization for political life. (19)

All those works which directly come to the aid of the spiritual and pastoral ministry of the Church and which labor religiously for the good of souls must be subordinated to the authority of the Church and also to the authority of the Bishops placed by the Holy Spirit to rule the Church of God in the dioceses assigned to them. (22)

We all have the obligation to be educated on political matters, and we must subordinate our efforts under our Bishops. Our Bishops have the obligation to help us educate ourselves and to prepare us for Catholic Action. This includes preparing political leaders who will support all of Catholic Social Doctrine.

This is part 1. Please click here for part 2

The fight to decide who the great provider is has not yet ended part 2


Hosea 12:8 states, “לַעֲשֹׁק אָהֵב כְּנַעַוֹבְּיָדוֹ מאזְנֵי מִרְמָה,” Canaan is explicitly referred to as a merchant. This is in Hosea’s time. Proverbs 31:24, in the middle of the Acrostic, “Woman of Valor,” recited by all Jewish men to their wives Sabbath evening relates, “וַחֲגוֹרנָתְנָה לַכְּנַעֲנִי,” “She gives girdles to the Canaanites/merchants.” If the writer of Joshua and Judges is from a later period, like the Babylonian exile, it would make sense to condemn the merchants who diluted the old ways of doing things. They were from the low country, which is to say by the Mediterranean Sea, and therefore the bringers of foreign lifestyles. When looking for a people to blame for the disaster, they make the ideal target.

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The merchants brought the way of the nations. That is what merchants do for a living. They bring goods, and with the goods the way of living from other cultures. Psalm 115:4 begins a diatribe against the idols of the Canaanites, and it is part of Hillel. The referent has a double meaning. The silver and gold could refer to the market with its emphasis on silver and gold. It could also refer to the פסלים the Canaanites worshiped. It probably refers to both.

The main complaint of the Deuteronomy writer of Joshua and Judges is bringing the way of the nations. By the Babylonian exile, the writers were the established class, not the farmers, or the shepherds. Deuteronomy 9:4 tell us, “מר בְּצִדְקָתִי הֱבִיאַנִי יְהוָהלָרֶשֶׁת אֶת-הָאָרֶץ הַזֹּאתוּבְרִשְׁעַת הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּהיְהוָה מוֹרִישָׁם מִפָּנֶיךָ.” The writing is that of a very skilled writer. “לָרֶשֶׁת,” to inherit alliterates well with “רִשְׁעַ,” Russia, “Those who think themselves first,” and “מוֹרִישָׁם,” “to drive them out.” The skilled writing is not that of a farmer, or a shepherd. He is the established class.

Deuteronomy 9:4 translates, “Do not say in your heart, “It is because of my charity, the Personal Name has brought me in to possess this land, and because of these nations thinking themselves first that the Personal Name is dispossessing them before me. It is because of their thinking of themselves as first that the Personal Name, your Almighty Judge, dispossesses these nations in order to fulfill the promise he made on oath to your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The context Torah and Prophets gives us is not that of class war. The warning is not to be like the other nations, thinking themselves first. Deuteronomy does show the greatest concern for the less fortunate. Deuteronomy 15:4 tells us, “There shall be no one of you in need, if you listen to the voice of the Personal Name, your Almighty Judge, and carefully observe this entire Mitzvah which I enjoin on you today.” Deuteronomy 15:11 relates, “The land will never lack for needy persons; that is why I command you: “Open your hand freely to your poor and to your needy kin in your land.” God knows we will never follow the rules, so commands us to at least make up for past failures.

This takes away the third option of An Introduction to the Old Testament.” Some of the peoples fighting the Canaanites probably were Semitic, as opposed to the descendents of Ham who were the Canaanites. Almost certainly, some were shepherds fighting for their shepherding ways against the established farming and merchant ways of the more advanced culture.

We must follow Torah, not because we believe it is literally correct, it is not, but because we are evaluating about what they thought was the conflict. They are the only witnesses to this and thought the conflict was about who the real “בעל” the real head of the household, the real “אל” or Almighty Judge was. If we could ever get this right, there would be no need to fear anyone. God is the Great Provider. There is no need for merchants or market forces, or any of the garbage these false idols may seem to provide.

This is part 2. Please click here for part 1

The fight to decide who the great provider is has not yet ended part 1


When discussing the reason for Israel’s admission in to the Promised Land An Introduction to the Old Testament,” mentions three reasons theories as to how the Israelis entered the land. One of these theories centers on the idolatrous behavior of those already in the land. In this theory, Joshua comes in with Israel and in one massive war wipes out the original population.

One of the twelve apostles was a Canaanite.  An Introduction to the Old Testament,” points to many other examples of how Canaanites were in the land long after they were wiped out. This points to the second hypothesis; the conquest of the land was gradual. An Introduction to the Old Testament,” posits a third hypothesis, a Marxist one. At least some of the people who sided with Israel participated in a Marxist peasant’s revolt.

In our nation, the fight to decide who the great provider is has not yet ended, or possibly even begun.
This guy posed for Terri and Larry Garside as they were coming down through Klamath Falls.

An Introduction to the Old Testament,” asks us to abandon the literal reading of the text in light of a twentieth century understanding. If this were a peasant Marxist revolt, we would expect the writers to use a name for the enemy that vilified them. Canaan, “כְּנָעַן” refers to the people of the lowlands. They thought of themselves as the people of the soil juxtaposed to the people of Aram, the highlands people. They were not the only tribes living in the land at the time. If Canaan referred to elite as “An Introduction to the Old Testament,” maintains, why choose to name this people a word that simply means lowland, or humble people? Why list names to these peoples corresponding to tribes other nations report were really in the land?

There were two disputes between the Canaanites and the entering Hebrews. One concerned who the great provider was: “אל” or “בעל” and “עשתרת.” The Canaanites worshiped “בעל,” “Husband,” or the head of the household. His bride in the story is “עשתרת” or the woman of “תרת,” or “Ra” an Egyptian word. She was one of the daughters of Ra in Egyptian mythology. These individuals point to a farming culture. “בעל” dies in the winter and rises again in the spring. When he rises, the ground becomes fertile. “בעל” becomes the great provider.

Agriculture was a great advance in the development of culture. In the stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, there is minimal conflict between the Canaanites and the shepherds who were with them. Most of the people in the Promised Land were ranchers, shepherds, as were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

As Joshua and the people of Israel enter the Promised Land, there is conflict similar to the conflict between the ranchers and the farmers of our American Midwest. The farmers put up barbed wire fences to keep out the cattle. Ranchers became upset as they tried to move their cattle from Texas to the railroads in Kansas. The ranchers of our Midwest were the wealthy tycoons. Hebrew is Hebrew for “Homeless.” Another difference is the cattle, “Chattel” or live stock. The American rancher raised cattle. The Basque peoples, who ranchers also did not care for, raised sheep, as did the Israelites. They were the odd men out.

What was the original dispute with the Canaanites? The only text we have as to the real dispute is Torah and Prophets. Were the original Canaanites farmers putting up fences to block the herding of the Hebrews? Was the dispute about who “בעל,” the Great Provider is?

An Introduction to the Old Testament,” brings up the dispute between the established folk who moved from agriculture to trading, built cities and traded with peoples from Carthage to Greece, to Egypt. He points to the desire to return to Egypt and the consumer mentality of Pharaoh, the Great Abuser, who makes the Jewish people a commodity.

In the consumer/trading mentality, “בעל” becomes Hermes, who becomes Mercury. The Great Provider of the agrarian people becomes the god of Merchants and thieves. As polytheism dies out the idea of a god becomes with a mechanical creation, or in Freudian terms, a great Id, who is more able to discern what is in man’s best interests than the collective Ego. The Super Ego and the ID join together to rationalize rampant consumerism at the expense of the poor.

This is part 1, please click here for part 2.