30 January 2013

Herod and Christ

Sub Tuum.

Today I saw a photo collage that is one of the most stark contrasts I have seen. The picture (below) is of Obama receiving an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame University on the left while, at almost the same time, Fr. Norman Weslin, pictured on the right, is being arrested for peacefully protested the travesty of Obama being awarded that degree. As I look at these two photos side by side, I see so much more. 

Left: Obama receives honorary doctorate from Notre Dame. Right: Fr. Norman Weslin is arrested for peacefully protesting the honorary degree being awarded to Obama.

In the left photo, I see a modern-day Herod receiving the accolades of modern-day Pharisees who lost their faith and lost their sense of duty to that faith. On the right I see another Christ arrested for protesting these modern-day Pharisees. On the left I see a man as content to allow the deaths of innocent babies as Herod was to slaughter the Holy Innocents. On the right I see a man who was willing to hang on the Cross alongside our Lord to defend the rights of unborn children. On the left I see a photo of a man caught up in the mire of his own self-righteousness. On the right I see a truly happy man. 

Fr. Weslin was stripped of his power as he was taken into custody, just as our Lord had no earthly power in the custody of Herod and Pilate, and upon the Cross. Fr. Weslin was stripped of his honor, having a tag stating his crime placed about his neck as our Lord had the charges against Him displayed as He hung on the Cross. Fr. Weslin surely was not comfortable in handcuffs as our Lord was surely uncomfortable in the crown of thorns. As I see a happy man when I look at an image of Christ on the Cross, so do I see a happy man when I look at this picture of Fr. Weslin being arrested. 

To me, the left picture represents the honoring of intrinsic evil so common in today's world that does not as a whole respect life and the sanctity of the human person. The right picture represents all those who are willing to sacrifice everything and hang right there upon the Cross with our Lord to defend the Holy Faith and to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Let us pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Norman Weslin and for a strengthening of the true faith inside all of us. 

+ Rutherford Cardinal Johnson

12 January 2013

Gun Control

 Sub Tuum.
Those who advocate gun rights are not necessarily saying and should not say that weapons are more important than children. Many gun owners have guns as a means to PROTECT their children. I know people whose lives have been saved because they had a legal concealed gun. Yes, some criminals have killed children at schools, and that is tragic. Do not think, though, that children cannot be killed at schools by mean other than guns. The doctor's knife kills millions of children each year in abortions. Many children also die by other means. Just as illegal drugs are still a billion dollar business despite being illegal, outlawing guns will not eliminate the problem.

Consider also the number of tyrants who have disarmed their populations as a precursor to totalitarian domination. Hitler said this was an essential means. Contrast that to Thomas Jefferson, who said that the only sure guard against tyranny is a well-armed population. Don't think what happened in Germany or Russia can't happen here. I'm sure they didn't think it could happen, either.

The real root of our problem is a fundamental lack of respect for human life. Yes, I say secularization is to blame for that. When we want to eliminate the means of many decent citizens to protect their children in the name of protecting children, while simultaneously proclaiming the murder of unborn children is somehow a right of the mother, it is the sign of a highly skewed value system.

A gun, like anything else, may be used for good or evil. That depends on the purpose and intent of the individual person. But did Cain have a gun? No. St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, was killed by stones. Shall we ban rocks? But it was not the rock that resulted in the death of Stephen, but the evil in the hearts of his murders. If they did not have rocks, they would have found something else.

Not until we turn away from hate and towards love and respect of life will the problems we are facing begin to see a solution. It has nothing to do with guns. It has to do with a society that is sorely in need of conversion to the very God it has largely abandoned.
+ Rutherford Cardinal Johnson