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Showing posts from October, 2010

Don't Get Distracted - Just Vote

With the election less than five days away, reports of alleged voter fraud are coming in from various counties and states across the country.  Allegedly, our military men and women serving our great nation overseas are being prevented from voting in at least two states, IL and NY.  And there is the spin that if the Republican party takes over the House and Senate in this election, it will actually help President Obama pass his agenda and ensure his reelection in 2012.   Does this constant news leave you feeling a bit discouraged about Election Day next week? Are you concerned that your vote won’t count? Or that possibly the voting machine won’t accurately record your vote? Or are you on the opposite spectrum, so confident that the rolling tide will sweep out the big spenders and big government supporters that you might not make the effort to vote on Tuesday?  After all, the pundits and polls all show a huge unprecedented sweep for the Conservative candidates. Now is the time to keep

Halloween Party Reminds Us to Respect Life of Elderly and Infirm

Even though the Houston weather doesn’t necessarily agree, Fall is upon us.  Every Fall my family enjoys attending the Halloween Party at my grandmother’s assisted living and memory care center.  As I have previously written about,  Shelly and I have a grandmother suffering from dementia . Increasingly over the last year, the recognition usually present in her eyes when I walk in the room, has diminished; however, within several minutes of our arrival she seems to have forgotten that she isn’t quite sure who we are, and accepted that we are there to be with her. Even though this year the party fell on the busiest night for our family activities, this annual party is a top priority, having become so important to both to my kids and grandmother.  While attending a party at a nursing home may not sound very exciting, I have discovered an exciting reason to attend – the smile on my grandmother’s face. Dementia has robbed my grandmother not only of her unique personality but al

Sometimes God gives you a push

After the positive experience of attending the CNMC last year and being welcomed into this new Catholic New Media movement across social networking, I found myself desiring a more solid connection with our parish priest and church community. Though I'd spent two years assisting with CCE, I resolved to become more involved with my parish, seeking opportunities to develop friendships and relationships with other Christians based on our faith. Over a year ago, Lisa and I posed the question “ How well do you know your parish priests ?” Within days of that post , a letter from my church arrived on a busy afternoon. I only half-glanced at it, thinking it a form letter probably asking for donations, then dropped the folded letter into my work back side sleeve “to read later,” and promptly forgot about it. About ten days later, someone I knew slightly from the elementary school PTA stopped me after Mass to express her surprise that I wasn’t at the meeting earlier that week. “What meetin

President Obama Omits Creator in Declaration of Independence Again

For the third time in just over a month, President Obama recited the most familiar part of the Declaration incorrectly .  The first time it happened, many thought it was just a coincidence, perhaps a teleprompter error. The fact that he has now repeatedly omitted the exact same words from the Declaration three times in a month leads me to conclude this is no accident. The often-quoted, beloved, sentence, as written in the Declaration, reads: 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. When President Obama recites this famous sentence, he omits the phrase, “by their Creator.”  We could give him the benefit of the doubt, that he simply misspoke during these speeches. However, I have a difficult time following that logic since the President is generally recognized as an accomplished speaker, with many aides and speechwri

Where is Separation of Church & State in the Constitution?

The question on many minds today is... Where is Separation of Church & State in the Constitution? Senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell asked that question of her opponent during a campaign debate. The audience, comprised of lawyers and law students, audibly gasped before her opponent smugly told her the clause was in the First Amendment. Except that it’s not. The media is attempting to use this exchange to show that O’Donnell is not intelligent and does not understand a fundamental clause in the United States Constitution. Rather, we should be seriously concerned about the fact that the lawyers, law students, the Democrat candidate and the media DO NOT understand the First Amendment as written. Christine O’Donnell was correct to question her opponent’s statement that the clause, “Separation of Church and State” is in the Constitution because it is NOT in the Constitution. It is not even in the Bill of Rights. The First Amendment of the United States reads, Congr

Exercise Your Right to Vote in Adherence With Your Faith

With two weeks until Election Day, polls are open for early voting in more than 30 states.  Join me (Lisa) in planning to early vote so you don’t have to worry about anything keeping you away from the polls on Election D ay .   Catholics have a moral obligation to exercise our right to vote and participate in the political community as service to the common good.  (CCC 2240, CCC 2239).  Non-Catholic Christians also believe strongly in their co-responsibility to the common good of our society that necessitates exercising our voting privileges. In preparation for voting, it is important to discern how our vote will correspond to our Christian beliefs.  Catholics receive direction from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, "A well-formed Christian conscience does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law that contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals."   While average citizens are not often directly voting for progra

Conversation with Congressman Pete Olson

Last night I attended a small reception for the reelection of my Congressman, Pete Olson of the 22 nd District in TX .    O ne of the few Republicans to take a House seat away from a Democrat in the 2008 elections , Olson now faces his first re - election.   While his seat appears to be safe, he is not taking this election for granted.  He asked this group of 40 voters to make sure we turn out to vote when early voting starts next week. He insisted that residents of the 22 nd show up at the polls not only to vote for him, but also to support every other Republican on the ballot, from county judge all the way up to Governor.  Congressional Redistricting We cannot emphasize the importance of this election season in  state politics as well national.  Based on the projected census numbers, Texas stands to receive four new Congressional Districts.  This spring, our Texas Legislature will draw new lines, incorporating the new districts.  Therefore, it is imperative that the Republican Par

Introducing Bill White to Texas voters

In the countdown to Election Day, November 2, the ads for Texas Governor are flying fast and furious. While many of our friends across Texas may be familiar with Gov. Rick Perry, you might be interested in knowing more about former Houston mayor Bill White from someone who lives in Houston. Hurricane Katrina Bill White received kudos for his immediate bi-partisan response to the plight of victims from Hurricane Katrina and was decisive in his decision to accept the influx of hundreds of thousands of Katrina evacuees. Houstonians were deeply moved to volunteer and provide humanitarian aid; however, people in Houston and the surrounding areas were angered with the Mayor’s lack of long term planning and the resulting ramifications. An estimated 150,000 to 200,000 Louisianans resettled in Houston, increasing our city’s population by 10% overnight . While many people expected evacuees to eventually return to Louisiana, two out of every three stayed in Houston , straining all key city ser

Catholic New Media World Updates

Before we start the weekend, I want to share a few updates on some of our favorites from the Catholic New Media world. Matthew Warner at National Catholic Register shot lots of great video at the Catholic New Media Celebration  in August and edited it together into 10 short videos. Each video shows many different podcasters and bloggers commenting on a shared question. The last video, #10 , stitches together the outtakes from the recordings. Shelly and I made it into all ten videos, including some pretty funny moments in the outtakes.  Don't forget to take a moment and read his recent posts at NCRegister.  Matt is always right on the money. Our good friend, Jeff Young, The Catholic Foodie recently released his first Catholic Foodie monthly newsletter . Shelly and I were invited to be contributors and submitted a column on family meal prayer. Jeff also began selling specialty Catholic Foodie Coffee , complete with a scripture insert. Guess what will be on my gift giving li

Caring for All of God's Creation

In support of my new parish during this growth, I’ve volunteered to teach CCE for my third-grade daughter’s class.  Our lesson last week addressed the story of Creation.  We read parts of Genesis, discussed all that God made and how through Divine Providence we now take care of God’s gift of Creation. I asked for volunteers to share a picture they drew of themselves helping God’s Gift and listing ways to care for His Creation.  After a few minutes I realized that the children missed a major objective of the lesson, as each of them focused on one small part.  Every child save one, 18 in all, showed some way to recycle, plant a tree, a garden or preserve the oceans as their answer.  Only one boy drew a picture of himself helping other people for the exercise. Is this a reflection of society’s values our children are learning?  That plants, trees, animals and the earth are more important than humans? Every day, their heads are filled with “Save the Planet” and “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” o